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Copying an HDD to an SSD?

I am going to buy a SSD for my laptop. For now I have 500GB HDD drive and I am thinking about buying 128GB or 256GB of SDD.

I would like to copy all (or most of) my software (OS, applications and games) onto this drive and leave the rest on HDD (as I will access them form USB or I will buy a socket for that).

How can I perform the copy so that everything will be ok ?

I think I can copy a whole partition (around 100GB) and then resize it on the SDD but will it cause some problems with performance ? Will I achieve the best performance that drive offers ? Should I maybe perform a clean install on it ?

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marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Randolph West, Moab, Mokubai, Nifle Feb 12 '12 at 11:14

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You may want to consider reinstalling your operating system while doing this –  Simon Sheehan Feb 11 '12 at 21:56
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possible duplicate of Copying an HDD to an SSD? and/or Free way to clone HDD to SSD? –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Feb 11 '12 at 22:07
    
What exactly is “the rest”? –  Synetech Feb 11 '12 at 22:13
    
@Synetech Music, photos, documents and movies. –  Patryk Feb 11 '12 at 22:17

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

After doing this 3 times, I learned some useful tips that will be helpful to you (I hope):

I have tried to do this 3 times without success. Here's one thing to be aware of: EZ Gig IV software (and at least some others, I guess) will clone the entire hard drive, not just a single partition. So you can't just re-size the C: partition so that it is small enough to fit on the SSD. You have to make sure that all the data on your hard drive (minus your My Documents and a few other folders) is smaller than your new SSD.

If you want to clone from your C: partition to SSD, then you should do some research to find some software that will do this. I am not sure if it is possible. The Apricorn tech support person told me that it is not possible to clone a partition, because that is only part of a drive. In order to clone the drive, you need to copy the MBR, which stores the partition information. I don't know if this is exactly correct, or if it is possible to create the necessary info (MBR)? with another software.

Which operating system are your running? Windows XP will require SATA drivers on a floppy.

It's actually not that bad of a process to re-install the OS on the SSD, because it goes much more quickly than an old HDD. I found that it is very useful to take copious notes on the process, in case you need to do it again. Your system will run smoother and faster, and take up much less space.

Another reason you may need to re-install the OS is if your new SSD dies. Mine died after a month. SSD's are much more likely to fail than HDD's. The best thing you can do is choose one that has large numbers of very high ratings (like this one from NewEgg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148441). Choose one that is extremely reliable, or else there is a significant chance that your SSD will die after a few months. By the way, the one that died is not the above link.

Also, you should partition your SSD into multiple volumes. Keep all of your data and documents off your C: partition. That way you can re-install your OS to your C: partition without destroying all your data. And, you can create an image of the C: partition after you finish installing so that you can recreate it if your SSD dies or the OS becomes unstable or corrupted.

Be sure to leave plenty of space (perhaps 20 GB free?) on the C: partition for new programs and OS files after you install everything you have now. The OS seems to grow over time. You don't want it to get nearly full.

Finally, if you have some huge programs (games) that you don't want to fill up your SSD, install them on a separate HDD.

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I used Acronis to move my data. I resized the HDD partition to be smaller than the SSD target, and cloned it to the SSD. After the clone, I resized back to the full size of the SSD. I experienced zero performance impact.

If you can't get your hands on Acronis, I believe CloneZilla is quite good.

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One tip: Uninstall any software you don't want to be on the SSD before you do this. Then reinstall it on the hard drive after you've completed the restore and reformatted the hard drive. –  David Schwartz Feb 12 '12 at 2:30

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