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I'm planning to upgrade a notebook PC to a Solid-State Flash Drive (SSD) soon. I want to use the notebook before that and am considering installing Windows 7 on the hard disk (spinning variety, 5400rpm) before I get the SSD.

To save time I am wondering if I can ghost/clone the installation of Windows 7 from the hard drive and put on the SSD.

Would the performance of this clone from the harddisk onto the SSD be different from starting again and reinstalling Windows 7 from scratch on the SSD?

(Windows 7 32bit professional)

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The fresh install would be faster slightly due to less drivers installed (at least one less for the previous hard drive) and the standard Windows 'bloat' that happens as you install programs, etc. Is this going to be noticeable, probably not.

As for the clone, you will want to make sure you are using AHCI for the SSD to take advantage of TRIM support (if present) for longevity of your SSD. Also, ensure defragmentation does not occur on the SSD after the clone.

Realistically, the clone should show marginal to no performance differences compared to a fresh install.

I just did this on a laptop and the performance jump from the 5400RPM drive to SSD was incredible. This was the preferred method vs. fresh install as reinstalling programs and setting up profiles would have been too time consuming.

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+1 thanks @Mike. Accepted. –  therobyouknow Oct 8 '12 at 22:40
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If you decide to use the HDD image, be sure to turn off indexing (I think Win7 turns it off by default if it's clean installed on an SSD). More tips here and here. –  Karan Oct 9 '12 at 13:46
    
+1 Thanks @Karan. –  therobyouknow Oct 11 '12 at 16:02
    
If you clone a HDD to a SSD you have to make sure that the target partitions are aligned properly. EaseUS Todo can do this. This is important! –  nixda Jul 29 '13 at 11:46
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