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I've read several of the migration guides for moving an existing windows install from a HDD to a SSD.

Steps are basically:

  1. Attach external drive
  2. copy hdd image to drive (conezilla)
  3. install ssd
  4. boot to clonezilla
  5. copy image from external drive to ssd
  6. boot from new ssd

My question is, can it be done like this:

  1. attach ssd in an external harddrive enclosure
  2. boot to clonezilla
  3. copy image from current hdd to ssd (via enclosure)
  4. install ssd
  5. boot from ssd

Thereby saving an entire image copy?

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Yes you can clone directly to a SSD and boot from that drive. I've done that a number of times and never created an intermediate image. The only issue sometimes can be partition size difference but programs like Clonzilla should be able to handle that as an option.

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    Additionally I've usually don't use an external drive enclosure for this. Just have the case open and the SSD plugged into an internal port. – Brad Patton Mar 22 '13 at 18:19
  • Awesome, thanks... this is a laptop, but it does have two harddrive slots, so I should be able to skip the enclosure - very nice. Why do all the guides have the intermediate step? – mtyson Mar 22 '13 at 19:02
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    I'm not sure. This guide walks through a direct copy. computershopper.com/laptops/howto/… – Brad Patton Mar 22 '13 at 19:13
  • Thanks Brad. How long do you think it'll take to copy a disk of about 350 gigs? – mtyson Mar 22 '13 at 19:23
  • NP. Not really sure how long it will take. It will depend on interface (USB2/3, eSATA, etc). disk speed, overall size of data. – Brad Patton Mar 22 '13 at 19:47
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You can do it, but it will still take hours upon hours to complete. You might as well just do a fresh install.

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