Migrate to SSD, My Experience
Here is my experience on migrating from mechanical hard drive to SSD (Solid State Drive).
Summary: Success, but bumps, even serious bumps, along the way.
Laptop: Win7 Home, SSD: SATA 240G from PNY. OEM hard drive: 250G (bigger than SSD!).
USB hard drive (1TB), or at least 3X bigger than the original drive (to store backups).
Aomei partition and backup software: 100% success.
Software with partial success:
EaseUS partition and backup products (requires "Repair" with Win7 boot disc).
Win7 boot/repair CD/DVD + external USB DVD drive if your laptop does not have one.
Win7 boot/repair USB flash drive (the DVD equivalent).
[Flash drive is 16G-32G size, no bigger, no smaller.]
Some OEM PC will only create 1 DVD + 1 bootable USB flash drive. No more.
If the process fails, the flag is set and you're out of luck.
Though allows 8G size, some 8G flash drive may not have enough space! That is why use 16G.
The creation of bootable USB flash does not allow larger than 32G. (At least for my HP laptop.)
Medium. Know how to access BIOS or UEFI. Mechanically inclined, know how to open a laptop/PC and install the SSD.
A simpler way, a lot more simpler:
Use a bigger SSD than the original drive, e.g., 260G SSD replacing 250G drive.
Equal, numerically, may not be 'equal' and same actual size. For peace of mind: *bigger* SSD.
1. Install both Aomei partition and backup programs.
2. Create bootable discs (or bootable USB flash drives) of Aomei Partition AND Backup, one each.
3. Clean up the OEM drive, using Win7 clean-drive utility, or CCleaner. Boot to verify the cleaning is OK.
4. From BIOS, boot with Aomei Backup DVD or USB. Create drive image file(s) stored to the USB 1TB drive.
5. Also, make file backup (not drive image) stored to the USB 1TB drive (in case the image does not work).
Now you have 2 backups of the same OEM drive.
6. Power down and remove all power source, including laptop battery.
7. Remove OEM drive. Install SSD. Double check connections and screws.
8. While at it, clean dirt and dust from fan.
9. From BIOS, boot with Aomei backup disc or USB.
10. Enable SSD alignment (1024-align). Restore image to SSD.
11. Power down. Remove all USB devices. Go to BIOS, boot from SSD.
12. Aomei can migrate from bigger drive to smaller SSD, as long as 'stuffs' in the original drive can fit in the smaller SSD.
(1) Forget to enable 1024-align during image restore:
Boot with Amoei Partition disc or USB. Start 1024 align.
In my case , the SSD is partitioned into 4 partitions like the original. All are aligned.
One imperfection: Size is slightly different. Most pronounced is the small first boot partition. OEM is only 199MB. The new aligned is 700MB. The rest of the partitions are only slightly different sizes.
(2) Change partition size(s) post migration:
Boot to Aomei Partition disc or USB. Change partition size(s). Make sure enable 1024-align first. Or, later do 1024-align after resizing.
(1) I first used EaseUS to do the migration.
The restored image could not boot.
Do not panic. Win7 boot disc comes to the rescue.
Boot to Win7 disc or USB flash drive, select 'Repair'. Now SSD can boot.
(2) Use alignment tool to do 1024-align.
(3) Alternative to do 'Repair':
Use EaseUS Backup to do file restore (not image restore). Restore the backup to SSD (all partitions of the same drive). Now SSD can boot.
EaseUS image restore will render non-bootable. It has to do with the hard drive ID being carbon copied to the new drive. Aomei has no such problem.
To efficiently use SSD, Win7 activates TRIM automatically when it detects SSD ... but only if it is 1024-aligned.
To check 1024-align, use Intel SSD Toolbox, plus, fsutil.exe command. Google for details.