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  1. #1
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    Install SSD and keep SATA drive for data

    Hi: I hope I'm in the right forum. I am using Windows 8 Pro. My Hitachi 2GB HD is going bad. Hitachi will replace it but I will have to return the defective drive first. My friend and guru convinced me to buy an SSD to use as my C: drive. It arrived today (SanDisk Extreme 240GB.) Here is what I plan to do: I have an old HD to which I have copied the contents of my D: and E: partitions. I will format the SSD as my primary drive. I will use Macrium boot disk to copy the saved C: image to the SSD. I will then install the old drive with the D: and E: partitions. I will then return the defective drive for replacement. When I receive it I will format it and make two partitions which will become the D: and E: partitions. I will remove the old SATA drive and replace it with the new drive. I will then restore the D: and E: images using the Macrium disk as I did with the C: drive.

    Questions:
    1. It is my understanding that SSD's require the BIOS to be set to AHCI; however, the AHCI setting is for all drives; in other words, I cannot boot the SSD as AHCI and the SATA drive as IDE. After I have the C: drive operational I will install the SATA drive (two partitions.) Will the SATA drives work? I tried to boot the existing drive with the AHCI setting and it would not boot.

    2. Can I copy the C: image directly to the SSD? Or will I have to do a clean install of Windows 8 to the SSD and then copy the c: drive image to the PC?

    3. Is there anything I am missing? Will what I plan to do work?

    As usual, a large thank you to the folks who help out here.

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  3. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    If there's a small system reserved partition on the disk you'll want to include that with an image of C: as well. I'm assuming all your partitions are on the 2TB drive? Sounds like you have the option to hook up two or more drives at the same time so I would just clone the operating system partition and system reserved partition if it exists onto the SSD and be done, no worries about figuring out the restore path of an image later on, BUT, that should work also and not require any clean install to the SSD prior to the restore operation.
    You do not have to be set to AHCI mode when using an SSD but most will recommend that it be AHCI for some of the situational optimizations that are possible from time to time using AHCI. Sounds like you have it set for IDE compatibility for the present install? There are ways to change it to AHCI mode after the fact in Windows 7 so I suspect something similar exists for Windows 8. All bootable partitions do have to be on the same page though, either all AHCI (SATA drivers) or IDE compatibility, so that will complicate things if this system is dual or triple boot. Otherwise don't worry about it at this time, just get it working in the mode its already working in.

  4. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Restoring an image previously made on a mechanical drive to a solid state drive may work out fine, but you'll have some issues to contend with.

    It's best to perform a clean install of Windows "first time" to a Solid State Drive for TRIM activation and alignment purposes, especially if you had previously used mechanical drives.

    You cannot mix IDE and AHCI mode on the same controller.
    AHCI mode should be set in BIOS before the clean install.
    If you have a SATA 3.0 controller on your motherboard use it for the SSD and have it set to AHCI mode.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  5. #4
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    I don't use Macrium but it should have an optimize for SSD setting by now, EaseUS does, and that will take care of any alignment problems going from platter drive to SSD. I would think any install of Windows 8 (unless it was an upgrade) would be aligning the target partition regardless of formfactor by now but maybe not. Refreshing the Windows Experience Index after restoration or cloning will identify the drive to Windows 8 as an SSD and disable defragging and alow TRIM, so you do have options.
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2013-01-17 at 22:55.

  6. #5
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I believe you have a good plan when you say you will use the SSD as your primary drive, and the traditional hard drive for your data:

    1. SSDs fail more often than traditional hard drives; if yours fails, you won't lose your data.

    2. Most of your drive access will be for stuff that is on the SSD, which means that most of the time, you will see a big increase in speed.

    3. Since your data will be on one drive, and your programs will be on the other drive, both can be accessed at the same time, yielding a nice increase in speed. (If everything is on one drive, you can only access one thing at a time.)

  7. #6
    Platinum Lounger
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    1. SSDs fail more often than traditional hard drives; if yours fails, you won't lose your data.
    Please provide evidence to back up this assertion.

    cheers, Paul

  8. #7
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    Thanks to all of you for your ideas. I have completed installation of the SSD and everything is working fine. The SSD certainly does speed things up. Here's what I did:

    1. I cloned the D and E partitions of my defective drive to a spare 320GB drive.
    2. Using Disk Management I initialized the SSD, defined it as an active primary partition and then formatted it. The partition was automatically alined by 1024.
    3. When Windows 8 was installed, the BIOS was set to IDE mode. As the SSD requires AHCI this was a problem. After much searching, I found that this is easily corrected. A simple registry change will enable the AHCI drivers in windows. In case you are interested, here is the site I found with the clearest explanation of how it is done:
    http://www.ithinkdiff.com/how-to-ena...-installation/
    I made the change and set the BIOS for AHCI and it works fine.
    4. Using Macrium, I restored the C image to the SSD.
    5. I removed the defective drive and replace it with the SSD (using the same SATA and power cables.)
    6. I installed the second drive containing the D and E partitions.
    7. I rebooted and set the SSD as primary boot drive.
    8. I booted the computer and everything worked. However, I did have to change the drive letters of the second drive to D and E (they had been set to G and H during the cloning process.)

    Everything works as it did before, albeit much faster--which is a good thing. This process reinforced my belief that the internet can be a great force for good, and that, in addition to the folks who are active in this forum, there are many, many people all over the internet who strive to help others freely and willingly.

    Thanks again.

  9. #8
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Glad everything worked out.
    CLiNT
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

  10. #9
    Silver Lounger
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    Only thing left to do if you haven't is to rerun windows assessment, make sure W8 knows its on an SSD now.

  11. #10
    Lounger
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    Thanks, Clint.

    To: F.U.N. Downtown: That was one of the first things I did--The Windows Experience Index jumped from 5.9 to 6.3,

  12. #11
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    Not for the drive though right? An SSD usually jumps into the 7's. I'm guessing the lowest number transferred from the old drive to desktop graphics maybe? Anyway, not important, running it was the important part so the drive would be identified and taken out of automatic defragmentation schedule.

  13. #12
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Please provide evidence to back up this assertion.

    cheers, Paul
    I don't have any evidence myself. But Susan Bradley and Fred Langa have both said that SSDs fail quicker than traditional hard drives. (Sorry, I don't have links to where they said it.)

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