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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Thanked 40 Times in 31 Posts

    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).

    MUST have:
    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.)

    Knowledge base:
    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.

    Small bumps:
    (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.

    Big bumps:
    (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.

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Thanked 267 Times in 260 Posts
    EaseUS ToDo is the more versatile imaging and cloning and virtualizing software that is probably more on a par with Aomei. You can dynamically clone from a larger to smaller drive now (as long as the data contained on the larger drive will fit) with the option to optimize for SSD (aligned). If the source is not aligned then it may become necessary to run Win 7 startup repair to relocate the boot sector files.
    If only a one time event, good way to go, but since I do between one and two dozen migrations a year I have a little USB to SATA (power and data connector) adapter that works a treat; clone the relevant partitions over and swap drives; relocate boot sector files if need be (very infrequent); done.

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Thanked 51 Times in 40 Posts
    The Acronis True Image 2014 Premium User Manual has this to say:

    The recommended offset for Solid State Drives (SSD) is a multiple of 64 KB (most commonly, 1024KB
    or 2048 sectors).
    Acronis True Image 2014 provides full support of SSDs. It keeps the proper offset of SSD during such
    operations as image recovery and cloning. Specifically, full support means that:
    If you recover a disk backup to an SSD or clone a disk to an SSD, the offset will be automatically
    set to the default 1024 KB (2048 sectors).
    If you recover a partition backup to a target empty non-partitioned (unallocated) SSD, the offset
    will be automatically set to the default 1024 KB (2048 sectors).
    If you recover a partition backup to a target empty partitioned SSD, the target SSD will keep its
    original offset.
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Mobo (Military Class V); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 500GB SAMSUNG 960 EVO M.2 NVME SSD; 512GB SAMSUNG 850 PRO SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2016 Prof "Click to Run" (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to petesmst For This Useful Post:

    scaisson (2014-01-25)

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