Need guidance migrating data from spindle HDD to SSD

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by yrc, Jun 10, 2012.

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  1. yrc

    yrc Notebook Consultant

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    Dear Forum members,

    I am thinking of upgrading from a spindle HDD to an SSD on my T420 with Win 7 x64 Pro. Currently, the system has an 80GB Intel mSata as the boot drive and all user data files including browser cache for Firefox and Chrome, temp folder, etc are stored on the stock 320 GB 5400 RPM. Now I am thinking of getting a 128 GB Crucial M4 or the Intel 320 120 GB to use as the data drive. I have the ultrabay adapter and am thinking of reorganizing the system from this config:

    Disk 0: Intel mSATA (OS and Programs) ) (Drive C)
    Disk 1: 5400 rpm stock in T420 main drive bay (Data) (Drive D)
    Ultrabay HDD adapter is empty

    to
    Disk 0: Intel mSata (OS and Programs) (Drive C)
    Disk 1: SSD Crucial/Intel (Data) (Drive D)
    Disk 2: 5400 rpm stock (in Ultrabay adapter) to be used for weekly backups and put away when on the road. (Drive E)

    My questions are mainly three:

    1) Are the Crucial m4 and Intel 320 series reliable for data storage? I can't afford to lose work since I am an academic. But I would also like the speed.

    2) What is the best/cleanest and most reliable means for imaging the current 5400 drive to the new SSD so that I do not have to reinstall and reconfigure the OS installation?

    3) Is it better to do a full system image of the current setup (mSata+5400 spindle), then remove the spindle drive and put in SSD and then restore image to mSATA+SSD?

    Best,

    Y
     
  2. yuio

    yuio NBR Assistive Tec. Tec.

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    1. yes they are as reliable as they come... I'd still backup tho. bad things can always happen.

    2. if it's just data on the 5400rpm, I'd just put the SSD in the ultra bay, copy the data over, and then just switch the drives... or heck if speed isn't critical you could just leave the SSD in the ultra bay.

    3. if it's just a data drive you don't need to re-install... that's silly.
     
  3. yrc

    yrc Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for the reply. While there is only data on the stock drive the OS has been configured so that all user files end up on D:\ (currently stock drive). I have used symbolic links and other tweaks to get the user profile folders on D:\Users\xxxx rather than the default Win 7 location (i.e. C:\Users\xxxx)

    Given this, will simply copying from spindle to SSD and then switching them do the trick?
     
  4. yuio

    yuio NBR Assistive Tec. Tec.

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    I'm haven't done this before, but assuming the machine will boot with out D: this should work

    I'd try is copy over all data. switch the 2 disks and just assign the new SSD the letter D: via disk management. and give the old spinner a different letter, IE E: that should work assuming you can get the machine to boot to assign the drive letter.
     
  5. vicvelcro

    vicvelcro Notebook Enthusiast

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    I would suggest cloning the spinner to the new SSD, then remove the spinner and put the new ssd on the same plug the spinner had been using. Then power up.

    Keep the spinner set aside for a few days, in case things get weird. If all is well after a few days, erase the spinner and use it for backing up or external storage via USB adapter.

    My advice for cloning would be to use Acronis True Image Home.
     
  6. yrc

    yrc Notebook Consultant

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    Thank you vicvelcro. I did some reading up on this yesterday and I think your suggestion is the most reliable one for transferring data. Now I have to decide on a reliable SSD and I have narrowed the choices to the Samsung 830, the Crucial M4 and the Intel 320. In order to complete the data transfer I will go for the kit versions of one of these drives. I don't own Acronis and was not planning on buying it because the Win 7 Backup and Restore has served me well for weekly backups to an external USB. As a rule, I prefer to minimize the use of third party utilities in order to have a stable system. For this reason, the only negative about the Samsung is that it comes bundled with Norton Ghost and the drive transfer process requires installing it in Win 7. In contrast, the Intel and M4 come with Apricorn's EZ Gig and I can boot off the EZ gig CD to do the transfer. Which of these (Ghost or Apricorn) do you think is a better bet for cloning? I think the three drives are all highly rated and assuming that I don't get a lemon, they are all equally reliable. The Intel's main advantage is the five year warranty.
     
  7. vicvelcro

    vicvelcro Notebook Enthusiast

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    They may not be equally reliable. Endurance testing on another site does demonstrate a difference. However, the conditions for evaluating the endurance are not at all similar to normal use, so take the results as a 'suggested' endurance.

    Either choice would be about equal. All are reliable devices. Disregard the warranty - the warranty does not replace lost data, a longer or shorter warranty does not prove that any particular unit will endure or fail within any specified time-frame. Example: I could make an SSD with very low quality NAND and put a 50 year warranty on it, but how many times will you accept replacements before you decide my unit is not viable?

    I am not familiar with Apricorn at all, I find Ghost to be a bit unfriendly. If you happen to own a Western Digital or Seagate HDD, the manufacturer provides Acronis on their respective websites. I have been told by some people that the free trial version of Acronis True Image Home 2012 on the Acronis website does not clone. I do not know if that is in fact true. Another alternative (I've never used it but know several people who have) is Paragon. My experience with Windows 7 system image was a failure. The image was created on a spinner but would NOT restore to an SSD. Perhaps the flaw is with me, but I am inclined to disbelieve it is so.
     
  8. yrc

    yrc Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks again. Unfortunately, I don't own a WDC or Seagate drive. The spinner in my T420 is a Hitachi and the WD and Seagate versions of Acronis will probably not work. Will order the M4 today and try the migration with the Apricorn Tool. If something goes wrong, I can always have Crucial Tech support walk me through it over the phone. If that fails, I bite the bullet and buy Acronis (although I hear unpleasant things about the latest version of it). And worse case, I rebuild the system.
     
  9. darxide_sorcerer

    darxide_sorcerer Notebook Deity

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    i have used Norton Ghost twice in the past. once to image the HDD in my then-brand new laptop onto a USB drive, and once to clone the HDD onto a newly bought SSD. it has worked flawlessly both times. the version i'm using is 11.5 and is from 2008 and is only one program (ghost32.exe) that can be run from command prompt, but it also has its own GUI which you can use to point-and-click your way through cloning/imaging. to use it, i boot with a Windows Vista installation DVD (you can use any Windows PE that gives you a command prompt like Bart's Preinstalled Environment) and run it. i don't know anything about its newer versions though.
     
  10. yrc

    yrc Notebook Consultant

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    Thank you darxide sorcerer for the tip. I just finished migrating data from the spindle to the SSD using Ghost 15.01. Had to take both the spindle and the SSD and put them in a friend's desktop. He owns a license for Ghost and we did a drive copy after booting from the CD. It seems to have done the trick. Now it turns out that Crucial does not an equivalent of Intel's SSD Toolbox. Is there a utility (third party) that I can use to monitor the drive?
     
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