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SSD upgrade without reinstalling

Last response: in Storage
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March 4, 2010 12:10:00 PM

I was thinking about building a new PC which would include an SSD drive. I put it together on Newegg and it came to $1,300. I'd rather not spend that much right now.

Here is my current system
Current System

ASUS P5K-E/WIFI-AP LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard

Windows 7 32bit

Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor

Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5 (For backups)

Now to the question. I'm thinking of buying the Intel 160gb SSD. Should I completely reinstall Windows 7 or can I just use Acronis to copy my current hard drive over to this SSD? My current drive only has about 80gb on it. I really don't want to reinstall Windows and start from scratch.
a c 126 G Storage
March 4, 2010 12:13:10 PM

Make sure you get an aligned partition; if not the performance and endurance of your new SSD will suffer.

As for not reinstalling: i wouldn't trust third-party tools as quickly as most people here. But if it works for you, sure. And if its improperly aligned, it will still work. Just it will decrease the lifetime of your SSD and cause slower speeds.

Some clone/image programs do properly align the partitions. With a raw copy you should be fine. But not many people know how to make raw copies. You can do with Ubuntu livecd, that would keep the partition aligned for sure. With any "point and click" utility, you have to wait and see if it respects alignment.
March 23, 2010 7:04:31 PM

sub mesa said:
Some clone/image programs do properly align the partitions. With a raw copy you should be fine. But not many people know how to make raw copies. You can do with Ubuntu livecd, that would keep the partition aligned for sure. With any "point and click" utility, you have to wait and see if it respects alignment.


I've done some searching and am not entirely sure how someone would go about doing a "raw copy" using Ubuntu (I've never used it before but am downloading a LiveCD as I type). Any advice or good links would be appreciated. When you said "wait and see" in regards to alignment, how would you know if proper alignment was kept? Is there a way to check it easily?

Thanks
-mcg
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a b å Intel
a c 415 G Storage
March 23, 2010 7:17:18 PM

I successfully moved a Windows 7 system from a 150GB partition on a 1TB WD Green drive to a 160GB SSD simply by using the "System Image" backup facility that's part of Windows 7. I did a system image backup to an external hard drive and burned the recovery DVD. Then I swapped the drives, booted from the recovery DVD and restored the image backup to the drive. Worked just fine.

But I couldn't really tell you if the partitions were properly aligned - I did this as a test with the RC version and subsequently installed the RTM version from scratch.

I can tell you that installing Windows 7 and all your applications on an SSD seems to be a lot less painful then installing them on a hard drive because it goes so much more quickly.
a b å Intel
a c 415 G Storage
March 23, 2010 7:19:58 PM

MrCommunistGen said:
how would you know if proper alignment was kept?

I haven't personally used ubuntu, but I assume like other Linux distros you could use "fdisk -l" (that's "dash ell", not "dash one") at the console or in a terminal window to dump the partitions. You're looking to ensure the starting sector number and partition sizes are both multiples of 64.
March 23, 2010 7:22:09 PM

Thanks! That was quite enlightening. The reason I'm trying to image my system is because I just reinstalled my OS when the Win7 RC started complaining to me (at the beginning of the month?) and really don't feel like doing it all again just yet. I'm pretty busy with school right now and don't want to spend the time backing up again, but an image and restore... that I could do. *shrugs*

-mcg
!