Adding an SSD and cloning my system partition

Hello, this is my first post. I've got a Vertex 2 100 GB drive arriving on Tuesday. I'll be installing it in a Dell Studio XPS 7100 (Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium, AMD Phenom II X6 1055T, 8GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870). I currently have separate OS/application and data partitions on my HDD.

My plan is to clone my OS/application partition (currently using 46 GB) to the SSD. I'll end up with both the SSD and HHD drives onboard.

I've read a variety of threads here but haven't found a thread that covers everything in detail, especially since configurations do vary from case to case. I'm looking for feedback to see if I've got anything wrong here:

1) Install the SSD in my second drive bay.

2) Use Windows Disk Management to initialize the drive (MBR) and create a new volume on it (with no drive letter assigned). My understanding is that the Win7 tools should handle the alignment issues correctly.

3) Since I've already got Windows installed, I'll enable AHCI using the post-install technique ( and confirm that I'm using the generic Microsoft AHCI driver (I read that the AMD driver doesn't support TRIM yet).

4) I'll then install the new 1.23 firmware.

5) Next step is to use Norton Ghost 15 to either do a drive copy or image restore to clone my existing C: drive onto the SSD. Any recommendations on using one method over the other? Either way I'll be using the options to copy the MBR, set the drive active, and make it a primary partition but not to resize.

6) At this point I believe I'll boot off the SSD on the next boot. Then planning to confirm that defrag, etc. are disabled and that TRIM is enabled and do a quick benchmark with ATTO or another tool.

Am I missing steps here? Any gotchas that I might encounter with this approach?

Thanks for any feedback, it's much appreciated.
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  1. I left out step 0)... Backup! :-)
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