First off let me say thank you to all of you that help us laypeople with these hijinks we get ourselves into... I have found many solutions on this forum just from doing a simple search. Now on with the current solution I am seeking. I bought this 2 weeks ago:
So, I'd like to remove one of the drives that came in the notebook, and make it a backup drive, but I would like to avoid doing a fresh install of windows as there are a couple of apps that came with the machine that I dont want to lose with the fresh install. What would be the best way to go about this?
As you can see, the ssd is the laptop bundle, and comes with acronis true image, but it states explicitely that it is not for use with raid 0 configurations. Any and all suggestions and advice are welcomed and appreciated.
I don't have direct experience with your hardware,
but I do have experience with similar situations.
First of all, the specs for your computer don't provide
enough details about your RAID, just "2x500GB".
You mentioned "RAID 0" so I'll infer that your 1TB is the same.
The first thing to consider is the size of your C: system partition:
it may need to be shrunk before creating any drive images
of that partition: otherwise, the restore task won't find enough
room on your SSD: your RAID 0 is 1TB, but your SSD is much less!
I would then hook up your SSD to an external USB enclosure.
Then, format that SSD with a primary partition that will
be equal to the size of your C: after shrinking C:.
Format the remainder of the SSD as a dedicated data partition.
Then, as a failsafe measure, do a drive image of your existing C:,
and write that drive image to the data partition on your SSD.
Then, shrink C: to the exact same size as the primary partition
on your SSD -- and I mean EXACTLY THE SAME e.g. 30 GB or 50 GB.
Now, based on my prior experiences with Symantec's GHOST,
you should be able to write another drive image to the
data partition on your SSD, only this time it's an image of
C: AFTER you shrunk it.
Then, you should be able to swap your SSD into your laptop, and
then run the image restore task by reading the second drive image
from the data partition on that SSD and writing it to the new
primary partition on that SSD.
That's how I would do it, if I were in your situation and if I were
using Symantec's GHOST (with which I have many years of
Well, I'm back... hahaha It went surpisingly smoother than I thought. I used a HD that I had in a spare machine as a back-up drive and actually used the partition wizard program that you suggested to make the back-up... it worked beautifully. Once the drive was duplicated to the back-up, with the partitions all within the 128gb tolerance, I felt much more comfortable following the protocol that came with the bundle. So I installed the ssd in the boot port, powered on, put acronis in the BD drive, booted into the program, and set it to work. Funny thing is, it would have shrunk the partitions to fit had I not done it previous. So really my only issue to begin with was not being able to clone raid arrays. I'm still going to keep that Partition Wizard, though... good program.
I really appreciate the advice, and I thank you for your time, sir.
I would double check to make sure the SSD has an aligned image as cloning with Acronis has lost alignments for many. Many say 2011 has fixed the issue but I still see a few saying it doesn't. Easy enough to check with Diskpart.
Heathen is right, fresh is always best and will align properly by default. If you do not want to reinstall, the image can be repaired with Paragon Alignment Tool. Is in their drive mgmt suite(at least it used to be included). Can be done with Linux as well, but much more difficult/complex.
To check alignment do this from W7. Type CMD in search>right click on CMD/run as administrator>type.. diskpart>list disk>select disk (your drive here)>list partition. This will show you the starting offset. 31k or odd numbers will be bad.
Alternatively, you could just open AS SSD(don't need to run it as it just dirties up the drive with benchmark trash) and take note of the green numbers/good.. or the red numbers/bad listed at the top left of the GUI. Good Luck with it.