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Install kits

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a b G Storage
October 16, 2011 4:36:02 PM

Does anybody have an opinion as to whether or not the install kits sold with some SSDs are worth the money?

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a b G Storage
October 16, 2011 5:35:53 PM

Are you talking about the hardware that lets you mount the drive in a 3.5" drive bay? if you need that then its worth it.
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a c 415 G Storage
October 16, 2011 6:25:08 PM

It's pretty easy to Google equivalent mounting hardware from places like Newegg. If the price of a drive with kit exceeds the price of a bare drive by more than the cost of the kit itself, then you're paying the extra money for the convenience of getting the stuff all together with only one purchase. It's up to you to decide if the extra money is worth that.
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a b G Storage
October 16, 2011 7:39:04 PM

Sorry, I'm not talking about a bracket. Some drives are available with or without a cable. Looks like SATA on one end and USB on the other. Apparently the cable facilitates cloning your existing HDD onto the new SSD. I'm wondering if there's something inherently difficult about this process without the cable that makes the cable worth the money since the appearance of such cables coincides with the appearance of SSDs.
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a c 415 G Storage
October 16, 2011 9:52:04 PM

So you're talking about something like the Kingston "SSDNow" series? AFAIK it's basically just a packaged copy of a cloning program like Acronis along with a SATA data/power cables so you can plug the SSD into your system before removing the existing OS drive. If you have your own cloning software and cables, I don't think there's anything else you really need.

See: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1005/1/

At any rate, my own particular 'druthers would be to install the OS fresh onto the SSD instead of cloning an old, fragmented volume onto my nice new drive.
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a b G Storage
October 16, 2011 11:13:39 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

These two links will show exactly what I'm talking about.

The "transfer kit", as they call it, consists of a disk and a cable. The cable appears to plug into the rear of the SSD and then into a USB port on the other end. I imagine it allows cloning of your current boot drive onto the new SSD. It costs about $30. I'm wondering if it's a good investment for future use. The cable in the Kingston drive you provided a link to appears to only be a SATA power to Molex power adapter in case your PSU doesn't have SATA connectors. I'm just wondering what people do if they want to clone their current boot drive and don't have such a cable. I would eventually do a clean install once I was sure the SSD was past the "infancy" failure period these drives seem prone to.
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a c 415 G Storage
October 17, 2011 2:02:02 AM

ram1009 said:
...The cable appears to plug into the rear of the SSD and then into a USB port on the other end. I imagine it allows cloning of your current boot drive onto the new SSD. It costs about $30. I'm wondering if it's a good investment for future use.
OK, I guess you're talking about this thing, right?

The cable looks awfully short to me, if you're using it with a desktop computer I think you'd probably need a USB extension cord. It seems lik a nice package, but as far as the cable/adapter goes there are also a number of other alternatives available at a somewhat cheaper price.

Again, it's really up to you to decide whether the extra cost is worth it for the convenience, hardware and software. If you consider yourself an experienced old hand it may not be worth it, but if the idea of handling bare hardware components and cloning disks intimidates you, then the extra money might be well worth it for a procedure that walks you through things step by step. At least I assume you'd get such a procedure...
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a b G Storage
October 17, 2011 2:34:48 AM

Listen, I appreciate your sincerity but I was really hoping to hear from some folks who had used this device and could compare it to other methods of cloning drives. I'm perfectly comfortable with doing this without the cable but I'm always open to new things and would like the opinions of those who have used this as to whether it's worth the price.
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a b G Storage
October 19, 2011 4:46:08 PM

You can buy a cable or external USB enclosure starting at about $10. There are various clone software programs available, some free and some not free. The problem is that some of them are near worthless, such as the Norton Ghost that comes packaged with some Samsung drives, so you might pay extra to get the install package and not really get much for your money. Anyway I got the package that included Norton Ghost and it left me with a laptop that won't boot to its original drive or to the new SSD, so in my case it was worse than worthless.
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a c 353 G Storage
October 19, 2011 4:53:07 PM

NOTE: Do NOT clone a HDD -> SSD, do a clean install with BIOS set to AHCI.
(1) Cloning will NOT enable windows 7 Trim, so you will have to manually do that
(2) Cloning will NOT align the partition which will decrease performance. Again can do manually.
(3) Was HDD setup using AHCI, If not you may also end up with a driver problem.

Bottom line Transfer Kit is worthless unless cloning from an SSD -> an SSD
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a b G Storage
October 19, 2011 5:04:23 PM

RetiredChief said:
NOTE: Do NOT clone a HDD -> SSD, do a clean install with BIOS set to AHCI.
(1) Cloning will NOT enable windows 7 Trim, so you will have to manually do that
(2) Cloning will NOT align the partition which will decrease performance. Again can do manually.
(3) Was HDD setup using AHCI, If not you may also end up with a driver problem.

Bottom line Transfer Kit is worthless unless cloning from an SSD -> an SSD



There are good reasons to clone vs. doing a fresh install. For instance my wife and I both have laptops that did not come with OS disks, so we cannot do fresh installs. In her case her laptop came with trial versions of MS Office, and she went on the internet with a credit card and activated it, so if we did a fresh install we would lose the software install that she paid for. In my case I have CAD and engineering software installed on my laptop that took days to install and setup. If I can clone a disk and not have to reinstall software, then that saves us having to pay an employee a couple of days salary to reinstall and reconfigure software. Performance issues or not, we cannot afford NOT to clone our drives.

The partition alignment is a gray area, I have read that some cloning software will align properly and some will not.

I think AHCI is not an issue depending on your install, for instance I have read that some installs of Vista such as mine automatically include the AHCI drivers so all I have to do is change the BIOS. I also just read that Windows 7 will automatically activate TRIM under some situations, although there are plenty of instructions on the net for doing it yourself.
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a c 289 G Storage
October 19, 2011 5:34:33 PM

Cadder

RetiredChief and sminlal are giving good and accurate answers to the question in a generic environment. If you have very specific needs, those needs may change the answer in your case, but not in most.

If I were in your specific case (which would never actually happen, due to my personal preferences) I would not use a clone tool but a migration tool. There are migration tools that look at the original setup and the new hardware and make adjustments. My first attempt would be with this: http://www.todo-backup.com/backup-resource/universal-re... . EASEUS backup and then restore to dissimilar hardware.

Yes, if you are working with notebook computers that only have one internal drive connection, you will need an external drive cable and power supply. You may even need two do do it correctly, with yet another drive for the actual backup image. That is
1) Boot from current drive. Attach working drive and make bootable backup.
2) Remove current drive
3) Install new drive
4) Boot from bootable backup and do restore.

More steps, more hardware, but a more technically correct solution. You have to decide on the tradeoff between fast-and-simple and having a final configuration that is as good as possible. BTW, any good-as-possible configuration with an SSD will have the controller in AHCI or RAID mode, not IDE. Yes, you can run an SSD in IDE mode, but the results are not as good as if you set it up the way that it was meant to be used.
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a c 353 G Storage
October 19, 2011 9:38:37 PM

cadder, I know where you are coming from. My wife was on XP. New computer had vista. My wife has programs similar ( lost lic) and has one program that the upgrades required the previous version and the instal for the First version required a special serial port device and a parallel port dongle - not found on new low end systems.

Similar to what WyomingKnott identified, IHhd to use a program to migrate all of her programs over. Her "New HP" (ONLY desktop that has been store bought in 20 years) qualified for free Win 7 upgrqade which I did. Shortly thereafter built her an I3 system and again Had to Migrate all here programs. GAVE the HP computer away.
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