First of all, I'd like to thank the community for this forum. It's one of my main information supplies in the tech subject.
I'd like to get some piece of info about one hardware issue I'm confronting. I read lots of posts but I haven't put my mind together on this one yet
The thing is a own a 2-year-old AlienwareM15x laptop and it's untouched, in the sense I haven´t made any hardware upgrades yet. It has a 500GB HDD where I run W7 and other SW and where the data (not really much actually) is held. My aim is to replace the HDD with a brand new SSD (a 128GB Crucial M4, just to be clear). And here comes the doubts: my intention is to restore all the SW I have in my computer to the new ssd so I don't have to reinstall it. To do this, I had thought somehow use imaging (I read somewhere that the best SW are Paragon, Acronis, Clonezilla ...) and restore it. However, I also read that this process will create problems regarding the alignment of the disk (if someone sheds some light on this part I'd appreciate it), making the performance of the ssd to shrink bit time (I read almost 50% in extreme cases). So I do not know if I should just perform a clean install and reinstall everything (tedious to pain).
Anyway, do one way or another I keep the following questions:
1) I'm supposed to do a firmware update. How and at what point of the update must be done? Should be the first?
2) When and how should I make adjustments for the ssd do well in the BIOS? Namely, TRIM and AHCI mode enabled.
3) Can I keep my license W7 and use it in the new disk? Do I need to perform any task to "free" the license or someting like that?
PD.: last thing (I promise! ). I'd like to use the disk I'm about to get out of the laptop as a data warehouse. I plan to use the eSATA port the laptop provides. I know there are eSATA and eSATAp ports and I don't know which type is, so I'm not clear if a could just use this cable adapter (http://www.ebay.es/itm/1M-eSATA-to-SATA-HDD-Data-Cable-...) or I'll need some extern element to provide power. All in all, I don't know if the port provides the current needed or it's just a mere data transferring channel.
Bye and Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge!