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3. iulie 2012 10:31
by skorpionking
0 Comentarii

How to migrate or move Windows 7 partition or drive from a harddisk to a SSD drive

3. iulie 2012 10:31 by skorpionking | 0 Comentarii

Recently I've decided to buy a SSD to speed up my desktop running Windows 7 and prepare it for future. My desktop has 6 GB RAM, 1024 MB ATI HD graphics card and a Intel i3 processor so with a SSD will be fast enough for the next couple of years (Windows 8, Visual Studio 2012, Office 2012, SQL Server 2012, Civilization V and some video programs). I intend to upgrade to the new upcoming Windows 8, not to do a freh install of it.

I've bought a Samsung 256 GB SSD including a destop upgrade kit.

I've opened my desktop, installed the SSD, formatted it, installed the Samsung Magician software and optimized the SSD drive with it. I have a 1 TB harddisk with 2 partitions, C and D, C having the system on it. Clean up your harddisk. I've deinstalled so many programs as possible and the run CCleaner in order to reduce the size of the used space. After you’ve removed files, uninstalled apps you no longer use, and otherwise swept out data that was wasting precious disk space, it’s time to run CCleaner. For the unfamiliar CCleaner is a system cleaning tool that deletes all manner of unneeded files (recycling bin files, old temp files, cache files, etc.) that clutter up your system. It’s not unusual, on a heavily used system, for CCleaner to find 5GB+ to clean out. Once you’ve deleted as much as possible (both manually and with CCleaner) it’s time to finish tidying the disk. Please defragment your harddisk giving Windows one last defragmentation for the road. Once you switch to using an SSD defragmenting will be a thing of the past. None the less, you want to clone a drive with as little fragmentation as possible. Fire up Windows defragmentation or Defraggler and defragment your primary disk. Now you can disable Windows defragmentation and also indexing (you don't need it on SSD and only reduces the life of your SSD). Now you should have a clean, lean Windows 7. Backup your system and also create a system rescue disk, just in case something bad would happen. Now it is time to update the SSD firmware to the latest version (check the Samsung website for newer firmware and Magician software) - now is the best moment to do it as there is zero risk of data loss (the drive is completely bare). It is recommandable to tweak your SSD right now too, so align your SSD, start cmd.exe and run the following commands:

List disk
Select disk n
(where n is your SSD’s number as provided by the previous command)
Create partition primary align=1024

Because I had 2 partitions on my 1 TB harddisk, after moving the data files to an external drive I've decided to merge the 2 partitions in 1 partition which will be around 120 GB in size, so smaller than my new Samsung SSD. I've used Acronis Disk Editor, it costs something, but it is one of the best tools on the market or you can use the free EASE Partition Manager. Now it is time to clone your harddisk. I've used Acronis True Image Home but you can use the free Clonezilla (I've choosed again a commercial software because of the reliability and good reviews).

Start cloning and let the tool do its job. At the end you will have your system on the new SSD but your desktop will still boot from the old harddisk. Again, using the the Acronis Disk Editor I've renamed my new SSD drive to C and the old one to D, set it as primary and active. Then I've rebooted, gone in BIOS and changed the boot order and disks. So my Windows 7 boots from my new SSD. In order to have your SSD run at maximum performance, you have to set in BIOS to use AHCI and not RAID or IDE. Before doing this please install a fix from Microsoft which will prepare Winodws 7 to be ready to use AHCI. Now you can reboot and set in BIOS your new SSD to use AHCI. After reboot start the Samsung Magician software again and let it optimize your SSD and system (beside other things, it will turn off defragmentation, indexing, superfetch, it will check for AHCI - however I have doubts about superfetch, because superfetch is designed to speed up your system even if it is a SSD). You can turn on defragmentation and indexing again just for the harddisk and superfetch. One last thing to do is to check the TRIM settings. TRIM is a special set of commands that help SSDs effectively manage empty space on the disk (if you’re curious you can read more here):

fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify

This lengthy command has a very simple output, either a 0 or a 1. If you get a 1, TRIM is not enabled. If you get a 0, TRIM is enabled. If you need to enable it type the following command:

fsutil behavior set DisableNotify 0

Reboot and you're done. Congratulations! You’ve cloned your disk, saved yourself hours of reinstalling Windows and customizing your apps, and you’re ready to enjoy a faster and quieter system disk. If you want to tweak your SSD more, there are plenity of suggestions on the internet, but please be carefull, it my actually slow down your SSD or even crash some apps or your system.