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Windows 7: Clone HDD to SSD, is it a problem.

30 May 2017   #1
bawldiggle

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)
 
 
Clone HDD to SSD, is it a problem.

Today I went to buy an SSD to clone my mechanical HDD onto the SSD.
Sales assistant told me to never clone HDD to SSD because Windows will be much slower than a direct install onto an SSD.

Is this true ?

At Macrium forum how to clone a HHd to an SSD (I think Gork is the/a developer) implies otherwise.
- granted his post is for v5 in 2013

I am hoping to use the SSD as a clone backup and if necessary (I don't like when !), clone the trashed HDD from the SSD

Informed comments appreciated

-----------
UPDATE
Lady Fitzgerald's post #2 is the best overview of cloning, imaging and backups, I have read
She has given me the courage to jump in ... confessions of a 71 yr old reptile



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 May 2017   #2
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

The sales assistant was correct to a small degree. However, that can be true of cloning from any drive to another drive, be it HDD to SSD or HDD to HDD. The reason is Windows installations will usually slow down over time due to repeated tweaking and modifications. A clean reinstallation will often speed things up.

However, if one's window installation is working just fine, then cloning it from an HDD to an SSD will not result in a slower installation of Windows compared to a clean installation. If upgrading an HDD in a laptop or a commercially built desktop, getting drivers for a reinstallation could be a chore. Also, a clean reinstall can be a lot of work, especially if one has a lot of programs or has heavily customized windows. That's when cloning makes more sense when upgrading from an HDD to an SSD.

I used Macrium Reflect to clone the HDDs in two notebooks to SSDs without any problems at all. With each notebook, I plugged the SSD into a USB dock, ran MR, ejected the SSD when MR was finished and removed it from the dock, then shut down the computer and swapped out the HDD with the SSD. After rebooting, I had to reletter a partition, then everything was all hunkydory.

When making the clone, since a drive letter can exist only once ona computer, all the drive letters on the clone will be different. Don't let that bother you. When you swap out the drives the System Reserved and C: partitions will automagically revert to their original designations. If you have any other partitions on the drive, you can always change the drive letter back to the original one in Disk Management.

I don't know why you would want to use an SSD to backup an HDD. After cloning the HDD to the SSD, I would swap them out and use the HDD for the spare. The SSD will be amazingly faster than the HDD.

Also, cloning is not the most efficient way to backup a drive because you can have only one clone on the backup drive. Imaging is much more efficient. Because images are compressed, they take up less room on a backup drive and you can have more than one image on the backup drive (this allows you to go back to different points in time, much like System Restore does...when it works). That said, cloning does have the advantage that, if the drive in your computer croaks, you can swap out the the drive with the clone and be back up and running quickly. However, that also leaves you without a backup until you can make another one.

I only image the boot drive (which has the OS and programs only) in my desktop rig. I use a folder/file syncing program (FreeFileSync) to backup my data drives. While imaging and cloning are the only way to backup System files (OS and programs), they are too inefficient for backing up data since everything gets rewritten to the backup drive each time you update the backup. A folder/file syncing program, when set to mirror mode, will compare the data drive to the backup drive, then copy over any new or changed folders and files on the data drive to the backup drive and delete any file on the backup drive that are no longer on the data drive, resulting in what is essentially a clone. Since only new, changed, and deleted files are dealt with, backup updates are much faster.

I do things a little different on my notebooks. I only use my notebooks when I'm traveling and as a backup for when my desktop ring is down. Since any data in the data partition on the notebooks are also on my desktop rig (I can also download the data from my Carbonite account if I have a secure internet connection), I don't worry about backing up the data. Instead, I have two backup drives for each notebook. I keep a clone on one backup drive so, if the drive in the notebook dies completely, I can just pop it into the notebook and be up and running in a few minutes. The other backup drive has images of my System Reserved and C: partition (the data partition is unlikely to ever get messed up and, as stated before, I can retrieve the data from elsewhere if needs be) so I can restore them if they ever go wonky on me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2017   #3
bawldiggle

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)
 
 

Thank you Jeannie
... for your ...

*BRILLIANT EXPLANATION* for a lot of concerns I have about Cloning and Imaging
- but was too embarrassed to ask

Copied your full explanation into my Helpers -> Cloning folder ... and will be referring to it often while experimenting with cloning and imaging.

Your details about the use of Imaging compared to Cloning (rather than "versus") ... has cleared up numerous concerns and confusions I have had.

Jeannie you are a treasure
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

30 May 2017   #4
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bawldiggle View Post
Thank you Jeannie
... for your ...

*BRILLIANT EXPLANATION* for a lot of concerns I have about Cloning and Imaging
- but was too embarrassed to ask

Copied your full explanation into my Helpers -> Cloning folder ... and will be referring to it often while experimenting with cloning and imaging.

Your details about the use of Imaging compared to Cloning (rather than "versus") ... has cleared up numerous concerns and confusions I have had.

Jeannie you are a treasure
Thank you. Pity I can't cash myself in. Btw, much, if not most, of what I know about backups, etc. I learned here at Seven Forums so that thanks should include the folks here, some no longer with us (and some over at Overclock.net).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2017   #5
samuria

win 8 32 bit
 
 

The reason the agent said that is often you need to do some extras when you clone to ssd so windows uses it correctly How to Migrate Your Windows Installation to a Solid-State Drive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2017   #6
bawldiggle

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)
 
 

For other readers of this thread...

I have purchased a new 500GB naked HDD for the laptop, to clone to ... and ...
Where I live (the worlds biggest coal port) is very wanting for good IT supplies ... an SSD also to clone too.
So its ebay for a decent quality SSD (there are some v.cheap SSDs around, but IMO a few dollars more is an investment)

My laptop (only 4 months old) crashed and now has a pristine Windows 7 PRO x64 installed. Unused so far, while I prepare for cloning and imaging.

A spare PC at hand to access the internet to do research (such as this thread) has been a boon for me
... thank you to my generous and patient wife.

I will be reporting back here with results ... so at this point I would prefer to not mark this thread as solved ...yet.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2017   #7
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Other than cleaning up my HDDs before cloning (which didn't long since they were already pretty clean), all I had to do was format the SSDs using Windows (I've formatted 25 SSDs and everyone had TRIM enabled and the alignment was correct everytime), then perform the clone. TRIM was already activated and alignment was correct.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2017   #8
bawldiggle

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)
 
 

Quote:
Other than cleaning up my HDDs before cloning (which didn't long since they were already pretty clean), all I had to do was format the SSDs using Windows (I've formatted 25 SSDs and everyone had TRIM enabled and the alignment was correct everytime), then perform the clone. TRIM was already activated and alignment was correct.
Where do I find TRIM setting ? In Macrium ? or is it automatic with with Windows formatting ?
Not having formatted a SSD (except for USB thumb drives) I am not aware of TRIM, other than guessing it has something to do with cloning an oversized C: partion onto a smaller SSD ??
Would this also apply to a system image ?

Thank you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2017   #9
bawldiggle

XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)
 
 

@ samuria
Thank you for your link to How to Migrate Your Windows Installation to a Solid-State Drive

More good info ... all this reading is well worth while ... thank you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2017   #10
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bawldiggle View Post
Where do I find TRIM setting ? In Macrium ? or is it automatic with with Windows formatting ?
Not having formatted a SSD (except for USB thumb drives) I am not aware of TRIM, other than guessing it has something to do with cloning an oversized C: partion onto a smaller SSD ??
Would this also apply to a system image ?

Thank you
The TRIM setting is automatic. TRIM is kinda sorta similar to garbage collection (it has noting to do with any Macrium Reflect functions). Before a cell can be written to, it has to be emptied, unlike an HDD sector that can be overwritten. Since erasing doesn't actually empty the cell, TRIM will automatically take care of that. The easiest way to see if TRIM is enabled is to install SSDLife Free. Besides giving you an idea how much life your SSD may have left, it will tell you if TRIM is enabled or not.

The easiest way to check if your SSD is properly aligned is to install AS SSD Benchmark (also free). If the value in the circle I drew in the picture below says OK, then your alignment is OK.

Clone HDD to SSD, is it a problem.-ssd.jpg


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 Clone HDD to SSD, is it a problem.




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