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Windows 7: Switching from HDD (in MBR "mode") to SSHD (still as MBR)

15 Feb 2017   #1

W7 x86
Switching from HDD (in MBR "mode") to SSHD (still as MBR)

My PC currently runs Win7 32 bit and has a 1TB Western Digital HDD (in MBR “mode”) with 4 partitions.

I intend to get an SSHD (i.e. Seagate Firecuda 1TB) to replace the old HDD. I'm assuming that the SSHD will come as GPT rather than MBR.

To make life easy I just want the SSHD to be MBR with the same 4 partitions as the old HDD.

Now, can I just clone (using Macrium Reflect as that's what I've been using for images) the old HDD to the SSHD (and thus make the SSHD MBR)?

Or should I convert the SSHD to MBR before cloning? And if so is this likely to affect the working / performance of the SSHD?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2017   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1

You typically need to initialize new drives as MBR or GPT when first connecting them to a working OS. In disk management choose MBR for the SSHD (SevenForums tutorial on checking if disk is MBR or GPT). Then you should be able to use a software like Macrium to clone the entire HDD (MBR) to the SSHD (MBR).

If you cloned from an MBR boot/OS drive to a GPT drive your PC wouldn't be able to boot from the GPT drive, since the boot partitions are structured differently. So, you basically need to match the partition structure of the destination disk to the structure of the existing OS disk before cloning.

I don't think there will be any noticeable difference in performance between GPT and MBR. For systems using UEFI, GPT will reduce boot time by a couple seconds. Otherwise you'll be fine especially since it's Win 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Feb 2017   #3

win 8 32 bit

You can just clone to a blank drive the clone will create partition etc
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Feb 2017   #4
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

New drives are normally shipped uninitialized and unformatted. You need GPT only when using drives larger than 2.2TB. When you receive the drive, just initialize it and format it to MBR. You can use Macrium Reflect Free to clone the old drive to the new one as long as it is MBR to MBR or GPT to GPT.

I personally feel you will be wasting your time and money getting an SSHD. The NAND on those is usually only 8GB, which is nowhere nearly large enough to make a noticeable difference in performance. You also have no direct control on what gets put on the NAND. My one experience with an SSHD is it was slower than a regular HDD. You would be much, much better off getting an SSD that is large enough to hold your programs and OS, then use your old 1TB drive for your data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Switching from HDD (in MBR "mode") to SSHD (still as MBR)

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