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HDD to SSD mirror image?


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12 replies to this topic

#1 BigElCat

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 04:57 PM

I have a Dell XPS 400 with a single HDD rated at 160G (more like 141G).

I would like to upgrade to a SSD drive to use as the master/ start up drive. My OS is Windows XP Media Center SP2. I current have 1G RAM.

I have a read little about cloning and making mirror images. The standard rule is that a 2nd HDD has to have a larger capacity than the 'donor' HDD. Does this rule apply when a SSD is used? What is the smallest capacity SSD I could use? Any recommendations on mirroring software for this process?

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#2 rotor123

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 05:37 PM

Since you mention XP you will need a SSD with good Garbage collection such as the Samsung SSDs.

It isn't the size of the drive, rather it is the size of the data on the drive.
Thus if you have 80Gb used then a 120Gb would work.

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#3 sandman1374

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 05:47 PM

I would recommend a 60GB SSD. Either a Corsair Force GT Red or Crucial M4 give the biggest gains, but you need Sata III to take full advantage.
As for cloning, I always recommend doing a clean install rather than mirror with software. Be sure to check on firmware updates before installation as well.
Use the SSD for the OS and relocate all storage to current drive.

I'm not passing any judgement here but gauging that your rig has only 1 GB of Ram this would also be an area to upgrade as well for more performance. Current Ram prices at a an all time low right now and something to look into. Of course, like always, the DDR3 (latest version) is probably cheaper than older DDR2 or DDR but it may pay to investigate.

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#4 hamluis

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 06:59 PM

FWIW: I have a 60GB SSD and I have a dual-boot installed, Win 7 and XP. My XP partition is 21GB and my Win 7 (64-bit) is 34GB. I install all programs on the O/S partition, but I have a total of more than 3GB in hard drive storage on which I put all data files. And...I don't use System Restore or hibernation.

Current free space is 5GB on XP, 12.5GB on Win 7 O/S partitions and I am current with Windows critical updates on each.

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#5 BigElCat

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 12:33 AM

Thanks guys!

Yes, I'm currently researching RAM upgrades. I read the relevant tutorial on this forum and just downloaded CPUZ. I have questions regarding my RAM upgrade, but I'll post another thread in this forum since it's a different topic.

If I can use a 60G SSD, I'm going to jump on this ASAP. I'll give a bit more background information. I really don't know anything about transferring my O/S to another drive. I realize Microsoft has made it challenging on purpose. I have to stick with XP because I'm learning AutoCad for my job. I run a CNC Plasma Cutter, and our machines at work use AutoCad 2000 as a standard. Windows 7 is not backwards compatible with AutoCad 2000. I'll upgrade to XP Media Center SP3 after I have a backup of it.

I would like to be able to recover my system if, say, either the new SSD or the original HHD would fail.

I don't yet know how to partition the original HDD. I guess it would be designated as 2 different drives? I could use one for file/data storage, and one for an O/S back up...correct? And have the SSD designated as the master.

Anyway, I'm going to run CPUZ now. I'm learning as I go.

Did it! CPU-Z is awesome!

Edited by BigElCat, 15 July 2012 - 12:40 AM.


#6 BigElCat

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 01:04 AM

I have 63 gigs of memory used on my original hard drive. If I used a SSD for the O/S only, I wouldn't really have any data back up. Humm...

Is my idea of cloning the original HDD, and using a SSD as a master a bad idea? The original would just be a back up, if the SSD failed. An 80G SSD might work for me.

#7 rotor123

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 07:27 AM

Personal opinion here, the smallest SSD I run is 120gb. Yes it is over 1/2 empty, However every now and then I use the free space as temp storage.

You always want some free space on a SSD and windows will thank you for it too. I keep my virtual memory on the SSD for the speed. And that way I never really notice any slowdowns when windows uses it.

Roger

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#8 S3cS3arch3r

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 08:10 AM

Personal opinion here, the smallest SSD I run is 120gb. Yes it is over 1/2 empty, However every now and then I use the free space as temp storage.

You always want some free space on a SSD and windows will thank you for it too. I keep my virtual memory on the SSD for the speed. And that way I never really notice any slowdowns when windows uses it.

Roger

+1 and then another!
Combined with a bit of additional RAM (XP handles 4GB at most) and a fresh OS installation, your rig would probably feel like a "new computer" IMHO.


OW.. and important because you mentioned XP SP2, whatever you choose to do, run MS update and get yourself SP3 and all updates!!!

\0/
-Sec

#9 sandman1374

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 08:42 AM

Here's a guide that may help explain SSD's a bit more in depth as for setup. http://www.overclock.net/t/1156654/seans-windows-7-install-optimization-guide-for-ssds-hdds
Yes it's for Win7 but there's a ton of excellent info that can be applied to XP as well.

This guide also explains about using the second drive for storage etc in the Optimizations after System Setup: link.
It really does contain a lot of info if you read all the links. Don't be intimidated, just read/study each area a bit before you begin.

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#10 hamluis

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 04:02 PM

<<Is my idea of cloning the original HDD, and using a SSD as a master a bad idea?>>

Not at all...that's exactly what I did, using Macrium Reflect to move my 2 O/Ses (dual-boot) from SATA hard drives to my 60GB SSD.

Louis

#11 Baltboy

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:40 AM

While cloning a standard HD to a SSD will work it is not the best practice. SSD's write data differently than a standard drive. The solid state memory organizes data into differing chunks which when cloning ends up with lots of partially used blocks. For the best performance you should defiinitely do a fresh install and then transfer the files over.
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#12 coxchris

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:45 PM

I agree with baltboy, It will work but you used up alot of reads and writes to

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#13 rotor123

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 09:27 AM

I'm up in the air with this one. Intel makes a download available to clone your hard drive to their SSD.

Evidently they are not worried about causing wear and tear by doing the clone. I cloned the desktop I use at home over a year ago and have had no problems. On the other hand after OCZ released their supposedly fixed firmware that is supposed to cure all ills with their SSDs. I tried a clone to that drive and it didn't even boot. Secure wiped it and installed Win7 clean to it.That is what they say works and yes it worked however.............

I've had no problems with Intel and Samsung. Kingston and OCZ were a pain in the neck trying to re-install without a wipe.

Roger

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