Installing an SSD

  skeletal 16:38 24 Jun 2010

I’m after some thoughts on problems I may encounter!

I have just bought a new SSD hard drive and want to set it up.

Overall I want to achieve:
XP OS and program files on SSD;
Data on existing hard drive.

The SSD is 80G, the existing HD is 320G partitioned to C: and V: each of 160G;
Existing HD is triple boot, with Vista and a trial of W7 on V: and XP on C:;
Vista and 7 don’t work and ideally I want to remove all traces of them;
Vista uses the “funny” boot system. I want to remove this and boot directly to XP (on the new drive).

I thought this would be easy. I’ve moved lots of stuff from C: to V: to reduce the size of the files on C: to around 70G. I then intended to clone the C: partition to the SSD.
Then delete all the Vista/7 rubbish off V: and repartition the old C: & V: to a single V: drive with all my data. The SSD would then be the new C:.

But at some point, it looks like there would be two C: drives together, the new and old, before I merge/rename the old C: with V:. How does the computer know which C: drive to boot from?

A lot of stuff I’ve been looking at suggests a disc clone actually clones the whole disc i.e. both C: and V:. It also suggests the new drive needs to be bigger than the old, or at least big enough to hold the full amount of data, which, of course, I can’t do.

Or, I can “Add a new drive”, which at first sight seems fairly easy, but then there is talk of “Installing” the OS. Of course, the last thing I want to do is spend months installing Windows... what is the point of cloning software if you have to do re-installs?!

I have Maxblast software which is Acronis in disguise.

So, given the problems, how do you do it? It must be a common problem with the new SSDs being smaller than existing HDs.

Thanks for any help.


  gengiscant 16:58 24 Jun 2010

I have 64 GB ssd drive and Am using Windows 7 which I installed fresh.
Installing XP+ A downloaded of SP3,click here and then use this,click here to install a lot of the more popular programs, would I feel be the simplest way to go.

I have all my docs and games which are mainly tied to Steam (GB) on my D drive and although I have over 100 programs installed on my SSD 'c' drive it is only half full.

So although it is a bit of a pain as there will still be over 100 updates even after installing XP + SP3, if you get all your drivers etc ready then it will be easier in the long run as you have the added bonus of a fresh and clean install.

  skeletal 17:10 24 Jun 2010

Hmm… an idea, but one that I want to avoid. The thought of reinstalling all my software as well as windows makes me feel sick (e.g. I have Office 2003, 2007 and 2010, and all their service packs)! Also, I’ve remembered that I don’t have a true XP disc, only the manufacturer’s recovery disc, so I don’t know what it would make of the new SSD.

Possibly, just possibly, I may upgrade the rest of the computer (motherboard/processor etc etc). If I did this I would have to install an OS so would probably try W7. I just wanted to run the current system (with SSD) for a few more months yet, but if an OS install really is required, I may as well do the full upgrade.

Fingers crossed there is another way.

Thanks anyway.


  gengiscant 17:39 24 Jun 2010

I can send you a copy of XP+SP3 if it is of any help?

  skeletal 17:57 24 Jun 2010

Oh! That's very kind of you. I'll bear it in mind, but I'm praying that someone will come up with an easier answer first.

I may just try to mix "cloning" and "new disc" and see what happens.

Mind you, knowing computers, it's bound not to work!


  ashdav 00:17 25 Jun 2010

Download parted magic click here burn the iso to disc.
Boot from the cd you've just made and select Clonezilla from the options on the desktop.
You can then clone your existing hdd to a new one.

  gazzaho 07:43 25 Jun 2010

I don't use an SSD myself and I'm no expert, but I read somewhere that if you are setting your system up with an SSD drive it's best to do a new/fresh installation of Windows as the geometry of the existing drive and the SSD may not be the same if you just image/clone your existing drive to the SSD.

I believe it may be possible to clone/image one drive to the other but you may loose SSD storage space, and performance may suffer as a result, it might be a good idea to do a little research beforehand.

  skeletal 16:45 25 Jun 2010

Late last night I remembered I had Partition Manager as well as the Acronis software. Looking at its help, it seems like I may be able to take just a partition and clone it rather than the whole drive that Acronis seems to intimate.

Ashdav’s suggestion looks like it may produce something similar (the link won’t work for me, but I’ve found them anyway).

Thanks for that info. It hints that I may be able to do want I want although the extra complication of the Vista(etc) partition is still muddying the waters.

As Saturday is approaching, I guess it is getting near the time to try it all out!

Gazzaho: Yes, I have heard exactly what you mention and agree that a fresh install is always the best option, in theory! It would involve me with so much work that, if I had to go down that route, I would build a new PC and try to install W7. As I suggested earlier, I may do that later on anyway.

I’m just really keen to try the new HD as the HD is by far the slowest component in my current system.


  ashdav 14:17 28 Jun 2010

Parted Magic link click here
It contains Partition Manager.

  skeletal 14:26 28 Jun 2010

Thanks ashdav. That was the one I found.

I managed to do it over the weekend. Probably took the best part of 12-15 hours in total. It was an absolute nightmare. I will write it up soon and post. If nothing else I have discovered a shed load of “strange” things that could help anyone else trying to do this.

On reflection, I think it would be easier to wait a few more months and buy a new computer with one already installed!

But the performance boost is incredible.


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