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Which steps to follow when upgrading to a SSD?


jojesa

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I just got a P128 :D: and I would like to know what's the best way to proceed.

I will use this SSD as a boot drive with another 1TB for file storage.

 

I see there is a new firmware available (VBM19C1Q). Is there anything that I should do after installing the firmware and before installing Windows?

 

a- Should I just create a backup of my current HDD and copy it to the SSD (I have Acronis, Ghost or the Windows backup)? :confused:

or

b- Should I perform a clean installation? :confused:

 

If anyone here could provide steps to follow from personal experience, it will be greatly appreciated.

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I would connect the drive as a second drive then use Windows to Quick format the drive with 32K Allocation then test it with ATTO to be sure its running properly. Then delete the partition and use Accronis to image the current drive to the SSD. Then boot with the SSD Drive and you are done.
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Small remark: use Acronis 2010 ! (version 13.x.xx) in case you are running Windows 7.

In my experience, Acronis 2009 could not coop with Windows 7 (64-bit, in my case).

 

I have purchased Acronis 2009 several months ago.

Does the Acronis 2010 trial version could do the job :question:

How about Ghost 15 :question:

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The Trail version on Accronis will do the trick, if you just purchased Version 9 I would ask them about an update.

And Ghost will work but from our testing Ghost will not always work well with SSD drives. It may require some testing.

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I would connect the drive as a second drive then use Windows to Quick format the drive with 32K Allocation then test it with ATTO to be sure its running properly. Then delete the partition and use Accronis to image the current drive to the SSD. Then boot with the SSD Drive and you are done.

 

Hi RAM GUY,

Followed your instructions and this is the ATTO test. I think is good.

I have some questions:

When you say "image the current drive to the SSD", I should use the clone feature from Acronis?

Also, I will need to shrink the current drive since the SSD is half the size.

Does shrinking affect SSD performance?

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/jojesa/th_benchmark2.jpg

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Yes, you can use the clone feature, it works well. If you would also like to have a copy of an image for backup purposes you could image the current boot drive, then restore this image to your new SSD, retaining the copy of the image. A clone will just do disk-to disk with no image saved at the end, just a duplicated disk.

 

Personally I would NOT clone the drive. I would do a fresh install instead. If you clone or image the SSD you could end up with incorrect partition alignment. A SSD writes data per cluster but has to erase/write data as bigger 512kb blocks. If your SSD partition isn't aligned properly, the NTFS clusters will chop through these block boundaries. This means that instead of only having to work on one 512kb block when writing and modifying data, the drive will be forced to work on two (or more) 512kb blocks, which obviously takes longer and slows performance.

 

Letting Windows Vista/7 use the default settings for creating the 100MB system partition and another partition for the remaining space insures the drive is correctly aligned with a 1024KB offset. Vista/7 will automatically use a QuickFormat. Also note that using 32K clusters if using the drive for the OS requires the 100MB system partition to be formatted with the standard 4K cluster size. If you don't do this then the OS will refuse to install/load. In my experience using 32K clusters, even in RAID0 simply isn't worthwhile. I gained an average of 4MB/s while loosing several GB of space due to file system "slack" which for me was unacceptable. The drive is small enough without having huge cluster sizes chewing up free space.

 

There have also been issues on some TRIM capable drives from all manufacturers when imaging. In some cases the TRIM command fails to be passes because Windows looses track of the volume bitmap etc. Sometimes it can be fixed using Disk Management to shrink, apply then re-grow the OS partition. IMO it's better to do a full fresh install after a diskpart "clean" command followed by a HDDErase standard secure erase. This eliminates any possible annoying problems.

 

When the clean install is done, I would use Acronis to create a backup image. TRIM is good but not 100% perfect. You may in some cases find drive performance degrades during certain usage patterns, so doing a HDDErase followed by a re-image should successfully restore things back to normal with a fully working TRIM facility again.

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Yes, you can use the clone feature, it works well. If you would also like to have a copy of an image for backup purposes you could image the current boot drive, then restore this image to your new SSD, retaining the copy of the image. A clone will just do disk-to disk with no image saved at the end, just a duplicated disk.

 

Personally I would NOT clone the drive. I would do a fresh install instead. If you clone or image the SSD you could end up with incorrect partition alignment. A SSD writes data per cluster but has to erase/write data as bigger 512kb blocks. If your SSD partition isn't aligned properly, the NTFS clusters will chop through these block boundaries. This means that instead of only having to work on one 512kb block when writing and modifying data, the drive will be forced to work on two (or more) 512kb blocks, which obviously takes longer and slows performance.

 

Letting Windows Vista/7 use the default settings for creating the 100MB system partition and another partition for the remaining space insures the drive is correctly aligned with a 1024KB offset. Vista/7 will automatically use a QuickFormat. Also note that using 32K clusters if using the drive for the OS requires the 100MB system partition to be formatted with the standard 4K cluster size. If you don't do this then the OS will refuse to install/load. In my experience using 32K clusters, even in RAID0 simply isn't worthwhile. I gained an average of 4MB/s while loosing several GB of space due to file system "slack" which for me was unacceptable. The drive is small enough without having huge cluster sizes chewing up free space.

 

There have also been issues on some TRIM capable drives from all manufacturers when imaging. In some cases the TRIM command fails to be passes because Windows looses track of the volume bitmap etc. Sometimes it can be fixed using Disk Management to shrink, apply then re-grow the OS partition. IMO it's better to do a full fresh install after a diskpart "clean" command followed by a HDDErase standard secure erase. This eliminates any possible annoying problems.

 

When the clean install is done, I would use Acronis to create a backup image. TRIM is good but not 100% perfect. You may in some cases find drive performance degrades during certain usage patterns, so doing a HDDErase followed by a re-image should successfully restore things back to normal with a fully working TRIM facility again.

 

Hey Psycho101,

Thanks for the extensive explanation. I did clone the drive and just tested the drive and performance took a hit (see image below).

My system boots in 32 seconds (counting 12 second in BIOS). It shuts-down in 4 secs.

Are you the same Psycho101 from Tweaktown? :idea:

 

CrystalDisk

Before --------------------------After

Seq write 210.9---------------Seq write 217.2

Seq read 197.9---------------Seq read 129.3

 

512k write 177.5-------------512k write 174.3

512k read 169---------------512k read 117.8

 

4k write 23.77-------------- 4k write 23.3

4k read 8.27 ----------------4k read 5.8

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/jojesa/th_bench-win7.jpg

 

I think I will install Windows from scratch to see if it helps.

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I got some performance back without installing Windows from scratch.

I just tried older drivers, the chipset drivers of August 26 2009 did the trick. ;):

Previously I had the latest Intel 2010 chipset drivers.

It looks like drivers might play an important part on the performance you might get.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/jojesa/th_bench-win7-2.jpg

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I tested the drive as a second drive and it shows faster performance than advertised.

I wanted to see how it does after loading all my software titles.

I was looking at a test of my fastest hard disk drive and this P128 and there is not comparison (see image below).

 

HDD......... vs........SSD

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/jojesa/th_HDD-SSD.jpg

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