Upgrading to SSD

Monday, August 29, 2011 by Starcandy | Discussion: Personal Computing

Last week I snagged myself a 128GB Corsair C300 SSD. Corsair's UK branch were running an offer on some refurbished models, and while they only have a 30 day warranty, it was pretty hard to resist the 128GB model at £92. Hopefully I won't regret my decision.

The probllem is, I'm uncertain on the best way to proceed now. I have two options, I think.

a)Create an image of the partition with my OS, programs and games on it, and install that onto the SSD

b)Copy a few important files and folders (Pale Moon and Thunderbird profiles, Steam stuff and Winstep Xtreme backup) onto my D drive and reinstall Windows 7 from scratch.

I'm leaning toward going with b at the moment, as my system is running in IDE mode and I can't seem to find the info for changing over to AHCI after installing Windows. I know there's supposed to be a registry hack or something for switching it, I just can't find it now that I need it

I'll probably be doing the install tomorrow after I pick the SSD up from the Post Office. So if anybody has any advice/input on the best way to go with this, there's still time, and I'd certainly appreciate it. I really don't want to go through installing all the Windows updates again, and I'm not aware of any way to slipstream them with Windows 7. I've got SSD tweak guides bookmarked, so I don't need those.


Reply #1 Monday, August 29, 2011 2:12 PM

I'd suggest taking a look in http://www.sevenforums.com/

There are probably many ways to configure, and use but I'd think you'd want to minimize "writes" and maximize "reads" to preserve the useful ;ife of the ssd.

starkers has done a lot of research on this, so you might ask his and yrag's opinion on this topic. Lantec's as well...

I'm sure you'll get quite a few answers so don't hurry to do this... should be well thought through. 



http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/windows-7-and-ssds-just-how-fast-are-they/2902?tag=mantle_skin;content  <- excellent 3 part series.



Reply #2 Monday, August 29, 2011 2:34 PM

Thanks for the info, Doc

I'm planning to create an E: partition and move the documents, movies, pictures (etc) folders onto there, along with a folder for temp files. Hopefully, that should extend it's life, though I don't actually use any of them as I already have versions of them set up on my D: drive from when I was using an 80GB HDD for the OS and programs and a 320GB for data, instead of the partitioned 640GB I'm using now. Still, it may help in the long run, and there are some of my games that write settings and save info into the My Games folder on my C: drive.

The SSD itself will have the OS, programs and maybe four or five games on it. I think once formatted the drive should have 119GB usable, and from what I've read I'd be best to use a maximum of 80% of that. So that would would be 95.2GB, which is plenty for my needs.

Reply #3 Monday, August 29, 2011 2:34 PM


Modify "Start" to 0.

Boot into bios: change IDE to AHCI.

Boot up Win 7 DVD. Format SSD. Exit Install.


Blow image to SSD.

Reply #4 Monday, August 29, 2011 2:37 PM

Thank you, kind sir

Reply #5 Monday, August 29, 2011 3:10 PM

If you want to make it easier:



C/P to Notepad, Rename ext .reg. Merge and re-boot to bios.

Reply #6 Monday, August 29, 2011 4:16 PM

Niiiiiiiiiiiiice! And may I also add a "damn, you're good!"

Reply #7 Monday, August 29, 2011 4:20 PM

"damn, you're good!"

He had plenty of practice fixing Jafo's misadventures. 

Reply #8 Monday, August 29, 2011 4:33 PM

Niiiiiiiiiiiiice! And may I also add a "damn, you're good!"

Damned by faint praise. Actually, "The best".

Reply #9 Monday, August 29, 2011 4:46 PM

He had plenty of practice fixing Jafo's misadventures. 

Which is why I hope I get this right first time. I really don't want yrag getting frustrated with me. I lurked ( ) long enough to see that happen, and it ain't pretty, lol.

Reply #10 Monday, August 29, 2011 11:05 PM

Why me?

Why am I the bane of all things computer?


I'll have you know I can go...oh, MINUTES without fragging a machine.....

Reply #11 Monday, August 29, 2011 11:26 PM

Why me?

Rolls eyes*.. cos its always you

Reply #12 Tuesday, August 30, 2011 6:04 PM

Well, it's done. Though not without a slight headache (not my fault).

I had to resize the partition I was going to image to 115GB so the image would go on the SSD no problem. So nothing major.. until the partitioning program screws something up and Windows won't boot.

Rather than go completely off my chump and start kicking things, I stayed somewhat calm and remembered that when I swapped from the 80 and 320GB drives to the 640GB, I did it by cloning them. So my copy of Vista was still installed on the 80GB drive.

After booting into Vista I went with my option b, and copied various files and folders onto my D: drive. I installed the SSD when I got home and installed Windows 7 on to it. Then I sat back and prepared to pick my jaw up off the floor. I was doing exactly that until about 16:00 hours today. This thing is amazing! I'd read that it's without a doubt the most significant upgrade you can make to you system, but daaaaaaaaaaaaaamn. Copying my Steam files onto the D: drive took about 40 minutes. Restoring them to the SSD took just over 9 minutes. I don't even see the welcome screen when Windows loads.

Now I've just got to finish reinstalling things and then I'll create an image of the drives. I think I'll start with my Winstep Xtreme, 'cause I'm totally lost without my dock

Reply #13 Tuesday, August 30, 2011 7:47 PM

When moving from HDD to SSD its best to do a fresh install of W7. Many older formats of HDDs, pre W7, are not 4k aligned and the SSD will have sub par performance without it. And its not easy to get image aligned properly. It can be done but usually involves a lot of fancy tricks with partition managers. I think maybe latest Acronis True Image can align an unaligned partition, but not sure...

Dr Guy
Reply #14 Friday, September 2, 2011 1:53 PM

A book mark, and a thanks to the contributors.  Not at SSD yet, but when I do, I know where to go!

Reply #15 Friday, September 2, 2011 2:14 PM

I'd get rid of the bloatware, and smart defrag the disk and clean the registry and defrag it before cloning it... if only to save time and make it a bit faster and cleaner...

Reply #16 Friday, September 2, 2011 2:15 PM

Dr Guy
A book mark, and a thanks to the contributors.  Not at SSD yet, but when I do, I know where to go!

Maybe I could tempt you with this LINK

That's enough for the OS and programs at least. Plus Crucial have just released an update to the firmware for the M4 drives that gives up to 20% extra speed.

My fiancee snagged one for me this morning

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