How do I upgrade my laptop’s regular hard drive to a solid state drive?

Michael Arthur April 22, 2012
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I have an Asus G53sx Laptop with two hard drive bays. One has the operating system on it (reads 238GB capacity) and then an extra which reads a capacity of 332GB. It’s supposed to have a total of 640GB I think if that makes a difference.

Anyway, I want to switch out the smaller one and replace it with a Corsair Force Series 3 SSD I recently purchased. I just want to know what the best way to go about this is. I would rather not have to go through the headache of tracking down and reinstalling all my software. I have read cloning can be a good option but it seems a bit complicated.

I am OK with computers but there is usually some detail I overlook that causes me problems when I undertake projects like this and I wanted to get some advice from someone who knows what they are doing.

Thanks very much.

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  1. stoyan deckoff
    April 28, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I will vote for clonezilla, too. This is a free OS. IT can be booted from usb or cd. Tutorials are provided on how to do the bootable cd or usb. And how to use it. The menues are text-based, but are easy to navigate. If you want to clone bigger into smaller ssd, you'd better shrink the partitions to a size fitable in the new ssd, back up partition per partition and restore partition per partition. For residing I recommend gparted live usb, or ubuntu live. All tools are free and open. Good luck.

  2. Chris
    April 28, 2012 at 4:20 am

    Try clonezilla. It is open source and free.

  3. Mike
    April 22, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Generally speaking all you have to do is:
    1. clone the entire hard drive to the new SSD
    2. replace the HDD with the SSD
    3. make sure the SSD is selected as boot device in the BIOS/EFI
    4. boot up

    * Step 3 is optional but last time I did clone a drive the BIOS selected an USB hard drive as the first boot device.

    Other details you should take into consideration:
    - upgrade to the latest SSD firmware before cloning
    - make sure SATA mode is set to AHCI in BIOS/EFI

    * For Intel SSDs this should be set to RAID for Intel SRT to work.

    Once Windows is booted run the Windows Performance Index and perform a reboot afterwards! Otherwise Windows might not detect the presence of a SSD and skip the necessary optimizations.

    * Primary Drive Index for a SSD should be around "7"

    To see whether the SSD was properly detected open up Disk Defragmenter. It should be set to "Never Run" for the SSD drive.

    Another thing you might want to check is that TRIM:
    1. open up an elevated command prompt (rightclick > Run as Administrator)
    2. type "fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify"
    If the returned information is "DisableDeleteNotify = 0" TRIM is enabled.

  4. ha14
    April 22, 2012 at 7:50 am

    is your SSD drive the same size of the hard drive containing WIndows?
    Paragon Migrate OS to SSD 2.0
    http://www.paragon-software.com/technologies/components/migrate-OS-to-SSD/

    How to clone HDD to SSD with Windows 7?s own software
    http://www.ssdfreaks.com/content/664/how-to-clone-hdd-to-ssd-with-windows-7s-own-software/2

  5. Bruce Epper
    April 22, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Paragon Software Group has Drive Copy 11 which will easily handle this type of migration.  It runs about $40 normally and they frequently have sales on it.  For an additional $10, they have Hard Drive Manager 12 which will do migrations, conversions to virtual environments, backup and recovery and much more.  You can get a 30-day free trial from here http://www.paragon-software.com/home/hdm-personal/download.html

    I am not affiliated with them, but I use their software and find it to be exceptional.