How do I move boot files from old HDD to new SSD?

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mapexmbirch

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My laptop takes ages to start up so I thought about replacing the 300Gb HDD with a 32 or 64Gb SSD. I thought that I could have a external for music wideos etc.
Could I just plug in the external HDD and copy the files onto it then turn off my laptop take out the HDD and insert the new SSD then boot from the external HDD and then copy the files onto the SSD.
I have a feeling that that won't work, for a start how do I tell the computer to boot from the external?
I am running Vista 64.
 

Noyb

Jay
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You'll have to Clone the HDD to the SSD .. Or recover the SSD from a Backup/Recovery Image of the HDD.
I'd use Acronis

I'm thinking a 64GB might be a little small for Vista.
Here's a tutorial for doing this with W7 to get you started .. the procedures should be about the same
 

mapexmbirch

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I have a recovery HDD in my computer. If I take out the old HDD and put in the new SSD will the recovery files get put onto the SSD?

How big are the Vista files? I thought they where only like 15GB.
 

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You have only one hard drive. The recovery partition is also on that drive.

Clone the old drive to the new one, or make an image of the old and restore it to the new. You will need a third drive for that.
 

Noyb

Jay
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Edit .. His C drive is too big to Clone or Image .. Just the System .. It includes a lot of DATA

You should make an OEM Recovery set of DVDs from the recovery partition.
What's the Make n Model of the laptop ??

I'm assuming you have all your data backed up in your external.
I'm not sure about Vista .. I've never messed with it, But I'm thinking it's a space hog like W7.

I'd suggest that you perform a fresh install of Vista to the SSD ... Using the OEM recovery DVDs
The HDD could be mounted in a USB External Enclosure (or adapter) .. Then you could also read the Data files from it.

Recovering the SSD from the OEM DVDs will reinstall the OEM Recovery partition .. You can remove it later.
 

mapexmbirch

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I think I could manage a burning the recovery file onto a DVD. Would it mind being on 2 or 3 discs?

I think I get what you are saying.
First burn the system recovery file on to a few DVDs.
Then take out the HDD and put in the SSD.
Then put the DVDs back on the computer.
Then it will boot up like a new system with nothing on it?
 

crjdriver

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A few things;
1 If you clone the existing hard drive, you will not have the partitions correctly aligned for a ssd
2 AFAIK vista does not support TRIM
3 There are numerous "tweaks" that will need to be done after you clone and move or adjust the partitions. Here are just a few; turn OFF defrag, turn OFF search and indexing on the ssd, turn OFF prefetch or superfetch.

I would opt for a clean install of win7 since win7 setup will correctly align partitions for a ssd drive. Win7 will also support TRIM so you will have wear leveling on the ssd drive.

If you must have vista, then you need to correctly partition the drive before installing AND opt during vista setup to leave partitions alone.

One other item I forgot to mention. A ssd drive should be installed with ahci mode selected in the bios. If your current install is not ahci, you will need to either select that OR just clean install with ahci mode sleeted. Another reason why the clean install of win7 is the better way to go.
 

Noyb

Jay
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Then it will boot up like a new system with nothing on it?
Yes .. This will put the computer back to Brand New .. System only without all the data.
Then you'll have to perform all the updates .. Install all your favorite programs and configure it the way you like it.
At this point .. I'd make a Backup Image (data file) and place it in an external (formatted NTFS)
Then you can recover a HDD or SSD from the Image back to the way you had it setup .. in about 15 minutes.
Installing to a SSD is a little different as CRJDriver mentioned.

I have a spare HDD setup the way I want my XP SSD .. Then I align the SSD and clone the HDD to the SSD ..
Or update the HDD .. make an Image of it ... and recover the SSD (aligned), from the Image
 

crjdriver

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BTW a ssd drive is the single biggest boost to performance you can give to a system. I have 2 ocz vertex2 drives in raid0 and it is amazing how fast the system runs. On a benchmark I get approx 480mps on read/write; not bad.
 

mapexmbirch

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BTW a ssd drive is the single biggest boost to performance you can give to a system. I have 2 ocz vertex2 drives in raid0 and it is amazing how fast the system runs. On a benchmark I get approx 480mps on read/write; not bad.
Yeah I think the HDD is the only thing holding this computer back. It has Dual core 2.1Ghz processor and 4GB of RAM.

I think I might wait until windows 8 comes out. How long will that be? I have seen the beta on download. I don't want to upgrade just to then be out of date.
I have a student copy of Solidworks on this computer if I have to reinstall it can I still use the same key?
 

Noyb

Jay
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XP and Vista is a little handicapped for running a SSD .. (No Trim and an extra alignment procedure required ) ..
But I love my SSD in my XP computer .. Haven't bothered to put one in my W7 Computer yet.

Doing this in a Laptop is also a little problem since you can only have one drive installed at a time.
 

Noyb

Jay
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I think I might wait until windows 8 comes out. How long will that be?
W8 Beta is expected in Feb 2012 .. Possibly to be available in new computers by Christmas 2012.
I have W8 DP .. And to me it looks like W7 with a Metro interface that I would disable without a touch screen.
 

Noyb

Jay
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... My laptop takes ages to start up ...
It shouldn't take ages ???
Anything more than about 90 seconds probably means a problem in the system or it's setup.
Maybe the place to start is with a fresh install of Vista .. Maybe in a new HDD.

SSDs do boot faster .. But the real advantage is in the speed new apps open.
It used to take me about 7>10 seconds to send a Photo, or Photos, to be open in Photoshop.
In my XP SSD .. It's down to about 1 second or less.
My desktop with a HDD boots faster that I can pour my Morning coffee .. So bootup time doesn't bother me.

I would like to put a SSD in my Laptop .. It's slow HDD is a pain .. But they do not make ATA SSDs

Is bootup time the only place where you're having speed concerns ??
 
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