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Solved New SSD for old tower?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by pyritechips, Aug 24, 2015.

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  1. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    As shown above I have an older tower that I have modestly upgraded with a SATA DVD drive, more RAM and a better video card. I was wondering if my system is compatible to a SSD drive and if it is, how much would it improve performance. Also, would I be able to clone my current SATA drive to it?
     
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  3. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Well there are three issues I see;
    1 Your mb only has sata 2 ports and that will limit or throttle the speed of a modern ssd. It will still be a HUGE improvement over a mech hard disk however you will be somewhat limited.
    2 Next issue is that xp [your os] does not support TRIM or wear leveling for the ssd. This causes a degrading of performance over time. Sometimes the drive mfg has a utility that will do basically the same thing. Another option is to make an image of the ssd and store the image on a second hd, external, etc. Once the image is made, boot with parted magic linux and secure erase the ssd. Once the ssd is secure erased, restore the image. This will also restore the ssd drive's speed.
    3 XP does not apply the correct partition offset for a ssd. This can be edited manually using linux OR you can create the partitions with a win7/win8 boot disk then install xp.

    Other than the above issues, you can install a ssd drive and you will see a significant improvement in performance however not as much as with a modern mb supporting sata3.
     
  4. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the quick and informative reply. I guess I am mostly concerned with number 3 and the partition offset. Are you saying that I cannot directly clone my existing XP partition onto the SSD. I don't think I have a window 7 or 8 boot disc nor do I have Linux, and would not know the procedure.
     
  5. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    You can clone it however you would need to either adjust it [partition offset] manually OR if you use a late version of acronis true image, it will apply the correct offset.
    If you use something other than acronis to clone the disk, here is how to fix it manually;

    To see if your partitions are aligned correctly, hit the Start menu and type in msinfo32. Enter Msinfo32 and go to Components > Storage > Disks. Look for your SSD on the list and find the "Partition Starting Offset" item. If this number is divisible by 4096 (that is, if dividing it by 4096 equals a whole number and not a decimal), your partition is correctly aligned. If not, you need to realign it. Luckily, this is pretty easy to do with the Gparted live CD. If you have an Ubuntu live CD lying around, that will work too, since it has Gparted available under System > Administration.

    Start up Gparted and find your SSD in the upper-right dropdown menu. Select it, and click on your first partition in the menu. Hit the Resize/Move button in the toolbar. Change the "Free Space Preceding" box to 2MB, uncheck "Round to Cylinders", and hit "Resize/Move". (If you're using a newer live CD, check the "MiB" box). Hit Apply once and let it do its thing.

    Now hit Resize/Move again, and change the "Free Space Preceding" box to 1MB. Uncheck "Round to Cylinders" again, hit Resize/Move, then click Apply. Now your drive will be aligned to exactly 2048 blocks after the beginning of the disk, which allows for optimal SSD performance. Note that if you have multiple partitions on your SSD, you'll need to repeat this process for each partition, not just the first one on the disk.
     
  6. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    Ok then I will have to find a Gparted disc.

    Would the Aomei partition assistant not be able to do this operation? I have used that for partitioning.
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    I do not know. I have only done it using linux. It might however I know acronis will apply the correct partition offset [as long as you use a later version]
     
  8. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    I will explore my Aomei, which is a brand new download I used before cloning my XP.
     
  9. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    I just checked my Aomei and it has this option:

    That looks promising.

    This is a verbatim copy of the help file:

     
  10. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    That looks like it will do what you need.
     
  11. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    And it looks simple and straight forward. I'm not so scared now. I will arrange to pick up a SSD and see how it all work. If you don't mind I will let this thread float open and post back if I have any difficulties with the installation.
     
  12. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    Here is the situation:

    • SSD installed.
    • Successfully partitioned, formatted and aligned.
    • Used Macrium Reflect to clone current XP OS onto new SSD.
    • Disconnected current SATA drive and connected SSD.
    • Booted but BIOS showed no bootable medium drive.
    • Reconnected original SATA.
    • After BIOS only rapidly flashing cursor on a black screen appears.
    • Installed backup SATA clone drive.

    Question 1: How do I get original SATA drive to boot?
    Question 2: How do I get cloned SSD to boot?

    Any and all input will be appreciated.
     
  13. hewee

    hewee

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    I can give input Jim but now help.
    Watching you close here because I may do the same thing so your my tester. ;)
     
  14. pyritechips

    pyritechips Gone but Never Forgotten Thread Starter

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    Apparently Macrium cloning freezes on the TRIM process. I have to cancel then use taskmaster to close Macrium. When I go back to Aomei the partition is unallocated.
     
  15. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    First of all, I would not be using macrium to clone the drive.
    What ssd do you have? Many drive mfg have their own cloning program.

    Note if one of the drives is a WD or Seagate, you can download the free version of acronis true image. While this is a "Free" version. unlike many free cloning programs, this actually works.
    If the ssd is the same size or larger, you can also use clonezilla to clone the drive.
    Check to see that the drive in question is selected as the boot drive in the bios. If it booted before [and you have not done anything to it] the drive should boot now.
    A properly done clone boots without problems [this is why I recommend using acronis or clonezilla]

    I do see one issue here. You posted that you partitioned and formatted the drive prior to cloning. This is most likely not going to work. For a clone to work correctly, the destination [new] drive needs to be blank ie nothing on the drive at all, no partition info, no formatting, nothing. When you do the clone, acronis will allow you to optimize for a ssd [this is the partition offset among other things]
     
  16. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Before attempting another clone, I would secure erase the drive. Note secure erase is not formatting; it is done via the drive's controller. Many ssd mfg have a "tool box" of utilities OR you can use parted magic linux which will also secure erase the drive.
     
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