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  1. #1
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    Best approach to swapping a hard drive (and contents)?

    So, I'm considering upgrading the HDD in my laptop, but I'm wondering what the recommended approach is to shift all the content over. I think I did it many years ago, but that was in a time of windows xp and 40gb HDDs. Is the best idea simply to plug the new one in as a USB drive (i think i have a usb case around somewhere), drag and drop the whole file system across, and then swap the drives? Or do i need to mess with drive imaging tools? Will that allow me to just boot up and continue as usual, or will some configuration be needed? I'm on win 8 64bit and thinking of going from standard HDD to SSD or Hybrid. (PS/ I know someone will say that I should install windows from scratch and then re-install all my programs etc.. but I'm really hoping to avoid that hassle. )

  2. #2
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    See my reply here

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/foru...l=1#post464649

    Only in your case replace 'same cable and port' as 'plug the SSD into the hole you just took the HDD out of'

    You'll also need check that the SSD copy is "aligned". Once your system is booted and working with the SSD, install this

    http://www.partitionwizard.com/free-...n-manager.html

    There's clearly a relation between Easeus's Partition Tool (you used their DiskCopy if you followed by reply) and this Minitool one - the advantage of Minitool is that it has a quick/easy "Alignment" tool - just select the disk, select Align - it reboots, checks it and if it needs aligning it does it - and that's that (you can remove the software at this point if you wish)

    p.s. Best advice you'll get is to keep your old HDD handy in-case the SSD goes pop ;0

  3. #3
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    Ok. Dumb question time.

    I just got around to this. I have a small external USB Hard Drive enclosure, so my plan was to put the new SSHD in that. Use the EaseUS program to copy the hard drive from my laptop. Then swap the drives.

    But the new SSHD is a seagate THIN 2.5inch drive. And the USB enclosure is obviously set up for regular height usb drives. It doesn't have side screws, just holds the drive with plastic slots at each end. So the new SSHD is kind of loose in the enclosure.

    I decided that wasn't a good idea and didn't proceed with plugging it in.

    Am I going to have to buy a new external HDD enclosure that'll fit 7mm THIN drives? Or do you think I can do it by:
    (a) Using some little bits of foam/rubber to wedge the SSHD securely in the enclosure.
    (b)Not putting the SSHD in the eclosure at all. Just plugging in the SATA card to the end and leaving it flat on the deask (caseless).

    I'd rather not have to go and get another USB enclosure, it isn't a big expenditure, but it'll take time and hassle. But I don't want to kill the more expensive SSHD obviously.

  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node Harlander's Avatar
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    Can't you buy a little metal sprue that mates your thin drive to normal sized ones?

  5. #5
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    I could probably buy one, if I could find one. Or I could order one online, except I'd probably end up paying more in postage than for the spacer. Either way, I can't swap the hard drives this weekend, so it'd have to wait until next weekend. :-(From here, it seems like you can use anything... though I'm a bit worried about paper towels and beer cans! http://forum.notebookreview.com/soli...7mm-9-5mm.html

  6. #6
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    Oh, and @trjp: I actually got a SSHD instead of an SSD in the end. Do you think I still need to "align" it? It seems like everything will go on the regular hard drive part, and then the drive's smarts will decide what to keep on the SSD part. So that would imply no need for alignment, right?

  7. #7
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    Ok. I finally got the time (so I thought) to try this. Seemed to go well up to 3Gb, and then got jammed up for an hour with 13 "read errors" and then it seemed to get back on track. It was going well up to about 40% when I had to abandon it due to going to work. AFAIK the drive is fine, and windows 8 error checking finds no errors. I'll try again another time, but does anyone know if the Read Errors can be safely ignored?

  8. #8
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    PS/ Any opinion on Easus Todo Backup Free instead of Disk Copy? It seems to include the sector-by-sector copy and they say on their forums that they won't reply to any questions about disk copy anymore and people should use it instead.

  9. #9
    Network Hub Chaz's Avatar
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    No idea about that program, but I cloned my HDD recently and used the free version of a program called Macrium Reflect. Worked fine.

    http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

  10. #10
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    No alignment needed for SSHDs.

    Your best bet is to copy the partition(s) from one drive to the other. Then install the new one exactly like the old one, and it should boot just fine.

  11. #11
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    Just wanted to say that I used the EaseUS DisckCopy software from Trjp's first post and (fingers crossed) it seems to have gone fine. Ended up taking about 5 hours to copy a 300Gb hard drive (sector by sector), mainly because it got delayed by about 15 unreadable sectors at the start. (Hopefully those don't cause trouble later). Other than that it was seamless. Many thanks all!

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