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How do I properly clone my Asus G55vw 500gb HDD to a SSD?

Vicodin
Level 10
Hello,
I have a mSATA 240gb Mushkin Atlas Deluxe SSD on the way, and I am looking for info on how to set it up properly. I am wondering if I can just clone the 500gb HDD to the SSD? I have read that there can be issues with alignments when cloning a HDD to a SSD. Also, when the HDD has multiple partitions there can be issues as well. Is there anyone that can verify this? I know a fresh install of Windows 8 on the SSD would be ideal, but I do not have a disc to do so. I also would like to keep the hidden recovery partition around for if any issues arise. Here are some more specific questions I would like answered if possible.

1. What is the best software to use to clone a HDD to a SSD?
2. Can I just clone the C: (OS) partition by itself?
3. If I do clone it, is there a program I can use to check the alignments and overall performance of the SSD?
4. If a fresh install is the absolute best solution, how can I go about getting a Windows 8 disc and using my same product key?
5. Should I just shoot myself because I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to this task?

I have never replaced, reformatted (unless you count holding F10 during boot on my old Asus G73), or anything like this with a HDD before. So I am totally lost right now. I just wan't to get the most out of my SSD. (Damn things aren't cheap)

Hmm... Maybe Asus should have put a few more partitions on this HDD....
18139

Sorry for the wall of text, and thank you in advance!

p.s: I love my ROG logo at startup, please don't tell me to fresh install. 😞
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Vicodin
Level 10
After further review, I think I have decided what I would like to do. I want two partitions on my SSD. C: (OS) 120gb, 😧 (Data) 120gb. (Assuming I can use all 240gb which I doubt, so partitioned in half is what I am saying)

I will attempt to shrink my OS partition currently on my HDD to that number (Whatever is half), then clone it to my SSD. I will then use the remaining half for the Data partition. Is this possible?

Vicodin
Level 10
Bump for Knowledge

DRAKON
Level 7
Vicodin wrote:
1. What is the best software to use to clone a HDD to a SSD?
2. Can I just clone the C: (OS) partition by itself?
3. If I do clone it, is there a program I can use to check the alignments and overall performance of the SSD?
4. If a fresh install is the absolute best solution, how can I go about getting a Windows 8 disc and using my same product key?
5. Should I just shoot myself because I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to this task?


Hi there,

1. I do not know about the best but Macrium Reflect ( http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx ) does the trick.
2. You can clone only C: but I suggest you to clone also the hidden system drives ( the first 2 drives from your screenshot ). Also if you intend to remove the OS from the old HDD I would recommend to copy the 3rd drive from your screenshot ( the ASUS OS recovery pertition ). I personally have C: + the 3 hidden drives on both hard drives in order to have them if any of them fails. It takes more space on the disks but... well reliability before everything.
3. There are different programs to test the performance of the SSD. Maybe other people know some good one. For me it's generally useless. Once you boot from the SSD you will actually see the difference.
4. Generally fresh install is always recommended solution. You won't notice the difference however and it will take more time and effort. You have to find Windows 8 bootable disk in order to do it. By find I mean really find cause I do not know of official way to do it without paying more money. As for the key there are some programs that extracts it ( I have no idea how accurate ) or some people claim that it's already in the BIOS and you won't really need it.
5. No need to shoot yourself 🙂 It's not that hard if you know the correct program... Now I still do not know why ASUS didn't included their software for this and make our lives easier but as I said there is alternative program that is free and does the trick pretty easy.

If you need more detailed explanation ( step by step instruction of the cloning ) just ask. Hope that helps.

Well after hours of research I finally found some reliable information. I found someone that has done exactly what I am going to do. So I downloaded a 15 day free trial of EaseUS Todo Back Up Home 5.6. (which is fine because my mSATA SSD will be here on Wednesday) Not only will this program help me clone a single partition, but it also has a SSD optimization feature that takes care of alignments along the way. So I should be good to go. I have a backup plan prepared as well compliments of ssdfreaks.com. If both of my plans fail, I am seriously going to say F M L and just go buy a damn Windows 8 Pro from walmart and fresh install the mo fo on the SSD. (I pray it does not come down to this, and will blame Asus for not including a factory install disc)

The only question I have now, is preparing the SSD. Do I need to format/partition it before cloning? Can I format it and make an OS Partition that is EXACTLY 120 GB, then shrink my OS on here to EXACTLY 120 GB, then clone it?

Vicodin wrote:
The only question I have now, is preparing the SSD. Do I need to format/partition it before cloning? Can I format it and make an OS Partition that is EXACTLY 120 GB, then shrink my OS on here to EXACTLY 120 GB, then clone it?


Still wondering this part.

Vicodin wrote:
Still wondering this part.


The program that you are using will automatically format it during the process. Remember that you will not get 240GB of usable space, several gigabytes are used up by the system management and partition formats etc... So no you cannot get exact 120/120. Also, there will be several other partitions I think like recovery and windows EUFI that you probarbly want on there as well.

If you already have a Windows 8 Genuine key, then you can get the ISO file and burn it to a DVD or write it to a USB drive. Once installed just enter your key and you should be good to go. No need to re-buy another copy of windows unless you are going to be using it on another system.

UnAimed wrote:
The program that you are using will automatically format it during the process. Remember that you will not get 240GB of usable space, several gigabytes are used up by the system management and partition formats etc... So no you cannot get exact 120/120. Also, there will be several other partitions I think like recovery and windows EUFI that you probarbly want on there as well.

If you already have a Windows 8 Genuine key, then you can get the ISO file and burn it to a DVD or write it to a USB drive. Once installed just enter your key and you should be good to go. No need to re-buy another copy of windows unless you are going to be using it on another system.


Thank you for the info. So the program will format it, etc for me? If so, that is awesome. I know you never get the full amount of space, I was just using that for an example. Do you know where I can find the ISO file in the event the program does not do what is expected? And when cloning with this software, there are two extra options. Optimize for SSD(which I assume use), and sector by sector option. Should I use the sector by sector option? Sorry for all the questions.

I wouldn't use the sector by sector as your SSD is going to have less sectors than your HD, Remember your going to be reducing the size of the image and you don't need to copy the empty sectors.
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Clintlgm wrote:
I wouldn't use the sector by sector as your SSD is going to have less sectors than your HD, Remember your going to be reducing the size of the image and you don't need to copy the empty sectors.


Thanks for the info on that!