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  1. #1
    Jan 2005
    Fort Bragg, NC.

    If I upgrade to an SSD can I copy the old HDD to the new one?

    Ok so I have 160GB used on my WD 500GB Black HDD. If I were to buy a new Samsung 240GB SSD is there any way to copy everything over to the new one and use that? I really don't want to have to install windows/programs over again.

    CPU: Phenom 925 X4
    MEM: G.Skill Ripjaws 4GBx2 1333
    VGA: GTX 260
    PSU: Cougar CMX 700
    HDD: WD Black 500GB

  2. #2
    Aug 2003
    West Richland, WA

    Re: If I upgrade to an SSD can I copy the old HDD to the new one?


  3. #3
    Jun 2004
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

    Re: If I upgrade to an SSD can I copy the old HDD to the new one?

    It is a God given right for any user to transfer everything from one hard disk to another hard disk as a direct replacement of the old disk. Even M$ accepts this as whenever its product has been transferred and the hardware detection showing up the hard disk serial number has been changed an immediate reboot is demanded to update this change. Thereafter the hard disk will work perfectly.

    This I can confirm for all operating systems migrating between SCSI, IDE, Sata I/II/III and of course SSD which is just a hard disk without moving parts and able to run several times faster than the traditional hard drive.

    The challenge is usually lies with the "copying" process as to boot the OS again the boot sector code and MBR must be faithfully transferred (their hard disk positions are usually used for by each other) and so is the operating system if it has immovable files inside. This is the job for the sector-by-sector cloning of a hard disk as any normal copying command with a filing system does not touch the boot sector code, filing index and MBR. In a nutshell the transfer of data here is the binary bits of the hard disk.

    Therefore in a sector-by-sector cloning the type and number of the operating system are immaterial. Empty space and data are treated in the same way. The end disk is a mirror image of the source. The only requirement is the target disk must be large enough to accommodate the source disk. This means the partition table of the source must not be bigger than the physical limit of the target disk. In a layman language if the source has a size with 10,000 sectors the target must has exactly the same or just a bit more. Alternatively if the target has only 50% or 5,000 sector but only 40% of the source is actually used then the partition of the source should be resized so that the partition table shows the end boundary at 4,000 sector to effect a successful clone. Thus to clone a bigger disk into a smaller is possible as long as the above rule is obeyed.

    MS Windows do not provide such sector-by-sector copying program but this is available in in many 3rd party software many of which offer free trials.

    Both Linux and Unix operating systems on PC, of which 99.9% are free, have basic command called "dd" (data dump) to do sector-by-sector copying of a hard disk. Many of these distros are available on a downloadable iso file that can be burn into a CD or DVD with which a full operating system can run without installation (called Live CD) to carry out the cloning process.
    Last edited by saikee; 12-25-2012 at 09:13 AM.

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