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HDD -> SSD advice

I bought AOEMI Pro for my 10 year-old laptop.
I'm just about to try to migrate the 1TB HDD to a 1TB SDD (+ using the old HDD drive in a CD-drive caddy).
This is the first time I have done something like this.

I note that there are some posts in this forum regarding users who have cloned their HDD to SSD, but then cannot get the new SSD to boot. It makes me think this process is not as straightforward as I have been led to believe, and that lots of things can go wrong.

Can someone tell me what sort of things I should look out for to avoid such problems, and have the migration go smoothly?



  • Please boot from the source drive to perform the clone operation and make sure the source and target drives are in the same partition style.
  • NebNeb
    edited June 2019
    Thanks for your reply.

    > make sure the source and target drives are in the same partition style

    Sorry, I don't understand what that means, especially the word 'style'.

    The source drive has two partitions C and D
    The SSD will be 'blank' (as bought), and I hope AOEMI will do the partitioning when I clone the drive?

  • edited June 2019
    He means both are MBR or GPT, not one of each. You need to format the target disk to match the source. If you don't know how to do it, read this https://www.overclock.net/forum/20-hard-drives-storage/1227647-how-initialize-format-new-disk-use-windows.html
    Your source drive doesn't have to be larger than 2.5 TB to be GPT.  If your system is using UEFI for booting, the disk is GPT.

  • edited June 2019
    Before you put the old HDD in the CD-drive caddy be sure the clone (SSD) is OK and boots normally.
    Are you planning to format the old HDD or keep it as it is? In the latter case make the old HDD inactive with Diskpart since you better don't have two active and bootable HDD's connected at the same time.

    B.t.w. I thought a disk clone also copies the partition style to the new disk (MBR or GPT). 

  • Thanks.
    I'm holding off on the caddy at the moment - I opened up my laptop and discovered a 3.5" drive.
    So I would have to buy a new 2.5" hard drive, which I can't afford at the moment.

    So I just need to format the SSD to use MBR, if it isn't already.
    No other pitfalls?
  • The disk layout needs to  be the same from the source ( boot drive) to the target (cloned drive), if the source is mbr,legacy bios or uefi running in compatibility mode them mbr disk layout, if uefi bios the disk must be gpt.
    If you clone the disk to the ssd and the disk on the ssd is different than the source, the clone will go through but you will not be able to, get past the bios post screen, win will hang on starting or you may get an inaccessible boot device message.
    I learned this the hard way when I cloned a win10 mbr 2 tb disk to a 2tb  gpt formatted disk and had the mentioned issues.
    The target disk does not need to be formatted, just the disk layout needs to be set before the clone.
    This can be done using diskpart or from the win disk management service from win.
    The key factors here are; the kind of bios, the size of the disk (source), disk layout and size of the disk(s) even if the ssd is smaller or larger it needs to match the source disk layout.

  • NebNeb
    edited June 2019
    Great post. Thanks.
    And you think it is this that accounts for most of the cloned boot failures?

    What do you mean by 'kind of bios' exactly?
    The bios on my laptop has been flashed to the most recent version that Asus offers for this model, but it's still ten years old. I've noticed from watching videos that other bios are much more comprehensive with a lot more options. My bios has the basics necessary, I think, including a UEFI mode option (but since my bios/HDD is in legacy at the moment, I'll be keeping the MBR).
    Is there something specific that the bios needs to be able to do?
  • Update (maybe someone will find this info useful):

    My original plan was to clone my Win7 install to SSD, and then upgrade to Win10. Firstly, I was persuaded not to do that by r/techsupport; a clean install of Win10 straight onto the SSD is a much better idea - minimising problems and maximising performance.

    Secondly, my laptop is from 2011. For whatever reason, the sound chip and drivers from that time relied on having an master boot record. I spent hours messing about with newer drivers to try to get around this, but in the end nothing worked. As soon as I used DiskPart to wipe the drive and change the SSD from GPT back to MBR, the sound worked immediately and flawlessly.

    Thirdly, my Nvidia drivers seemed to install properly, but the Nvidia control panel wouldn't load, and I don't think any software was using the GPU. Again hours later, I discovered that I had to install a very specific driver (391.35-notebook-win10-64bit-international-whql), which I got from the archive on the Nvidia website.

    Fourthly, the drivers supplied for my laptop on the ASUS site were completely useless with Win10. However, Device Manager did a good job of finding drivers for everything. I did download 'Snappy Driver' from Source Forge just in case, but ended up not having to use it (you should only install drivers to solve a problem, even if you're told by one of these 3rd party driver installer programs that there are newer drivers available).

    To fix function keys, I had to download a specific 'ASUS ATK package', but ASUS doesn't make these available. I had to get it from some random Russian guy who made a bunch of ASUS stuff available on his own website; helpful if genuine, but far from ideal as far as security is concerned! Shame on ASUS!

    Given these problems were on a clean install, I think I was wise not to go ahead with the original cloning plan.
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