Anyone know how to transfer Windows 7 from SSD to SSD?

Dynasty

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Hey all.

So yeah, I want to transfer my Windows 7 from my old (4 months) SSD to my new SSD arriving in a day or two.

The only proper advice I can really find is how to clone from HDD to SSD, and this requires USB to RAID cables etc etc. Pretty sure that doesn't apply here.

Reason being that a Crucial V4 256gb is...shit. Seriously. Donwloading something through Chrome causes Windows to "hang", yet still work, sometimes taking 10 minutes to wake up again.

Restarting my PC takes about 30 seconds, games load super quick, that's all gravy, but start up Windows and I have to leave it for a good 10 minutes, otherwise it hangs just opening a folder.

Random moments of extremely slow loading times on anything from games to images.

Looked around online and apparently this SSD is known for doing such things, as it's a cheap entry-level drive that isn't worth using.

So, time to bin it or store it for emergency backups.

Just bought a Samsung 840 Pro series. I was going to get an OCZ Vortex but apparently they're unreliable at the moment.

Going to fill in the secondary hard drive space at a later date.

Anyway.

My situation:

  • My laptop is a P170em chassis, so taking it apart and getting to bays and components takes seconds and is super easy.
  • I have a secondary HD bay for SSD drives.
  • I DON'T have the Windows CD but I do have the license key on a sticker underneath (receipt shows NO CD listed next to Windows 7, internal use only, so the retailer doesn't need to suplly me with the CD).

So my question is: How would I go about cloning/imaging Windows 7 from my current SSD to my new SSD and making the new SSD my new primary boot drive (secondary to be installed at a later date)?

Do I just plug in my new SSD with my laptop off, boot up, see it detected in Windows, then run an imaging software like Acronis?

Should I just buy an OEM version of Windows 7 for £70 instead of £140 and install fresh? This wouldn't really bother me as I have unlimited broadband to re-download my Steam and Origin games etc. Can I even do this? I read somewhere about people having to disconnect their graphics cards etc before running the OEM install on a fresh hard drive as it tries to install drivers without an OS or something, causing it to freeze or something like that.

Any advice is appreciated guys!
 

Krynn72

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I don't see why normal imaging software couldn't work. I'm not too familiar with cloning drives via software though. If you have a spare $520 you could do what I do and buy a Disk Jockey Pro which will do it lol.

Honestly though, if you don't mind doing a fresh install, do a fresh install. Will be a thousand times easier than trying to figure out how to create and restore an image. You already have a license for windows 7, so just download a windows 7 disk. You can legally get the iso file from Digital River, and the links are provided by microsoft. This blog has compiled the links so you can just choose and download whichever one you need. http://www.mytechguide.org/10042/windows-7-service-pack-sp1-official-digitalriver-download/

I've never heard of an issue with graphics drivers causing problems during a windows install to the point of needing to disconnect it, and of the almost three years of doing reloads on all sorts of computers I've never personally had an issue either. Plus you're on a laptop.

Oh and you will also need to download the drivers ahead of time, or use a second computer. You could do what I do, and just download the ethernet and wifi drivers only, and install them after the windows reload, then use the computer to get the rest now that it can get online. Windows also usually finds most windows 7 drivers itself too, so once you're online, run windows update and you can check the optional updates for all the drivers windows can get for you.
 

Dynasty

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[Edit] I just realised I have a purchased Windows 7 at home that I used on my old laptop.

Can I just reinstall off that and use the same license in the box or the license on my new laptop?

Hmm, thanks for the advice Krynn.

I only have a BluRay drive, don't think it has writing abilities, and I can't see any writing software that came pre-installed, which is always a sign. So no idea how I would get the iso to install on the new SSD.

I have the drivers disk that came with the laptop, so that would install the wifi etc etc upon a clean Windows install.

And then naturally I would have the updated graphics, mice and keyboard drivers on my external HD to install afterward.

[edit]
 

Krynn72

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[Edit] I just realised I have a purchased Windows 7 at home that I used on my old laptop.

Can I just reinstall off that and use the same license in the box or the license on my new laptop?
Possibly, was the disk purchased separately with a key, or was it a recovery disk?

Hmm, thanks for the advice Krynn.

I only have a BluRay drive, don't think it has writing abilities, and I can't see any writing software that came pre-installed, which is always a sign. So no idea how I would get the iso to install on the new SSD.
Any bluray drive will also be a DVD burner. You can just download ImgBurn to burn the iso file to a bootable disk. When you create the disk, imgburn will tell you what settings you need to set when it recognized its supposed to be a bootable disk.
 

Shamrock

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Oh my. Guys, it's easy!

We use this program at work called Active Disk Image. It will completely clone the drive and make a .ADI of it. It takes like 30-45 minutes to make an image and then it'll take about 20 to restore it if that. I'm sure there are a plenty of free softwares out there. I've even used ADI on my home computer when I switched from a 250 GB drive to a 500 GB drive. I use it daily.

What you do for it is boot into the software via a USB drive or flash drive.
Select the disk you want, then make an image of it on an external or on your internal HDD.
Plug in the new drive and start up ADI.
Restore IMG.

It'll expand accordingly as well so no worries.

I'll see if I can find a free cloning software.


EDIT:

http://www.disk-image.com/download.htm

There is the software I use. It's completely free and fully functional for the first 21 days.

Let me know if you need help.
 

Dynasty

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Possibly, was the disk purchased separately with a key, or was it a recovery disk?.
It's an off-the-shelf purchase, not an OEM, with it's own cd-key, 32-bit and 64-bit discs.
 

tomemozok

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I don't even know where to begin with this one...

You can use your key with no prob Dynasty,of that i am sure. And you can use Shamrocks post,and use disk image, it's quite handy.

Now the bad news. I don't believe that your SSD is the problem here(you have 2! Can i have oneeee??? :p).
Before jumping to conclusions,test your machine.
First,to test your SSD,try AIDA64,and CrystalDiskMark.If your speed fluxes,it's the hard drive.
I suggest Kingston SSDNow V300 model, since it is one of the most reliable on the market at this moment, and comes with it's own clone software you can use to clone your old SSD to the new one.But since you made up your mind, report what will the samsung be like.
Install Linux. If it's all songs from there on,it's deffo your windows, or the relationship your hardware has with the windows itself (not all hardware can "deal" with the 7, i have seen some extremely odd behavior for no reason whatsoever on laptops).
If that fails, and the machine still lags like crazy, it's probably the processor. Based on the info you gave us, i believe you have a P170em chassis ,you probably have an Intel i7 and 4 gigs of 1333MHz DDR3 or more ram.And you have a Nvidia graphic chip.

I am guessing here, but if it's this, the processor probably is overloaded,and works as a GPU aswell,so your real GPU might be off or unable to respond for some reason.Or you share so much ram with the GPU that you basically don't have any ram left for the processor. To test this try turning off ram sharing with the GPU,and see what happens.See if the GPU itself is working. Also, try to turn it off if it is, and let the processor handle everything.

Report what will you find.
 

DEATHMASTER

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I also have a feeling it's not simply the SSD causing the problem, so look into what tom said.

But in regards to cloning software, the 840 Pro (which I also recently got) has such software (Samsung Magician) which is pretty easy to use, just remember to get the latest version of it from their site since it's got some improvements.
 

Krynn72

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Open task manager when you have issues, and look at the number of processes running, and how much CPU and RAM usage there is. I believe windows 7 also shows you hard disk usage too. If any of those are hanging at 100% then that should give you an indication, and your processes should number <60 or so.

I had a customer the other day with 160 processes, and his cpu usage, even when "idle" was 100% and it was causing lots of issues (in fact he brought it in because it was overheating, which isn't surprising since it was an HP with its cpu at full throttle all the time). I was able to clean it out and it was running smooth and cool, with about 45 processes and 0-2% cpu idle.
 

Dynasty

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Appreciate all the advice guys, thanks.

I don't even know where to begin with this one...

You can use your key with no prob Dynasty,of that i am sure. And you can use Shamrocks post,and use disk image, it's quite handy.

Now the bad news. I don't believe that your SSD is the problem here(you have 2! Can i have oneeee??? :p).
Before jumping to conclusions,test your machine.
First,to test your SSD,try AIDA64,and CrystalDiskMark.If your speed fluxes,it's the hard drive.
I suggest Kingston SSDNow V300 model, since it is one of the most reliable on the market at this moment, and comes with it's own clone software you can use to clone your old SSD to the new one.But since you made up your mind, report what will the samsung be like.
Install Linux. If it's all songs from there on,it's deffo your windows, or the relationship your hardware has with the windows itself (not all hardware can "deal" with the 7, i have seen some extremely odd behavior for no reason whatsoever on laptops).
If that fails, and the machine still lags like crazy, it's probably the processor. Based on the info you gave us, i believe you have a P170em chassis ,you probably have an Intel i7 and 4 gigs of 1333MHz DDR3 or more ram.And you have a Nvidia graphic chip.

I am guessing here, but if it's this, the processor probably is overloaded,and works as a GPU aswell,so your real GPU might be off or unable to respond for some reason.Or you share so much ram with the GPU that you basically don't have any ram left for the processor. To test this try turning off ram sharing with the GPU,and see what happens.See if the GPU itself is working. Also, try to turn it off if it is, and let the processor handle everything.

Report what will you find.
Well.

You guessed correctly about the setup.

  • Windows 7 64-bit
  • Intel i7 3740QM @ 2.70ghz
  • Crucial V4 256gb SSD
  • Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3 @ 1600hz
  • Nvidia GTX 680m 4GB DDR5
Regarding the key, yes, apparently if I use either of the 2 keys I now have, it will apparently work. I was under the impression that Microsoft still had the one-key-per-PC mentality.

With SSD cloning, apparently things can go very wrong if you don't get the drive alignment right, as Windows is smart enough to align itself on a fresh install, but NOT during a cloning, which is apparently why a fresh install is always recommended.

It's no real pain for me as I don't have any important software on it, it's basically just games, which can be downloaded again overnight whenever.

Open task manager when you have issues, and look at the number of processes running, and how much CPU and RAM usage there is. I believe windows 7 also shows you hard disk usage too. If any of those are hanging at 100% then that should give you an indication, and your processes should number <60 or so.

I had a customer the other day with 160 processes, and his cpu usage, even when "idle" was 100% and it was causing lots of issues (in fact he brought it in because it was overheating, which isn't surprising since it was an HP with its cpu at full throttle all the time). I was able to clean it out and it was running smooth and cool, with about 45 processes and 0-2% cpu idle.
Just looked at task manager processes and performance while relatively idle, downloading some things in the background, about 20 tabs open in Chrome.

CPU is at 3%.

111 processes.

Biggest process is Chrome @ 220,000 K

But opening task manager during these hangs is literally impossible when the problem strikes.

I've tried to open the task manager during a "freeze" before, and absolutely nothing happens.

The whole PC acts like it's hanging, but if you leave it for 10 minutes, suddenly it springs back into life and executes everything you did whilst it was hanging (like task manager, chrome minimizes and maximizes numerous times, a folder opens etc).

I think this is key though:

The problems only EVER strike if I:

  • Restart Windows
  • Transfer/Download/Move ANY file, regardless of size, ONTO my SSD. Moving GB folders takes seconds, no problems.
What's weird is it happens maybe 40% of the time. It's driving me nuts.

Sometimes, minimizing Chrome leaves me with a white screen. Maximize it and it's still white. Other times I can go to the desktop, but double clicking does nothing on any folder or icon, and mousing over the task bar turns the mouse to Windows 7's loading circle, and you can't click anything.

Then randomly HUZZAH, everything's fine again.

It sometimes wakes up slowly.

Once the issue is fixed, say you load a game. It takes ages. Videos stutter to a halt. Walk away and come back 10 minutes later again, it's all fine.

So unfortunately, I have NO way to see the processing running in the background during the freezes.

It's almost guaranteed to cause problems whenever I need to download something.

Like right now, I'm downloading drivers through Chrome to put them on an external drive for the fresh Windows install. Started downloading the Nvidia drivers and the whole PC slows down. Still works, but slowed WAY down. New tabs take ages to load citing "waiting for cache".

I've tried downloading through Firefox, same issue.

Steam updates, takes frigging ages and I can't do anything else, EVERY time.

I've tried a fresh restart, waited for the issue to subside, closed all unnecessary programs like Daemon tools etc, opened Chrome, typed in "cars" into Google, open and image, save to desktop, an 800x600 picture, and BAM, "frozen" for 5 minutes or so.

Then it wakes up and all is fine. Games load in seconds again.

If it's 100% of the time fine when a game is actually running and the SSD issue has gone, I fail to see how Windows could be bottle-necking any of the above components, if you forgive my ignorance?

To be honest, I guess I could just wipe this current SSD and then have it as a backup or as a secondary drive, with the new SSD as the primary boot drive and see if the problem persists or not.

Maybe try just the Samsung SSD with a fresh WIndows install and see if the problem rears its' head.

If so, it's a hardware issue. If not, it's the old SSD?

Just tried moving a 24gb folder.

Boom, not even a blink, moved straight away.

Download a small file from the net to the desktop, PC acts like it's under massive load and "hangs", sputtering back to life after minutes of nothing. No loading light flashing throughout.

Update available for Torchlight 2, bam, slow PC again.
 

Krynn72

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Honestly, it sounds like your initial conclusions are correct. I'd say just do a fresh install on the new drive and I'd be willing to be everything will be fine.

Also, just FYI, Steam has a backup function so you can create installers for your games without having to redownload them. Just make a backup and then save them to the external.
 

tomemozok

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all i can say to you is that i am pretty sure now that it's not your SSD,otherwise you won't be able to even move files,let alone with those speeds.Try linux,do a parallel install to windows as a dual boot machine before you format it.
 

Rorschach120

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Reinstall and it will create a windows.old folder. I believe the settings for this are in system recovery (been a long time since I had to do this). Then you can just copy and paste steam and non cloud saves onto the new install. I think of old windows installs as broken dishwashers. You can go on using them but they will make your life that much suckier.
 

Krynn72

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all i can say to you is that i am pretty sure now that it's not your SSD,otherwise you won't be able to even move files,let alone with those speeds.Try linux,do a parallel install to windows as a dual boot machine before you format it.
An ssd can have issues without it being entirely non-functional.

He's already got a new drive and willing to freshly install windows. If he does that, and still has issues, he's ruled out a lot more problems than trying linux would, and has done so in a much simpler fashion.
 

DEATHMASTER

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Also, just FYI, Steam has a backup function so you can create installers for your games without having to redownload them. Just make a backup and then save them to the external.
I'd recommend just drag and dropping the SteamApps > common files and burning those. The steam backup function will **** you over if even one disc has a slight problem. To reinstall, just drag and drop into the common folder and click on install game on Steam, it will detect the files and install them (it will say updating % and download speed but it's not actually downloading anything).
 

Dynasty

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Well, the Samsung 840 pro is installed.

Fresh Windows 7 install, took me just 30-40 minutes to take the old SSD out, put in the new one and install Windows. Not a single hitch.

This thing is very, very, VERY quick (to me anyway).

10 second boot time into Windows, 35 seconds restart.

*sigh* It's a pain to have to install things again, but I suppose these things happen.

For the past 3 or 4 hours now that I've had the new SSD installed, I'm lead to believe that it was in fact the Crucial V4 that was the problem.

As I have installed Steam and already downloaded Bioshock Infinite and Dark Souls, I noticed already that previous Steam issues have gone.

I know it sounds convenient, but I do remember firing up Steam for the first time on my old SSD, and thinking "***k me, this DirectX install is taking forever." Can't remember which game it was that I tried playing first, but definitely took over 10 minutes to even start playing.

New SSD: Steam loaded Infinite and Dark Souls in about 5-10 seconds after the DirectX install window came up.

No slow-down during the downloads.

I can download images from Chrome and so far had no hitches.

All is well again.

I guess maybe time will tell if the SSD naturally slows down again as it fills up (had 48gb remaining on my old one), but initial impressions are 100x better than my previous SSD.

Hmm. Might have to grab another one of these babies at a later date and get 512gb as a result. Although cheekily listed as a 256gb, this Samsung had about 239gb spare. Weird.

Thanks all for the time and advice though, as always.
 

tomemozok

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I am glad you sorted everything out! Now to gaming, off you go... :D

For the HDD thing it's actually marketing tricks. Computer engineers and telecomunic ones have a different measure for a kilobyte.
While the real value should be 2(pow 10),and that is what your pc reads,they use another equation,aka 10(pow 3). Now the first one will yield 1024 bytes as 1 KByte, the other one is actually 1000 Bytes=1KByte. So you lose Gigs only because the manufactures can market things a bit differently if they want. In your case you have 256GBytes of telecomunic gigs.That's 256 000 000 000 Bytes.
Divide this by 1024(2 on 10th), and you will get 250 000 000 KBytes (you already lost 6 gigs,right there!). Divide this number again with 1024 and you get 244 140.625 MBytes (around 6 more lost).And for one final time divide it by 1024,and you get 238.418 GBytes (6 gigs lost again)of real memory. You lost 18 GB only because of conversion and the stupid way the companies sell HDD and SSD space!

Sorry for the long post, but i hate the huge companies lying to people. I am studying computer sience and know this fact, but others may not be so lucky!
 

Dynasty

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Just an update then, not that...anyone was asking for one.

New SSD is runny perfect to be honest. Not had a single issue. Downloaded numerous files, downloaded loads at once to test it. It's been faultless. Windows loads in seconds, and there's no "sat around still loading things" when Windows initially starts up.

The only issue I have now is Windows saying it can't activate/register. Apparently a call to Microsoft can fix it.

But I did use the CD key I had from before, and not the one stuck under my laptop, so maybe that's the issue.

Thanks again though to all that chipped in with advice. Really appreciate it.
 
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