upgrade a laptop ssd hard drive

I have a laptop which is fully configured for our business consulting/accounting firm...Windows 7 Ultimate, Bitlocker encrypted with PIN, Office 2010, Drop/Box.net, Skype, etc.

My user has ordered a larger SSD hard drive.  It is easy enough, given the tools/disks/etc to completely reinstall the operating system and apps and then configure programs and sign-ins etc.  In theory, we should be able to image/copy the current drive contents to the new drive and proceed without going the "bare metal" route.  But I haven't always had the best luck with imaging one drive to another.  And my user is remote...smart and somewhat tech savvy, but this isn't necessarily in their wheelhouse.

Any advice, on apps or checklist or procedures to help get this user onto a new hard drive?
Jarrod731Asked:
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arnoldCommented:
Depending on which SSD they bought, there is a software utility that at times is provided from acronis that one installs on the existing SSD, then connects the new SSD as an external using a USB to SATA connection or an external USB to sata.
Samsung, intel, etc. all often include such software the instructions might differ.
The app is then run with the source as the existing drive with the destination as the new SSD.  The process should be fast for SSD. Once the process is complete, the person would need to remove the current SSD and replace it with the new one.
Some use a bootable ISO to boot/image I.e. Clonzilla, etc.

In any event, the two drives need to be connected to a single system.
That should be all.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
I use Casper for cloning:
http://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/

It's not free, but it is reasonably priced and is excellent software, definitely worth the cost (and it works on W7, W8, and W8.1, all in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions).

Another well-regarded (also non-free) product is Acronis:
http://www.acronis.com/

I used it previously, but now prefer Casper.

If you're looking for something that is free, I've heard good things here at EE about these two:
http://www.easeus.com/disk-copy/
http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/

But I haven't tried either as I do all of my cloning now with Casper. Here's a 5-minute EE video Micro Tutorial, Cloning a Hard Drive with Casper, showing how to do it. As a disclaimer, I want to emphasize that I have no affiliation with this company and no financial interest in it whatsoever. I am simply a happy user/customer. Regards, Joe
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Natty GregIn Theory (IT)Commented:
Norton Ghost is the best I know of, always test the image b4 moving on
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nobusCommented:
for moving a rotating disk system to an SSD  - the best is the paragon software migrate OS to SSD :
http://www.paragon-software.com/nl/home/migrate-OS-to-SSD/
it's not free, but for less than 15$  can't be beaten
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Free - Rawcopy by Roadkil.net.  I've used this numerous times to copy disks, flawless every one.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
One very important point. Disable Bitlocker on the machine before you use any of recommended tools above.
Anothe vote for Paragon Migrate OS to SSD. Though it name does not say it this software can migrate OS to SSD from both HDD and SSD.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Rawcopy makes an exact copy of the disk - if bitlockered, it includes that (it does it bit by bit, not file by file), if you use Rawcopy you shouldn't need to worry about disabling bitlocker.  (You will have to expand the partition after you are done though).
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GiggzManagerCommented:
i personally use either CloneZilla or HDClone 5. both are freeware utilities that do excellent job. cloned more than 100 drives using the professional edition of HDClone and works perfect everytime. i even use it to clone USB Flash drives.

HDClone = http://www.miray.de/products/sat.hdclone.html#free
CloneZilla = http://clonezilla.org/clonezilla-live.php

[deleted reference to prohibited reference]
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Jarrod731Author Commented:
Thanks for the help.  I eventually went with Crucial's disk upgrade kit...program and cable...$20.  they use Acronis.  My guess is that like antivirus, all of these reputable imaging programs work.  The techs at Crucial said the image should transfer without a problem, BUT still RECOMMENDED to Unencrypt and then re-encrypt after the image transfer.
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Jarrod731Author Commented:
Quick additional follow-up.  I am dealing with a Samsung drive.  They come with cloning software, but depending on which model you order it may or may not come with a usb-to-SATA cable.
Instructs say you need 20% free space on original drive and to unencrypt prior to clone.  Odd note from Samsung techs...their clone tool will often not overcome OEM locks on the OS meant to protect their OEM Windows version? whatever..try it and see he said.  If not, then go to a third-party cloning tool like Acronis.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> their clone tool will often not overcome OEM locks on the OS meant to protect their OEM Windows version? whatever..try it and see he said.  If not, then go to a third-party cloning tool like Acronis.

Very interesting! I've used Casper to clone OEM Windows with no problems. It is certainly legal to move an OEM version of Windows from one disk to another on the same computer — indeed, it's a necessity when a disk crashes or when upgrading to a bigger disk or a different type of disk, such as an SSD or SSHD. Acronis can do it, too. As I mentioned in my earlier post <http:#a40300076>, I've used both Acronis and Casper. I prefer Casper now, but they're both fine products and I've never had a problem with either one when cloning an OEM Windows. Regards, Joe
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