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Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250 GB is 232 GB formatted

Posted on 2014-09-24
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My Samsung SSD 256 GB crashed a couple of weeks ago and went through some sort of repair process on its own. When it came back up, it was a fresh Windows 8 installation. I should have initially set it aside and installed another one to restore my Carbonite mirror image to, but I didn't. I tried three different restore dates and they all failed after reformatting the HD each time. I then bought a new Samsung 840 EVO 250 GB  SSD, but when I formatted it, its size is 232 GB. The mirror image requires 232.8 GB. Is there any way I can reformat this drive to show either its 250 GB capacity or at least a couple more GB?

I've rooted around on Samsung's support site with one after another failure to find results - held for a while on phone support, but got disconnected, chat support doesn't include SSDs, don't see an option to post a question - only search, email option is not working.

Appreciate any assistance you may have to offer.
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Question by:pcladylr
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by:Seth Simmons
Seth Simmons earned 50 total points
ID: 40343002
they differ because hard drive manufacturers measure size in terms of 1,000 bytes as a kb whereas operating systems measure in size in 1,024 as 1kb bytes thus the discrepancy

Size units in data storage
http://www.disk-space-guide.com/size-units.aspx
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by:pcladylr
ID: 40343011
Thanks, Seth. So, my only option is to purchase a 256 GB SSD?

Cathy
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE earned 450 total points
ID: 40343020
Hi Cathy,
My suggestion is to buy a 320GB hard drive — 30-50 bucks these days. Do the Carbonite restore to that. Then you have two paths:

(1) Use Carbonite to make a smaller image. Note this from the Carbonite site:
If your internal drives have a lot of free space, you can use a smaller drive for Mirror Image that is closer in size to the total space on your internal disks
Or (preferred!):
(2) Use software on the PC that allows you to clone to a smaller drive and clone the restored 320GB HDD to the 250GB Samsung SSD. My favorite cloning software is Casper:
http://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/

It can clone to the same size drive or to a larger one or even to a smaller one, as long as there is enough space on the smaller one to house the used (non-free) space from the larger one. 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 (but I don't know if they can clone to a smaller drive — I know that Clonezilla cannot):

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.

Then put the 320GB HDD in a USB enclosure and do periodic clones to it (I do mine daily in the wee hours) so you never face the wrath of Carbonite again. :)  Without that last step, you may as well just buy a 256GB SSD. Regards, Joe
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by:pcladylr
ID: 40343035
Thank you, Joe! So I don't have to have another SSD? I bought a StarDock from StarTech and can use it to do the clones to the 250 SSD docked in it.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40343050
Perfect! I use StarTech enclosures and many StarTech products — they are excellent (although I use a Thermaltake dock, not StarTech's, but I'm sure StarTech's is fine). Correct — you don't have to buy another SSD. But because of Carbonite's inability to restore to a smaller drive (unless you first created a smaller mirror image, which you didn't), you do have to get some bigger drive, and a 320GB HDD is the cheapest way to go. Put the HDD in your computer, do the Carbonite restore to it, then put the SSD in the StarTech dock and clone to it. In fact, Samsung usually provides its own cloning software, so you may use that, as well. Then swap locations of the HDD and SSD and you're in business. And clone the SSD to the HDD periodically as one part of a comprehensive backup strategy. Regards, Joe
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by:pcladylr
pcladylr earned 0 total points
ID: 40343057
You da man, Joe! Thank you very much!
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40343065
You're welcome! Good luck on the project. Please post back here to let us know how it goes.
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by:pcladylr
ID: 40343072
Will do! Thanks again.
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by:pcladylr
ID: 40348880
Update: I bought a 1 TB SATA WD Blue drive (that's what the closest vendor had on hand, formatted it, installed in my Dell Precision T1650, ran the Carbonite restore program. It finished in under 60 seconds and said it was successful. Of course, it was not. Tried a couple of different restore dates. No cigar. I got some screen shots and a video of the end of the process and furnished to the Carbonite upper tier tech I've been working with. I'm sure hoping they have some other tricks up their sleeves. I really need a QuickBooks company file from that mirror image.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40348936
Ouch, Cathy! I've heard some other horror stories with Carbonite — I hope yours has a happy ending. Btw, on Thursday I got the same Samsung SSD as yours — the 840 EVO Series 250GB. I used Casper to clone the 320GB HDD of a W7/64-bit laptop to a USB dock with the Samsung SSD in it (similar to your StarTech dock). There was enough unused space on the 320GB drive that downsizing to 250GB wasn't a problem. In fact, I resized all the partitions (four) manually to make them exactly the sizes I want (the default is to resize proportionally, which I did not want in this case).

I'm confident you'll be in good shape *IF* the Carbonite folks come through for you — they're the critical path right now and I wish you the best of luck with them. Going forward, don't entrust your entire backup methodology to Carbonite — or to any one technique. Regards, Joe
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by:pcladylr
ID: 40348944
Thanks, Joe. I hear you. I've learned my lesson. Just hoping I can recover at least that one file eventually.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40348996
Well, it's probably going to be all or nothing. Either they can recover the image or not. If they can, you'll get everything; if they can't, I don't think you'll be able to get even a single file. Fingers crossed!
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by:pcladylr
ID: 40349003
Yes. That's the long and the short of it. To be continued ...
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Author Closing Comment

by:pcladylr
ID: 40349528
Thank you, Seth, for pointing out the impossibility of my current attempts. Thank you, Joe for showing me the way forward. I'm very grateful for your input!
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by:pcladylr
ID: 40362894
Update: After posting my situation in a Carbonite forum on Spiceworks, the Carbonite PR moderator referred my case to an upper level tech team who was finally able to restore a mirror image last Wednesday which includes the QuickBooks file. Yes, it has been backed up in several locations including Carbonite and OneDrive clouds. I hate to have to learn lessons the hard way, but I think I've got this one.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40363019
That's great news! Thanks for posting the result. Are you up-and-running on the SSD now?
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by:pcladylr
ID: 40363573
I'm using the original Samsung 256 GB SSD. I ended up purchasing a 1 TB WD Blue SATA drive to which Carbonite did the restore. I've got it docked in the StarTech and will hold onto it in case I discover something else that's missing. I'm using a Toshiba Canvio 1 TB USB external HD for the new mirror image drive. I've got drives coming out my ears right now, but I'm sure I'll find a use for them sooner or later. I'll be re-evaluating my current setup in light of your feedback soon. Just need a break from all the recent events. (I'm more software/database oriented than hardware - now I remember why.) :)
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40363612
So now the questions are why did your 256GB SSD crash in the first place, why did its own repair process create a fresh install of W8 without your data, and is there a lurking issue on the drive such that it could happen again?

After such an occurrence, I'd be tempted not to redeploy the drive. That said, at least you're well-protected now. :)  Regards, Joe
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by:pcladylr
ID: 40363649
Good questions, Joe. In hind sight, I have to confess I didn't explore the drive to see if my data was there - I just knew all my software was going to have to be reinstalled. If I had it to do over again, I would have immediately replaced that drive and attempted restoration to the new one. As soon as I have a good mirror image of what's on there now, I'll try a restoration to the new SSD and if it looks good, use that. I could very well be heading for another crash and certainly don't want to go through what I've just been through again. Thanks for your comments!
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
ID: 40363867
You're welcome, Cathy. Good luck going forward. Regards, Joe
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