Cloning laptop data to SSD tools and caveats before ?


I got new SSD (Transcend 370) which runs as SATA-II that I would like to install to my old Toshiba Qosmio F50 running on SATA-I with 5400 rpm SATA HDD

what and how do i make sure that transferring the data to the new SSD is seamles and installing, running the existing OS on new SSD can run smoothly ?

Is there any possibility of BSoD ?
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAsked:
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
I use Casper to clone:

It works on W7, W8, and W8.1, all in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions. I run it every evening in the wee hours (it utilizes the Windows Task Scheduler to schedule jobs) on several machines to clone the hard drives (a mix of HDD, SSD, and hybrid). It has an intelligent cloning mechanism so that it copies only the necessary tracks. The first run takes a while, but after that, it's extremely fast. 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. I've used it many, many times to do exactly what you want to do — clone an existing HDD to a new SSD. In fact, I just did it last week from a 500GB HDD to a 500GB SSD — completely seamless, new SSD works perfectly. Casper is not free, but it's reasonably priced and worth every penny.

Another well-regarded (also non-free) product is Acronis:

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 (some may be free only for non-commercial use — check the licensing terms for each):

DriveImage XML
EaseUS Disk Copy Home
Paragon Backup&Recovery Free

But I haven't tried them 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
MikeIT ManagerCommented:
Be aware that if your SSD is smaller then your mechanical drive, Acronis, DriveImage, and Clonezilla will not be-able to apply the image to your new drive.  Out of all the tools mentioned so far, I prefer Acronis (pay) and Clonzilla (free).

Honestly, to get the best performance just do a fresh install of Windows.
MacleanSystem EngineerCommented:
Should be no BSOD. Might merely need to run a Windows 7 repair to add the SSD drivers if the driver is not known by the OS per default.

Any of the suggested clone tools should do. Acronis is my preferred one. No disk size issues.
But Shadowless his recommendation for a clean install would be the same as what I would recommend.
It does not take that long on SSD, and copying and transferring some data will not really add much time unless your talking terabytes..
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Yes, the size is smaller.

Existing: 88 GB used out of 400 GB
New SSD: 256 GB

do I need to change the BIOS to AHCI or leave it unchanged ?
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
As mentioned in my first post and in my video Micro Tutorial, Casper can clone to a smaller drive, as long as there is enough space on the smaller one to house the used (non-free) space from the larger one, which, of course, is true in your case. I've done it many times, most recently from a 250GB Toshiba HDD to a 128GB Crucial SSD. Worked perfectly, was immediately bootable, and Windows stayed activated. You may leave the BIOS unchanged (I haven't changed the BIOS on any of my HDD to SSD clones). Regards, Joe

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using the free paragon software - you should have no problemswith the smaller size, since you used only 88 GB - which will fit easily on the new drive

if you want to do it as it should be -  you can use the migrate OS to SSD tool from Paragon  (less than 20$)

it is also included in their partition manager - if you want to buy that

easeus free tool :
Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Thanks !
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