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How to do it: correctly clone Windows XP on SSD?


Author: Philip Kazakov | 2012-09-14 | views 282

Topics: Software type of: Guides

January 4, 2011 I bought myself an SSD. Then I wrote this note, the publication of which was a little delayed :) But it’s better late than never, especially since now we can say with confidence that the technology is time-tested.

So, I bought an 80 gigabyte Intel X25-M G2. Since for various reasons I still use Windows XP and do not plan to replace the OS yet, I was puzzled by the study of the issue of correctly transferring Windows XP to SSD. Of course, as always, everything turned out to be not so simple. I hasten to share the freshly baked step by step instructions.

ATTENTION: just in case, do not delete information from the old hard drive until you are convinced of the successful and stable operation of the system on the new drive! Always back up important information! Set up the right backup!

  1. copy the Windows partition to SSD with any utility for cloning hard drives (DriveImage XML V2.20, or Macrium Reflect Free or Acronis True Image), it is better to do this from a bootable CD,
  2. disconnect the old screw, boot from the SSD and make sure that Windows is alive. In the case of transferring Windows to a classic hard drive, the process would have been completed, but with SSD adventures are just beginning,
  3. make sure that the BIOS mat. boards selected ACHI-mode HDD. If not, here is the "Instructions for enabling AHCI mode on the MSI Wind U90 netbook", in your case, AHCI can be turned on roughly the same,
  4. run AS SSD Benchmark and check if your partitions are aligned (hover to understand what the status cell should look like):

  1. with some degree of probability sections are shifted. Then boot from the old screw (this is more reliable and faster) and use the Paragon Alignment Tool to align the partitions,
  2. if the Paragon Alignment Tool does not work (and, they say, this happens in 10% of cases), prepare for shamanism. Acronis Disk Director Home English v11.0.2121 helped me, with the help of which the partition was recloned from under the OS on the source disk. After that, the Paragon Alignment Tool worked and aligned the section. They also say that creating a disk image to a file and restoring from it helps.

This completes the transfer process itself. But for the optimal use of SSD, you will need some more tricks, which are described in the next article How to optimize Windows XP for working with SSD - private opinion

Update 2013

In December 2013, I decided to replace the outdated Intel X25-M G2 with a more modern and faster 128 Plextor. I needed to transfer Windows XP from SSD to SSD and at the same time Windows 7 from HDD to the same new SSD. I assumed that the operation could be nontrivial. First, I cloned the disks using Acronis True Image installed on Windows XP. It was a bad idea, the bootloader of Windows 7 did not rise on the new partition, attempts to bring it to life with EasyBCD led to the system not loading.

On the second attempt, I armed myself with Hiren's Boot DVD 15.2 Restored Edition and copied DOS partitions in the old way, then booted into Live Windows 7 and brought bootloader to life with the powerful bootice utility. Both Windows were loading, as I had planned, but. sections of the new SSD were not aligned. The use of the Paragon Alignment Tool led to the death of the bootloader.

On the third attempt, I decided to go the simplest way: Hiren's Boot DVD -> Windows 7 -> Paragon Hard Disk Manager -> copy partitions. Surprisingly, in some unknown way, Paragon realized what I want from him, and he corrected the bootloader, and moved the partitions right away with alignment. Thus, I recommend using this program in all cases of cloning and moving modern operating systems. Actually, it’s not a sin to pay for high-quality software, although, of course, it is much more convenient to use the “pirated” Hiren's Boot DVD Restored Edition, in which all programs are collected in one heap, instead of generating their own boot disks for each utility.

Leonid - 2019-03-30, 09:51

And if there are bad blocks on the HDD, can you clone XP to SSD?

Of course it is possible. These blocks simply will not be read during cloning; they will not be transferred to the new disk. However, if reading these bads causes the disk to freeze, not every program can handle cloning. But the specialized DMDE will surely cope

Leonid - 2019-03-30, 12:34

I read: “DMDE has a set of free features, such as a disk editor, a simple partition manager, image creation and disk cloning.” Do I understand correctly that I just need to download the FREE version?

Yes, the FREE version should be enough. It is best to divide the process into 2 steps: create an "image" of the current disk in a file, then upload this file to the SSD. For temporary storage of the image file, it is better to use a third HDD.