Thinking about getting an SSD?

Discussion in 'Windows 10 Help and Support' started by MikeHawthorne, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi

    Since I'm in the position of having to restore Windows 8 in order to update to Windows 10 outside the Insider Program I'm thinking about just getting a 250 Gig SSD and restoring my factory computer image file to it.

    That will get me to Windows 8 and then I can go through the update process from there back to Windows 10.

    I emailed Falcon NW and they made it clear to my that their restore program would format the whole disk, not just the partition that I have set aside for W10.

    I have to add that I'm always surprised by the quality and speed of their support.

    I emailed them asking about the restore USB that came with my computer, and a couple of hours later they called my on the phone to talk to me about it, not many companies would do that or even reply to my email in a timely manner.

    They then sent me step by step instructions about how to do it without losing any data.

    They also suggested that I consider adding a SSD instead of restoring to my hard drive, thereby avoiding having to backup everything on my drive ahead of the restore.

    Anyway I have no experience with SSDs so anyone have any suggestions as to what brand I buy or any other information I might need before I purchase one?

    Mike
     
  2. BIGBEARJEDI

    BIGBEARJEDI Honorable Member
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    Hi Mike,

    Haven't talked for a few weeks. Just checking in after getting some personal stuff done the last few weeks.
    I like the Kingston SSDNOW 300V, 120GB SSD. I know you might want to go larger, but I got mine for around $60 on Amazon. I used it on several of the Win10 Tech Previews on my 7 year old Dell Inspiron E520 Vista era desktop as you may recall. I put that one in to "speed up" the Win10 TP load for my Win10 presentation I told you I did back in April of this year. *I did this purposely to make our members think that Win10 was sufficiently speedy!* I also had 3 other drives in that Dell that were mechanical I had for backup versions just in case the SSD failed. It worked brilliantly, except for Cortana talking to me and you remember how much fun we had with that right?

    Recently, I moved over the Kingston SSD to my Vaio laptop and it made a HUGE difference in boot time as you can imagine, and that really helps with Netflix, as I'm always having to reboot during movies due to my slow Internet connection (DSL: 6MBPS). Anyway, I installed Factory Vista on it and upgraded it to my only legit Win7 license back in June. So, Wednesday, July 29th, I ran the Win10 upgrade, and it installed flawlessly in a couple of hours or so (on a wifi connection too!). It seems to be working really good, I haven't tested all functions yet, as there are still a couple of driver issues in device manager. But, nothing I'm using has stopped working. The laptop boots just as fast as if not faster with the new Win10; plays streaming media like Netflix just as good as my Win7 previous.

    I've always liked their memory and their products, and they charge a little more, but their stuff lasts. I can rarely afford to use Kingston Memory on rebuilds of older computers, as Customers won't pay for premium products anymore. <sad>. I like their attention to detail & quality, and I believe they are right up there quality-wise with WD & Intel drives.

    My 2 cents.

    Best==
    Marc
     
  3. ussnorway

    ussnorway Windows Forum Team
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    I have the exact same drive... works like a charm.

    The only real issue with SSD are the motherboard drivers... out dated boards tend to use band-aid drivers to patch them in and they cause more trouble down to road which gives SSD a bad rep with people. A new[ish] board should detect them fine and you may want to just have a quick look to see that Windows doesn't try to set up a defrag on them... ime not the big deal that some techs make it out to be but thats not the point.
     
  4. BIGBEARJEDI

    BIGBEARJEDI Honorable Member
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    Good input, thanks, Norway!! I agree, I've been most reluctant to try SSDs the last few years, since in my repair business every computer I saw with one it had failed.o_O They are getting better at making them--at least the good manufacturers, and more of my Customers are letting me use them for replacements. Slowly but surely. By the way, I've read that about SSDs and defrag problems; I used defraggler by piriform on my SSD on Vista, Win7, & Win10 without problems. Trim didn't want to seem to work on it.

    <<<BBJ>>>
     
  5. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi

    Thanks for the info guys.

    I don't think that the motherboard will be an issue my computer it only a couple of years old and an SSD was an option when I bought it.

    I should have done it then, but I'd heard things about reliability that made me nervous.
    But I've gotten used to the idea now so I might as well do it now when I have to start over and reinstall everything anyway.

    Mike
     
  6. Neemobeer

    Neemobeer Windows Forum Team
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    I'm personally a fan of Samsung's EVO SSD drives, they are pretty much all ~550MB RW speeds and the EVO drives have a 5 year warranty or you can pony up a little more money and get the EVO PROs which have a 10 year warranty. Defrag has no negative or beneficial effect on SSDs since Windows going back to 7 knows to use TRIM instead. Since SSDs simple use a SATA connector, then any computer back to 2003 should be able to handle an SSD.
     
  7. Cincinnatus

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    New member, first post - I think I can help.

    I highly endorse SSDs and agree with the suggestion of a Samsung Pro. Recent durability and performance tests confirm their reliability.

    The problem is that because of their cost, most SSDs are far smaller than the drives they're replacing. Some special considerations must be made to account for that.

    The question is how to best go about migrating without a migraine. One thing to be aware of is that some factory recovery media is only programmed to support specific drive sizes based on the choices for any given model of machine. Such was the case with my HP recovery media that would only install on a 320g, 500g or 1t drive, so I had to jump through some hoops to work around that to install a 256 SSD. You also have to account for machines that have UEFI partitions such as those from vendors like HP, Lenovo, etc. you ought to be mindful of preserving that.

    Disclaimer: I'm going to have a 'CMA moment' and say that it's been two years since I did this, so everything you see here is from memory. Also, because of hardware differences and other variables, YMMV. Hopefully some of the other members here can look this over and if it's found incorrect, I'll gladly maintain the post as long as someone informs me to do so.

    *****

    Using your current 8.x installation, be sure that all your drivers and utilities are up to date, and be sure your BIOS is current.

    *Optional: Run a check disk, clean your disc of clutter and temp files, then defragment.

    Prepare two USB flash drives, one with at least 4gig for the Win10 install media, the other can be as small as 300mb, if you could even find one that size. Also have available an external drive (USB) with enough available space equivalent to at least 1/2 of your current drive size.

    Download and install the Windows 10 media creation utility for your flavor of Windows, be it 32 or 64, Home or Pro.

    Download and install the trial version of Macrium Reflect. I suggest this because it supports the creation of USB restore media, and most importantly, will restore partitions to different sized targets on-the-fly, critical for this procedure. If you prefer another product that has these two features, your call.

    Optional: If your machine has a factory restore partition, you can ignore it when backing up, or better yet, create restore discs/media using the utilities provided by your manufacturer and then delete it, since you now have an archive.

    Once you have created Macrium recovery media, back up your existing install (with all the updated drivers) to an external drive, selecting the ENTIRE installed drive. You'll see there are a number of partitions, more than in the 'old days' due to the system maintenance and UEFI partitions. Make sure you select them all. The objective here is to have something to go back to, if things go 'big bad'. When done, set that aside.

    Proceed with the Windows upgrade of your current drive. There are guides here for how to do this. IMPORTANT: As a precaution, get your CD Key using one of the recommended utilities, write it down, and also save it as a text file to the Windows 10 media.

    Once completed, and you're sure everything is running correctly, use Macrium again to image ONLY the C: partition. Right now, you're only concerned about the OS.

    ***
    At this point you should have :
    Full drive image of your 8.1 system
    Image of your Windows 10 C:\ install
    ***
    This is where you retire your original drive, and install the SSD.
    ***
    Before rebooting with the SSD, insert the Macrium media, and interrupt the boot process, selecting the Macrium USB tool. Restore the smaller maintenance partitions. This will provide hardware and maintenance support.

    You can now choose if you want a clean install, or recovery of your old (uograded) OS.

    Clean Install: Shut down the machine, insert the Windows install media, and select the remaining unused partition as the target. Off you go - you know what to do from here.

    Previous Install: Leave the Macrium USB tool in, hook up your external drive where the Windows 10 C: image you made earlier resides, and restore it to the unused partition.

    That should do it. Hope I didn't leave anything out.
     
    #7 Cincinnatus, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  8. BIGBEARJEDI

    BIGBEARJEDI Honorable Member
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    @Cincinnatus--very interesting.:) Can't wait for Mike to try it. From past discussions, he makes weekly images of all his test Win10 configs, so that should be easy. The question I have is, when did you download the Macrium Reflect Trial version? You sure you didn't get the Paid version? Up through Build 10061, I was unable to get Macrium to creat backup images of Win10 TP as I mention in the Win10 forum in my testing report back in April. I asked people here and in other Tech Forums to report if Macrium had fixed this problem. The answer was a resounding "NO". From your work, apparently they have, and that would be great! :cool: No one else has reported either the current Macrium Trial version of the Beta Version (both of which I tried) actually capable of working to restore a Win10 Partition to a drive and have it work. In fact, neither Macrium Reflect Trial/Reflect Beta nor Acronis TrueImage Free were able to do this, let alone make any kind of Rescue Media (usb or dvd).
    Of course I expected these top image backup companies to eventually get the bugs out of each of their respective products by the Win10 July 29th launch date; that's just a rare thing to happen. I'll go back and give it a try on my laptop, as I now have that officially licensed for Win10 via Win7 upgrade and try it (and that's on my Kingston SSD) and report back. I'm sure Mike will give this a go, and it will be interesting to see what he has, as his self-built rig is years newer than my 7 year old Dell desktop & Sony Vaio laptop. And he's a very thorough and detail-oriented guy.:eagerness:
    Good Post! Very helpful. Hope to see you back again in the near future.

    <<<BIGBEARJEDI>>>
     
  9. Cincinnatus

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  10. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi

    I ordered a Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD and a mounting kit to go with it.
    When I get it I'll let you know how it goes.

    I have a factory USB Recovery drive that will restore the computer to the way it was when I got it from falcon NW all registered to me and ready to go.

    I'll unplug both of my regular drives after installing and formatting the SSD and seeing that it works and then reboot and restore to that drive.

    The Falcon NW tech says that I shouldn't have any problems restoring to the SSD.

    Then I'll proceed through the update process until I get to Windows 10.

    I'm not sure what's going to happen when I plug my other drive with Windows 10 on it in but I can always remove it and plug it into my computer with my USB adapter, and format the Windows 10 partition from there I assume.

    I'm guessing that would remove the boot info from the drive and remove any conflicts.

    If any of this sounds wrong let me know!

    Mike
     
  11. ussnorway

    ussnorway Windows Forum Team
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    You may* need a small EFI partition at the front of your ssd for the Windows X upgrade tool to work.
    ... *untested
     
  12. Cincinnatus

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    I would think that's a function of the factory restore media. If so, then he could restore directly to the SSD and avoid having to go with restoring the original drive. Might be worth a shot.

    @MikeHawthorne, if the tech at Falcon says it'll restore to an SSD, then why not just jump right into it? Once you have your Win8 system in a factory 'vanilla' state, you could then use Macrium to archive that install, extract your CD Key, upgrade the drive from 8 to 10, image that install just in case, then use the Win10 media to wipe the C: partition and do a clean install.

    ETA: Obviously, the backups are precautionary, especially if you're going directly to SSD. If you wanted to save time, you could just nix that step and roll with it.

    Let us know how it goes. I'll be heading out in a couple hours to track down another USB stick to test the latest version of Macrium to see what's up with that.
     
  13. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi

    I'm planning on installing the SSD, make sure it's readable, and format it if necessary from my current install.
    Then I'll shut down the computer and unplug my other hard drives, plug in the recovery drive and start the process.

    The nice thing about Falcon is that they deliver the computer to you all set up, already registered to you and activated, with the time and all the settings done and all the correct drivers installed.

    When you get it you just turn it on and you're at the desktop, ready to go with no bloatware installed.
    So I should be right back to that point once I get through the process, which I'm guessing going from a flash drive to a SSD should be pretty fast.

    If the restore works my only concern is what happens when I plug my other Windows 10 drive back in and try to boot.

    Hopefully I'll be able to tell it which drive to boot to from the menu and then I can remove the old install from the boot sequence using EasyBCD and then remove it.

    The Falcon tech did tell me to contact him when I'm ready to plug the drives back in saying that he had some info on how to do that. So I'll do that.

    Interestingly he said that he's in the same position on his personal computer, having installed Windows 10 through the Insider Program and now having to start over with Windows 8 and update back up to Windows 10.

    I have 3 external drives and virtually everything in my computer is backed up.

    In addition, just as a precaution I copied my entire C:\ drive (it's only 39 gigabytes) to a partition on my other internal drive yesterday, just so that all my games saves and Users data etc. is safe when I remove the old Windows 10 install.

    Mike
     
    #13 MikeHawthorne, Aug 3, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  14. Cincinnatus

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    MIke, now that I understand a bit more about your resources, things are getting a bit more clear. I think you can save yourself some time and steps by jumping directly to your SSD. Here's what I'd recommend:

    • Remove your current drives
    • Install the SSD in the primary position
    • Put the OEM Falcon recovery media in your USB port
    • Boot to the Falcon restore environment and let it set its own partitions *
    • Boot to the desktop and confirm that your drivers are compatible with Windows 10
    • Assuming they are, proceed to apply the Windows 10 update
    • Reboot and if desired, go directly to the Windows 10 media to reformat the C partition for a clean install
    (* The reason you want to use the Falcon restore media directly on the SSD is to enable it to set partition sizes, flags and install any UEFI settings as needed, rather than trying to back them up and restore them with Macrium.)

    What I'm getting at is that this is not as complicated as it seems. As long as you have your original drives to go back to in the unlikely event things go wrong, you need not take the extraordinary precautions I outlined before. Presuming the Falcon restore media recognizes the SSD, you're golden. In fact, because Windows 8 natively supports SSDs and adjusts itself accordingly, it's far better to go that route than archiving and restoring a Win8 environment that was set to traditional drive media.

    UPDATE: I have confirmed that Macrium free/trial WILL successfully restore a Windows 10 partition, and given it's likely the same backup engine, will almost certainly make successful backups also. You can download their free version here: CLICKY

    Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes.
     
  15. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi

    That's about the way I figured it would work.

    I'm using EaseUS TODO backup and recovery.
    I've made about 25 backups of Windows 10 with it and recovered 7 times as I worked through the testing process.
    And I'll make a new one the day I start to work on this.

    I do have a couple of questions, I have 4 drive bays so 2 are open.

    Does it make any difference where they plug in the SSD, I don't have one of those ribbon cables, there is a separate set of wires for each drive.

    And do I need to do more then unplug the Power cable from the drives, when I'm doing the restore, is there any reason that I need to unplug the drive connector?

    I figured if it wasn't powered it wasn't going to do anything or be seen by the computer.

    Fortunately the Falcon is really easy to work on everything is right out in the open with no wires or cables in the way.
    The drives all clip in and out with no screws, so if I need to put the SSD in the original 0 drive position it's not a problem.

    As you can guess I'm not really a hardware person. LOL

    Mike
     
  16. Cincinnatus

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    MIke, you're way overthinking this. There's really nothing to it. You have working drives in your system now. Remove them - but don't just unplug the power connector, pull off BOTH data and power connectors, if they're separate. You don't need backups unless you have installed programs you need and can't reinstall. If not, just start from scratch.

    One thing we haven't discussed is the drive interface. Do you have SATA or IDE? I"m guessing SATA, but here's how to tell:
    [​IMG]

    The SSD will come as SATA. Again, presuming your connectors are SATA, just remove the old drives, set them aside and work off of the SSD only. Let the restore media configure the SSD on its own. Start the fresh install as Windows 8, then apply the upgrade to Windows 10. Grab the key using one of the utilities metioned elsewhere here, and then reboot the SSD and proceed with a clean install to purge the Windows 8 files.

    I don't know why you think backing up your old drives is necessary at this point. You're starting from scratch with a new SSD, and trust me... when you see how fast the system performs, you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.

    Keep us in the loop!
     
  17. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    My Drives are SATA interface.

    I'm not backing up my (4) data drives actually, because I have stuff going back 20 years I keep them backed up all the time on 3 external drives.

    I make a backup of my Windows 10 drive just in case things go south and I need to recover Windows 10 again for some reason.
    I don't have any software in my Windows drive, not even my Program Files or Program Files (x86) folders so it only takes a few minutes to back it up or restore it.

    The SSD won't be here until Wednesday so I'll have to wait until then to do it.

    Mike
     
  18. ussnorway

    ussnorway Windows Forum Team
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    No, you can unplug the power or the data cable. I find the data better on my system because it's smaller but that more for hand room... some boards (gigabyte) default the boot order to the data cable order so it can make a small difference but thats easy to adjust in the options when you add/ remove drives so it's not really a stress.

    fyi when you get a lot of extra stuff in a system it may be handy to make a map eg, mine is on an excel doc and the old memory needs help some times before I start yanking out plugs.
    Screenshot (23).
     
  19. Cincinnatus

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    I suggested both, but the data would be the better way to go. I have a recollection of some systems being 'aware' of drives, even though they're not powered. In this case, I just don't see the necessity of having either. All he really needs is the SD at this point.
     
  20. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi Everyone!

    My SSD is installed formatted and working.
    I'll probably try and do the recovery and all the updates tomorrow if nothing else pops up.

    Thanks for the help.

    I have to say that Falcon Northwest has been really helpful as well.
    They even sent my photos showing where to plug the SATA cable into the motherboard.

    Fortunately the computer comes with many extra cables so that you will have whatever you need if you are upgrading, and the kit had several extra SATA cables with it.

    Mike
     

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