How to clone your Notebook / MacBook Hard Disk to an SSD

Benchmarks & Conclusion

Benchmarks
 
Now that we've got the installation out of the way let's check out some of the benchmark results from our Dell Inspiron 1525 Notebook before and after the SSD upgrade.
 
 
 
Starting off with some results from CrystalDiskMark, the performance difference between the OCZ SSD and the WD Hard Disk in the read results is astranomical. Both the sequential and 512k read results are over 100MB/s higer, and even when reading small files (4k) the SSD is over 40x faster. The 4k and 512k write results are a little bit closer, with the SSD edging out the HDD by just a small percentage, but this is soon put to rest in the sequential results where the SSD performs over 30MB/s faster.
 
 
PCMark is a real world benchmark that automates and measures some of the tasks commonly performed on a PC. Once again the OCZ SSD wipes the floor with the Western Digital Scorpio Hard Disk in all of the tests with the Virus Scan results being the most pronounced due to yet another >100MB/s advantage for the SSD drive. The rest of the results are all between 5-10x higher for the SSD drive aside from the File Write results, which as we saw from the CrystalDiskMark ones above, were a slightly closer call.
 
 
Finally I'm going to round things off with some actual 'Loading Time' results which will hopefully put all of the above figures into some perspective. These results were collected using a stopwatch after a clean start-up of Windows (to prevent anything from being cached to RAM). Although I can't throw around any wild 100MB/s faster or 10x quicker  stats this time, the SSD did boot into Windows a whole 12 seconds faster and load Photoshop CS3 10 seconds faster. However, for applications such as Firefox and Microsoft Office, the difference of 2-4 seconds was less easier to notice.
 
 
Conclusion
 
Hopefully you will have already seen quite a substantial increase in performance on the start-up of your Notebook and opening of applications now that you're up and running on an SSD. However, there are certain things you need to make sure you do/don't do to ensure that the performance isn't degraded over time and that the life of your SSD drive is prolonged. For example, you should NEVER run a standard Hard Disk defragmentation tool. These can drastically reduce the life of your SSD, which is something you certainly don't want after forking out all that money. Instead look up tools such as TRIM and diskpar (if you're running Windows XP).
 
Unfortunately the amount of information surrounding the maintenance of SSD drives is way beyond the scope of this article, so your best bet is to head over to our forums for any specific advice. Of course, you can also drop by the forum and try to grab my attention if you have any issues with this guide or need any help picking the tools for the job.
 
Jimbo out!
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Most Recent Comments

11-08-2009, 17:58:54

JN
"Swapping your Hard Disk for an SSD is one thing. But transferring all of your data and OS? Well that's something else. Join us as we walk you through the process step-by-step."

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...215437125l.jpg

Read MoreQuote

11-08-2009, 18:18:45

zak4994
Quite an interesting read.

I like the graph readings at the end.

Truly powerful stuff SSDs are.Quote

11-08-2009, 18:35:46

Bungral
Nice one there Jimbo.... Very nice write up and not even a single typo that I could see ..

Tis good to see something a little different in an article on occasion.

*wants an SSD*

SSD I said!!!Quote

11-08-2009, 18:45:34

PeterStoba
Very well written and concise article Jim

I agree, it is nice to see something other than a review or news Quote

12-08-2009, 03:54:24

JN
Cheers for the feedback guys. Hope it wasn't too dumbed down for the intellectuals that frequent the forum

Truth be told it took about 1.5 weeks to put this article together because finding 'free' software that didn't trash my Windows install or completely knacker my Mac was hard to come across lol.Quote

12-08-2009, 04:06:26

tinytomlogan
Intellectual? Hmmmm.

Great little article though, its something Ive never done so found it a really good read.Quote

12-08-2009, 04:38:36

FarFarAway
Nice article Jimbo, will be very useful mefinksQuote

12-08-2009, 07:43:22

montydog
Thanks for the article, it's always nice when people go through death defying procedures to assist others.

Years ago I once trashed a system using Norton Ghost not realising it didn't support SATA. The really stupid thing was a few years later I repeated my mistake. The Norton CD was very quickly destoyed.Quote

12-08-2009, 10:00:26

BloomerzUK
Nice Article Jim. I'm sure this will be read alot in the future by lots of people upgrading to SSD's.Quote

12-08-2009, 15:55:34

Judderman
Hi Jim

Thanks for the ace article which is actually very relevant to me as I am going to buy a OCZ Aguility 60gb SSD next week for my system.

Quick question thou can you clone a RAID0 array and then put the image onto an SSD.

Just wondering as I currently have 2 x 36gb Raptor drives in RAID0 and was wondering if I could tranfer this onto the SSD.

Many thanks for any help Quote

12-08-2009, 16:14:54

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Judderman'
Hi Jim

Thanks for the ace article which is actually very relevant to me as I am going to buy a OCZ Aguility 60gb SSD next week for my system.

Quick question thou can you clone a RAID0 array and then put the image onto an SSD.

Just wondering as I currently have 2 x 36gb Raptor drives in RAID0 and was wondering if I could tranfer this onto the SSD.

Many thanks for any help
Glad to be of some assistance

The cloning of a RAID array is definitely possible, but it does depend on what RAID controller you are using (ICH10/Jmicron/Marvell/Adaptec...etc) and whether the software I mentioned supports it.

As your Raptor array is smaller than the SSD you wont need to do any resizing, so the only thing you need to worry about is support for the array in CloneZilla.

I did notice that it supported a LOT of adapters so you might be lucky.Quote

13-08-2009, 13:50:12

Rastalovich
Yeah, ur issues start when u want to clone from a single drive to a raid array, other way around works fine. Generally cos when people install their OS they don't have ACHI enabled, or set to IDE, which means that the OS install inherently doesn't install the controllers drivers. Setting it to atleast ACHI and installing ur OS (setting it to IDE afterwards) is the correct way. But u'll not find a dozen people who do it. I don't myself, but I know the issues it causes when u don't.

Great guide Jim. Just to variate the theme, the Mac OS stuff can be done completely from DiskUtility - this is ofc if u have ur OS cd/dvds. Personally I prefer to make a TimeMachine entry, install the OS fresh, and migrate from the entry.Quote

13-08-2009, 14:50:39

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'

Great guide Jim. Just to variate the theme, the Mac OS stuff can be done completely from DiskUtility - this is ofc if u have ur OS cd/dvds. Personally I prefer to make a TimeMachine entry, install the OS fresh, and migrate from the entry.
Yeah funnily enough I Did give DiskUtility a go as you can make images of the drive and then restore them on to another drive. Unfortunately it didnt work from me downsizing from a 300GB to a 120GB. Mebe I missed sommitQuote

13-08-2009, 14:54:39

Rastalovich
2 options I can think of off the top of my head, is that u could have either resized the 300g to 120g, which is a simple grab of the partition outline and move it. Or when doing a backup image, do a file version. Not tried the latter tho.Quote

14-08-2009, 03:51:10

Judderman
Many thanks again Jim

The RAID controller is just the onboard RAID controller on the AMD chipset. I only really put the 2 x 36gb raptors in RAID as I wanted to have a play with RAID and the drives were sat on a shelf.

My overall plan is to buy 2 x 60gb OCZ Aguilty and put them in RAID0 for o/s and installed programs, then have 4 x 1.5tb WD Green drives in RAID5 for storage. Problem is I only have the money to buy 1 x SSD drive a month.

Many thanks also to Rastalovich as I didnt know about AHCI, least now I should hopefully be able to transfer everything from RAID0 to single SSD then back to RAID0 on 2 SSD's

Happy days Quote

16-09-2009, 04:20:42

Johnbear
Tis good to see something a little different in an article on occasion.

-Quote

27-09-2009, 15:19:32

Juicy6
Just cloned my 500G WD to Intel 80G SSD using the clone option of Acronis True Image Home 2009. Worked like a charm. 25 minutes to clone 45G of data and then 5 minutes to switch the disks in this Dell E6400. Shorter boot time, about 50% quicker program starts. I'm a happy camper now...

ChristerQuote

27-09-2009, 17:21:39

Diablo
Yeah I was going to say Acronis is pretty decent for a simple clone operation, plus its free trial for 30 days.Quote

28-09-2009, 01:16:42

Juicy6
Yup and if you choose Manual Settings it can shrink the partition to fit the new (often) smaller SSD disk. So no changes at all are made to the original disk!

ChristerQuote

25-12-2009, 09:05:54

Pyr0
nice guide, but there's no mention of partition alignment...

does clonezilla keep partition alignment or break it like acronis, ghost, et al. ?Quote
Reply
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