SSD Upgrade Complete

Happy New Year everyone, I hope you all had a nice Christmas too.

In between the eating and spending time with the family, I upgraded my PC to use a SSD drive.

It didn't go quite as smoothly as I had hoped or thought it would. Here are some of the issues I encountered along the way.

1) Inserting the SSD

Should be the easiest step. This only had one minor issue. The way that my case is set up, you usually slot a disk in and then use 2 screws to secure it through holes on the side of the slot.

The caddy for the SSD didn't quite line up with both holes. So I have only put in 1 screw. Not a huge deal but still something.

In the image above, you can see the 2 screws at the top- thats the existing HDD and how it should be. The screw underneath is where the SSD slot is. As you can see, the case holes allow some movement back and forth, but it didn't line up no matter what.

2) Start Menu Bug

As mentioned in my last post, I have had a problem with the Start Menu (and by extension most of the rest of the Windows OS) that prompted this whole upgrade. The only fix I could find was to make a new user account. This was something that I had already started.

But then, on Christmas morning, a Christmas miracle happened. I will let my past self explain what happened:

That's right! It became fixed! I did not know if the update had the fix or if the fix was a side effect of the update - maybe some damaged files were replaced.

So I deleted the new user account and began the upgrade process. I will come back to that part later but, spoiler alert, it didn't work straightaway.

After a few days of trying and failing to upgrade, this then happened:

At least this time I was able to revert that last update, but it made no difference. So, once again I remade the new user account. Luckily, the files were the only thing that I had to transfer to the other drive (which I had done anyway), most of the programs had already been installed for 'all users' and so were already on this account. Steam and Origin had already made all my games available even though I used to have to use the disks.

3) Disk Cloning Failure

This is not the first time that I have replaced a hard drive. Previously I have used AOMEI Partition Assistant and it has worked flawlessly.

Attempt 1 - Standard Clone

I first attempted a normal clone. Nothing happened. It would kind of get to the end, show no error, claim it was complete, but then when I check the drive not a single bit was copied. When it first did this, it was so quick I was shocked and happy that it was so fast and simple.

So I figured SSDs are a bit more different to HDDs than I thought. On Partition Assistent, I selected 'Migrate OS to SSD'. After a while, I got the following screen:

More hours wasted. So I did a CHKDSK on the original HDD and tried again.

This time a slightly different error:

I searched the Internet for a solution. Nothing seemed to work. Each time it would get a little further and then freeze and then show this error.

I then tried the bundled Samsung software, Data Migration. I didn't use the one on the disk, I downloaded and updated version from their site. After running this, it eventually showed me this error:

And that is when I realised the very obvious problem. I was moving from a 2TB parition to a 1TB drive. I assumed it was clever enough to automatically move only the paritions that were in use, but apparently not.

So back to Partition Assistant, I resized my C partition to 512GB leaving plenty of breathing space to fit onto 1TB.

I tried Data Migration again and it failed again. I figured this time it was because the files were locked as I was on the OS. Partition Assistant, is that if you are copying the primary disk, makes you restart and loads a 'PreOS' mode that does the copy without you having to use the disk.

So I tried again with Partition Assistant on the newly resized disk and lo and behold it worked! At last!

The annoying part of all this, was that for each attempt, my computer would be out of action for HOURS, during which I had nothing to do and then ultimately the attempt failed which means the hours were wasted.

4) Blue Screens

Once I had finally got it copied. I booted from the SSD and everything seemed to be working. The final step was to copy the "file hard drive" onto the old OS hard drive. I again used Partition Assistent and it worked fine first time. 2TB HDD to 2TB HDD with no partitions: easy.

Then I took the old disk out and thats when the problems started.

Firstly, the start up wasn't as quick as I thought it would be. If anything, it was slower than it was before! That is a clue that something was wrong.

Then, at random times, either during the start up or shortly after logging in, I would get a dreaded Blue Screen Of Death (CRITCAL PROCESS DIED). This would even happen in Safe Mode.

Sad face indeed.

As usual, this error can be caused by a hundred different things so the Internet did not help much. So, I used Partition Assistant to rebuild the MBR and left it the computer off for a day and now it seems to be working fine!

Thats right. I don't have a definitive fix. But it seems fine now. I know when it would happen because the boot would take longer. Now, it is fine. I have been using it for a few days, played Sims 3, Football Manager, used the Internet. I even fired up a VM that I have and used it for half an hour which included pushing to Bitbucket and AWS.

Conclusion

Boot time is barely 30 seconds. Everything loads much quicker. Obviously, since the files are still on a HDD, there is still a bottle neck there, but it is still quicker than before.

I wish I had gone for a 512GB SSD however. I did not realise how little space I would actually use once the files were off it. At least I don't have to worry about space however.

So essentially 3 steps solved the issues: resize parition to fit the new drive (even if the data is using less anyway), run CHKDSK (do this after the resize) and rebuild MBR when finished (I also cleaned the registry with CCleaner).


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