SSD Upgrade

I have been having quite a bad problem with my Windows 10 over the past month (if you follow me on Twitter, you would have seen me rant about this a couple of times, and if you don't, you should). The start menu, search, Windows App store and Microsoft Edge have all packed up. The latter two I didn't realise until this week.

The start menu comes up with a 'Critcal Error' that remains on top of everything until I log out and log back in again. Search just does nothing. Edge and the App Store came with some obscure message before literally taking themselves off my task bar. It is like they have stormed out.

Critical Error

There were a couple of solutions online. None of them work. This is a problem that appears to have existed since the technical preview was out! What I was eventually able to do, was to make a new user account. But I couldn't even do that via the setting page and had to do it in the command prompt (simple as net user username password /ADD).

So now I have a problem. I have to transfer all of my files over to the new account and reinstall a lot of the programs.

About the files. I had a thought: if I used the extra hard drive that I have gathering dust inside the case, to store the files, then it wouldn't matter which user I was, I wouldn't have to keep transfering them if I have another problem.

Then I had another thought: what if I use this opportunity to upgrade the OS drive to a SSD?

I have had my PC for 4 years and I have to say it has aged very well. I have replaced the RAM (partly my fault), the hard drive for a hybrid SSHDD and the PSU. I have been thinking about replacing the HDD with a SSD for a while now. The only thing stopping me is that I have now reached (and crossed over a bit) the 1TB mark. SSDs at this level are still pretty expensive - especially the one that I have my eye on.

So I would have to decide to get a smaller one and store files on a hard drive. I think now that I am almost starting a-fresh with a new user account, I have a great opportunity to.

The Plan

Current Setup:

Disk 1 - SSHDD 2TB - Holds OS, programs and files.
Disk 2 - HDD 2TB - Currently unused, was the original 'Disk 1'.

Goal:

Disk 1 - SSD (500GB or 1TB TBC) - Hold the OS and Programs
Disk 2 - SSHDD 2TB - Hold the files, it has some onboard flash that will provide a nice cache for commonly accessed files.

Steps

  1. Copy files from Disk 1 to Disk 2.
  2. Prepare new User Account to read files from Disk 2.
  3. Configure and finalise setup of programs from the old user account to the new account - this is something that would need to be done regardless of updating to SSD, so I do it now so I do not have to waste read/write cycles of the new drive.
  4. Delete the old user account.
  5. Perform external back up - once we have a successfully workin multi drive, non-corrupt OS and user account, I want to save the state before continuing.
  6. Setup SSD as Disk 3.
  7. Migrate from Disk 1 to Disk 3.
  8. Boot from Disk 3 and make sure everything works.
  9. Migrate from Disk 2 to Disk 1 (the current copy of OS will be destroyed at this point, so this is the point of no return).
  10. Decommission Disk 2. Disk 1 becomes Disk 2, and Disk 3 becomes Disk 1.

I have already started with Step 1. My only concern is the point that I have 3 disks - I am not sure they will all fit in the case at the same time, I may have to do multiple swapping. I have a way of connecting externally via USB, but it will be a lot slower than using SATA 3 on the motherboard.

I hope to have this all done by the new year so that 2016 starts off with a faster computer.

I will keep you posted on how it goes!


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