Clone HDD to SSD (switch from RAID to AHCI)

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  1.    20 Apr 2017 #1

    Clone HDD to SSD (switch from RAID to AHCI)

    Hi there,

    When the time came to upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 I decided to run the upgrade then shortly afterwards, to alleviate some outstanding issues, I went ahead and did a fresh install to 10. At the time I had a spare 60Gb SSD going unused so I decided to attempt to make use of Intel's Smart Response Technology to use the SSD as a cache for my HDD. After a long time trying various methods posted online I was never able to get my SSD to work with Intel SRT. However, as part of this process I had to carry out the initial OS installation in RAID mode (although actual RAID has never been implemented).

    Whilst I have made use of the SSD as ExpressCache (with limited benefit as far as I can perceive) I have now acquired a larger SSD which would be suitable as a replacement for my HDD as a main OS drive. Basically I would like to do the following:
    1. Clone the HDD to the SSD - I remember when I had Windows 7 and was looking at cloning another machine to an SSD there was something mentioned about the block size on a HDD being different to those used on an SSD and it wasn't a simple process of just cloning a HDD to SSD. Can anyone shed some light on whether this is still the case.
    2. In the process I want to drop the RAID mode, which I never used in any case, and just run in AHCI if possible. I have a feeling RAID has been responsible for some other issues and BSODs. I seem to remember this might be possible by making some tweaks in the registry but that might only be applicable to IDE>AHCI and vice versa. Again, any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    20 Apr 2017 #2

    The Block size is determined usually by the file system. If you Formatted your HDD NTFS and left it at defaults, and the Used HDD capacity is no larger then the SSD capacity, it will seamlessly clone over.
    But, if the Windows 10 installation was done using RAID instead of AHCI, it may very well BSOD when trying to boot from the cloned SSD.
    If you had AHCI and did a Clean install of 10 and then added your small SSD and changed it to RAID, that could be why you were having BSOD and other problems.
    If the mode was set to AHCI when you installed 10 , If you enable AHCI now, cloning should go smooth.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    20 Apr 2017 #3

    Hi Spunk,

    The HDD is NTFS but the HDD is 1TB whilst the SSD is only 750GB (though I'm only using about 200GB of that). As far as installations - this fresh W10 installation was done specifically with RAID mode enabled, purely for the SRT to work as that is a prerequisite for it to function (as it happens it always failed when trying to enable it in Intel's RST utility). Not quite sure where that leaves me.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    20 Apr 2017 #4

    What is listed under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers in device manager?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    20 Apr 2017 #5

    Hi NavyLCDR, I get Intel Chipset SATA RAID Controller under my storage controllers - I don't get any entries for IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    20 Apr 2017 #6

    qwikpix said: View Post
    Hi NavyLCDR, I get Intel Chipset SATA RAID Controller under my storage controllers - I don't get any entries for IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers.
    Do you have an actual raid array set up now? If not, I think you would be OK to just switch to AHCI in UEFI/BIOS now before cloning. Windows 10 should pick up on that an initially install a standard AHCI controller driver under ATA/ATAPI controllers which you can then manually switch to the proper Intel ACHI controller driver. The most that would happen is Windows would not boot and you switch the controller back to RAID in UEFI.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    21 Apr 2017 #7

    Hi NavyLCDR, that's correct, an actual RAID array has never been set up, I believe the Intel SRT uses the underlying RAID tech to implement the SSD as a cache for the HDD so that's why the installation was done with the BIOS set to RAID. I'll give it a try switching over on the current installation and see what happens - I seem to recall running a repair with the installation media after the switch can take care of it. After that I will do the clone to the SSD - should I resize my partition down from 1TB to 750GB to match the SSD before I carry out the clone?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    21 Apr 2017 #8

    qwikpix said: View Post
    After that I will do the clone to the SSD - should I resize my partition down from 1TB to 750GB to match the SSD before I carry out the clone?
    No, you can do the resizing during the cloning.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 6,363
    Windows / Linux : Centos, Ubuntu, OpenSuse
       22 Apr 2017 #9

    Hi there

    Before switching away from RAID mode copy contents of any data files you need just in case you lose the lot when switching away from RAID - copy to backup HDD or whatever --I think you are on the right track to remove the hardware RAID --cheap consumer grade RAID controllers are far more inferior to native AHCI mode and also if you want it you can use Software RAID which is far superior to those cheap controllers in any case.

    The controller ought to have in its setup (either in BIOS or in software driver which you should have with the card) a mechanism to enable RAID and the RAID level you want or an option to disable it completely.

    If you did the initial install in RAID mode you'll have to do it again in AHCI mode. BTW the FREE upgrade to W10 is STILL working so you can simply install a basic W7 / W8 system then apply the FREE upgrade.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    02 May 2017 #10

    Thanks for all the advice guys. Sorry I've been a while coming back but other issues cropped up on this machine that have been taxing my resources - kept getting BSODs, often freezing just after logging in, and even freezing at BIOS (also sometimes giving out 4 short beeps). Not quite sure what was causing it but I stripped the system back and left only 1 stick of RAM in disconnected all the drives and things seemed to be stable at the moment.

    Anyway, once I managed to boot into the OS and it remained stable I took a disk image and then tried the AHCI switch. At first it didn't work, which I sort of expected. Tried to repair the startup with the installation media - no go. So switched back to RAID and tried something I found elsewhere. Basically in Windows 10 it looks like it's not a registry tweak that is required I just had to boot into safe mode with the SATA mode switched to AHCI then boot back in normally and the drivers had been switched to msahci and booted fine.

    I have today used minitool partition wizard to clone the HDD to the SSD and that seems to have gone smoothly - the only little niggle is now I have an additional partition (E:) which has the system reserved on, whereas before it was just a hidden partition - I think this is just a side effect of cloning rather than installing fresh. I also need to check the alignment in AS SSD.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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