New Computer with SSD - would like to clone this drive

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  1. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,676
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #11

    ArthurDent said:
    (i) Any suggestions as to a 'good' - by that I mean fast and reliable - SSD. Are Samsung EVO 860's good for example?
    Well, from my sample of one SSD I bought - yes, the 860 EVO is good

    I bought an 860 EVO 500GB 2.5" SATA SSD. So far it has clocked up 1,231 hours use and 5.7 TB written - all without any problems.

    Most big names will have similar speed performance, the biggest concern is with endurance. This depends on the technology used, how many bits are stored in each cell. Single level cells (SLC) have by far the longest endurance, with a price to match! Multi-level cells (MLC) can be 2, 3, 4 or more bits per cell. The more bits per cell the cheaper it is to manufacture, but the lower the Total Bytes Written (TBW) before a cell fails and has to be remapped.

    The EVO range is a reasonable compromise for consumer use with 3-bit MLC, relatively inexpensive but with a warranty for five years or (for the 500GB 860 EVO) 300TB TBW. The PRO range is more expensive but more durable, the QVO range is cheaper but a 3 year warranty and a lower TBW.

    The key difference is that the 860 QVO uses 4-bit MLC, the 860 EVO uses 3-bit MLC and the 860 PRO has 2-bit MLC.
    Upgraded from 500GB SSD to 1TB SSD

    The same warranty/TBW considerations apply to any make - check their spec sheets to see how many bits MLC they use and what their TBW is.

    (ii) How do I clone the SSD. Can I use a program such as Acronis True Image 2020 (already purchased) or am I better using the software that comes with the SSD (for example, Samsung SSDs come with software called Data Migration Tool)

    In my case I made a Macrium image of my failing HDD and, with the SSD in a usb external case, used another PC to restore it to the new SSD.
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  2. ArthurDent's Avatar
    Posts : 215
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 (OS Build 19042.630)
    Thread Starter
       #12

    NavyLCDR said:
    My personal advice would be to not even bother setting up the smaller SSD. Just install the larger SSD and do a clean install to it.
    Agreed - however this is a brand - new laptop and I'm sure that replacing the SSD will invalidate the warranty.

    Having said that, opening the laptop up probably does that anyway!

    How would I go with the digital license? When the small SSD in the new laptop is run and Windows activated, wouldn't a new install of Win 10 on a larger SSD need a license in order to be 'Genuine'?? Where would this come from?

    The idea of having an electronic license stored somewhere on Microsoft's servers is new to me. Bring back the old days of a CoA and License Key stuck to the outside of the machine somewhere.

    Art
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  3. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,676
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #13

    ArthurDent said:
    How would I go with the digital license? When the small SSD in the new laptop is run and Windows activated, wouldn't a new install of Win 10 on a larger SSD need a license in order to be 'Genuine'?? Where would this come from?
    The idea of having an electronic license stored somewhere on Microsoft's servers is new to me. Bring back the old days of a CoA and License Key stuck to the outside of the machine somewhere.

    No, the digital licence is actually a lot simpler. Once your new laptop has been configured and says it is activated with a digital licence, that licence is stored on the MS activation servers and linked to the Hardware ID of the PC. This hardware ID does not include the hard drive, so you can change it without loosing the digital licence.

    A clean install of the same edition you got with the PC (Home or Pro) will activate from the existing digital licence, regardless of what hard drive you now have in the machine. Anyway, from Windows 8 on the CoA was replaced by a full key embedded in the bios.


    PS: CoAs are fine until they get worn and you can't read the key any more (something laptops are very prone to, the CoA usually being on the bottom, just where you rest it on your lap).
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  4. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 3,609
    Win 10 X64 Pro 21H1 19043.928
       #14

    ArthurDent said:
    (snip)

    The new laptop, picking it up tomorrow, is Lenovo IdeaPad S540-14IWL.

    (snip)
    Finally, a model number.

    That may not be sufficient to tell whether there's a spot for a STA drive. At first glance, I'd say no.

    If you must clone it, the backup scheme may be easiest.

    Use TrueImage to image the drive onto an external USB hard drive. (You already have one for backups, right?)

    Make a TrueImage bootable USB rescue drive.

    Swap in the new M.2 SSD.

    Boot from the USB rescue drive.

    Restore the old drive image to the new drive.

    I have done it that way (except the image was on a SATA spinner internal to the PC). I wasn't able to get the TI resizing feature to work properly, so I did a straight restore, and resized the main partition in Disk Management.

    If there is no real need to clone the original SSD, I concur that a clean Windows install would be best. The license key is probably embedded in the BIOS.
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  5. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,676
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #15

    Yes, all PCs with Windows 10 pre-installed by the OEM will have a key embedded in the firmware. When booting from the install media to do a clean install Setup will read this key and use it to choose the edition to install, and to activate it.
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  6. ArthurDent's Avatar
    Posts : 215
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 (OS Build 19042.630)
    Thread Starter
       #16

    Thank you all for your invaluable suggestions, advice and information.

    New laptop will be picked up (from Waitrose !!) after 2pm tomorrow and the first thing to do will be to open her up to see what upgrade possibilities there are (i.e. what size is the NVMe SSD and what interface does it use and is there a spare SATA connector and space available for a physical 2.5" HDD or 2.5" SSD)?

    Second will be to configure the laptop (aka crap cleaning) and third will be to do an image on an external drive ready for cloning.

    Depending on what I find inside I'll then order an appropriate SSD or HDD to suit. Quite liking the Samsung 860 EVO drive - either 500Gb or 1Tb with the 5-year warranty (currently the 1Tb 860 Evo is £137.48 + p&p at Scan Computers)

    Will update this thread in due course.

    Later,

    Art
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  7. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 3,930
    Windows 10 Pro x64 2004 - 19041 - 264 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       #17

    If you have the space available, I would suggest that the first thing you do is a backup, "as shipped" with all the bloat in place - if you ever decide to sell the laptop, you can state it's "as New"
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  8. ArthurDent's Avatar
    Posts : 215
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 (OS Build 19042.630)
    Thread Starter
       #18

    Barman58 said:
    If you have the space available, I would suggest that the first thing you do is a backup, "as shipped" with all the bloat in place - if you ever decide to sell the laptop, you can state it's "as New"
    Well, yes, I could. However, that wouldn't be true and I wouldn't do it. I'm suprised that a forum moderator is advocating this as a course of action.

    My idea is to get rid of the bloat and configure Win 10 as close to Win 7 as I can (without going to the extreme of skins), and install Chrome, some A-V and Office 2016 and then backup/clone the drive to a bigger SSD.

    That way my wife gets the benefits of SSD together with larger storage and the original SSD can be kept as 'backup' if (or rather when) the larger replacement SSD goes south (as it invariably will at some point - I can't see a SSD lasting 10 years for example).

    Just my point-of-view you understand, yours may differ from this.

    Cheers,

    Art
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  9. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,511
    Windows 10 Pro
       #19

    ArthurDent said:
    (or rather when) the larger replacement SSD goes south (as it invariably will at some point - I can't see a SSD lasting 10 years for example).
    Modern SSDs will outlive the computers they are installed in.
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  10. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,676
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #20

    ArthurDent said:
    I can't see a SSD lasting 10 years for example...
    The life of an SSD is not determined by years. It is writing data that wears out an SSD, and their lifespan is measured in Terabytes written (TBW). The manufacturer's spec for my 500GB 860 EVO is 300TBW. In the 7 months I've used it I have written 5.7TB. I calculate that at that rate of use it will be 30 years before I reach the manufacturer's stated TBW.


    I never thought this whole tech journalism gig would turn me into a mass murderer. Yet here I am, with the blood of six SSDs on my hands, and that’s not even the half of it. you see, these were not crimes of passion or rage, nor were they products of accident. More than 18 months ago, I vowed to push all six drives to their bitter ends. I didn’t do so in the name of god or country or even self-defense, either. I did it just to watch them die.....

    .... The first lesson came quickly. All of the drives surpassed their official endurance specifications by writing hundreds of terabytes without issue. Delivering on the manufacturer-guaranteed write tolerance wouldn’t normally be cause for celebration, but the scale makes this achievement important. Most PC users, myself included, write no more than a few terabytes per year.
    The SSD Endurance Experiment: They're all dead - The Tech Report
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