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# 138017 17-Dec-2013 07:37
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My fiance has a little old Dell Inspiron Mini with a 120GB hard drive, about 40GB used. It's super slow and spends a LOT of time swapping to a slow disk, I'd like to put a spare 60GB SSD I have in it and see how much better it works. There's no DVD drive in it, but it has a USB of course.

The hard drive has three partitions, from memory named "Dell Utilities", "OS", "System Restore". I tried cloning the OS partition onto the SSD with Macrium Reflect but it wouldn't even get to the windows boot screen, it complained about the hard drive - I forget the message.

I tried cloning all the partitions, but there wasn't space on the SSD. The actual data on the hard drive will easily fit on the SSD. I wonder if I could shrink the partitions somehow during the clone operation, or do them one by one then shrink the main OS partition.

I think I'd prefer to install XP fresh from the "system restore" partition. Perhaps I could clone the "dell utilities" and "system restore" partitions, create another empty partition on the disk, then just reinstall windows? Not sure how well that would work, if it'd pick up the cloned restore partition... I've never tried that sort of thing before.

Any other/better ideas?

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  # 953467 17-Dec-2013 08:01
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For me, windows machines it is almost not worthwhile to clone. I find the time it takes to reinstall a fresh copy and reinstall apps gets me running faster than being tied up with the old system with redundant dlls and registry settings and worse OEM software



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  # 953468 17-Dec-2013 08:02
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True. Given the three partitions on the current spinning disk mentioned above, how would I get the utility and OS install partitions onto the SSD and make it install the OS? Just clone them and hope the recovery partition runs?

 
 
 
 


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  # 953482 17-Dec-2013 08:43
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Often from the recovery partition you have the ability to make install media - this is the case with most HP's I have worked with.

When booting the machine before it hits windows you can usually press a function key to select a recovery boot and then choose create media or something similar.

You will still need your licence key which should be a sticker on the underneath of the machine.

Once you have made recovery media you can then boot from that and do a nice clean OS install onto the SSD.

Matt.



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  # 953488 17-Dec-2013 08:50
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Thanks Matt. The machine has no DVD drive. Is it likely I'll be able to make USB recovery media? How do you even get into recovery?

If not I guess I'll try cloning the two utility/recovery partitions to SSD and trying to install fresh from that.

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  # 953491 17-Dec-2013 08:53
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Cloning the OS partition only wont update the boot code on the disk to look at the right partition number

Rememeber windows is only loaded once the MBR is told where the ntldr is hiding. Ala Disk(0),Part(2) is likely in your case.

If you copy the OS partition, you need to boot to a PE environment and run the likes of BCDEdit or commandline/OS boot repair to fix the boot loader.

Also, if its swapping slow disk lots. A faster one won't help much. That's a sign of not enough system RAM anymore for applications once all the pre-fetch and services are loaded.



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  # 953492 17-Dec-2013 08:55
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Putting the SSD in is a stopgap really, we'll get her a new laptop in a few months. It might not be worth bothering with, just thought it might be nice for her to have a faster laptop until then. Though it may wear the SSD out more quickly.

If we get a new laptop I'll probably want to do the same thing anyway, buy it with a cheap disk and put the SSD in, so learning how is valuable. Though with the new one I'd probably just shrink the partition and clone it.

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  # 953495 17-Dec-2013 09:09
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If you can't get into the recovery boot mode or it doesn't have an option to create media then you can get your own media.

You can legally download an ISO of the appropriate version of WinXP that you are licenced to use from a Torrent site. Find one that has SP3 already included - make sure you download an OEM version if that is the key type that you have, it will be noted on the sticker.

You can then search and find a USB boot maker tool to convert the ISO into a bootable USB stick and then go from there to create a new install.

As previously noted the other approach might be to download a suitable boot tool like Hirens Boot CD or something similar like that which will allow you to edit the MBR and resolve the boot issue once you have cloned either the recovery or OS partitions onto the SSD.

I usually prefer a clean install of Windows when changing hardware, gets rid of all the bloat etc.

Matt.

 
 
 
 




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  # 953518 17-Dec-2013 09:32
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That might work, thanks. I figured I'd try to use the built in recovery partition first as while it will have bloat it also has the right drivers. Downloading I'll keep as a good backup option, putting it onto USB and making it bootable sounds like a PITA.

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  # 953569 17-Dec-2013 10:49
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1) get a usb 3 hdd enclosure
2) download macrium free
3) clone drive to SSD
4) swap drives with philips screwdrivers
5) boot
6) restore crap or install fresh
7) turn off defrag and superfetch (prefetch in pre 7 OS) immediately
8) profit!




Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


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  # 953572 17-Dec-2013 10:50
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Note: when you clone a drive esp to SSD you need to make sure the sectors are "aligned". macrium free does that for you free of charge. it will also automatically adjust your partition sizes according to your new disk size not that it matters as you can do it later.




Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


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  # 953573 17-Dec-2013 10:51
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(i've done this many times to my wife's dismay as i was trying to figure out where to put my addtional SSD)




Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


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  # 953577 17-Dec-2013 10:57
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If it's swapping a lot, maybe ram is more of the issue than slow HDD



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  # 953682 17-Dec-2013 12:45
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joker97: 1) get a usb 3 hdd enclosure
2) download macrium free
3) clone drive to SSD
4) swap drives with philips screwdrivers
5) boot
6) restore crap or install fresh
7) turn off defrag and superfetch (prefetch in pre 7 OS) immediately
8) profit!


That's exactly what I did. It refused to boot. Just like I said in the first post :p

macuser: If it's swapping a lot, maybe ram is more of the issue than slow HDD


Yeah, not worth spending money on though. Fast SSD will be way better than a slow spinning disk though.

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