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Old September 12, 2012, 07:59 PM
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Default Re-align Windows Partition for HDD to SSD Cloning

Hello all,

Do you know of any free software that can clone a Windows (Vista Home Premium x86) system partition which is not 4k aligned to an empty drive, making it 4k aligned in the process?

Story: I just went through a frustrating experience of poking files on my parents' computer to resolve a slowdown (which I know would be unnoticeable if they had an SSD). That said, I want to place my main rig's Kingston SNV425S2128GB drive in my parents' computer, which has an install of Windows Vista on it. I'm quite sure the drive should be fine in NON-TRIM, as per its review and my experiences trying it on a non-TRIM'd Linux ( Kingston SSDNow V Series (2nd Gen) 128GB SSD Review - JMicron JMF618 Makes an Appearance! | Fragmentation over time and TRIM ). However, in my experiences the drive does choke if used on a misaligned partition...

The target computer's hard drive (which I want to replace with SSD) currently has the usual giant C:\ partition, but it's aligned the Windows XP way of 32256 bytes offset. Can I clone the contents of that partition from the HDD to the SSD, but make it a proper offset for SSD operation?
I'd like to do this with free software. I know some guides mention gParted, but the ones I saw moved the data AFTER cloning which is a waste of write cycles on the SSD.

Thanks!


(I poke Linux for fun quite a lot, so feel free to suggest creative Live CD hacks!)
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Old September 13, 2012, 03:48 AM
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I use GParted, can realign a partition after cloning. Write cycles aren't an issue for SSDs -- I cloned my XP, then had to reinstall it, then switched to Windows 7. My 64GB M4 is still expected to last until 2020. Unless you're planning on reinstalling an OS' worth of data each day for several years, you won't kill the NAND on an SSD by using it -- the controller's the usual point of failure unless you get a bad batch of NAND.

Take a look at this thread on Xtreme Systems where a large sampling of users are actively trying to kill their SSDs' NAND. SSD Write Endurance 25nm Vs 34nm
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Old September 14, 2012, 07:23 PM
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Yep I couldn't figure out a good way to do the cloning so I just cloned it normally and resized it as you mentioned...

I used the Kingston version of Acronis to clone the partition (which kept it misaligned despite being for an SSD), then moved it by 1MiB using gParted (align to MiB box checked). The partition is stating that it starts at 2MB, which works. I'm sure there was a more elegant way to do it, but oh well the SSD is in and the partition could boot (after an startup auto-repair from the Vista install DVD).
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