I upgraded my SSD last night and encountered a few issues which could have been easily overcome.
I’m still running the default version of Windows 7 that came with the machine, and I have a few programs installed that I’d like to keep, so rather than doing a fresh Windows install, I decided to make an image of the drive, and copy it to the new SSD.
1. Make an image of the drive
Go to the start menu and search for ‘Backup and Restore’, then ‘Create a system image’. You can choose which drives you want to create an image of. You’ll need an external drive big enough to fit all the data onto.
2. Make a boot disc
When you take the old hard drive out, you’ll need something to boot the machine to enable you to copy the data back onto it. This was a bit of a pain, but I did it as follows:
- Download Total Mounter and mount a virtual CD rom drive. You need to make sure the file you create to act as the virtual drive is type .iso
- Go to Backup and Restore again and create a system repair disc to the new drive you just created
- Unmount the drive in Total Mounter so now you should have an .iso file which is your repair disc
- Use the free/trial version of Power Iso to create a bootable USB drive from your iso file (think it’s Tools>Create a bootable USB drive)
- OK, now you should have a USB drive boot disc
3. Restart and remove the SSD
Now you need to restart, remove the old SSD, put the new SSD in. You also need to plug in your newly created USB boot disc.
4. Disable Fast BIOS Mode
I spent an hour figuring this out!
You need to disable ‘Fast BIOS Mode’ – I think it’s in the ‘Advanced’ tab. Without doing this, you can change the boot priority of the USB drives, but it won’t show you any USB drives there. IE it will say USB HDD, USB ZIP, USB FDD but it won’t have the name of the drive, because it won’t actually see it. Once Fast BIOS Mode is disabled, it will say something like USB HDD: Windows Recovery Disc.
Once you’ve done this, you should probably also put the USB HDD drive as the first device in the boot priority.
5. Use only the USB 2.0 slot
The next thing that took me an hour or two to figure out is that you cannot use the USB 3.0 slot for any of this. The USB 2.0 slot is the one on the right when the laptop is open and facing you, next to the power button. It’s black inside. The one next to the power cable socket is blue inside and is the USB 3.0 slot.
You must put the USB boot disc in the USB 2.0 slot, wait for the machine to boot up into it, then select that you want to restore from a previously made backup image. Then you nee to take out the boot disc drive and put the drive with your backup image into the same USB slot. Wait a minute and it should find the backup image.
6. Restore the backup image and revert changes
Restore the backup image onto the new drive, then enable Fast BIOS Mode again and you’re done.
Optional: Update partitions
I had a 40GB and 80GB partition on my 128GB disc, which I increased to 50GB (OS) and 397GB (Data) using Easus Partition Master.
Optional: Using the Western Digital My Passport USB 3.0 drive
I also used the WD My Passport USB 3.0 drive to store my backup image. If you’re going to use one of these, then you must remove the password protection first. You need to download and install WD Smartware (if you don’t already have it) and remove password protection on the drive.
I mistakenly thought that the drive firmware was what was stopping it being seen when I couldn’t restore the backup image from it, before realising it was because I was using the USB 3.0 slot.
Hope this helps.