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Upgrade to smaller SDD from HDD

This is a discussion on Upgrade to smaller SDD from HDD within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. What would be the best way to upgrade to a 500GB SDD from a 1 TB HDD on my Dell


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Old 05-20-2019, 12:17 PM   #1
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What would be the best way to upgrade to a 500GB SDD from a 1 TB HDD on my Dell 5550 win 8.1 ? The HDD currently has 5 partitions . I had read that I might need partition mgt software similar to Acronis Disk Director due to the partition and downsizing.

Also, should I run disk diagnostics on the HDD such as chk dsk prior to clone/copying to prevent errors from being copied to the new drive?


I would also use the old HDD as a backup drive using a usb enclosure
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:18 AM   #2
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Yes, you might require partition Management software to Manage them and consolidate them.

It's very good practice to first backup the data, and Then run chkdsk to give it a once over to check for any errors.

I'm not usually a fan of cloning, I'd recommend installing Windows from scratch and setting it up by reinstalling the Applications and restoring the data, while it may be time consuming, you will have smooth performance in the long run.

Any reason why you need that many partitions ? If it's about keeping stuff organized, then folders are the way to go, just change the icon of the folder if you want to get fancy..

But having that many partitions, does not actually help much, on a SSD, best practice is to have 2 partitions, 1 for the OS and the other for Data, the only reason we have 2 partitions is to ensure the Data part is accessible in the off chance that the OS fails to load, if you have regular backups, even 2 partitions are not required 1 should be sufficient.

Yep, reusing the HDD as external does make good use of it, also, do take a look for hacks where you can actually remove the CD/DVD ROM Drive (Not sure if one's present in your laptop) and replacing it with the old HDD.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:35 AM   #3
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The 5 partitions were on the system since new. They are EFI System, OEM, Recovery, Recovery, Boot -Page File - Crash - Dump -Primary. I am not sure why it is set up this way, other than having a different partition for recovery. However, there are two recovery partitions . I would like to keep these partitions, since I have used recovery in the past.


It there any risk to reduce the number of partitions when I change over to the ssd or keep the partitions as setup by Dell ?


I will probably go with an external drive for the backup, since I continue to use the DVD. It is good to know I have that option to swap out the DVD for a HDD.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:49 AM   #4
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I'm not sure that once you move to a different Disk if the Dell restore would work, I know in the past it wouldn't, but I'll let someone else answer on that if they've done it.

I think the first 4 partitions would be combined into a single partition in the SSD if you opt to do a fresh installation, regarding the Restore partition, I'll let someone else answer.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:15 AM   #5
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If you're buying a new SSD, it may come bundled with the required cloning software OR a free download to the same. You don't have to use that one though, but depending on the cloning software you choose, you may have varying degrees of control over the fate of the resultant partitions and whether you will need partition management software or partitioning beforehand, prior to the cloning. Some will let you resize or edit the target partitions while others will clone the original partitions as they are, not allowing you to edit the target partitions in their free versions. It's been a while since I cloned a larger HDD to a smaller SSD, so I can't for now authoritatively give a recommendation of which cloning program to use in this case, but the two I've always used with success are Macrium Reflect Free and EaseUS Todo Backup Free. The biggest difference between them that I can remember is that one of them didn't play very well with uninitialized drives, but as at now, I can't say which one until I fire up my test VMs, hopefully soon. Don't let that stop you though, you can install both of them on your system and have a test run of each, before settling on one that suits your needs.

Regarding the extra partitions, I wouldn't recommend merging them into one, especially since they are relatively small in size except for the ~8GB recovery partition. The ~8GB partition contains the factory image of Windows, which by now is grossly outdated and not worth keeping unless you wish to retain the Dell Recovery option after upgrading to the SSD. As for the other extra partitions, they are recommended for the GPT-UEFI partitioning scheme for Windows deployment. Unless you know what you're doing, I'd recommend leaving them as they are. Focus should be on the largest partition (Windows partition), in that the target SSD drive MUST be able to fully accommodate it and judging by the used vs free space of the HDD, the SSD should have no problem housing the partitions of the HDD in their order and size, except for the OS partition of course, which will be smaller, but not too small. Keeping ALL recovery partitions as they are should preserve the Dell Recovery option.
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:11 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info. So from what you describe the Dell Recovery partition does not update, it is only the factory image when release that would require all the updates since it was installed. I would assume this if for a completely new install of windows. ? I have a DVD of the factory image, but if I used this as a recover option I would like it to be fairly straight forward to use.

I have used the Windows Window repair and would like to keep this if it is located in one of the recovery partitions.

If do not want to keep the Dell Recovery would Macrium, Acronis or other back-up software be as good or better option? Which recovery partition could be deleted if Dell Backup is not installed or uninstalled afterwards?
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edge10 View Post
Thanks for the info. So from what you describe the Dell Recovery partition does not update, it is only the factory image when release that would require all the updates since it was installed.
Correct. The factory recovery partition does not update UNLESS DELL has included a way for the factory image to be updated. My experience has been this recovery partition/factory image remains as is even after the OS has been updated/upgraded over time.

Quote:
I would assume this if for a completely new install of windows. ? I have a DVD of the factory image, but if I used this as a recover option I would like it to be fairly straight forward to use.
It usually is straight-forward, only requiring you to boot from the first disc of the set to start the recovery process.

Quote:
I have used the Windows Window repair and would like to keep this if it is located in one of the recovery partitions.
The Windows Recovery Environment (Windows repair as you call it) is contained in one of the recovery partitions, which brings me back to why I wouldn't recommend merging or getting rid of those extra partitions. They may seem smaller and unnecessary, but they all serve a purpose, so for the inexperienced user, I would advise keeping them all during the upgrade to SSD.

Quote:
If do not want to keep the Dell Recovery would Macrium, Acronis or other back-up software be as good or better option? Which recovery partition could be deleted if Dell Backup is not installed or uninstalled afterwards?
Sure, Macrium would be just as good if not better, and from what I've heard, Acronis would be too. I despise how limiting the Dell Backup and Recovery Basic edition is, not allowing the creation of system backups unless you buy the premium edition! Why purchase it if you can have equal or better options for free?

You could delete the factory recovery partition (~8GB) to claim that space. After that, you could use the HDD to store a system image backup created using your choice of backup software and not necessarily Dell's tools.
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