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Replacing HDD with SSD under Windows 8 ?

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    I am considering replacing my brothers hard-drive with an SSD to give his system a boost in performance. I want to keep everything as it is, but I might have a few problems. His HD might also be faulty, as his computer can take several attempts to get it to boot into windows, or even to get to the post screen.

    Problem 1 : How do you do a backup like Windows 7 has that creates an image? Is that feature present in Windows 8?

    Problem 2: I don't have Windows 8 media to boot off of, though I did create an iso file during the setup / install process.

    I still have a Windows 7 available that I can boot into on a partition on the computer that I might be able to use to create the image. I then should be able to boot off of a Windows 7 disk and use the system image to restore everything back onto the new SSD.

    There is also a kit that some SSD drives provide that has the software to allow you to copy the old disk to the new disk as a possible solution that I have read about.

    The old drive is 120 GB I think, so I will probably get a 120GB SSD as its replacement.

    What would the Windows 8 only solution be to doing what I want to do?

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    1. Get a USB flash drive. 
    2. Flash the W8 ISO image to it.    
    3. Physically install the SSD, do not remove the HDD.   
    4. Set your BIOS/UEFI to boot into USB first then SSD second. 
    5. Do a CLEAN installation of Windows 8 onto the empty SSD.   
    6. You will find the previous installation/Windows 7 available as a mounted drive in My Computer. You can then ferry files and settings as you need to.   

    Using the "upgrade" option is never a good idea, just a lazy one. Microsoft has worked extremely hard on upgrade but yet still it puts most software into an unknown state (i.e. beyond the software vendor's remit).   

    If you do the above you will actually be able to boot into the "old" installation just by changing the BIOS/UEFI, so if you aren't able to figure out how to extract information just using drive access (e.g. the registry hives) then you can boot it per normal and just launch RegEdit.   

    There is 0% information loss.   

    PS - The same exact thing will work using DVDs instead of USB flash drives. Just write the ISO to a DVD. 


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    If he already has installed Windows 8, you might want to browse through this thread.


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    On a side note, Windows 8 + SSD = Awesome. If you were to jump on a machine running Windows 8 on spinning discs of rust, and look at the new task manager, you would see how often the drive is pegged at 99% utilization. This has to be my favorite part of the new task manager.


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    @Proton2:Not Win8 only, but personally, I just drag out tools like Acronis to do disk-disk cloning of running systems. I've also got a few nifty USB-SATA adapters for those situations where there is only a single SATA connector (like a notebook). I recently converted a running laptop from HDD to SSD and had no issues with this approach, and it leaves the original HDD as-is, just in case.

    Of course, your target drive needs to be large enough to clone the source drive's data, but most commercial cloning software is at least smart enough to clone the data of a larger disk to a smaller target (like an SSD) provided the data doesn't exceed the target capacity.

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    I run into the issue of cloning a pre installed Acer aspire win 8 laptop 500gb harddrive to a 256crucial ssd  Tried EZgig but it creates an unbootable drive when switched with multiple drive letters. Acronis says compatible but have read individuals are having issues as well.Since no iso of win 8 to use other than the original drive, suggestions?  Kinda of a newbi but not totally new

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    I used Acronis when we were trialing Win8 and had no issues - just one data-point though.

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