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Adding an SSD to my Media Center box, questions


eagle63
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Hey guys, I currently use just a single 500GB spinning drive on my HTPC which holds both the Windows 7 OS as well as my recordings. My goal is to pick up a 40 or 60GB SSD drive to run just the OS, and then use the 500GB for just recordings. (with the ultimate goal of speeding things up a bit) My HTPC gets backed up nightly to my windows home server, and I'd love to use the restore feature of WHS when I add the new SSD drive.

 

Here's a rough outline of how I think this could work, but I'm looking for any feedback to see if I'm missing something obvious here:

 

1. Move all my recordings onto my WHS using the TV "archive" feature. (this will probably take a day or 2) This should move (not copy) all the recordings to the WHS thereby freeing up lots of space on the HTPC drive.

2. Run a final backup of the HTPC from WHS.

3. Shut the HTPC down and install the SSD.

4. Use the restore feature of WHS to restore everything to the new SSD. Since all the recordings have been moved off of the 500GB drive, only the OS and it's programs should be left - and therefore it should all fit comfortably on my SSD?

5. Change the media center settings to now record to the 500GB drive.

 

 

Does that make sense? I'm guessing this all would have been easier if I had used a separate partition for the OS when I first setup my HTPC last year.... Thanks for any tips!

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I'm not saying what you propose won't work, but why not just change the configuration of the backup of your HTPC to only backup the OS files, by using the Customize Backup for this Computer option in the Dashboard? That way you can leave out the data file director(y/ies). You would then make a manual backup that you could restore to the SSD. There would be no need to move anything.

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I'm not saying what you propose won't work, but why not just change the configuration of the backup of your HTPC to only backup the OS files, by using the Customize Backup for this Computer option in the Dashboard? That way you can leave out the data file director(y/ies). You would then make a manual backup that you could restore to the SSD. There would be no need to move anything.

 

Thanks, I feel like a dope for not seeing that! I didn't notice that you could exclude folders when I first when through the wizard. So yes, I think if I just exclude my Recorded TV folder then I should be good to go. Thanks,

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Thanks, I feel like a dope for not seeing that! I didn't notice that you could exclude folders when I first when through the wizard. So yes, I think if I just exclude my Recorded TV folder then I should be good to go. Thanks,

 

Hey, no problem. We all have moments like that. That's why these forums are so great.

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I may be mistaken.... But that's part of the point of this post (to find out)

I thought I read somewhere that restoring an image of a HDD to a SSD drive would result in reduced performance as compared to a fresh install or compared to restoring a SSD image to an SSD.

 

I hope I'm mistaken, for your sake, but i just wanted do to bring that up since you're hoping for improved performance.

 

nlitend1

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eagle63, I think I steered you completely wrong. It suddenly hit me that there's a serious issue with my suggestion: I don't believe you can restore a WHS backup to a smaller partition. That means you will have to go back to your original idea, with an additional step.

 

First, move all the stuff you don't want on the SSD off to the data pool on your WHS. Then use Disk Manager to shrink the C: volume to a size less than the size of the SSD. Do a manual backup of C:, then install the SSD and restore the manual backup. After that you should be able to extend the C: volume to use the full SSD capacity.

 

You may also want to look at what nlitend1 posted and also take into account the recommendations for moving cache files, etc. off of SSD drives, to save wear and tear on your SSD.

 

Finally, you could consider another option like using Acronis, as pcdoc recommends, because it can restore backups to smaller partitions.

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Assuming you are using 2011 not V1, do what ikon suggested and use a third party cloning solution that is SSD aware. Personally in this case because it is an HTPC, I would do a quick fresh install.

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  • 3 months later...

Hey guys, reviving this old thread that I started. :) It turned out that I never was able to get this project accomplished due to other more pressing projects at the time. However, now this is back on the front-burner. I've got a 60gb ssd installed in my HTPC and was reviewing all your great suggestions. First, I should say that I REALLY don't want to do a fresh install on the new SSD. (even though that might be the *right* way to handle this) I've put way too much time into getting my WMC box working the way I want, and the thought of starting over makes me nauseous. So for now I'm viewing that as an absolute worst-case scenario.

 

So at this point I have 2 problems:

 

1. I've tried many times to change my backup in WHS to exclude the Recorded TV folder on my HTPC. From what I can see, the recorded tv files are stored in C:/Users/Public/Recorded TV. However, the WHS backup wizard doesn't even show that as a folder in C:/Users/Public. I tried excluding the entire Public folder but it still says my backup is about 465GB in size. As you can see in my attached screen shots, the Public folder is unchecked, yet after running a backup the "backup details" shows that nothing was excluded. WTF?

 

2. As Ikon mentioned, I've discovered that you WHS doesn't really want you to restore to a disk smaller than your original disk. Even if I get problem #1 resolved, I need to find a way to shrink my C volume down to something less than 60GB. Looks like there are some tools out there that will do that for me.

 

Thanks again for any additional help!

 

EDIT: uggh, I can't even figure out how post screen shots here. I have them in my google+ album, but this forum won't accept the share-link.

Edited by eagle63
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I also recommend you do a fresh install. I have heard a lot more bad about cloning an HDD to SSD than good. Not ot mention, by the time you get everything off the drive, find a way to shrink it, back it up, restore to the SSD, and then set the SSD up as needed it will probably take longer and definitely perform worse than if you did a fresh install.

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