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Cloning OS HDD to SSD and a few other harddrive changes?


g725s
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I'm seeking input on cloning my 250gb Operating System(OS) Hard Disk Drive(HDD) to a Solid State Drive(SSD) and if I should keep it connected to the Optical Disk Drive(ODD) connector on the motherboard or move it to my second P410 smart array controller SAS connector.  My setup is described in my signature below.

 

I have not cloned a drive before so I'm not sure the best way to go about this.  Can I easily clone my OS HDD to an SSD?  Is there good free cloning software or is it best to pay?  What is the best size SSD to use for my WHS 2011 OS?

 

As I am using WHS 2011 as my OS, on install it divided my HDD into C: and D:.  But I moved all the shares off D: and it is empty at this point. All shares were moved to my P410 RAID5 array, including my client backups.  The server backup is on a 2tb external drive.  How would I factor this into cloning this drive?

 

And if can clone my OS to an SSD I'd like to reappoint this 250GB drive to server backup and mount it in the case(as it is not just laying in the ODD bay unsecured).  I'd also like ideas on best brackets for securing these drives.  And would 250gb be an appropriate size drive for server backup?

 

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Lots of ways to go:

You could get a 240-256GB SSD and clone the 250GB hard drive to the new SSD. I would shut down your server, pull the 250GB drive, move it to another PC an clone it to the SSD using Paragon, Acronis, Clonezilla, there are several to choose from and some SSD come with cloning software.

I think I would keep the SSD on the ODD port and put the 250GB on the eSATA. Then you could save the other four ports on the P410 for more drives in the ODD bay if you need them. 


Here is a list of some good cloning packages:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-drive-cloning-software.htm

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I know Acronis True Image Home does a good job of cloning drives. It's 'SSD Aware' so it handles SSD specific features well. It can also handle resizing, so it can restore to a smaller drive in many circumstances.

 

CloneZilla is a free option that does a good job, but it's text based and the interface is not particularly intuitive.

 

A 250GB HDD is more than big enough for server backup if you only want to back up the OS drive. This is what I do, and I'm only using a 120GB HDD.

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As for getting rid of the D: drive partition, I would keep it but shrink it. It may be fine to delete it, but I am always a bit concerned that Microsoft will update something the depends on the D: partition. There are several free partition managers that would let you re-size things before you clone the disk:

http://www.top5freeware.com/top-5-free-disk-partition-software-for-windows

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As for getting rid of the D: drive partition, I would keep it but shrink it. It may be fine to delete it, but I am always a bit concerned that Microsoft will update something the depends on the D: partition. There are several free partition managers that would let you re-size things before you clone the disk:

http://www.top5freeware.com/top-5-free-disk-partition-software-for-windows

 

So I get that your saying I could re-size before I clone so I could put the OS to a smaller SSD?  If I were to do a straight clone I would need an SSD of the same size?  What is the best size SSD for the WHS 2011 OS?

Edited by g725s
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160GB is the smallest Microsoft supports, but you can get it to fit on a 60GB SSD:

http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/4049-installing-whs-2011-on-60gb-ssd/

 

I dont think I would use anything smaller than a 120GB.

 

Well I might not save that much between a 256gb SSD and a 120gb model anyway.  D you guys have any suggestions for a good SSD?

 

And is there anything special that would need to be done for an SSD as my OS drive compared to an HDD?  Or is it as simple as just cloning the drive and plug and play?

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One thing I like to do when using an SSD as the OS/boot drive, is to move any page and cache files to an HDD. These files get written to frequently, so moving them off the SSD helps extend the SSD's life.

 

If you're prepared to get a 120GB SSD, I would go all the way and get one at least 160GB. This will ensure you don't have to jump through any hoops if you have to reinstall the OS.

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240-256Gb are running $85-95 and 120-128Gb are $55-65.

I general like to buy SSDs from companies that make their own flash chips or have a manufacturing partnership with someone that does, Samsung, Toshiba, Crucial, Micron, Intel, Sandisk, 

Are you running the modified bios on your server? If not the ODD SATA port is only running at SATA1 speed.

This is more for desktop tuning:

http://thedocsworld.net/ssd-setup-and-optimizing/

Normally I would agree with moving the page file, but I dont think it would be a good idea to move it to your RAID array:

http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/2399-rebuild-whs-v1-or-whs-2011/page-2

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