Any advice before cloning?

Kilobyte Kid

Any advice before cloning?

I am about to clone my primary hard drive to a new crucial SSD. I'm wondering if anyone has any advice as to things I can do before cloning that will maximize the chances of success. I have done check disk found no problems. I am going to do a disk defrag.
I will be using the software that crucial provided to clone. They say that it's okay to clone from a system already running to the new SSD connected via USB to SATA cable. I've always thought that using a bootable CD or USB device was better. Any opinions?
I'm also curious if there are any changes that need to be made to the bios before or after cloning?
Computer I have is a Dell Inspiron. The manual says it has capacity for 1 Full Size Hard Dr. or 2 SSD's. I'm not sure how that will work.

I plan on adding a second SSD, but I am not sure what I need to do to that drive for the computer to recognize it. I've read that it's supposed to be initialized but I am not sure how to do that. I plan on using it just for storage. I will have it internal if the case allows that.
Any and all suggestions welcome!

Thanks for your time.

6 Replies
JEDEC Jedi

Re: Any advice before cloning?

You can create a bootable Acronis USB drive from the software once it is installed.  It may be referred to as Rescue Media.  I would highly recommend this option as it should be more reliable and possibly even a little bit faster cloning.

 

If you are running Win8 or Win10, then make sure to do a full shutdown before booting to the USB Acronis drive.  To do a full shutdown, press and hold the Shift key while selecting Shutdown from Windows.   You can also disable the "Fast Boot" setting in the Windows setting.

 

When cloning, do not make any BIOS/UEFI settings changes or you will encounter boot issues with Windows.   If your current settings are not optimal, then it may be possible to change the settings if you perform some registry changes.  I'm not a fan of this.   If you are going to reinstall Windows, then it is safe to make your BIOS/UEFI settings changes before installing Windows as the proper drivers will be installed during setup.

 

Chances are the Dell has one 3.5" drive bay available and with the proper adapter it can fit two 2.5" drives.

 

To initialize a second drive you will need to partition it using Disk Management before Windows Explorer will recognize the secondary drive.

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Kilobyte Kid

Re: Any advice before cloning?

Thanks for that information!

One question about second SSD. Do I need to partition it if I only want one partition?

JEDEC Jedi

Re: Any advice before cloning?


@Dan1 wrote:

Thanks for that information!

One question about second SSD. Do I need to partition it if I only want one partition?


Yes.  The drive arrives without any partitions or formatting.  Windows requires at least one partition on the drive.   You should also format the partition as ntfs.

Kilobyte Kid

Re: Any advice before cloning?

Sense I am cloning from the hard drive that has all my apps and Windows 10. Should I cloning from USB boot media?

The software company says it is safe to do it right for Windows. I'm also confused as to how the new drive will be recognized by Windows
if I don't change something in the  UEFI/BIOS.

JEDEC Jedi

Re: Any advice before cloning?


@Dan1 wrote:

Sense I am cloning from the hard drive that has all my apps and Windows 10. Should I cloning from USB boot media?

The software company says it is safe to do it right for Windows. I'm also confused as to how the new drive will be recognized by Windows
if I don't change something in the  UEFI/BIOS.


It is possible to clone from within Windows using Acronis, but I personally feel it is better to do the clone while booted from a USB drive.   I think the clone will finish a bit faster when booted from a USB drive.   Either method should work well in most cases.

 

Once you have finished the clone, then you want to shut the system down and swap the new SSD for the old drive.  Power on the system and it should boot as it did with the old drive.  

 

If you have problems booting the new SSD after the clone (including swapping the SSD for the old drive), then update your post with what is happening and we will try to assist you.

 

Once you are satisfied the new SSD is working well, then you can either repartition & format the old drive for continued use as extra stoage or you can zero out the drive to destroy your personal data if you are going to dispose or recycle the old drive.

 

You can check the health of the old hard drive using GSmartControl (portable version is available so installation is not necessary).

 

Make sure to have good verified working backups of your data especially when using an SSD.

Kilobyte Kid

Re: Any advice before cloning?

Thanks for that. The reason I ask is on the support page mentions that the preferred method using 2019 TrueImage is to clone from within Windows. They use a term called "active cloning". This is supposed to work fine. But that is contrary to what I have always heard.
Since my system has UEFI it gets kind of difficult figuring out what to do