Linux/Win7 HDD/SSD Upgrade

Kilobyte Kid

Linux/Win7 HDD/SSD Upgrade

I have a Dell inspiron 5520 laptop (about 5 years old).  I dual boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu 16.04, and everything is working great.  But I’m getting worried about my HDD, it’s working great but it’s getting old.


I would like to replace the HDD with a SSD.  Today I bought a SSD online that appears to be a “plug&play” replacement; Crucial MX300 275GB SATA 2.5" 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal SSD.


Using a SATA-to-USB 2.0/3.0 Cable I think I have the HW to clone my existing HDD.


My intent (hope) is to simply clone the HDD to the SSD, remove the HDD, install the SSD, boot up and all is good.  Both Win7 and Ubuntu installs were “vanilla”, that is, "out of the box" nothing special.  


Any suggestions for FREE relatively SIMPLE sector-by-setor cloning SW?


Thanks for your help ….

Bill Brown

Fullerton, CA

5 Replies

Re: Linux/Win7 HDD/SSD Upgrade

I've never tried to clone Linux to be honest.  But my first thought would be to use Linux rather than Windows based software on the grounds Linux generally copes better with Microsoft file systems than Windows does with Linux.  This comes from experience repartioning drives containing both file systems.


So my first thought, having never actually tried it, would be CloneZilla:

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Kilobyte Kid

Re: Linux/Win7 HDD/SSD Upgrade

Thank you for you help ... I agree ... Windows can't even spell Linux ... I think, a Linux side clone is the surest way to go ... As long I don't miss a comma, semicolon , or tilda ..


Hopefully CloneZilla will help my fat fingers ...


Accessing the Win7  file system from Ubuntu is a "no brain-er" , but on the Win7 side, accessing Ubuntu required a buggy open-source app.  Out-of-the-box,  Ubuntu clearly saw Win7 but not the other way around.


Again thanks for your help ...


Kilobyte Kid

Re: Linux/Win7 HDD/SSD Upgrade

After getting a lot of help from forum folks and once my my SSD arrives I plan to ...


1)  Boot up Ubuntu linux ...

2)  Turn off WiFi ...

3)  Start a terminal session (xterm) ...

4)  Examine the file system - "sudo fdisk -l" to clearly indentify the source disk (HDD)

5)  Connect the new SSD via a UBS cable

6)  Examine the file system - "sudo fdisk -l" to clearly see both the source HHD (which I've seen before) & the new SSD

7)  Now knowing whos who, use "sudo dd if=/dev/[HDD]  of=/dev/[SSD]" to copy the HDD to the SSD.  (512 bytes at a time)

8) Put a "DO NOT TOUCH" sign on my laptop .. monitoring progress only by the disk activity light, if the screen goes blank ...

9) Go away for a couple of hours ...

10)  Once the disk activity light has stopped, press the touch-pad, check "dd"status and if all is good, shutdown and install the SSD.

11) Boot up and see if it works.


Stay Tuned  ... Billy

Kilobyte Kid

Re: Linux/Win7 HDD/SSD Upgrade



But change step #7 above to ...


sudo dd if=/dev/[HDD] of=/dev/[SSD]   conv=noerror,sync status=progress


Continue even when errors are encountered, fill input blocks with zeroes if there were any read errors, and report progress.


I installed the ssd, powered up, and all is working GREAT thus far (albeit about 4 or 5 times faster).


Re: Linux/Win7 HDD/SSD Upgrade



A better option than using "dd" is using "gddrescue".   It allows you to create a log file of the transfer process so if it is interrupted for any reason you can resume it.  Plus if errors are encountered, you can go back and try it several times to recover the data.   I've used this to successfully recover data from drives that were literally on their last legs.  One time it took the utility almost a week to finish, but I got all the user data from the drive.