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 Post subject: Replacing Hardrive with SSD
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:42 am 
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Hi,

New member with quite a few grey hairs and some, but not a massive amount of computer knowledge, so please go easy.

I've got a "music server" which is basically a mini-ITX PC with a high end CD drive and an ordinary 160GB IDE type of hard drive. The hard drive is a bit noisey and I've been thinking for some time that it ought to be possible to replace it with an SSD, but the price has always been against it. Now they've come down to what I can afford I just wanted to check that it is as simple(!) as taking out the old hard drive and connecting up the new SSD (which I know are SATA) using a SATA to IDE convertor cable, and just re-installing the operating software?

Thanks for any advice/comments.

Alchad


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Hardrive with SSD
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:35 am 
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The IDE/SATA conversion part is certainly a peculiarity. I've seen adapters that feature a SATA controller that will convert the drive's IO into PATA/IDE - essentially it's a mini-PCB that acts as an intermediary interface, also featured the SATA power connector. The drive will take a huge performance hit on the slow IDE link (assuming SATA III/6 Gbps drive), but if all you care about is the acoustics, then the "wasted" performance is probably a non-issue. The fast seek times should still be there.

Assuming the conversion happens without a hitch, it really should be that easy. Don't go for any sort of cloning software, as they will not be able to align the SSD drive correctly. Make sure whatever OS you use can do the alignment, or use some software that can if not.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Hardrive with SSD
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Das_Saunamies wrote:
Don't go for any sort of cloning software, as they will not be able to align the SSD drive correctly. Make sure whatever OS you use can do the alignment, or use some software that can if not.

What do you mean by "alignment."? Does that mean that the SSDs that come with a migration kit are not recommended?


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Hardrive with SSD
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:51 pm 
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Reachable wrote:
Das_Saunamies wrote:
Don't go for any sort of cloning software, as they will not be able to align the SSD drive correctly. Make sure whatever OS you use can do the alignment, or use some software that can if not.

What do you mean by "alignment."? Does that mean that the SSDs that come with a migration kit are not recommended?

Not recommended by me. I have used a "kit" to upgrade my laptop, and whereas all data was cloned, the drive was misaligned due to getting cloned from a HDD. This resulted in performance loss and excess wear caused by unnecessary operations required of the SSD to compensate for the software mismatch.

So what is alignment? In layman's terms, it is a software configuration that matches the software's logic to the drive's. Whereas HDDs and SSDs have wildly different storage mediums, the logic used to access them is the same: the old HDD logic based on tracks, heads, cylinders and so on is used, presumably for compatibility reasons. Alignment makes sure the old logic fits the new architecture that is not dependent on factors like track length or physical starting location, as the medium used is not a mechanical disc, but an electronic chip. Alignment is also required on some newer types of HDD that use a sector size that is different from the old standard logic.

If you're interested in finding out more, I would start at the Wiki article on disk sectors (link) and an Anandtech article on how SSD storage works (link). This article, http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/113967-ssd-alignment.html, is a concise read about what alignment is for an operating system.

PS. Here is the drive from my kit, first misaligned and then correctly aligned. The aggregate score difference says it all.
ImageImage

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Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Hardrive with SSD
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:59 am 
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Recent versions of Acronis (I have 2010) let you edit the partition boundaries prior to copying. I set my destination SSD to have a 2 MB hole at the start which aligns the main partition nicely.

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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Hardrive with SSD
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:40 am 
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Cloning as such needn't misalign. It's bad hand-holding software products which misalign.
Cloning is a time saver and it'd be a shame to give it up because there's bad software around.
I'd rather clone a systems from an IDE drive to a SATA drive and work around any issues that might arise than reinstall.

For the OP:
I can't recommend any adapter. They should work but there's a risk involved. But if you're not afraid of data loss, it doesn't hurt to try.
There are IDE SSDs. But their value is poor.
There are probably less noisy IDE hard drives around.
And there may be other solutions to get rid of your hard drive. What's your mobo and OS? And what's a "high-end CD drive"?
I would also consider rebuilding the box at some point.


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Hardrive with SSD
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:44 am 
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cmthomson wrote:
Recent versions of Acronis (I have 2010) let you edit the partition boundaries prior to copying. I set my destination SSD to have a 2 MB hole at the start which aligns the main partition nicely.

Nice. The thing I got in the kit was automated though (hence why the instructions were VERY specific about which drive goes where when), and I think it was Acronis, and it had no alignment done as previously suggested.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: Replacing Hardrive with SSD
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:02 pm 
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When I bought a (runCore) PATA SSD for my old laptop, it came with an adapter and a miniCD with some version of Acronis. The software wouldn't boot (!), but the adapter worked just fine with my commercial copy of Acronis. YMMV.

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