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Cosmo_
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-14-2013
Location: United States
Views: 1,709
Message 11 of 20

Re: Lessons learned replacing ThinkPad HDD with an SSD

Hello, biznatch.

AIUI the Samsung Magician software is optional. It's just (1) one way to set up a bunch OS parameters like TRIM, and (2) an optional RAM-based cache ("RAPID").

 

The references in the original post link to two web pages with performance tests of over-provisioning and pages with instructions for manually setting up OS parameters. Magician can't set up over-provisioning with the Lenovo partitions but you can do it just by leaving space between two partitions.

 

It's nice that your original Windows install is still good. My reinstall made a big difference.

mjdl
Token Ring
Posts: 161
Registered: ‎06-10-2009
Location: Toronto, Canada
Views: 1,690
Message 12 of 20

Re: Lessons learned replacing ThinkPad HDD with an SSD

I agree that the Magician software installation should never have configured itself to auto-start, I had to remove the registry entry that did this (or was it a link in the start folder--don't remember now), especially as it requires a UAC elevation password dialog on limited user accounts (which is what I normally use). And the repeated crashing of the disk duplication software was a big disappointment.

 

In any case, you don't need any extra software to use an SSD. The only use of the Magician software is to sanity check the the Windows OS parameters are set correctly (e.g. TIRM on, Superfetch off, Defrag disabled, etc.), checking performance, and for SSD firmware upgrades. I'm not bothering with the "RAPID" in-memory block cacheing, even if it does have an appreciable performance benefit, since it requires more CPU precisely at the time when other processes also require CPU (if I had a i7 quad-core I might use it, though). Also, the presence of another block driver in the storage driver stack just complicates things.

 

As for the over-provisioning issue, Samsung has done itself no favours by lack of information on the topic. I'm assuming that there must be a *hidden* over-provisioning factor built in to this line of SSD (maybe 5%?), otherwise Samsung would be having a litany of performance problems from users of smaller size SSDs as they near the listed capacity of these drives.

 

I've no extensive knowledge in this area, but I've kept 10% unallocated space on this drive and also be careful to go no higher than 75% actual useage of the allocated disk space. I think that should keep the wear-leveling in the drive effective.

AMA
Token Ring
Posts: 127
Registered: ‎01-17-2011
Location: US
Views: 1,666
Message 13 of 20

Re: Lessons learned replacing ThinkPad HDD with an SSD

I, too, prefer Acronis for backup/restore functions.  I have the 2010 version, and will upgrade when I do my next hardware refresh(soon, I hope).  Anyway, for anyone new to Acronis, I'll mention that I've found it helpful to do the -restore- function after booting up the standalone version of Acronis.  I don't try restores while running under Windows, having run into some long forgotten issues.

 

So, backup under Win7Pro, then restores from a standalone, bootable Acronis image.

 

Works great; easy to use with a little experimentation and it's very fast, which is nice if you're under the gun on needing a system up quickly.

johnnycanuck13
What's DOS?
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-24-2013
Location: Canada
Views: 1,570
Message 14 of 20

Re: Lessons learned replacing ThinkPad HDD with an SSD

I'm planning to add a Samsung EVO SSD to my W510 (i7 quad core, FHD touch). I don't want to clone anything. I simply want to swap in the ssd and load a Windows 8.1 DVD for a fresh install. Is it as simple as that? Sorry for the newbie question but I've never opened up a laptop before. Thanks.
Cosmo_
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-14-2013
Location: United States
Views: 1,559
Message 15 of 20

Re: Lessons learned replacing ThinkPad HDD with an SSD

johnnycanuck13, swapping the hardware drives is pretty easy. Lenovo has PDF step-by-step guides for such things, although in this case it's pretty obvious. Basically you power off, unplug the charger, remove the battery, and unscrew one screw to get to the drive. There are some mounting rails and a wire connector to move from the old drive to the new drive.

 

It's safest to do this on an antistatic mat that's grounded and with an antistatic grounding wrist strap.

 

If you have a Windows install DVD and a DVD drive, the software installation should be relatively straightforward. (I haven't done that in a long time.)

 

Before you start, back up any data that you want to preserve. There's no need to erase your old HDD, and in fact you can put it in an ultra drive bay caddy for later use. (Remember to power off before swapping the ultra drive.) I think it's better to start with fresh system settings than to use the migration wizard to migrate them.

 

Also before you start, download all the W510 drivers from Lenovo's web site, at least the network drivers, and put them on a USB flash drive or an optical disk. You should install them at some point, maybe during or after the Microsoft installer finishes. You might want some other Lenovo installers to get features like Lenovo Update and diagnostics.

 

Using a fresh Windows install DVD, you won't get Lenovo's recovery partition, but you'll get whatever recovery partition that Microsoft sets up.

 

See the notes in my original post about configuring the SSD. E.g. sustained writes will go faster if you "over-provision" the SSD, that is, use a partition tool to leave some space (Samsung recommends 20%) that's not in any partition. You don't need to install Samsung's Magician software, but if you do, you can enable its write cache assuming you have enough RAM. Then see my original post on how to get rid of its annoying request for permissions on bootup.

johnnycanuck13
What's DOS?
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-24-2013
Location: Canada
Views: 1,533
Message 16 of 20

Re: Lessons learned replacing ThinkPad HDD with an SSD

Thanks very much Cosmo_. Much appreciated. I have the Evo on order and will study your posts again before doing the swap.
johnnycanuck13
What's DOS?
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-24-2013
Location: Canada
Views: 1,472
Message 17 of 20

Re: Lessons learned replacing ThinkPad HDD with an SSD

The 500gb EVO arrived New Year's Eve and I swapped it in, did a fresh install of Windows 8.1, ran all the updates and was good to go. Cosmo_, thanks again for your posts and the helpful tips. Gave me the confidence to go ahead and the performance improvements make the swap definitely worth it.
Jeffr
Ctrl-Alt-Del
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎01-23-2008
Location: AU
Views: 1,306
Message 18 of 20

Re: Lessons learned replacing ThinkPad HDD with an SSD

Hi,

 

Were you able to also clone the system recovery partition to the SSD?

 

The last time I cloned a Thinkpad HDD (probably using Ghost), I was not able to reestablish the system recovery partition as well as the main bootable partition.  My thinkpad is Win 7/32.

 

Thanks.

 

grndnl
SCSI Port
Posts: 70
Registered: ‎04-10-2013
Location: United States
Views: 1,303
Message 19 of 20

Re: Lessons learned replacing ThinkPad HDD with an SSD

I actually ended up just installing Windows 8.1 on it.

Jeffr
Ctrl-Alt-Del
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎01-23-2008
Location: AU
Views: 1,244
Message 20 of 20

Re: Lessons learned replacing ThinkPad HDD with an SSD

HI Brad,

 

Did you clone the Thinkpad restore & recover partition using Acronis?

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