Clone Windows 7 onto SSD?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Josh358, Jun 12, 2009.

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  1. Josh358

    Josh358 Registered Member

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    I'm about to install Windows 7 onto a new SSD and was wondering whether I could clone my existing hard drive Win 7 installation with True Image or whether that would alter the sector offset. I plan to use Win 7 to partition the SSD first so it has an SSD-friendly partition, but I just saw a post that said TI doesn't respect sector offsets? Or is that only for a sector-by-sector restore?
     
  2. qwertz

    qwertz Registered Member

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    If you restore the whole disk, the offset will be preserved. If you only restore the system partition, or the whole disk partition by partition, the offset will be changed to 63 sectorrs, which will degrade the SSD performance.
     
  3. Josh358

    Josh358 Registered Member

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    Thanks, that's exactly the information I needed. The HD and SSD's are different sizes, so I guess I'll have to do a new install.
     
  4. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Josh:

    Is then SSD larger or smaller than your HD?

    If larger, just restore the whole disk. Then use Windows 7 Disk Management Console to expand the last partition.

    If smaller, can you shrink the last partition on your source disk (using Windows 7 Disk Management Console) so that the total occupied space is the same size or slightly smaller than the SSD, then make a full-disk image, then restore to the SSD?
     
  5. Josh358

    Josh358 Registered Member

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    The HD is larger, but there's no reason I couldn't back up the data in the second partition and resize it as you suggest . . .
     
  6. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Josh:

    Just be sure to use Windows 7 (or Vista) Disk Management to resize your partitions, assuming that they were created by Windows 7 or Vista, in order to preserve the 2048 sector offset. 99% of the rest of the partitioning tools in the world will want to force a 63-sector offset.
     
  7. qwertz

    qwertz Registered Member

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    That's not correct, afaik only Acronis is still living in pre-vista times. Most other imaging tools don't touch the partition parameters.

    To the OP - yes, one solution is to do a fresh install. Another solution would be to use a different imaging product, there are even free ones that do the job properly.
     
  8. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    I didn't say imaging tools but rather partitioning tools. A 2048-sector offset as a standard is something fairly recent, having been introduced with Vista about 2.5 years ago in order to support future hard disks with larger sector sizes than 512 bytes. Most partitioning tools haven't caught up yet.
     
  9. qwertz

    qwertz Registered Member

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    Just use diskpart, it comes with windows, and does not mess with partition aligment if you don't tell it to do so.

    The 2048 sector offset has more (and more important) reasons than just preparing for future large disks.

    Even long before Vista, the default 63 sector offset caused misalignemnt in RAID scenarios, as described in this MS bulletin more than 4 years ago: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929491

    Misalignment causes performance degradation in both RAID and SSD usage scenarios.

    This applies for all hard disks in striped RAID arrays, plus most SSDs, not just "future hard disks". It also applies to all Windows versions, including XP, 2000. 2048 was chosen because it covers most raid scenarios up to a stripe size of 1024KB, but any multiple of the stripe size (or allocation block size in SSDs) is a valid alignment as well (i.e. 1024,512,256,128,64,32 ... as long as the stipe size divided by alignment delivers an integer value). But NOT 63 secors/31,5KB.

    Any partition or imaging tool that does not respect this, is obsolete and bad tech by 2009's standards, and should not be used anymore on modern systems in my view.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  10. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    That was my point; Diskpart is one of the few partitioners that creates by default partitions with 2048-sector offset. Most of the rest do not.
    Yes, 63-sector offset creates perfomance issues with striped RAID arrays, but I think that improved RAID performance is a side benefit of the 2048-sector offset but not the primary driver for the change in Vista. This MS article describes Microsoft's reasoning behind the change in Vista.

    I respect your opinion, and agree that Acronis (and others) need to update their tools, but let's make a list. Here are partitioning programs that I've used that force 63-sector offsets:
    Here are partitioning programs that I've used that allow 2048-sector offset:
     
  11. qwertz

    qwertz Registered Member

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    You are correct, there a few partitioning tools that do this. I was more talking about imaging tools, as this was the topic of the OP. Which begs the question, though: For what exactly do you need a partitioning tool nowadays (over and above the tools that are coming with Vista/Win7 already), other than fixing bad imaging tools's flaws (serious question) ?
     
  12. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    One reason is that Vista's tools cannot work with Linux partitions. Also, it is fairly rigid and inflexible. Vista Disk Management, for example, will create primary partitions until you add the fourth, which will become a logical partition. If you need the second partition to be a logical partition, Vista Disk Management will not allow it. If you want to have more control over the process, convert a partition from primary to logical, or move partitions around, then you'll find third-party partition management tools to be helpful.

    Yes, the original topic was imaging, but it's all related. The reason that a TI restoration forces a 63-sector offset alignment is that when you restore a partition, TI allows it to be resized, converted from primary to logical, etc. Doing this requires that a new entry be made to the partition table. To do this, TI calls its own partition routines to create the new entry. The routines called are the same ones (I think) that are used in their partition manager, Acronis Disk Director, which still conforms to the 63-sector offset standard (cylinder alignment).

    If you restore an entire disk, however, the TI image contains a copy of the old partition table, which is safe to restore since there will be no changes to the partition layout. Restoring an unchanged partition table will preserve whatever offset was contained in the original partition table.

    I completely agree that this needs to be updated so that if a user desires 2048-sector offset, they can specify it, or the program can figure it out for itself based on the offset in the original partition table.
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  14. TripleDES

    TripleDES Registered Member

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    This is misinformation. Sectors per track has nothing to do with offset. You're looking for "offset" or "hiddensectors". Here's an image of an SSD I aligned with dispar. I went from 2048 (Vista default) to 128 per some forum recommendations for my SSD. As you'll notice, sectors per track never changes.

    Also, there are workarounds for maintaining offset with TI. Basically, it involves restoring the image and boot sector as two operations.

    offset.png
     
  15. qwertz

    qwertz Registered Member

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    Pardon me? Where do I (or anyone in this thread) say anything about sectors per track, or suggest that it would have anything to do with offset? Please detail what about my post is "misinformation". Seems like you are confusing something here - what exactly is your point?

    A hint: you might be confusing "Disk Geometry Information" with "Partition Information". Completely different things, honestly.

    Also, you know that the CHS addressing you refer to is legacy and only reported for backwards compatibility, and heads/sectors are always at their maximum value of 255/63 with modern disks? Again, this has nothing to do with the partition information, and in fact you can't change it. These numbers are arbitrarily chosen by disk manufacturers to keep the resulting number of cylinders as low as possible, but as modern hard disks are using LBA rather than CHS, and this is the legacy CHS disk geometry information and not partition information, this has nothing to do with our discussion here. Have a look at Wikipedia for starters.

    Also, the (18-step !) workaround that you mention is proven to work for some and not for others. Please have a look at the OCZ forum thread that I guess you are referring to, and read more than just the first post.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  16. TripleDES

    TripleDES Registered Member

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    You're pardoned. The number you quote, "offset will be changed to 63 sectorrs" is just wrong. You're obviously quoting the sectors per track which is completely normal.

    Yes, OCZ is the forum I'm getting my information from. Not everything works for everyone. However, the processes described works for me (setting SSD offset and maintaining through TI cloning) as I'm sure it does for most others. Perhaps you're talking about things you haven't even tried and putting down software and processes that may just be perhaps too advanced for your comprehension??

    The OP asked about his drive being "SSD-friendly". The only thing that "may" affect SSD performance is the partition alignment which is fixed using diskpar/diskpart and can be maintained through cloning with TI. Therefore, sectors per track is of no consequence.

    By the way, you suggest different imaging software other than TI so I assume you're no longer a TI user. Why then, are you still trolling around in this forum??
     
  17. qwertz

    qwertz Registered Member

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    Dude, stop talking about stuff you obviously do not understand. Seriously.

    1) Stop talking about sectors per track. NOBODY here other than you is talking about sectors per track, and it has nothing to do with partition alignment. I am not "obviously quoting the sectors per track", that is a conclusion you jump to because you don't know what you are talking about.

    2) The reason why you think I am talking about sectors per track is the magical number 63 that you found when playing around with diskpar. Guess what - just because it says "63" does not mean this has anything to do with partition offset. Have a look where you found this number (look at your screenshot). Then come back and tell me why you belive this has anything to do with our discussion.

    3) XP and 2000 ARE using a standard offset of 63 sectors. This is causing misalignment with RAID and many SSDs. Look here and here and here if you don't belive that. Then come back and tell us what you don't understand.

    4) If you still don't belive this, take a empty disk, create a primary partiton with XP, and come back with a screen of the diskpar info. Your "hidded sectors" (equals offset) will be 63. Alternatively, take a perfectly aligned Vista partition with a 2048 sector offset, image it with TI, restore it with TI, and watch your alignment being destroyed as you now have the old dreadful 63 sector offset.

    5) What you say about "fixing using dispar/diskpart" is WRONG. TI will not keep this alignment, period. The only way you can keep any non-63 sector offset with TI is cloning the whole disk rather than just the system partition. Even Acronis support is confirming this - you might want to search this very forum before stating otherwise. The workaround you mention is not working for many and in any case very cumbersome. You seem to not even understand WHY the workaround works for some and not for others.

    If I would be you, I would do some basic research before posting this nonsense.

    Seriously, dude.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  18. TripleDES

    TripleDES Registered Member

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    The OP asked about Windows 7, not XP or 2000. Furthermore, OP asked for an SSD friendly configuration. As I've stated, the only performance affecting issue is disk alignment which consequently is handled properly by Windows 7 and Vista.

    We all have access to Wikipedia and Google so feel free to stop with the useless references and just answer the OP's question and stop going into tangents and giving misinformation.

    ~Comment removed.~

    So please go away....This is a TI forum.

    OP, you can try THIS procedure and let us know how it went. As I stated, it worked for me and many others. However, others have reported some issues.

    Done!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2009
  19. qwertz

    qwertz Registered Member

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    You, sir, are completely ignorant.

    The OP asked if TI preserves the Win7 offset. The answer is no. That's the answer I gave him.

    Then you came along, brought the discussion off track by confusing disk geometry with partition offset, stated wrongly that my answer on the OP would be incorrect, and showed a remarkable inability to see your own errors and misconceptions even if pointed to them.

    You seem to not understand that disk alignment is the same thing as offset, just from another perspective. You seem to not understand that the reason why TI does not work well with VISTA and Win7 is that is still lives in the XP/2000 world when it comes to offset/alignment. You seem to confuse CHS geometry with partition offset. You seem to get virtually everything wrong that one could get wrong. Based on you last post, you seem to still not get the very basic problem that the OP was asking about, which is that Vista and Win7 offsets get changed to 63 sectors and therefore alignment get destroyed by using TI.

    The "useless references" you refer to are very valid information that would help you understand these things but you show to be completely ignorant to.

    I have answered the OPs question, and you are adding NOTHING to this, other than demonstrating that you are a complete fool.

    PS: To the OP - If you want to invest the time, please try out the "solution" that TripleDES suggests. It will not work for you, as your HDD partition table is different form you SDD partiton table, so at best you will have an unbootable disk, but maybe TripleDES will then stop spreading false information.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  20. TripleDES

    TripleDES Registered Member

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    The OP has invested in TI as have I. I could spend more $$ on other software, but I choose not to since TI is adequate for my needs. Therefore, I've suggested a workaround using TI that that maintains a Vista/Win7 friendly alignment/offset for SSD's. You, on the other hand are a non-TI user and thus a TROLL that's simply trying to impose technical assertions to no one but yourself.
     
  21. Josh358

    Josh358 Registered Member

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    It's getting kind of moot, anyway, since it turns out that Win 7 originally installed with a 63-sector offset. I'm debating now whether to make a 2048-sector offset partition with Diskpart and install from scratch, or just go with what I have since I'm planning to do a clean install anyway when the RTM comes out. Also wondering what would happen if I put e.g. Linux on the SSD, unless what I read is out of date it's still stuck in the 63-sector offset era and Intel apparently warns that offsets should be consistent throughout the disk.
     
  22. qwertz

    qwertz Registered Member

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    I am a long time TI user. I have spent hours trying to get it to preserve an aligned offset. Your workaround will not work for the OP. There are free tools that work without a glitch. If you would have the willingness and/or capability to read some the docs I posted, you would understand much better what you are currently only trying to talk about, or at least you would know when to shut up. It seems, though, that you just like to babble. And I am getting tired wasting my time with you. Bye.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  23. qwertz

    qwertz Registered Member

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    You could try the following:

    1) use diskpart to identify the exact size in MByte of your HDD's system partition
    2) Create an active primary partition with a 2048 sector (=1024 KB in diskpart) offset on your SDD using diskpart with exactly the same size (or slightly bigger) as you HDD's partition
    3) Use Drive Snapshot to image your HDD system partition (free for 30 days)
    4) Restore the image to the SDD partition you created. If asked whether you want to resize the file system, select "yes".
    5) Check with diskpar/wmic/msinfo32 (not diskpart) whether your partition is aligned - it should read "Partition Starting Offset 1,048,576 bytes"
    6) This should work flawlessly, but no guarantee. Based upon your specific configuration, you might need to run startup repair using the Win7 setup disk, but it was not needed in my case, which is very similar to yours (System partition from HDD to SDD).
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  24. TripleDES

    TripleDES Registered Member

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    Good. Then I can count on you not posting another droning response. I speak from experience from the scenario described. I went from a 300GB HDD to a 60GB SSD by doing the following:

    1. Creating a TI image of the HDD (fresh install used default offset BTW)
    2. Using diskpar to align SSD with an offset of 128 (As shown in the image I attached)
    3. Restoring HDD image to SSD with two step process.

    I ran benchmarks against a clean install of Vista compared to the imaged version. Numbers were very similar, with the edge going to clean install of course.

    I agree the two step process is a PITA and is inconventient. This should be available natively to TI (feature request). I'm just telling the OP it's possible to maintain alignment using TI without pointing him to other software.

    Perhaps I was a bit blunt with my first post and bruised your ego. If so...I'm sawwy....I don't purport to be an expert, but qwertz, it's clear you're not.
     
  25. qwertz

    qwertz Registered Member

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    You are a funny guy. Here's my very first answer to the OP's question:

    "If you restore the whole disk, the offset will be preserved. If you only restore the system partition, or the whole disk partition by partition, the offset will be changed to 63 sectorrs, which will degrade the SSD performance."

    This is the very post you've then decided to claim is wrong.

    Look at what you now posted. See something?

    HINT: Disk image vs Partition image

    LOL

    And no, you weren't blunt, you were plain wrong, and then chose to continue to show a remarkable level of ignorance, including your very last post. Ironically, you seem to be absolutely clueless about why your last post is the fist of your posts in this thread that makes sense, whilst at the same time confirming what I have said in the very beginning. Striking.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
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