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  1. #1
    ROG Enthusiast Array Hitchy's Avatar
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    Help me clone my G750JW HDD to an SSD pls

    Hello there,

    I own a G750JW with a stock HDD of 750go and windows 8 (not 8.1). I ve just purchased an SSD with 250go (Sandisk ULTRA II) and would like to use it as main windows and for most demanding games, but i want to have both hard drives to run windows for at least a month to make sure everythings fine before wiping windows from the first HDD. SO yes i ll need to have dual booting at startup.

    First I already read dozens of threads here and on the net about cloning and restoring an HDD to another HDD or SSD and here is briefly what I ve done so far :

    1- Tried to use Asus backtracker v 3.0.3 on my new SSD (of course I placed the SSD into the HDD bay and put away the HDD) , but when booting with the USB created with backtracker nothing happens and i'm sent to the BIOS UEFI screen. And when i try forcing to boot from the key nothing happens the screen just go black for like 0.1s and then return to the same UEFI screen. So I abandonned using Backtraker.

    2- Tried to create a windows 8 restore USB. Which has been done. Of course I made sure before, using easeus partition master, to clone the recovery and restore partitions from HDD to SSD. So same I put the SSD into the HDD bay and booted with the USB but when i try the recovery installation on the SSD i've got an error message something about "an expected partition is missing"... So I also abandoned this solution

    3- Then I decided to let go the recovery option of my stock Windows 8 and went for fresh install of windows 8.1. So I created an install USB from Microsoft website. Same story I put my SSD in the HDD bay, install went smooth and i was running fresh windows 8.1 (i just point out here that I used my already owned windows 8 serial key, just needed to tweak a file in the install USB of windows 8.1 , its perfectly legal and easy to know how by looking in the internet). But still... as soon as I put back my old HDD into its first bay and install my SSD into the other bay : the first boot is weird and laptop freezes indefinetly in the screen of ROG logo. I need to force shutdown with power button to make an attempt of accessing BIOS UEFI by pressing F2 to force start from HDD or SSD (had first to disable Fast Boot and secure boot from UEFI). Then both windows 8 and windows 8.1 could be accessed but somethings wrong with the SSD which became unaccessible from my HDD with Windows 8 (though I could still access it by forcing start from it on UEFI). I felt something wrong and decided to wipeout completely my SSD... besides this solution was not giving me the dual boot choice and needed to force F2 at each startup!

    4- I arrived now to the only solution that has wroked which is installing Windows 8.1 from USB created in Microsoft website but KEEPING BOTH HDD AND SSD IN THEIR PLACE. So now i have dual boot message choice at each startup whether Windows 8 from HDD or Windows 8.1 from SSD.
    However .... I don't like the idea or reinstalling everything from scratch so I m still obsessed with the idea of running my actual windows 8 on my SSD.


    Now that u have read all of my misadventure that cost me 3 days of vacations and an argument with my wife (lol) i have 2 requests please:
    1- What is it you think of all 3 first solution attempts that I ve tried? What for you was done wrong , what did i miss?
    2- What should I do to make sure the cloning solution will work. I intend to use Easeus partion master.


    thank you for your time and help!

  2. #2
    ROG Guru: Gold Belt Array Clintlgm PC Specs
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    Laptop (Model)Asus G752VY DH72
    MotherboardAsus Z97 Pro WiFi and /Z97 Pro A
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    Works every time, Image your C OS Disk, shut down your notebook remove C OS Drive Put in new SSD, restore image to SSD. Macrium Reflect Free will do that with out issues. You can't run two versions of windows on the same computer at the same time. There is no reason too, your hard drive can be set back as long as you like or format it and use it for data you still have the image you created. Here is a video doing it the Clone way. With MR when you restore your image pull down each of the partitions in the image to the SSD when you move the C:\ partition down to the SSD right click it and bring up properties adjust the partition to fit your SSD. Don't change the size of any of the other partitions and yes you need them all and in the order they appear on your Image.

  3. #3
    ROG Enthusiast Array Hitchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clintlgm View Post
    Works every time, Image your C OS Disk, shut down your notebook remove C OS Drive Put in new SSD, restore image to SSD. Macrium Reflect Free will do that with out issues. You can't run two versions of windows on the same computer at the same time. There is no reason too, your hard drive can be set back as long as you like or format it and use it for data you still have the image you created. Here is a video doing it the Clone way. With MR when you restore your image pull down each of the partitions in the image to the SSD when you move the C:\ partition down to the SSD right click it and bring up properties adjust the partition to fit your SSD. Don't change the size of any of the other partitions and yes you need them all and in the order they appear on your Image.
    Thank you, I think I will use this software to do it.

    Last question before doing it: As soon as I clone my HDD onto my SSD do I restart my computer normally and boot from either drives or IS IT MANDATORY for me to remove my HDD from its bay and replace it by the SSD?
    If so how can I do then if I want to keep both hard drives working together and for instance if I want to remove windows from the HDD to keep only one OS which is on the SSD?

    thank you

  4. #4
    ROG Guru: Gold Belt Array Clintlgm PC Specs
    Clintlgm PC Specs
    Laptop (Model)Asus G752VY DH72
    MotherboardAsus Z97 Pro WiFi and /Z97 Pro A
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    Well then you will need to pay for a 2nd copy of windows one or the other will de activate. I usually shut down after a clone and remove the old drive. Save it for some other time in the future where you might need to RMA or just resume work after a failure. Usually I go the Image route that way the original Hard drive in not even in the notebook when you restore the image. If you chose to have both in at boot time as soon as the start up starts hit the Esc key spam it, timing is critical, anyway that will bring up a Boot menu where you can choose which drive to boot from
    G752VY-DH72 Win 10 Pro
    512 GB M.2 Samsung 960 Pro
    1 TB Samsung 850 pro 2.5 format
    980m GTX 4 GB
    32GB DDR 4 Standard RAM

    Z97 PRO WiFi I7 4790K
    Windows 10 Pro
    Z97 -A
    Windows 10 Pro

  5. #5
    ROG Enthusiast Array Hitchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clintlgm View Post
    Well then you will need to pay for a 2nd copy of windows one or the other will de activate. I usually shut down after a clone and remove the old drive. Save it for some other time in the future where you might need to RMA or just resume work after a failure. Usually I go the Image route that way the original Hard drive in not even in the notebook when you restore the image. If you chose to have both in at boot time as soon as the start up starts hit the Esc key spam it, timing is critical, anyway that will bring up a Boot menu where you can choose which drive to boot from
    Just for you to know i m actually running 2 versions of windows on 2 hard drives on the same computer with the same key. Win 8 is in my stock HDD and windows 8.1 have been installed recently on my SSD unsing the same key of win 8 its perfectly legal though needing a simple tweak in the installation USB of win 8.1. So No deactivation or anything and i have dual boot.

    What I try to do now is clone my Win 8 to the SSD cause I don't wanna go through reinstalling everything from scratch. Maybe after succeeding the clone I will update to win 8.1.
    Last edited by Hitchy; 12-19-2016 at 04:24 PM.

  6. #6
    ROG Enthusiast Array Hitchy's Avatar
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    Hello there,

    AT LAAAAST!! After a whole week of test and error I succeeded thank God in Cloning my 750 go HDD onto my 250 go SSD and boot windows from my SSD with both HDD and SSD in their respective slots keeping both windows folders. I will explain the steps now:

    This method is intended to those who have 2 Hard Drive slots in their Laptop and want to add an SSD next to their HDD and boot windows from the SSD and use the HDD as data and backup medium. Under windows 8 / 8.1. If you just want to clone your HDD to your SSD and take away your HDD, there are easiest methods out in the web so I advise you not using this one.

    Before moving to explain the steps i strongly advise you NOT TO SWAP between your HDD and SSD slots, most tutorials do ask for swapping but in my case it nearly destroyed my SSD, it got freezed on the ASUS Logo and my SSD was not recognised anymore and I had to fix it by formatting it several times before it could be recognised again in desktop loosing all my data (luckily I had a backup). It even touched my HDD and luckily SCANDISK could repair it without loosing data. SO don't do it please (I read it also happened to others...).

    PREREQUISITS :

    1- Backup all your data and your partitions from your HDD using Macrium Reflect free. Its free, easy and has very strong features as creating a boot key to restore data and factory partitions. It can also fix windows boot problems and lets you choose from which Hard Drive to auto boot (in case you have dual boot with 2 windows folders). Absolutely great software look it up in the internet and watch some tutorials before use. Don't forget once installed and backed your data and partitions to create a startup USB key, normally i think it will prompt you to do so automatically while backing up process, but if it don't please do it manually and make sure to add to USB key the windows PE rescue environment.

    2- Format your SSD using Disk Management (right click on windows logo on the down left corner and choose disk management). Format it to GPT. Also verify that your Hard Drive slots (SATA option under UEFI BIOS) is on AHCI and not IDE (look it up in the internet if you don't know what it is). AHCI is not mandatory but advisable to take full advantage of your SSD speeds.

    3- Disable Fast Boot from your UEFI BIOS and keep it that way always. Fast boot prevents using F2 key or ESC to access UEFI BIOS at startup and even though you can win about 10 s to 15 s boot time with this feature ON for most HDD, with your SSD you ll only win 3s to 5s, it is peanut considering the downside of fast boot not completely purging memory and keeping some bad files or errors all the way around forever. Nothing best than a good old COLD BOOT to purge everyhthing and start up as new. So I advise you to keep it off after installing your SSD and booting from it.

    STEPS:

    1- Shut down your laptop : remove AC cable and remove battery.

    2- Open hatch to access RAM and HD slots by removing screw in the middle.

    3- Install the SSD in the empty slot : should be the right one next to the Woofer.

    4- Close the Hatch, boot up windows normally, and go to disk management as described up to format your SSD to GPT.

    5- Use EaseUs partition master to migrate your OS from your HDD to your SSD. Be careful at this stage there is a risk of Data loss so I advise you to watch video tutorials about OS migration using this software carefully and of course before that, follow my advice up there by backing up your all your Data using Macrium reflect.

    6- Follow the steps in EASEUS to Migrate OS from HDD to SSD, once again watch video tutorials for step by step and make sure to activate an option "Optimize for SSD" when migrating.

    7- When you click finish or execute at this stage, EASEUS will prompt you with a message saying that you need to swap between your SSD and HDD bla bla bla... as said before I do not advise this method.

    8- Now it will prompt you to restart your laptop for the process to begin. You should do so.

    9- The process will take from 30 min to 1 hour depending on your system config. At the end of the process I don't know if it will prompt you to restart of it will load directly to your new windows clone from your SSD. To be honest I left the software do its thing for about 40 min, and when i came back I found myslef inside my windows Session from the SSD. Did it reload by itlself I don't know?

    10- Now you can either keep it that way for a while and work your Data Transfers from HDD to SSD to make sure everyhings fine or you can format your entire HDD to have it clean. It depends on you. Just verify that your C: drive now is the SSD and that your HDD is given another letter (D: or E: or whatever).
    Once again my advice here but its up to you to do it or not, is to delete the EFI partition from your HDD so to make sure it will never conflict with the other EFI partition from your SSD from which your computer boots on now. And if something goes wrong you can still use your backup partition image with Macrium reflect to restore anything you want to your HDD and boot from it if necessary.

    DONE Last advice which is not least... look in the internet for : SSD optimisation for windows 8 and follow all the steps. Here is one tutorial but there are hundreds on the internet. However if like me you are under windows 8 not 8.1 you absolutely need to reRun the Windows Experience Index which you ll find here : Control Panel -> System -> Evaluation click on it and then re execute the evaluation. This is the only way your new cloned windows will recognise your SSD and optimize it self for it. So its important to do it.

    That's it Hope it will help someone someday, i was happy doing it anyway dont hesitate to contact me if needed!
    Last edited by Hitchy; 12-21-2016 at 12:50 PM.

  7. #7
    ROG Enthusiast Array Hitchy's Avatar
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    Hello,

    a little edit to my Tutorial above : make sure please after the clone process is done that your DVD reader has been assigned a letter like E: or F: or watever! What happened to me is that under the cloned version of windows from my SSD; my HDD was given a letter E: which was my former DVDs letter so the latter stopped working under windows. I look it up for 2 days before figuring out that I just need to (re)assign a letter F: to my DVD under disk management so it worked again!

    Good Luck!

  8. #8
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    how much faster does your boot time become?

  9. #9
    ROG Enthusiast Array Hitchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdma2k View Post
    how much faster does your boot time become?
    With fast boot OFF booting from my SSD I m on windows in about 12 s max (my cpu and HD being idle).

    Before, booting on my HDD took me at least 25 to 35s with sometimes CPU and HD not even idling beyond this time frame!

    Note that my Sandisk ULTRA II SSD is a mid range one scoring a decent 500 mb/s on read write bench with CrystalDiskMark. I suppose it goes faster with other high range or M.2 SSDs scoring about 2000 mb/s on same bench.


    SSDs do really change computer experience more than anything else!

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