Best Way to Clone HDD to SSD?

Everybody I know with an SSD, including me, loves it. The one in my desktop has been powered on for 1.8 years according to the SMART data and is perfectly healthy.

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SSDs are "good enough" reliable now. They've also gotten far more reasonable in terms of $$$, especially considering the inflated price of HDDs these days.

Maes, behind the curve (again).

I mean, really 3yrs of use isn't that bad when A) your warranty should be at least that long and B) the best consumer spinning rust drives are only rated for 5yrs MTBF.

exp(x) said:

...SMART data and is perfectly healthy.


This made me chuckle.

DoomUK said:

I don't think there's any debate these days over SSDs being any good or not, on the whole. Unless sheer size per dollar/euro/pound is your contention, in which case traditional HDDs win the contest with flying colours.


Not really.

Caviar Black 2TB for ~$180 doesn't seem like such a hot deal when a 256SSD+"green" drive for storage is only about $300.

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Mr. T said:

Maes, behind the curve (again).


For not adopting a still early, expensive and clearly transitional technology with a well-documented set of cons?

I prefer calling that "let others drag the snake out of the hole".

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Maes said:

For not adopting a still early, expensive and clearly transitional technology with a well-documented set of cons?

I prefer calling that "let others drag the snake out of the hole".


Maybe you would have been right circa ~2011 But now HDDs are so expensive and SSDs so cheap, there is really no reason for your FUD.

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Mr. T said:

Not really.

Caviar Black 2TB for ~$180 doesn't seem like such a hot deal when a 256SSD+"green" drive for storage is only about $300.

For me it's a moot point, because I already have more than enough HDD space and if I was in the market for a new storage device then I would go with a SSD without quibble.

But while the 2TB drive isn't *cheap*, if sheer size is what you're looking for then ~11GB per dollar is obviously going to be a more attractive option than ~800MB per dollar. I don't know if commercial SSDs are even made in terabyte options or larger, but I shudder to think of how much they might cost (in pound sterling at least; computer components often seem to be cheaper in the US than in the UK).

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Mr. T said:

Maybe you would have been right circa ~2011 But now HDDs are so expensive


That's more of a market artifice, right now. I stocked up on 500 GB HDs when they still were 30 Eur a piece.

Mr. T said:

and SSDs so cheap


Let them eat cake?

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Maes said:

That's more of a market artifice, right now. I stocked up on 500 GB HDs when they still were 30 Eur a piece.


Yeah, and they aren't going to go back down to those prices. HDD manufacturers are making money while the sun shines ;-)

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Updating to a cheap 128G SSD was the best upgrade I ever did, boot linux in 18s and everything is near instant loading (or maybe 2-5s max for things like LibreOffice)

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I stopped using HDDs I started to use SSDs. Even my ancient Win98 systems that I never use have SSDs in them =)! The PowerMac G4 that I am typing on has an SSD in it also. Even though they lack SATA, there is a nice SATA to PATA adapter (HDE), which works quite well.

In my experience:

DO NOT BUY TRANSCEND, they suck.
DO NOT BUY CORSAIR, when I used them, they had garbage SMART.

But I would buy the following:

Patriot, worked pretty well, still works now (I think) but no TRIM and no secure erase.
Kingston, Of 4 SSDs, 3 were great, but this one vertical one started having relocation issues.
Intel, Of all 6? All are still in perfect working condition.

So yeah, SSDs are great.

And when I did switch to SSDs, not only was everything fast but portable systems used less power.

However, now that after 2 years, I have grown used to the speed. So 1-3 second boot times, is a bit too slow for my taste.

EDIT:

If you use ext2/3/4 and Linux, you could...

tar everything up and untar it on the destination.

Then hex edit the partition to change the UUID so you don't have to worry about that.

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GhostlyDeath said:

Then hex edit the partition to change the UUID so you don't have to worry about that.

Uhh... because "mke2fs -U xxxx" or "tune2fs -U xxxx" are too cumbersome?

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Off topic question; I'd like to replace my 500gb HP laptop hard drive (from 2010) with a 750gb or 1TB model, can anyone recommend any particular models?

SSDs are too pricy for me, so forget those. My main priority is reliability first and then the noise level (it'll be used for uni work and storing media), and I'm fine with either a 5400rpm or 7200rpm model. I've looked at some Toshiba, Samsung and Hitachi models, but the lack of clear warranty information on some of the Toshiba and Samsung models is fairly concerning.

Cheers,

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Western Digital or Seagate. Asking favourite brand of hard drive is like debating religion.

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Livo said:

Off topic question; I'd like to replace my 500gb HP laptop hard drive (from 2010) with a 750gb or 1TB model, can anyone recommend any particular models?

SSDs are too pricy for me, so forget those. My main priority is reliability first and then the noise level (it'll be used for uni work and storing media), and I'm fine with either a 5400rpm or 7200rpm model. I've looked at some Toshiba, Samsung and Hitachi models, but the lack of clear warranty information on some of the Toshiba and Samsung models is fairly concerning.

Cheers,


WD Caviar Black 1TB

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HDDs are only as reliable as the hammer that bashes into them.

chungy said:

Uhh... because "mke2fs -U xxxx" or "tune2fs -U xxxx" are too cumbersome?


If you are using Linux, you have no need for pointless utiltities! At least I did not say to use dd to overwrite the UUID...

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Thanks for the opinions. I've decided just to reinstall as I've had no luck getting the SSD working well with cloning. :)

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Super Jamie said:

Ok Maes. Every SSD currently available will only last 1-3 years. We believe you.




Really?

The one I bought lasted less than a month and caused me a lot of headache because I couldn't just return the machine to the manufacturer (mail order plus the cost of backing up/restoring all my private data would have been prohibitive.) In the end I just wrote off the SDD as a failed investment.

So everything's back on the HDD now, the SSD adventure is over, I won't bother unless these things last longer. I really don't care if booting takes 2 or 5 seconds, the drawbacks of having all the user data on that drive because Windows won't like it if it's on a different drive than the system itself was enough for me to question its usefulness.

Maybe when my next system is due. Right now I let others deal with the issues, just like Maes.

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Seven SSD's with the oldest one dating back to early 2010. As the resident Hardware Hoarder, I'm happy to say that not a single SSD have given me an error in the almost 3 years that I had them.

Samsung, Crucial, and Intel are top of the list in terms of reliability.

Some performance numbers comparing different spinning drive configs versus a Samsung 830 128GB:



The dual raptors in raid0 came close for sequential, but was trounced in other respects.

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It's true what they say. The worst hard drive brand is the one that failed on you that one time years ago.

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GhostlyDeath said:

My oldest SSD still works at 2 years of age.

2 years is too little compared to how long a computer can be useful. It has to be at least 6 or maybe 8 years

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Doom Marine said:

charts


The partition alignment on those velociraptors must have sucked some rectal fecal matter out of John Romero's bitch anus.

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Bucket said:

It's true what they say. The worst hard drive brand is the one that failed on you that one time years ago.


Purchasing entire batches of known-bad (or rather: known-bad a-posteriori) drives "helps", e.g. an entire array consisting of Seagate Barracudas with the "autobricking" firmware :-/

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Maes said:

Purchasing entire batches of known-bad (or rather: known-bad a-posteriori) drives "helps", e.g. an entire array consisting of Seagate Barracudas with the "autobricking" firmware :-/

Even so, that's a measurable and admitted manufacturing defect. It proves nothing about the wear-levelling reliability of SSDs.

Tom's Hardware did a great investigation into the electronic component reliability of SSDs (with only ~2 years of data, given their short market availability) and found that so far, SSDs are no more or less reliable than any other computer component:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-reliability-failure-rate,2923.html

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Super Jamie said:

Even so, that's a measurable and admitted manufacturing defect. It proves nothing about the wear-levelling reliability of SSDs.

Tom's Hardware did a great investigation into the electronic component reliability of SSDs (with only ~2 years of data, given their short market availability) and found that so far, SSDs are no more or less reliable than any other computer component:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-reliability-failure-rate,2923.html

A chart from the link:



Interesting stuff.

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Bucket said:

It's true what they say. The worst hard drive brand is the one that failed on you that one time years ago.

Maybe, maybe not, here are some numbers related to SSD return rates:

Marc Prieur said:

- Crucial 0.82% (as against 0.8%)
- Intel 1.73% (as against 0.1%)
- Corsair 2.93% (as against 2.9%)
- OCZ 7.03% (as against 4.2%)

Crucial has taken top spot from Intel thanks to a notable increase in Intel’s returns rate. We should say that this time, the Intel sample is only just above the minimum required and that some of the Intel returns are linked to the 8MB bug which has since been resolved. The OCZ rate has got a lot worse, going up to 7%, and only OCZ has models with rates of above 5%:

- 15.58% OCZ Vertex 2 Series SSD 240 GB
- 13.28% OCZ Vertex 2 Series SSD 160 GB
- 11.76% OCZ Vertex 2 Series SSD 80 GB
- 9.52% OCZ Vertex 2 Series SSD 120 GB
- 8.57% OCZ Vertex 3 Series 120 GB
- 7.49% OCZ Vertex 2 Series SSD 60 GB
- 6.61% OCZ Vertex 2 Series 3.5" SSD 120 GB
- 6.37% OCZ Vertex 3 Series 240 GB
- 6.37% OCZ Agility 3 60 GB
- 5.89% OCZ Vertex 2 Series SSD 100 GB

The Vertex 2s have the worst scores but the Vertex 3s have nothing to be proud of either. Note that over the coming period, the Vertex 3s are doing much better thanks to developments in the firmware, with a rate of just 1.01% for the Vertex 3 120 GB as things stand.

If there's one clear message to take home from this study: steer clear of OCZ.

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Even if SSD eventually grows out of its infancy diseases, there are still two things to consider:

  • No matter how good the TOTL stuff gets, consumer grade stuff will always be behind the curve in terms of performance and reliability, and even of adopted tech solutions. That's true of any technology, not just SSDs.
  • In the case of "affordable" consumer-grade SSDs, affordability is much more likely to be achieved by "cheating" and cutting corners, e.g. by using firmware that masks the flaws of inferior SSD componentry/second rate/MLC cells, rather than some miraculous technological advancement allowing low-cost and plentiful SLC solutions for everyone.
Again, the latter is something very commonly seen in other low grade/"popularized" hardware e.g. some cheap cameras achieve 'megapixel' resolutions by interpolating a common SVGA-res sensor, or some "USB2" devices cheat by implementing only Full Speed. In SSDs "for the rest of us", this can be achieved by e.g. masking increased wear with more aggressive/conservative wear leveling, using strategies that increase R/W speed at the cost of increased cell wear or that mask R/W asymmetry by using relatively cheap onboard SRAM, etc.

What I'm trying to say, is that when SSDs finally reach or exceed the cost per GB of conventional hard disks, this will be done at the expense of their durability, reliability, and overall build quality, rather than some miraculous improvement that keeps those factors constant but drives costs lower. Again, this is far from uncommon in consumer electronics and IT equipment. There will always be good quality SSD for the pro/server market, as well "el cheapo" SSD drives for Joe Consumer.

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SSDs aren't designed to compete with hard disks in terms of capacity per money; what you are buying from an SSD is quickness, I/O per sec, and just raw speed.

As for the cheapo SSD drive for consumers, you're going to have to be specific in what constitute an "el cheapo drive".

My Crucial m4 128GB MLC SSD at the price-point and the sheer volume sold, can generally be considered a consumer-level drive. It is, statistically speaking, more reliable than any TOTL consumer hard disks.

Based on the Component Return Rates published as an article in June 2012, The return rate of SSDs is significantly lower than that of hard drives. "SSD in its infancy" is long past.

While I respect your theoretical knowledge and opinion of the state of the SSD market, it doesn't reconcile with the latest statistics.

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Let's drop this before it gets absurd. Maes took issue with my "newer, faster technology" comment because he's a retro whore, and he's been walking back his statements for the past 10 posts. His "cheap hardware < expensive hardware" tautology has NOTHING to do with ANYTHING that was being discussed.

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Bucket said:

Let's drop this before it gets absurd.

But proving Maes wrong is so easy and so much fun. Don't be such a wet blanket :P

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