Don’t Clone Hard Drives to Solid State Drives

Here’s a quick tip for people out there looking to buy a solid state drive for their computer.

Generally, people have gotten used to the concept of cloning a smaller hard drive to a larger one when capacity has become an issue and naturally this would be seen as an option to migrate from a hard drive to a solid state drive. Unfortunately, this is a bad idea for one major reason.

To put it simply, the way that space is mapped and aligned on a solid state drive is somewhat different to that of a hard drive. SSDs require a certain sector size of 4KB for optimal performance and simply throwing your existing partitions and file systems from your hard drive could cause misalignment straight off the bat and cost you performance from your hardware investment.

If it is at all an option I would recommend installing Windows from scratch. Windows 7 will automatically determine if you have an SSD and make the necessary adjustments in partition alignment as part of the installation so you don’t need to worry about anything. However, if you are using older versions of Windows you’re going to need to perform this alignment yourself which can be tricky if you aren’t prepared to crunch some numbers. As such, I recommend that you install at least Windows 7 (or Windows 8) to avoid such headaches.


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