ADATA SSD migration woes

I recently bought three ADATA 2.5″ SSD drives to install into customers laptops. The reason for this, is that these modern SSD (Solid State Drive) drives are much faster than the older HDD (Hard Disk Drive) mechanical drives. The three laptops were different brands.

Each SSD was placed in turn, in a “USB caddy” which allows me to easily transfer the data from the HDD to the SSD. The process is called “cloning” and involves making an exact copy of the HDD information on to the SSD.
Two of the drives were 240GB capacity and the third was 480GB.

I always use EaseUS ToDo backup software to perform the “cloning” process of transferring the data from the legacy HDD to the new SSD. I have never had any problem. The EaseUS software works inside of Windows. Happily, the first migration to one of the 240GB drives went without a hitch.

Now the fun starts: when I performed the second migration to the other 240GB SSD, the software kept giving a “sector” write error after the cloning procedure. The cloning process had failed! Not to be defeated, I repeated the cloning process a few times but the error continued.

Out of desperation, I decided to give the free ADATA migration tool called Acronis Trueimage that came with the SSD a go. This software works differently in that it performs the cloning process outside of Windows. After setting up the cloning job task, you are asked to reboot the computer. However, in my case, because the SSD already had been partitioned the first time around, the laptop kept trying to boot from it. Rather than mess with the laptop’s BIOS to change the boot order, I temporarily turned off the drive caddy. When I did that, the laptop started to boot into the Acronis software as expected, giving me time to power up the caddy.

After the cloning process was completed, I swapped out the SSD for the HDD and I was very relieved to see that the laptop now booted up and showed the expected speed increase.

Now onto the 480GB SSD. When I put this into the caddy, the drive could not be seen by the EaseUS software or on the Windows File Explorer! This was strange to me as the two 240GB drives had no problem being visible to Windows 10 operating systems on each laptop, right out of the box.
This problem happens because the drive has not been formatted at the factory and needed to be initialised. A quick trip to the Windows 10 disk management tool allowed me to make this drive visible by creating a “simple volume partition”.

I was then able to successfully clone the third HDD and needless to say, we now have three very happy customers!

How to clone a HDD to SSD using EaseUS Todo Backup

As your computer’s HDD (Hard Disk Drive) ages, it is prudent to avail yourself of new storage technologies such as the SSD (Solid State Drive). You will notice a huge speed and permformance improvement when you swap to a SSD. As an example, our media server now boots up in half the time!

To start with, you will need a programme to help you clone your HDD and I recommend the excellent EaseUS Todo Backup programme. The cloning process literally makes a bit for bit copy of your HDD to your new SSD. After the programme has cloned your HDD, you can shut down your computer and swap the HDD for your new SSD.

There are a few caveats to follow so that the migration process goes smoothly.

  1. Determine the total size of your computer’s HDD. This maybe partitioned into two or more drives. You will have the normal C: drive, a recovery partition (which could also be the system partition) and possibly another partition where you store your data files.
  2. Buy a SSD with at least 1/3 more storage than you are currently using so that you have room to expand going forward.
  3. Make sure that you have any external storage devices unplugged from the computer so as not to confuse the cloning process.
  4. Back up your files and documents to an external storage device in case things go wrong
  5. Install the excellent EaseUS Todo Backup programme on to your computer
  6. Install your new SSD into an external caddy and plug it into your computer; mostly probably using one of the USB ports.
  7. Start the EaseUS Todo Backup programme and choose the “Clone” option on the top right of the menu selection.
  8. Choose ALL of the partitions on your HDD. I stress ALL because if you don’t, then there is a strong possibility that your new SSD won’t boot up! You would need to rewrite the boot sector on the new drive which is not a fun prospect! You will also lose the option of doing a system recovery if the need ever arises. What you think is just the recovery partition can also contain the OS (Operating System) boot or system files!
  9. If you don’t see your new SSD listed as a target drive, then go out of the EaseUS Todo Backup programme and go into your computer’s disk management interface by typing diskmgmt.msc at the search prompt on your computer. If you see your new SSD listed as “Offline”, then right click at the drive name (not in the unallocated space field) and choose the “Online” option and follow the prompts leaving every choice as default. Your new SSD should now show as “Online”.
  10. Go back to the EaseUS Todo Backup and again select “Clone” and you should now see your new SSD listed as the Target drive as the bottom choice. After you select the SSD, you will see two boxes to check at the bottom left of the screen. Make sure you select the “Optimize for SSD” option. You can leave the other option for “Sector by sector cloning” unticked as that clones even the empty bits and possibly bad bits on your HDD.
  11. Follow the prompts to start the cloning process
  12. After the cloning process has finished, please shut down the computer and unplug the battery and external AC power and any peripherals such as a printer or wireless mouse.
  13. Remove your HDD and replace it with your new SSD. If you don’t know how to do this, try doing a search on the Internet for a training video that shows you the process.
  14. Now reinstall the battery and plug in all the peripherals. Finally, plug the AC power back in to your computer.
  15. Finally boot up your computer. You may have to restart the computer as the BIOS sets up the new SSD but you will immediately notice the speed gain and response!