SSD Migration or Fresh System Installation – An SSD Primer

FACTORS IN A FRESH INSTALL

The question of preference with respect to migration or fresh install has been asked a million times and my response has always been that the fresh install cannot be beat.  In my next breath, however, I always speak to the fact that we probably do 10-20 system migrations a week in our testing to ensure that the operating system between the SSDs we may be comparing is exact.  Conversely, each new system created for use as a site test bench is always built from the ground up with a fresh installation performed each and every time.

The benefit of a fresh installation is that, at the end of the day, you will have built a very stable SSD environment that will provide you with significantly higher performance than you could ever have imagined.  As a bit of an indication, start your computer right now and time it from the push of the button until the computer is ready to go.  Now imagine that process taking only 15 seconds as is typical of a SSD. In addition, a fresh migration alone will show you a considerable capacity improvement, however, following our SSD Optimization Guide will take you that much further.

The SSD Optimization Guide is the most popular SSD resource on the internet today and has been read by over a million SSD enthusiasts. It is very simple to follow, offers explanation for the most important optimizations and also guides you through the process of increasing the performance of your system while discovering additional space for your data. The last issue that must be considered in a fresh installation is that of finding and installing necessary system drivers required for your systems hardware.

In many cases, Window’s Update will take care of most of these automatically, however as we have found, when the drivers for your wireless adapter are not there initially, downloading them from your system diver disks or heading to the manufacturers support site may be necessary.

To summarize, a fresh install will take longer than a migration, may be a bit more difficult and may even force you to dig up your original Windows 7 disks, but it guarantees a more stable system, higher performance and additional space available for your programs and data.  The fresh install does one other thing, however, that one would never have expected.  It teaches you the intricacies of the SSD, how it works and provides an understanding of SSDs that can never be achieved through migration alone.

TROUBLESHOOTING

In my experience, I have assisted in a  great deal more troubleshooting scenarios through migration than  have ever through a fresh install.  Regardless of your decision, The SSD Review Forum is a free resource  where the community can tackle any SSD concern or installation problem you may experience within a very short period of time.  Our community is filed with ‘SSD Geeks’ and you can be assured that someone has worked their way through the problem you are experiencing at some time in the past.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

The decision to move to move to an SSD from a hard drive, in itself, is one of extreme difficulty for most and we hope this paper has assisted somewhat. Whether the reader is a typical user or IT manager overseeing a business, a solid state drive will always provide a very visible improvement in the systems performance which means one of two things; time on the computer decreases or productivity increases.

The decision to migrate your present operating system or start new with a fresh installation is next on the list and, regardless of the many who have experienced difficulties in migration, ten times that number have made the successful transition with little to no effort and are very happy with the end result.  Our support of the fresh installation is obvious, not only for the fact that it guarantees a rock solid system, additional storage and higher performance, but also, it provides the new user with a solid knowledge in their transition to the lightning fast world of solid state drives.

Check out our Amazon SSD Store and utilize search terms such as a particular SSD brand and the word ‘kit’ to zone in on some great SSD migration packages.

ADDITIONAL READING

In case this article has reached you through one of the many search engines, we should mention that this is the third in our series of SSD Primer articles meant to help us all along in our understand of solid state drives.

  1. BENEFITS OF A SOLID STATE DRIVE – AN SSD PRIMER
  2. SSD COMPONENTS AND MAKE UP – AN SSD PRIMER
  3. SSD TYPES AND FORM FACTORS  – AN SSD PRIMER
  4. SSD ADVERTISED PERFORMANCE – AN SSD PRIMER
  5. SSD MIGRATION OR FRESH INSTALL – AN SSD PRIMER
  6. GC AND TRIM IN SSDS EXPLAINED – AN SSD PRIMER

 

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Deadeye1985
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Deadeye1985

Hello guys,

Why is it so important to make a fresh install of win7?
The reason i’m asking is because i installed my Kingston Hyperx 3k 120GB SSD
into my new HP dv6-7000 (Core i7 Ivy, 8GB ram, Nvidia geforce 650M…) without making a fresh install of win7 ( using a migration software) .
The problem is that i don’t get the speeds like in many reviews…..it’s 25% slower.
do u think that my SSD is faulty ?
Should i be worried? i’m kinda new with SSD’s…

Thanks

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

It is unlikely that your SSD is faulty but a fresh install makes it so much easier to get things right and stay away from EXACTLY what you are experiencing!

tangdynasty
Guest
tangdynasty

You need to modify a register value “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesMsahci”, in the right field
left click set the
“Start” value to 0 (zero). Restart computer go into the BIOS->
configuration->change the disk mode to “AHCI” (IDE is set as
default commonly). Save the new BIOS configuration and restart so that Windows
boots.

When Windows starts, it
will detect the change, load new disk drivers, and does one more reboot to
start up with them

greg bryett
Guest

Good article, just to add my 2 cents after migrating my OS from a 120gb Agility 2 SSD to a Sandisk Extreme 256gb SSD. Migration is certainly easier, especially from one SSD to another, but nothing beats a clean windows install and this is exactly what I did two weeks later. Windows 7 makes re-installation easy and quick, so why bother with a migration at all. I re-install windows every three months as I am constantly adding and removing hardware and software from my main rig. In my opinion only those users who do not have a decent backup regime… Read more »

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Thanks for taking the time to relate your experiences Greg. Not only does that help others but it also gives us a vote of confidence which is great to see. If you ever find yourself needing a bit of help, dont be afraid to drop a note or hit our forums!

tom rogers
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tom rogers

OS re-installs are not a problem for me at all, except for the 10/15/20gb game re-installs that also must happen. Steam is placing more games into their cloud system, so save games, at least for my Skyrim setup, are no longer an issue.

Mark
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Mark

sweet, I’m a closet geek but I sale IT hardware…..I built a gaming/ media server back in 09′ and bought my 1.5 TB hard drive second hand and i just realized it has been the freeze culprit for the last three years….I will be installing a SSD drive and moving that to storage…..great info, love sites like this, you learn so much from people like your selves that explain things in la-mans terms….

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Thank you for the compliment and please…pass the word!

Kaeno
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Kaeno

Hello guys. I was refereed here by a tech support guy. After reading some information here, and wiki’ing what I did not understand. I have come to the conclusion I am doing a fresh install onto my new 120g 330 Intel SSD. I’m a gamer with hardware limitations, so I’m doing what I can to get most of my performance gain. My hardware and specs as of right now: Window 7 Ultimate 64bit Intel Quad-core Q6600 @ 2.40ghz 4gb RAM XfX Nvidia 680i LT motherboard 3x generic 200gb Maxter HHD 1x 120gb Intel 330 SSD I was wondering if possible… Read more »

Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

If you are speaking of AHCI, it is supported by all, including NVidia. RAID, on the other hand does not support TRIM if you are using SSDs (rather than HDDs) in your RAID setup. Using an SSD as your OS and apps drive with data to a RAIDED set of HDDs and then a backup on another HDD is a pretty wise choice. The only concerns I might have are the performance degradation and long term affect on the SSD if you leave system restore and backup on and then filter the backup to a hard drive. That will slow… Read more »

Chris Trak
Guest

I always do a fresh install…..although, I’m a newbie when it comes to SSD’s…….however, my past experience with Windows tells me that it’s a “packrat” and why would you want to transfer all the mess/junk that has built up onto a new more efficient drive?…If I were to upgrade to SSD….come into it totally NAKED AND CLEAN…Am I wrong?