New SSD for Lenovo; Drive Cloning

Another Christmas Day is over (and Boxing Day, and the day after boxing day) and I have finally gotten a chance to install a new SSD in my Lenovo Y50-70. I spent Christmas Day installing a new Samsung Evo 850 and a new motherboard with and Intel i7-4970K. For some reason it seems to run really, really fast. 🙂

Now, he has over 65 Steam games – he insists that he plays them all and doesn’t want to lose his progress. The original drive is a 3TB WD so I couldn’t just clone the drive as the Samsung is only 500GB. He wanted Just Cause 3 and Fallout 4 to load fast; so I had to split the Steam locations between the two drives. Everyone else likely knows this but you just have to backup the Steam games, move the install locations where you want to be and add their locations to steam. Then just “restore” the games. The Steam application is smart enough to realize nothing needs to be restored and seems to fix the pointers and/or reinstall the Windows Visual C++, etc. libraries and all is well. This took a long time for me since I had to back up to one of my NASes since I was messing with the original drive and doing a Windows 10 installation on the new Samsung. Even at gigabit Ethernet speeds 800GB takes a long time. Anyway, this does work and progress remains.

Next I had a chance to install my Samsung Evo 850 (1TB) in my Lenovo. The original drive, a Western Digital 1TB + 8GB hybrid drive – which I was never much of a fan as it did not seem as fast as the 500 GB 7,200 RPM drive in my old Dell XPS 15 – reported to be the same size as the new Samsung. My first thought was that I should clone the drive. However, on reflection I thought I would reinstall Linux Mint 17.3 and Windows 10. The reason was simple: both were upgrades. While I had already (first thing actually) reinstalled Windows 8.1 that had come with the Lenovo to remove the crapware bloatware (not to mention other issues – last one here) the fact was that the current operating systems were upgrades. Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 (current addiction is Arma 3 and multiplayer really does not work with the Linux port – nice port though!) and Linux Mint 17.2 to 17.3 so there was likely some cleanup benefits to be had by reinstalling. And besides, I could simply copy my Mint /home directory to the new drive and use Windows Easy Transfer to move my profile.

Wait now… I cannot find Windows Easy Transfer… Hmmm… Googling… Googling…  It seems that Windows East Transfer worked so good that Microsoft removed it. Oh yes, there is a tool to move to a new computer but there has to be two computers.

This ain’t gonna work.

What to do??? What to do???

More Google… And I found Macrium Reflect. (Yes, *nix hard cores, I did try dd but it did not work correctly. It could be me but frankly I didn’t want to take the time to find out what broke.) The free version works just fine for cloning a drive. Another nice option – and Macrium offers it up as soon as you start – is to make a recovery CD/DVD, ISO or write to a USB thumb drive. Use this option. Macrium will clone your original drive quickly and correctly (about 1.5 hours for 1TB). However, I had two things that needed to be done:

  1. The BIOS had to be changed to use the GRUB bootloader. For some reason my BIOS set Windows to be the bootloader.
  2. Once that is fixed when I tried to boot to Windows I received the error 0x0000225. The is where the recovery image comes to play. It finds the Windows partition and fixes it. It does not break GRUB either!
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