IDE to Sata cloning

By Slayer_ ·
Tags: Windows, Hardware
I want to replace the old 120gb IDE drive in my computer with an SSD to get some additional life out of it as I am short of funds right now.

My board supports both IDE and Sata, when I built the machine in 2008 I used my old hard drive from 2003 (need to send this thing back to seagate to put in a museum, still has 95% on SMART tests.).

The system is running windows xp 32 bit.

Can I clone the IDE drive to the Sata drive, or would that break windows afterwards? Or is it a bad idea in general (why)?

I've heard XP might not support TRIM (don't know if that's important or true)

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Depends on the M'Board being used Slayer

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to IDE to Sata cloning

It may require a SATA or SSD driver so a straight "Clone" may not provide you with a bootable drive when you have finished the clone process removed the IDE drive and are trying to boot off the SSD.

It may even work with a SATA Drive but not a SSD Drive as while these days they are interchangeable in the past they where not always so. Also the hardware always treats IDE Drives as the Default Master Drive and writes the Boot Loaded to that Drive so it's important after the Clone to remove the IDE Drive before starting the system on the SSD Drive.

While it is possible to make the necessary changes if drivers are required to run that type of drive it is a lot of messing around. Also if Windows has been loaded for more that 12 months it's better to do a Clean Install so you can get rid of all the crud that clogs up the Registry.

Just my opinion though but look in the BIOS and see if there is an Option to make a SATA Drive the boot drive as that would remove the need for a Driver.

As for the TRIM I'm really not sure how it would impact with a SSD Drive it really all depends on the ChipSet of the M'Board.


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Its this board

by Slayer_ In reply to Depends on the M'Board be ...

Does that help?

I'm pretty sure I can set the boot devices.

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The systems not crudded up too bad

by Slayer_ In reply to Its this board

It's been mostly a gaming machine so just steam games and such. It boots and runs about as fast as it always has. But modern programs like firefox have gotten painfully slow. FF3.* booted very quickly, only a few seconds, FF17 takes nearly a minute to boot. Chrome is 45 seconds to a minute, IE 7 is still fast but why would I ever use that?

I could just reinstall XP though, but if I do I need to figure out how to install sata drivers first since XP doesn't understand sata from the install disc.

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SATA Update

by TheChas In reply to IDE to Sata cloning


I have a similar ASUS motherboard in one of my systems. The BIOS can be set to treat a SATA drive like an IDE device, so the cloned drive should just require a reboot to install the different hardware driver.

For a clean install onto a SATA drive, most systems I have built work fine without the SATA driver. Worst case is you need the driver on a floppy, or slip-stream it onto your XP install CD.

Keep in mind that as this motherboard supports 3 Gb/S SATA speeds that you will not get the full advantage of a SSD.

Searching on TRIM brought up some interesting articles. TRIM aids the OS and SSD in keeping track of free space on the drive. Without TRIM or a similar tool, SSD performance degrades over time as the typical system will not write over a used byte unless it has been erased first.

Hope this helps.


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Do you think I shouldn't bother?

by Slayer_ In reply to SATA Update

A new 7200 hard drive would probably give a significant boost as well.
I'm expecting to re-use the drives anyways in my next system build.

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Mechanical still the most cost effective

by TheChas In reply to Do you think I shouldn't ...

Presuming that your old drive is an ATA 66 speed device, The change to a SATA 2 drive will transfer data 4.5 times faster. A SATA 3 SSD is capable of twice the speed of SATA2.

The big improvement for a SSD is that seek time is nearly zero.

As a side note, the last I checked, MTBF for mechanical and SSD drives were nearly identical. This is because the SSD has a maximum number of write cycles.

Performing a clean install of XP will provide a significant performance upgrade just by setting up a clean compact registry.

If you do decide to perform a clean install, make sure of the drive size limits for the version of XP your install disk is. It was SP1 or SP2 that changed FDISK to allow for drives up to 2 TB.


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Ok thanks, I'll go mechanical instead then

by Slayer_ In reply to Do you think I shouldn't ...

Or maybe Hybrid,

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The least painful way...

by r_widell In reply to IDE to Sata cloning

is to ensure that the SATA driver is already installed before you do the cloning.

Attach a SATA drive to your system and boot up from IDE, then install the SATA driver. It may still BSOD at bootup from SATA because that SATA driver is probably not in the Registry Hive that defines the default set of drivers for successful boot (I don't recall the exact name or location of the Hive and I don't have WinXP up right now).

If that happens, leave the SATA drive as the highest priority hard drive, but boot from optical with either Hiren's BooCD or UBCD4Win. Both of those have a tool called "Fix SATA" in the registry tools. That will put the SATA driver in the correct hive for a successful boot.

I agree with your conclusion wrt spinning vs. solid state media, you're probably going to have less trouble with a 7200 RPM drive in XP.


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