SSD Upgrade Using Recovery Discs: Any Warnings? (331 Views)
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clarissag
Posts: 5
Member Since: ‎12-07-2013
Message 1 of 8 (331 Views)
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SSD Upgrade Using Recovery Discs: Any Warnings?

[ Edited ]

I'd like to start off by saying that I am quite technology-challenged, so I'd kindly appreciate it if answerers could use short, simple words with me. :smileyvery-happy:

 

I have an Elitebook 8460p with Windows 7 Pro 64-bit. I'd like to upgrade my 320 GB HDD to a 500 GB SSD. Rather than cloning my current HDD, I've decided to do a fresh install on the new SSD. I do not have a Windows 7 disc, but fortunately, HP includes a recovery disc with all Elitebook purchases.

 

However, I've read elsewhere that using a recovery disc on a SSD is a bad idea because this might lead to "alignment problems." Truthfully, I have no idea what that means, but it sounds bad.

 

So, I'm wondering if it's safe to put in my SSD, boot to my recovery disc, and install Windows 7 that way.

 

On an unrelated note, I've been reading lots of guides about installing and optimizing SSDs. They all say different things, which is a little overwhelming. (Some people even say to ignore such guides because many of them were written a long time ago, back when SSDs were still in their infancy, and today's SSDs don't need to be optimized.)

 

Anyway, one of the things that all of the guides say is to use AHCI mode, which is an option that I am supposed to be able to find in my BIOS (I haven't checked, so I don't know!). My question is: When should I change to AHCI mode? Before taking out my old HDD and installing my SSD? Or after I put in the SSD? All I know about AHCI is that it's supposed to make the SSD run faster.

 

Thanks in advance for any helpful advice!

 

Clarissa

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Huffer
Posts: 10,505
Member Since: ‎11-12-2008
Message 2 of 8 (310 Views)

Re: SSD Upgrade Using Recovery Discs: Any Warnings?

[ Edited ]

Your laptop's BIOS are already set to AHCI by default so you do not need to worry about that. The problems with SSDs come from using an SSD smaller than the smallest drive offered on the model series. In such cases the recovery disks are confused. But you propose to use a 500 gig SSD so it should not be a problem. Personally, I would not do the factory restore. Instead, you can download an OEM version of Windows 7 that corrresponds to your license. Is it Windows 7 Professional? It has to be the same version because you will use the Key Code on the bottom of your laptop to activate it. This is a link to download a fully legal, correct OEM Windows 7 Professional SP1 64 bit recovery disk:

 

http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-24281.iso

 

This is an .iso. This can be burned to a useable DVD disk. Post back if you have any issues but Windows 7 has a built in disk image utility that should allow you to do this or burning software like Nero also will burn an .iso to a disk. You can't just burn the .iso onto a disk. This has Service Pack 1 built in so you can avoid that first huge update. You can copy the swsetup folder from your laptop hard drive and it will have all the drivers and the pre-installed software. You can also use Windows Easy Transfer to make a file that will restore files and browser settings and preferences. Post back if you need more help.

 

If this is "the Answer" please click "Accept as Solution" to help others find it.

Top Student
clarissag
Posts: 5
Member Since: ‎12-07-2013
Message 3 of 8 (282 Views)

Re: SSD Upgrade Using Recovery Discs: Any Warnings?

Thanks, Huffer. If you don't mind my asking, where did you get that link for recovery disc? I'm very, very wary of downloading things that I'm not familiar with. I visited http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/ and http://digitalrivercontent.net/ and there's nothing on those pages. I'd prefer it if an official site like http://microsoft.com/ had a link. In any case, I don't think I will be able to use that because I don't know where to find my Windows 7 key. I thought there'd be a sticker on the bottom of my laptop, but apparently not. Maybe I have to remove the bottom cover?

 

Since HP already included a recovery disc, is there any disadvantage to just using that instead? Based on your reply, it sounds like I won't have any problems with it because my 500 GB SSD is bigger than the smallest drive that's offered for this model (I checked and the smallest is 120 GB).

 

I'm glad to hear that my BIOS is already set to AHCI by default. That's one less thing I need to worry about!

 

I plan on using Windows Easy Transfer to put my Windows settings onto a USB flash drive, then transferring them to the new Windows installation on the SSD. I'm currently going through my computer and writing down all of the programs that I need to redownload. I only have one computer to use so I have to make sure I get everything right. Once I disconnect this old HDD, there's no going back. (Well, not without repeatedly changing hard drives, which is a pain and something I don't want to do!)

 


Thanks again,

 

Clarissa

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Huffer
Posts: 10,505
Member Since: ‎11-12-2008
Message 4 of 8 (280 Views)

Re: SSD Upgrade Using Recovery Discs: Any Warnings?

[ Edited ]

The link is good. I have downloaded it checksummed it, virus scanned it, etc. It is a very well known link and if you google it you will find a lot of very reputable sites link to it. But you can use the recovery disk no problem. The disadvantage is all the crapware included in the factory load but you can run pcdecrapifier to get rid of that. The Key Code is likely inside the battery compartment.

 

Here is a well known and reutable site linking to the same disk:

 

http://www.w7forums.com/threads/official-windows-7-sp1-iso-image-downloads.12325/

 

We would not send you to some shady warez thing.

Top Student
clarissag
Posts: 5
Member Since: ‎12-07-2013
Message 5 of 8 (264 Views)

Re: SSD Upgrade Using Recovery Discs: Any Warnings?

Thanks again, Huffer. I don't think I've ever taken out the battery before, and lo and behold, there was the key!

 

I'm going to be performing surgery on my laptop this weekend. I'm nervous, but I think I'm ready. I'll write back with my results!

Top Student
clarissag
Posts: 5
Member Since: ‎12-07-2013
Message 6 of 8 (250 Views)

Re: SSD Upgrade Using Recovery Discs: Any Warnings?

[ Edited ]

Edit: Nevermind, I'm a dunce. Everything is fine. Onward with the upgrade!!

HP Support Agent
Dunidar
Posts: 3,593
Member Since: ‎09-03-2013
Message 7 of 8 (231 Views)

Re: SSD Upgrade Using Recovery Discs: Any Warnings?

Hello clarissag

 

I am sorry, but to get your issue more exposure I would suggest posting it in the commercial forums since this is a commercial product. You can do this at http://h30499.www3.hp.com/hpeb/ .

I hope this helps.



Please click the "Thumbs Up" on the left to say thank you if you appreciate the support I provide!

Also be sure to mark my post as “Accept as Solution" if you feel my post solved your issue, it will help others who face the same challenge find the same solution.


Dunidar
I work on behalf of HP


"Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job." - Anonymous
Top Student
clarissag
Posts: 5
Member Since: ‎12-07-2013
Message 8 of 8 (197 Views)

Re: SSD Upgrade Using Recovery Discs: Any Warnings?

[ Edited ]

Well, it took far longer than I expected (partially because of the holidays), but I've finally finished upgrading to my SSD and everything looks great! :smileyvery-happy:

 

I'll briefly describe my experiences in case someone stumbles upon this thread while looking for answers to their own questions.

 

Opening up my computer for the first time ever was a breeze. The only very brief stumbling block came when I had to remove the smart card reader, which sat on top of the HDD. The manual for my Elitebook 8460p provided incorrect instructions for how to remove the smart card reader, but I figured it out.

 

Swapping out my HDD for the SSD was a breeze, though I almost stripped a bracket screw in the process. My advice is to be very patient and work slow. If you strip a screw and can't add/remove the hard drive, that will lead to major headaches, so don't rush!

 

As it turned out, I ended up not using Windows Easy Transfer to back up my original Windows settings. The reason is because Windows Easy Transfer wanted to move over 200 GB of files. A bunch of the stuff were my own files that I didn't want moved, so I unchecked those. But there was also a lot of other stuff that I had no clue about. I didn't want to unknowingly import some crappy settings into my SSD that causes Windows to perform poorly, so I decided not to use Windows Easy Transfer at all.

 

Instead, when into HP's Drivers and Downloads section to search for my laptop model. I decided that I would install all of the drivers manually from scratch. I selected my laptop model and was presented with tons of drivers and software. Some I recognized to be for unwanted bloatware, so I ignored those. But there were also many for things that I was unfamiliar with. I ended up downloading everything that wasn't bloatware. More on that later.

 

I also wrote down various settings that I thought would be important, like my Windows 7 Aero display options and my folder display options, so I could apply them manually later.

 

Installing Windows was easy. Thanks again, Huffer, for the help. Your link for the clean Windows 7 Pro 64-bit installation worked great. :smileyhappy:

 

Here's how I approached the installation. (This might be useful to others who are upgrading to a SSD. Otherwise it's optional reading. :smileywink:)

 

- Before turning my computer on, I disconnected the ethernet cable because I didn't want Windows 7 to run its update or download its own drivers before I installed mine.

 

- Install Windows 7!

 

- Before proceeding, I did some SSD optimization work to make as most efficient use of the SSD as possible. I turned off hibernation, disabled system protection (I know, I know! I've heard bad things about doing this, but I don't use it anyway), disabled drive indexing and Windows Search, disabled disk defragmentation, disabled Superfetch and Prefetch, disabled GUI on boot, and confirmed that TRIM was on. After that, I restarted the computer.

 

- Then, I installed the drivers in this order: chipset, storage, graphics, audio, network, modem, keyboard & other inputs, software, firmware, utility tools, operating system enhancements & QFEs, and everything else. I restarted after every set of installations, and also when the computer told me to restart. I felt very happy knowing that the SSD allows me to restart the computer as many times as I want with no ill effects, unlike the wear-and-tear that happens to HDDs.

 

I ran into a few minor problems while installing the drivers. Remember when I said I downloaded all of the drivers and software that weren't bloatware? As it turns out, some of those drivers weren't even intended for my computer. (So why the heck were they listed when I searched for my model, hmmm, HP?!)

 

For example, I downloaded the Intel Video Driver and Control Panel. But after I ran the installer, I got an error saying that it wouldn't work for my computer. Apparently, it's because I have a separate AMD graphics card, and that supercedes the Intel graphics card that's built into the Intel chip. I installed the AMD Video Driver and Control Panel just fine.

 

That type of error message came up a few times. It was annoying because I felt like I was filling my computer with trash everytime that happened and was somehow taking away from the "cleanness" of my installation. Sigh.

 

- After all that, I plugged in the ethernet cable. Windows automatically detected my internet connection. I ran Windows Update, and let Windows do its thing. It took hours for all of the updates to be downloaded and installed.

 

- Even after installing all of the HP drivers and Windows updates, I was apparently still missing some drivers. When I pressed the Wi-Fi on/off button on the upper right corner of my laptop, a pop-up saying that Windows was installing the necessary drivers suddenly appeared. I thought HP's own drivers would have taken care of that, but apparently not. Oh well. Here's hoping that Window's drivers work as well as HP's.

 

- I applied all of the settings from my old HDD that I had previously written down and installed all of the software that I needed to survive.

 

- And finally, I activated my Windows 7 license using the key located on my COA sticker.

 

- I bought an external USB enclosure for my old HDD. I transferred many of my files to my SSD. I'm going to wait a few more days to make sure everything about my SSD is working fine. After that, I'll reformat my old HDD and use it for storage.

 

Hopefully, my experience here will be helpful to someone looking to upgrade to a SSD. I'm the most computer-illiterate person I know, and after posting here and reading lots of guides, I was able to do it successfully. It took a long time, but it was by no means difficult. Don't be afraid to do it, you'll love the results!!

 

 

Dunidar wrote:

Hello clarissag

 

I am sorry, but to get your issue more exposure I would suggest posting it in the commercial forums since this is a commercial product. You can do this at http://h30499.www3.hp.com/hpeb/ .

I hope this helps.


Thanks, Dunidar. I didn't think of posting in the business forum, and I guess I could have, but I don't think it would have made a difference because my original questions were not specific to my laptop model. They apply to everyone looking to upgrade to a SSD. The Support forum here gets more views anyway.

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