See part 2 to learn all about moving files and watching progress bars. It is a riveting read.
My C: partition was now trim and ready, much like the recipient of a Brazilian wax. Steam games had been moved, obsolete applications had been removed, unnecessary user accounts had been deleted.
NASA, this is Flight Control… we are ready to launch!
Flight Control, that is negatory. You haven’t installed the hardware yet
TL;DR Are we not done yet?
Installing a Disk: 101…
Ha! I’ve done this at least 3 or 4 times before. Let’s get the case open. Ooohh look at that v8 cooling unit! Geek porn at it’s finest. So let’s see, we tweak this and pinch that and, amazing!!! The whole disk tray comes out! That is fucking awesome! What a great idea! Wait a minute… when was the last time I did anything like this?
It dawned on my quite quickly that I had in fact not opened this case since I built the rig 3-4 years ago. Now that speaks volumes about how PC technology has progressed (or ceased to) as 3-4 years ago I would have been opening the damn thing every 6-12 months to add some new doohickey, and would have been intimately familiar with every component.
Anyway, I managed to pop one of the disk trays and proceeded to fit the SSD, but no! I was foiled at the first hurdle. The disk was waaaay to small for the tray. It came with an adapter though right? Course not. That would be far to fucking easy wouldn’t it. OK, let’s check the instructions: step 1: fit the drive; step 2: turn your computer on. Well fuck you SanDisk!
It cannot be this difficult, I tried to convince myself, so I popped online and asked Google. Lo and behold, there is a Sandisk SSD conversion kit for only £20 – £30. Not only does it provide a converter to fit the disk, but also a power/data cable and cloning software so that you can copy your Boot drive. Result! Not wanting to make the same mistake as last time, I took time to read the instructions. The first page pretty much said “make sure you have this conversion kit otherwise you won’t be able to use your SSD”. Fuck you SanDisk!
The Clone Bores…
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never cloned a disk before, and this wasn’t just any disk, it was my Boot disk. It had “this will end in tears” written all over it! What could go wrong? Well, everything quite frankly. I calmed and steeled myself for what was to come, and then unabashedly plunged myself head first in to the task, while screaming Banzaiiii!!!!
Once you know what you’re doing and have applications that don’t suck balls, cloning really is a piece of piss. If you have none of the prerequisites though, it is a giant ball ache of epic proportions.
I gleefully proceeded to connect the SSD and run the cloning software provided – EZ Gig IV. This was exciting! In went the CD, up came the application. Select this, click that, choose that option. Before long I was at the, Which Disk Would You Like to Clone screen. My Boot disk was listed as C: & D:. There were other disks, but they are not relevant to this article. “I’ll have a C: please Bob” was my preference, but NO! That is an unacceptable choice. Wah? After much exclaiming and gnashing of teeth, asking Google and not a little alcohol, it transpired that EX Gig IV only clones disks, not partitions; even if the source drive is larger than the target. It apparently doesn’t give a shit. So option A was fucked then… Honestly, why am I still surprised?
I considered using EaseUS to clone, but their disk cloning functionality requires you to upgrade to the Professional version for $30 (plus $16 for a lifetime upgrade if you’re feeling flush). I… what… <splutter>… It’s the 21st century, this is the Internet, and you want me to PAY! Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oh… you’re serious? Well good bye then. In the end I downloaded Macrium Reflect for exactlly £0. Fuck you EaseUS!
Macrium Reflect is a great tool, but I can’t for life of me remember how it works, so good luck with that. I’ve only used it once; what do you expect? Click some things and select some stuff and it’ll clone your Boot disk. The important thing at this point is that your SSD is not currently installed. It is external to the PC, connected via the data/power cable belatedly provided by the disk manufacturer. Also, it runs in Windows, rather than rebooting to a the pre OS boot loader to prevent Windows from getting in the way. This, I have to say, caused no end of concern for me. I mean, how can it do that? What if something changes? What the fuck was going on? Eventually it stopped. It took approximately some length of time of complete. I shut the machine down, disconnected the SSD and prepared to install the drive in the HDD bay.
See part 4 for the finale. Will love triumph? Will they be happy ever after? What? Wait! Oh yeah… installing disks. I remember now.