Installing a new SSD on my laptop
3 years ago I bought a OCZ Core v2 SSD... I was very disappointed by write freeze, price and capacity. Recently a friend of mine, told me that I should try the new ones that has much improved in the meantime. So I decided to give another try to SSD on my laptop. I bought a Crucial M4 128GB SSD, because they seems to be of better quality than OCZ (and probably because of my first failed attempt).
The price is correct (~130€) and after some tests it seems quite good at write and read speed. So from this point of view, I am more convinced than my first attempt.
Now, the real problem of the SSD is how to migrate your old data to your new drive. I have always upgraded my HD to a larger one and so a simple
dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=32M was enough... In the case of SSD you have to migrate to a smaller capacity. This includes to juggle a little bit with your partition to get something that fits.
In order to improve a little bit the lifetime of my SSD, I have tried to follow various advice you can found on the Internet. One of this advice that seems to make sense, is to align your partition to a number modulo 2048 (rather than the default which is to start at 63). I followed this forum to do that.
I end up with all partitions aligned to 2048.
The GOOD news: doing data migration for Linux is a breeze. As a matter of fact, Linux support pretty well being move around, ending up on a different partition and so on... It just took me the time to transfer data, update grub and disk UUID and reboot.
The BAD news: doing data migration for Windows is a hell. I always keep a Windows partition to test various OCaml software. But Windows doesn't
like you like to be moved around.
It especially doesn't like that the first sector of its partition get moved (i.e. from sector 63 to sector 2048). I spend a week trying to 'repair windows' but it was a pure waste of time. Thinkpad comes with a special ways to store passwords which is not compatible with the rescue mode of Windows, so you cannot access the repair mode -- because you need the Administrator password -- which is not readable...
I decided to get back to the standard first sector on 63... Now Windows complained about 'hal.dll' missing. You know why ! Because the partition number has changed (from /dev/sda1 to /dev/sda3). Boot in Linux, run fdisk, enter expert mode, fix order -- after having remounted read-only the root partition and unmount everything else. Grub complains a little bit, fall into rescue mode. I fix that following these instructions and running 'grub-install --recheck /dev/sda'.
So after 2 weeks of fights, I end up with a working windows (honestly, this is a pain, don't try to play with Windows partition, this OS is a lot more
sensible sensitive than Linux).