Easy Upgrades: Hard Drive to Solid State Drive

Drive Migration Process

Before we get started with this process, we want to stress the importance of backing up any important files from your system before attempting any type of major system change, such as a drive replacement or cloning. While this is a good habit to have at all times, it is especially important for these more advanced operations, as problems can be encountered, and you don’t want to be met with a hardware failure or system fault and no backup to recover from.

Unfortunately, Kingston’s upgrade kit comes with no real instructions, other than some very crude images on the top flap of the retail box. While we at ThinkComputers know what needs to happen in this process, a first-time user would be left with no information on how to get started in this process. This is definitely something Kingston could improve on, and we will be reaching out to our contacts to let them know of this opportunity. That being said, follow along as we walk through the process from start to finish.

With the USB enclosure’s back cover removed, all that we needed to do to get started was slide the UV500 into place, making sure that the SATA power and data connections were lined up and fully seated.

Kingston UV500

Next we just slid the enclosure’s cover back on, and used the sliding lock to ensure it was in place.

Plugging in the included USB 3.0 Micro Type-B cable into the enclosure and then into our laptop was our next step, and once the drive was connected, we needed to initialize it within Windows to get started.

This is a simple process, and is completed via Disk Management, which can be found by typing “Disk Management” in the Windows 10 Start Menu. Once in Disk Management, you will be notified that you need to initialize the UV500 that you have recently plugged in. Leaving the initial options selected for “Disk 1” and clicking “OK” will initialize the disk.

Once back in Disk Management, you will see that Disk 1 is Online, but it’s space is Unallocated. You will need to right-click the Unallocated section and select “New Simple Volume”, which will open the New Simple Volume Wizard.

Click “Next >” to continue.

Click “Next >” to leave the default setting. This tells the wizard that we want to use the full size of the drive for our volume.

Click “Next >” to assign the automatically configured drive letter, “D” in our case.

Click “Next >” to keep the default settings of an NTFS file system and a volume label of “New Volume”. Make sure that “Perform a quick format” is checked to speed up the process.

Review the selected settings, then click “Finish” to complete the wizard.

This will take you back to Disk Management, where you will see that Disk 1 is now has a status of “Formatting”. This process does not take long, and usually finishes in a few minutes, depending on drive size.

Once finished, Disk 1 will then update to “Healthy (Primary Partition)”, and from here we can being the download and installation of Acronis True Image HD.

On our host system, the ASUS laptop, we downloaded the Acronis True Image HD application via the link on the included card. Thankfully, Kingston has provided a nice walk-through of the Acronis process on their download page, and we will be covering that process here as well.

Once the application is downloaded, run the executable to get started.

This will present you with a blue Acronis window. Click “Install” to get started.

The window will update, showing you a progress bar during the application’s installation.

Once fully installed, the window will once again update. Click the “Start application” button to begin.

In order to utilize this version of Acronis’ software, you must register for an account, or use an existing account. As we did not yet have an account, we used the “Create account” link at the bottom of the window.

Here you fill out your name, e-mail address, and create a password for the application. Once all fields have been completed, click the green “Create account” button.

The next screen will request your serial number, which can be found on the included card from Kingston. Enter this key and click the “Activate” button.

By default, you will be taken to the Tools section of the application to start a disk cloning operation. There are other tabs available on the left of the window, though they are restricted to the full version of the application. We won’t be covering these options in this article, but Acronis offers some great features for backing up and securing the data on your devices in the full version of the application. Clicking the “CLONE DISK” option on the Tools tab will begin the “Clone Disk Wizard”.

There are two options to choose from in the Clone Disk Wizard, “Automatic” and “Manual”, the first of which is recommended. Each offers a similar process, with the Manual option giving you full control over the drive cloning procedure. We will be working with the Automatic option for ease of use, and because we don’t have any partition size adjustments to make. Click the “Next >” button to continue.

The next screen will ask us to choose our source disk. In our example, this is Disk 1, the HGST drive on the Serial ATA interface. Selecting this drive shows us the existing partition layout at the bottom of the window. With the source drive selected, click the “Next >” button.

Next we select the target disk, which is the Kingston SUV500960G TB08 option on the USB interface. We can see the single Basic GPT partition that we created in Disk Management at the bottom of the screen. Click the “Next >” button to continue.

A small window will pop up, informing you that the destination drive we have selected contains an existing partition, and that it will be deleted if you continue. Click “OK” to proceed.

A summary screen is provided, showing the source and target disks, as well as the target disk’s partition layout after the cloning has taken place. There is also an “Options” button that allows you to exclude files and folders, as well as certain file types, but we want to make a direct clone of our source drive, so we will leave these features alone. Click the “Proceed” button to continue.

A final window will pop up, indicating that a system restart is required to continue. Click the “Reset” button to begin the disk cloning process.

This will initiate a reboot, and the system will boot to a temporary Acronis environment, where the cloning process takes place. This is done to ensure that no changes are occurring on either disk, outside of the cloning process. A check box is present on the cloning screen, and allows you to shut down the system once the process has completed. We recommend enabling this option, as after a successful clone, you will swap the SSD for the HDD, and there is no reason to boot to the source drive again.

Depending on the source drive’s specifications and used capacity, this process will take a decent amount of time. Our test system was using around 65GB of space, so the cloning process only took around 15-20 minutes.

Once the cloning is complete and the system has shut down, you will need to remove the source drive from the system, and replace it with the SSD. In our example, this consisted of removing the bottom cover of our laptop, and removing the 2.5″ hard drive. Next we removed the UV500 SSD from the external USB enclosure, and installed it in the empty 2.5″ drive bay in our laptop. Closing up the bottom cover of our laptop and powering the system on was the last step.

A really great feature of the Kingston SSD Upgrade Kit is that you can then take your old 2.5″ hard drive and put it into the USB enclosure for use as a secondary storage drive. While we are confident in the abilities of the Acronis application, we always recommend verifying the contents of the freshly cloned drive to make sure all of your important documents are in place in their new home prior to wiping the old drive to be used as secondary storage.

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