Disk Cloning anno 2020


This post is mostly a memo for myself, but maybe it can help you next time you need to clone a SSD or an M.2 drive and save you some time trying to find tools that works.

My standard procedure for data protection is that I buy new faster and better drive every other year, and copy stuff over, and leave the old drives in a drawer, in case of emergency they can be used. This goes for boot drives as well as storage drives (lately the storage drives have lasted a lot longer, because I don’t acquire that much data, and drives are so big). However every time I need to clone a boot drive it seems that I end up spending more time than I like, because of crappy tools that don’t work (or maybe they do, but they don’t work for me).

Today I moved data from an old Samsung Evo 850, 256 GB SATA SSD, to another 512 GB Samsung M.2 drive (I don’t have the exact model, as it is an OEM drive that was pulled from a Razer laptop) – however testing showed that it was significantly faster, so good upgrade.

Last time I upgraded SSD in one of the other machine I used a free version of Acronis True Image, that came with an Kingston SSD. As I remembered it, it just worked, so wanted to use that again today. (Note first I tried with Samsung own Data Migration – which didn’t work because it couldn’t detect the OEM drive).

Acronis True Image tool is very simple, so it was easy to start the clone process. However after it did its thing, and I tried to boot from the new M.2 drive it just got a black screen. Turns out, windows doesn’t like if you leave the old drive in. I did a lot of fiddling around trying to get it to work, but no luck. So I cloned again it and immediately after the clone turned of the old drive, then it worked. Two hours down the drain, for leaving the old drive plugged in. (Last time I used the tool I did move the old drive to a new system so wasn’t aware of this) – the online documentation states this, but who reads that when the tool itself is super easy to use, a little warning in the program would have been nice.

The last part of todays mission was to resize the partitions so that I could enjoy all of the 512 GB for my boot drive (actually this was my reason for upgrading 256 GB just doesn’t cut it anymore). For this I went with AOMEI Partition Assistant (the free version) – it could nicely resize the Recovery Partition and move it to the end of the disk, and then give the remaining space to the boot drive. Pretty impressive all could be done from within Windows without reboot and took 10 sec.