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I recently had a SSD fail on me, and it was sent back for replacement. When I installed the SSD originally I did a Windows install, and then all the installs needed, VS2012, Phone developer SDK, SQL Server, etc. etc. - not a quick job.

It therefore goes without saying, that when the SSD failed, I wasn't best pleased, especially as this was the 2nd one to fail. (I got my money back on the first one, but when the second one failed, I sent it back for replacement.) So a couple of weeks ago, I sent the SSD back for replacement, and re-installed the OS and everything else again - another long day spent.

Before I got the SSD back, I examined my options to save me for doing yet another re-install. My current hard drive is 750gb, and partitioned into 200gb, 200gb and 350gb, the operating system being installed on the first partition. The SSD has a capacity of 240gb. I own Acronis True Image 2013 for backup, and that contains a disk clone tool. So I decided that was the way to go.

My SSD arrived back (by pack mule I think, as it took so long), so I plugged it into my disc caddy, and then plugged it into my USB 3.0 port. I then fired up Acronis, only to discover it doesn't want to clone partitions, and because of the disparity in drive sizes, I couldn't use it. After quite a bit of searching, and a couple of false starts, I came across MiniTool Partition Wizard which seemed to fit the bill. The program has wizards, and manual options, but feeling brave I went the manual route. I chose the source as my 200gb partition from the HDD and the destination as the new SSD, chose to make it a primary partition, and clicked to set it off. I got a warning that it couldn't use the C:\ drive as it was busy, and did I want to do a re-boot and run it on start-up. I gulped, and decided to give it a try (after checking several times I was going from C:\ to my new drive and not the other way round).

My system re-booted, and I hit return to run the software. It chugged away for about 45 minutes, and then continued into Windows as normal. I took a quick look at the new disc, and everything seemed to be there. So, I swapped the drives, and fired up the machine.

Very disappointingly, it just sat there, with a blinking cursor. I swore, and then thought for a few minutes. This thought process led me to insert my Windows DVD, boot from the DVD drive, and try a repair.

Again, it chugged away for a few minutes, rebooted, and lo-and behold, there was my log-on picture. SUCCESS!!

I fired up Outlook, and it bitched about the OST, so I deleted it, restarted Outlook, and it downloaded my mail. Ran up a few programs and all seem fine - so I pronounced it a success, and got on with my work.

I ran VS2012, opened a Windows Phone 8 project, made a couple of mods, and ran it up in the emulator. The emulator wouldn't start! The message asked me to make sure that the BIOS Settings were correct, and various other options. I checked my own article on the emulator problems, and everything seemed fine. Hyper-V was running, I was still a user, the network settings were fine - so what was wrong?

I tried a couple of options, and then hit pay-dirt. Uninstall Hyper-V, restart the system, re-install Hyper-V, and the restart the system again. SUCCESS again!!

So now, 24 hours later, everything seems to be OK. Scheduled jobs ran as they should, back-up ran, all seems fine.

With my searching and fixing, this still took me 3 or 4 hours - but a lot less than installing everything that I needed to install. If I had got it right first time, a couple of hours would have done it. Please let this SSD last longer than the last ones.

I have written a disc space monitor that runs hourly, so I can keep a weather eye on disc space. This logs space, and lets me know if it changes significantly, as I have gone to a paltry 240gb from 750gb. (My first PC had a 10mb drive!!) I may look at writing a disc monitor, that does a chkdsk to a file, and then reads the file to give me an early warning of problems.

Originall posted 26/Apr/2013

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