Jan 30, 2012
I have a new ASUS Bamboo U43-F Laptop I bought for business. Given I’m a one man travelling consultant, I decided to make a mirror image backup of the hard drive wiht all my tools installed and buy a spare hard drive to replace the 160 GB drive that came with the machine – this as a precaution and as a hot spare. I thought to choose a SSD replacement drive, as it should be more shock resistant that a conventional drive. In looking at New Egg I found the flowing, “SSD in that size - Intel 320 Series SSDSA2CW160G3K5 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive SSD. I have 3 questions on this decision:
1. Will this drive work in my ASUS laptop (assumption is yes and since it is a 160 GB, like the existing drive, I assume the mirror image will have no problem (used Carbonite to do it).
2. This drive is a good bit more money that a regular 160 GD laptop drive , but I expect it to be more shock resistant as well as much faster - are these reasonable expectations?
3. Is there a better choice for a replacement given that I can afford the SSD? Budget is $280 +_.
From a reliability standpoint the Intel 320 would be an excellent choice
The newer Sata III SSDs such as the Curcil M4, Smasung 830, and the Intel 510 might be a tad faster, But I believe you are on a SATA II port so would not see much diff in your daily use.

I did not verify, but your HDD is a 2.5" and not one of the Newer 1.8" drives.

On Cloning the Image. Most recommend a Clean install when moving from a HDD -> a SSD. There is a program that does the cloning OK, Not sure that carbonite would work well.

1) Need to verify that your HDD is using msahci (or iaSTor) as a driver. You can check this easily by downloading and opening AS SSD - DO NOT NEED to run Benchmark. Upper left should show the driver, If it shows pcide then you will need to change to msahci. This would be a registry edit, a reboot to BIOS and set Bios to ahci.
2) You may have to go into the registry to enable TRIM
3) the cloning may (Probably NOT) align the partition(s) correcty for optimium performance.

Clean Install
1) Verify/change Bios to AHCI
2) Will align partitions correctly (Will include a very small 100 mb system partition and your "C" partition will be the remainder of the drive.
3) will auto enable Trim.

Seems that this program has been recommend by Others (Not tried it) http://www.todo-backup.com/products/home/free-backup-software.htm

On Back up, if this is windows 7, then Once the SSD has been set up use Windows 7 back up to create your Image (under control panel.

Note: I assumed you are using windows 7, if Not Trim is NOT available for XP or Vista and must rely on Internal Garbage Colloction (CG).