[SOLVED] Need some help installing SSD boot drive on my system

May 24, 2020
7
0
20
1
This is my current storage setup: I have a 500GB HDD for Ubuntu and 1 TB HDD for windows, and the system is configured so that one startup I can choose which OS I want to boot to. I just ordered a 250GB SSD for a boot drive, and I have a spare 1TB HDD; I would like to have the following storage configuration: Partition the boot drive so that I can dual boot windows and ubuntu. Any extra space on the SSD will be saved for my frequently used apps in each OS's respective partition. Now, I would like to keep the 1TB windows drive as windows only for files, games, etc., but I want to replace the 500GB with my spare 1TB drive, and then partition this spare drive into another 500GB for windows and 500GB for ubuntu.

If I use the SATA cable for my optical disk drive with a hard drive, my system can work with up to three drives, but I'm trying to move data around on four drives.

Currently, my ubuntu installation consumes 80.1GB of space, so here is what I had in mind that could work: (1) I replace my optical disk drive with my SSD, and I give a fresh install of windows a 150GB partition (2) I image my ubuntu installation to the 100GB left on the SSD, and after verifying that it worked, I wipe the 500GB HDD (I will probably sell it). (3) Add the spare 1TB HDD to the system and partition it.

There are some things I have doubts about with this procedure: how could I make the system to boot to the SSD once it is installed, rather than booting to the HDDs? How can I delete just windows from the 1TB HDD once the SSD is in place? How could I make windows on the SSD use the 1TB HDD where all my windows games and files are?

Open to hearing feedback on the procedure above, or if someone has a better idea, please share!
 
May 24, 2020
7
0
20
1
The procedure was successful! In case others happen to come across this post in the future, I'll describe each step of the process.

  1. If you are worried about losing data, back up your drives! These steps also require a Live USB of windows and a Live USB of ubuntu, so make sure you have those ready before cloning.
  2. The first issue I ran into was that even though both my windows installation and my ubuntu installation each consumed 80 GB or less, both installations had a 1TB drive and 500GB drive allocated to them, respectively. So if I had wanted to clone both drives, I would have needed at least a 1.5TB SSD. Instead, I created a Live USB of gparted, which will let you resize the partitions. Thus, I was able to shrink the partitions so that they would both fit on the 250GB SSD. From what I understand, gparted is pretty safe, but drive corruption is not unheard of!
  3. I made the clone of ubuntu using Macrium Reflect, but my windows drive apparently had a few bad sectors (it is a very old drive) and Macrium refused to clone. I installed EaseUs Partition Master and was able to complete the windows clone on the remaining space on the SSD.
  4. I turned off the computer and unplugged all hard drives except for the SSD.
  5. On boot up, I got a message "Your PC/Device needs to be repaired" (Look up error code 0xc000000e on google images). Essentially, I had to boot repair windows and ubuntu, which is why those Live USBs are necessary. The windows boot repair was the trickiest; I followed the steps here: https://www.dell.com/support/article/en-us/sln300987/how-to-repair-the-efi-bootloader-on-a-gpt-hdd-for-windows-7-8-8-1-and-10-on-your-dell-pc?lang=en, but the first thing I did once I was in the command prompt was type bootsect/nt60 sys before following the rest of the instructions (I followed the GPT instructions). Doing all this allowed me to boot to windows.
  6. I boot repaired ubuntu and then the grub menu started appearing on boot up, with both windows and ubuntu available from the menu.
  7. I swapped out the 500GB HDD for my spare 1TB HDD, and formatted and partitioned them according to how much disk space I wanted for each OS
I went in not really knowing too much, but it turned out successful! I put off purchasing an SSD for a bit because I knew getting this to work would take at least a few hours, but I'm really glad I have the SSD. Boot times and load times are so much faster!
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
I don't think your plan is going to work without repairing whichever one is your multi-bootloader (probably ubuntu/grub) or it's even possible. If grub is the bootloader then it won't know about the new windows install and if Windows is the bootloader, well the fresh install won't know about ubuntu...

And then the new Windows won't know anything about the programs installed into the old windows.
For games that use launcher Apps, such as Steam, you can often just reinstall the launcher and then add the old games folder to the apps library and most of them will work. What you need to do varies with whichever launcher app so you have some homework to do.

The Programs that were installed in the old windows will mostly not work with the new windows and will need to be reinstalled. When you install a program to windows they write files to the registry and usually to the users hidden AppData folder as well.
 
May 24, 2020
7
0
20
1
I don't think your plan is going to work without repairing whichever one is your multi-bootloader (probably ubuntu/grub) or it's even possible. If grub is the bootloader then it won't know about the new windows install and if Windows is the bootloader, well the fresh install won't know about ubuntu...

And then the new Windows won't know anything about the programs installed into the old windows.
For games that use launcher Apps, such as Steam, you can often just reinstall the launcher and then add the old games folder to the apps library and most of them will work. What you need to do varies with whichever launcher app so you have some homework to do.

The Programs that were installed in the old windows will mostly not work with the new windows and will need to be reinstalled. When you install a program to windows they write files to the registry and usually to the users hidden AppData folder as well.
Thank you for your answer!

Yes, I've been using grub. I'm less concerned about having to reinstall launchers, games, and large pieces of software, but more concerned with things such as settings and configuration files that I've modified, especially in ubuntu. If I delete the games from my windows partition, all the rest of my apps and files should be around 100GB. In this case, the space consumed by both of my partitions could easily fit on my 250GB SSD.

So then, maybe it could work if I clone each OS to two partitions on the SSD, one after the other? And then when I boot to windows for the first time, I could format the previous 1TB windows HDD and half of the spare 1TB HDD and save the rest for ubuntu. However, I'm not sure if I would run into issues if I tried to boot to the ubuntu HDD after I cloned windows to the SSD.
 
May 24, 2020
7
0
20
1
This is for a desktop, and all hard drives are internal. Neither OS contains much data that I am worried about losing (aside from all the configurations that I made). Maybe at most 20GB per OS, and this data I plan to backup in the cloud.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
124,568
4,070
159,940
19,583
So, to verify:

You have:
1 drive with Windows, 1TB
1 drive with Ubuntu, 500GB
Boot process controlled by GRUB

You want:
1 physical drive with individual partitions for Windows and Ubuntu, a 250GB SSD
The 1TB to be used for win games, etc.


You can probably clone the Win and Ubuntu onto that single drive, but the GRUB data will need to be modified, because the Windows now resides in a whole different place.
Key word...probably.

I wouldn't do this without a known good full drive image of both the Windows and Ubuntu drives.

"how could I make the system to boot to the SSD once it is installed, rather than booting to the HDDs? "
For ANY clone process, the step you do right after it stops running is to power OFF< disconnect all drives except the new drive (what you cloned to) and allow the system to try to boot up from only the new drive.
This is not an option .
 
May 24, 2020
7
0
20
1
What do you mean by a known good full drive image? Do you mean a backup of windows and ubuntu?

Say I get this SSD, connect it to my desktop, and clone windows to it (but not yet ubuntu). Once the clone is complete, I can boot to windows SSD by disconnecting all drives. Now if I want to clone ubuntu, I'll need to reconnect the ubuntu HDD (windows HDD still disconnected). I imagine that on boot up, if grub does show up, I won't be able to see any windows boot option. But once I'm in ubuntu I can modify grub to point to the new windows installation (maybe do a reboot or two to make sure that it works), and then proceed with cloning ubuntu, followed by a boot up with all HDDs disconnected. Of course, I'm assuming here that if I clone ubuntu, grub will automatically know what to do when I boot to the SSD for the first time once the ubuntu clone is complete.

Here's a followup question: when I clone to the SSD and want to boot to it, does disconnecting the HDDs force the computer to boot using the SSD? Or is the point so that the computer "learns" that each OS is on a new drive? If it's the former, it sounds like I could modify the boot sequence in bios to give boot priority to the SSD, so I could keep all drives connected.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
124,568
4,070
159,940
19,583
Yes, a full drive image of all OS drives.
I would not proceed without one, just in case things go weird.
(then again, I don't turn my PC on with that anyway)

For the actual clone operation....you should be able to select all relevant partitions on both drives, and do both at the same time to the single target drive.

That is what I would try.

As far as disconnecting the old drive, esp the WIndows drive...YES. Before you boot it up the first time, thisis essential.
Don't rely on changes to the BIOS boot priority to manage this.

And GRUB may not automatically know where you've moved the Windows partition. It no longer resides on that specific hard drive.
That will probably need manual editing.
 
May 24, 2020
7
0
20
1
This has been incredibly helpful so far, thank you!

Since this is my first time cloning, I'm not familiar with cloning software, let alone one that could allow me to clone both partitions in a single operation. I imagined that for each OS, I'd have to install a new piece of software and clone each one independently. Do you have one that you recommend?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
124,568
4,070
159,940
19,583
This has been incredibly helpful so far, thank you!

Since this is my first time cloning, I'm not familiar with cloning software, let alone one that could allow me to clone both partitions in a single operation. I imagined that for each OS, I'd have to install a new piece of software and clone each one independently. Do you have one that you recommend?
From within the Windows instance, Macrium Reflect should be able to do both. It does not really care what is on the drive.
Or, booting up from a Macrium RescueUSB that you can create.
 
May 24, 2020
7
0
20
1
Great! I will post any additional questions I have if they come up. If I'm successful, I'll post a brief step-by-step outline of what I did for others for future reference. If something goes wrong, I'll post what I did and where I think things went wrong.
 
May 24, 2020
7
0
20
1
The procedure was successful! In case others happen to come across this post in the future, I'll describe each step of the process.

  1. If you are worried about losing data, back up your drives! These steps also require a Live USB of windows and a Live USB of ubuntu, so make sure you have those ready before cloning.
  2. The first issue I ran into was that even though both my windows installation and my ubuntu installation each consumed 80 GB or less, both installations had a 1TB drive and 500GB drive allocated to them, respectively. So if I had wanted to clone both drives, I would have needed at least a 1.5TB SSD. Instead, I created a Live USB of gparted, which will let you resize the partitions. Thus, I was able to shrink the partitions so that they would both fit on the 250GB SSD. From what I understand, gparted is pretty safe, but drive corruption is not unheard of!
  3. I made the clone of ubuntu using Macrium Reflect, but my windows drive apparently had a few bad sectors (it is a very old drive) and Macrium refused to clone. I installed EaseUs Partition Master and was able to complete the windows clone on the remaining space on the SSD.
  4. I turned off the computer and unplugged all hard drives except for the SSD.
  5. On boot up, I got a message "Your PC/Device needs to be repaired" (Look up error code 0xc000000e on google images). Essentially, I had to boot repair windows and ubuntu, which is why those Live USBs are necessary. The windows boot repair was the trickiest; I followed the steps here: https://www.dell.com/support/article/en-us/sln300987/how-to-repair-the-efi-bootloader-on-a-gpt-hdd-for-windows-7-8-8-1-and-10-on-your-dell-pc?lang=en, but the first thing I did once I was in the command prompt was type bootsect/nt60 sys before following the rest of the instructions (I followed the GPT instructions). Doing all this allowed me to boot to windows.
  6. I boot repaired ubuntu and then the grub menu started appearing on boot up, with both windows and ubuntu available from the menu.
  7. I swapped out the 500GB HDD for my spare 1TB HDD, and formatted and partitioned them according to how much disk space I wanted for each OS
I went in not really knowing too much, but it turned out successful! I put off purchasing an SSD for a bit because I knew getting this to work would take at least a few hours, but I'm really glad I have the SSD. Boot times and load times are so much faster!
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS