2019-03-13 15:26:32 (edited by jsymes 2019-03-13 15:26:59)

I'm buying an ssd to transfer my existing Windows 7 installation onto, and I was wondering if anybody could recommend a good freeware disk cloning app that works well with NVDA? Thanks in advance.

AKA president731

2019-03-13 15:44:31

I don't think you can do it that way, since the cloning process by its very nature will require the file system on the source drive to be unmounted. Since windows will not let you unmount the drive that the OS is running on, you might not be able to clone it whilst within windows. These are uncharted waters for me, but you might be able to use a windows PE image and some software to do it.

One thing occurs to me though, since HDDs and SSDs have different ways of writing, you'd clone bit for bit to your SSD, which would spread the data across the thing weirdly. It might be better to just do a clean install onto the SSD then use your existing drive to move the essential stuff over from your previous installation. Then, you could format the HDD and use it as internal storage. I know there are ways to make a disk image, compress it, which would basically take all the data and put it together, and all the free space together, rather than like data data data, free space data data data, free space free space, data data data, free space data free space.

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2019-03-13 15:53:57 (edited by jsymes 2019-03-13 16:10:19)

ironcross32, that's nonsense, because there are programs out there that already do this, Acronis TrueImage to name just one. Unfortunately Acronis is not at all accessible whenever I've tried using it, hence why I was asking if anybody knew of an NVDA-friendly alternative.

Has anybody had any luck using something like Macrium Reflect or EaseUs with NVDA? I'm seeing a lot of videos and posts on various web sites recommending these, but I'd tried using both some time ago with Window-Eyes and had no luck.

AKA president731

2019-03-13 17:02:39

Not entirely true; Windows has a service called vss which allows you to make full system backups while it's running. That said, moving your Windows partition from an ssd to an hdd is going to be tricky. If it were an hdd to an hdd, it'd be more doable but ssds have two properties that make it harder, mainly that 1 they have larger blocks, and you need to make sure your partition is aligned properly. If it is not, suppose you have blocks of 64 kb, and you need 64 kb of data read. It'll need to pull in two blocks, one for the first bit of the data (stored in the latter halfe) and the other block for the last bit for the data (stored in the first bit of the first halfe of the second block) if this makes sence. Second, when data is deleted from an hdd, only the reffrence to that data is deleted and the data is marked as free, the data isn't actually whiped because that would envolve writing to all those sectors. So if you were to delete a 50 gb file, only a small reference will be whiped and the file data will be overwritten eventually with new data. An ssd works differently, because for an ssd a sector actually needs to be erased before you can write to it again. So when you delete a 50 gb file from an ssd, All the sectors which that file occupied will be cleared. When you do a bit by bit copy from an hdd however, it'll be hard to determine which sectors contain actually used data and which sectors contain junk and are free to write to. When you do a clean install Windows will keep in mind what drive you have and enable the proper options accordingly. For maximum performance, do a clean install. That said, you might have luck with programs disk2vhd and vhd2disk, but then again you might not, never tested it.

Roel
golfing in the kitchen

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2019-03-13 17:25:56

roelvdwal, odd because my step father did precisely what I'm planning to do without needing to reinstall Windows. Unfortunately the tool he used to make the clone (
Aeomi) doesn't appear to be all that friendly with NVDA. I'm not looking for the theory behind how a drive is cloned, I'm just looking for software that works with NVDA that does the job. Somebody out there has to have done this without needing sighted assistance, no?

AKA president731

2019-03-13 18:08:00

You know, its always possible to do certain stuff in some hacky way or another, but since you don't seem to care about the behind the scenes facts, people try to prevent you from getting int trouble further down the road. As was explained earlier, SSDs and HDDs work entirely different from each other below the surface, resulting in major difficulties later on. Windows 10 isn't ment to switch from HDD to SSD usage from one day to another, it configures itself well when properly installed on the one drive or the other though. Its always best to re-install, not just because you can be sure that all things get properly configured then, but also because your system will run faster than ever before. If you don't do that, the following things might happen:
* your SSD might die early (after maybe one year of usage), because of Windows 10 being wrongly configured and handling it like a traditional HDD, destroying the SSD blocks continuously.
* programs refusing to start due to their movement.
* Windows refusing to work properly due to missing drivers which might be required to support running from SSD.
Although there are programs out there that try to help you with the nitpicky details, i myself wouldn't trust them to be allrounders in that matter. The cleanest way to get your system set up on a SSD is just installing it all new on such a drive. I cannot stop you from doing otherwise, but please be warned about the fact that the lifetime of your SSD might become drastically short if you really do so.
Best Regards.
Hijacker

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2019-03-13 18:45:25 (edited by UltraLeetJ 2019-03-13 18:45:45)

all of the advice people are giving cannot be closer to the truth. As to how I did this?
I have a friend who specializes in computer maintenance, engineering, etc. Putting my know it all ego aside, I called up on him and asked him to upgrade the hd of this computer. Not only did he buy the ssd for me, he cleaned up the machine, we talked and laughed that afternoon, had a nice snack together and now this thing boots in a bit less than 8 seconds, and it is a really mid-range little box.
If you want to install windows yourself but are shy of it I am not sure what really would be the big problem as these installations are now fully accessible. If you do have backups, restoring them is easy, and driver installations are almost done entirely behind the scenes, save for few specific products or things you might have. Remember the awful pain when we had to reinstall xp, anyone?
truth is no matter what you do, it will take time. But that will be your reward. A long lasting and top-notch machine.
Hard drive cloning is something better reserved for many computer with identical hardware and setups, or when your main hard drive is really about to die and you have purchased a new one to replace it.

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2019-03-13 18:45:28 (edited by flackers 2019-03-13 20:19:22)

I've cloned win 7 from an HD to SSD a couple of times. I used samsung's data migration software. I did it with sighted assistance the first time, but have done it using jaws too. I couldn't read all the information about drive selection, so I had to just hope the defaults were okay. I wouldn't call it accessible, just doable. I just connected the SSD using a sata to USB, started the migration software, and clicked start or whatever, probably using the jaws cursor as I don't think the screen was readable using the pc cursor. then watched the timer count down and after it finished, swapped the drives and booted up. I'm pretty sure G-Rad asked this exact same question not so long ago. Maybe check his profile to find the thread. Maybe it'll say what software he used in the end.

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2019-03-13 23:38:18 (edited by jsymes 2019-03-13 23:54:43)

Hijacker, considering you didn't bother to read my original post to see that I'm not using Windows 10, I think that says enough.

UltraLeetJ, the point is I don't want to reinstall Windows 7 from scratch (I just did this not too long ago, and don't want to do it again), I want to transfer my boot drive's data over to the ssd and make it the boot drive. I see simple how-tos every where on PcMag and other reputable sites on how easy it is done, my question is whether the software itself is accessible with NVDA, as previous drive clone utilities I've used in the past weren't all that friendly. I'm not asking for the theories of how the drives operate differently, I'm well aware of how they operate differently, I'm just trying to find a software that will make the clone, align everything correctly, and is NVDA accessible. The software is out there, I'm just looking for opinions from people on which works best with NVDA.

flackers, thank you, I'll give his profile a look. Unfortunately the ssd I bought isn't a Samsung, and my understanding is that program only works with Samsung ssds. neutral And if worse comes to worse, I guess I can always just back everything up and experiment with different tools and see how well they might work. tongue

AKA president731

2019-03-14 04:08:21

jsymes wrote:

Hijacker, considering you didn't bother to read my original post to see that I'm not using Windows 10, I think that says enough.

sure, pin me down on one little mistake I made when reading your initial post and the entire thread + writing an experienced post to try and help you with your actual problem, or rather with you getting into trouble afterwards, no problem. At least I can be sure to be remembered as soon as your SSD breaks down in tears, thats enough for me if you don't even bother to think about what I wrote above. At least people who won't get help can't be helped.

Best Regards.

Hijacker

PS: Windows 7 is even more troublesome, since Windows 7 itself doesn't feature a SSD or HDD detection, you'll need to adjust the cumbersome tweaks to work properly on SSDs on your own instead of relying on the OS to do this for you, but I guess you don't want to hear anything about that do you smile.

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2019-03-14 04:20:39

Hijacker, considering all you did was repeated the same nonsense that didn't answer my question and isn't born out by doing a little research, you reaped what you sowed. Feel free to Google the topic and see all of the relevant articles from legit computer advice sources, PCMag naming one I found, maybe then you could offer an informed opinion on the topic here that might be of help. As I've said, there are  software titles I've found that do exactly what I'm talking about, I was just looking for opinions from people that might have used those pieces of software with NVDA successfully or not. Titles like Macrium Reflect, EaseUs TotalBackup, and who knows what else all offer this, though my experience before with EaseUs was that it wasn't very friendly. If you've used any such piece of software successfully or not, then by all means I'm interested to hear what you may have to contribute. But if your goal is simply to lecture me on the differences between the two types of drives nand inaccurate statements on how what I'm trying to do is impossible, which doesn't answer my question at all, then by all means have a nice life.

AKA president731

2019-03-14 05:32:58

if you're so experienced then and all knowledgeable, go on and do it yourself and leave us alone.

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2019-03-14 05:41:49

Oh I do have experience with at least one of them which I believe works very well and can probably even do what you want, at least if it comes to simply copying all data over to a new hard drive which is basically what you want, apart from getting you into trouble later on. But i'm not that type of guy who leaves people running head-first into walls without informing them first, and if those people don't tend to listen, I will rather silence myself instead of telling them the direction they'll have to face. So, I hope that the articles of yours already explained everything that you need to know so that you don't have to rely on the oppinions and experiences of a professional and wish you the best of luck in succeeding with your mission.
Best Regards.
Hijacker

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2019-03-14 05:55:49 (edited by jsymes 2019-03-14 13:50:45)

ironcross32, obviously I don't know everything, otherwise I wouldn't be asking for assistance in finding which piece of software is accessible. That is what I'm asking about, I didn't ask for an analysis of the difference between a standard hdd and an sdd, which I'm aware of. I'm sorry you and a couple others feel offended by my attempt to keep this topic on topic, instead of drifting into subjects that are of little concern to me. Again, if you know of any software that allows people to transfer the contents of an hdd boot drive over to an sdd and works well with NVDA, then please I hope you will be willing to share your knowledge with me, so I can make the transfer with as little trouble as possible. If you don't, then thanks and have a good day.

Hijacker, they do indeed explain the process, what they don't explain, and what I've repeatedly asked for and tried to keep this thread on point for, is which cloning software is accessible to NVDA. Sure, I could experiment to try and find the software that is accessible, but then I'd be risking blowing up my boot drive in the process, which doesn't exactly thrill me. Again, if anybody has an idea of what drive cloning software may work well NVDA, by all meanings I would appreciate the suggestions, tips, whatever, but if you really feel it necessary to waste your time and mine giving me a detailed analysis on the differences between hdd's and sdd's, then I'll thank you and wish you a good day as well.

For example, here's the faq on EaseUs's site on how to upgrade a computer from an hdd to an ssd:
https://www.easeus.com/backup-utility/h … ndows.html
The Youtube video on that page is quite helpful. Again, the problem is I don't know how well, if at all, EaseUs TotalBackup might work with NVDA.
https://www.pcmag.com/feature/362776/ho … o-an-ssd/4
PcMag also offers a howto on transferring a boot drive's contents over to an ssd using EaseUs.
https://www.pcgamer.com/how-to-clone-a- … ve-or-ssd/
Shows how to do the task with three different free utilities, though the first doesn't apply in my case since I'm not using a Samsung ssd, and I've tried using Acronis in the past with no luck, but the Macrium Reflect sounds interesting, if I knew whether it was or wasn't NVDA accessible. tongue
And Googling will find you loads more, so it's perfectly doable, the concern I have is which software is accessible to screen readers. Sorry if I seem like I'm beating a dead horse, but I just want be able to make the migration without needing sighted assistance if at all possible.

AKA president731

2019-03-14 14:34:21 (edited by flackers 2019-03-14 15:27:01)

This is why I always buy samsung SSDs — because their software makes the transition easy and it works. I have four SSDs that have replaced HDs in all my PCs. They all work great. Not sure whether I clone two or three because I swapped one of them back to HD before selling the PC, so I've essentially swapped HD for SSD five times. I've cloned and clean installed. I know this isn't very helpful to the OP, but it does show that software does exist that makes this process really simple. And for anyone else who might be thinking of upgrading an HD to SSD, it's a performance boost that is super noticeable, and I can recommend Samsung.

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2019-03-14 17:19:40

flackers, thanks for that, and I'm working on possibly building a new computer that has a Samsung M.2 drive, so it's good to know that their software is at least accessible. The one I got for my other machine is a Team sata ssd, since it was on sale and the only one I could afford at the time.

AKA president731

2019-03-14 18:17:33 (edited by flackers 2019-03-14 18:18:35)

Well, all I'd say is it's a simple process with their software, but how accessible it is using NVDA, I have no idea. Using Jaws it was just about possible to go with the defaults to do the most basic clone, that is just copying the whole of the C drive to the SSD connected to a USB. If you had partitions, or wanted not to copy certain folders, I doubt that'd be doable without sighted.

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2019-03-17 21:01:13

I finally got the new ssd installed this morning, and after some tinkering between EaseUs TotalBackup (doesn't work with NVDA at all as far as I could tell) and Macrium Reflect 7 Free, I was finally able to get Reflect to work with an old copy of Window-Eyes I still had installed on this machine. Thirtty minutes later, everything was transferred over, and I double-checked to make sure the partitions were correctly aligned. Even with an al-cheapo ssd that can read at best 470mbps, replacing my Western Digital 1tb Black drive has cut a good 15 seconds off my boot times, and so far games seem to be loading faster as well. If I weren't getting ready to build a new gaming machine, I might have put an even better ssd in this older gaming machine with a much higher read rate. Just thought I'd update the thread incase anybody else comes stumbling across it.

AKA president731