Correctly backing up data when moving from HDD to SSD

File backup can get a boost from data archiving and writable discs.

Users like SSD drives because they offer speedy, reliable storage that fits comfortably into a PC, Mac, camera or mobile device. With no moving mechanical parts or fragmented storage blocks, SSDs enable quick boot times and improve the performance of even complex applications like desktop video editors, which launch almost instantly and can copy and read files with ease.

"Overall, the feeling is that the system [on an SSD] is faster and much more responsive than with just a SATA drive," wrote the editors of KitGuru, about their testing of a 64 GB SSD. "You can actually tell when you hit a task that is CPU-dependent rather than data-flow driven."

Some SSDs have smaller capacities and higher costs per gigabyte than commodity HDDs, but flash storage has become gradually more affordable and roomier in recent times, widening their appeal. However, the daunting prospect of reinstalling the operating system and moving applications from an HDD to an SSD may still discourage some individuals from procuring SSDs for their PCs. Luckily, data archiving tools and optical accessories, such as a Blu-ray burner, can make this process easier.

Making backups and consolidating data
Since an SSD may have less capacity than an old HDD, efficiently moving data requires focus on essential applications. According to Lifehacker's Adam Dachis, it is advisable to move the operating system first, followed by critical system files. What about items such as MP3s, videos and documents, which can fill up a sizable portion of the new drive but are not essential to the system?

One option is to retain the old HDD for occasional access to those files, which may be most feasible in the case of laptops that have room for two hard drives. On these PCs, users can swap out the optical drive for a new SSD, and then use an external DVD drive both to restore optical functionality and facilitate disc-based backup. Non Retina MacBook Pro models also support this optical/SSD drive switch. However, users may need to use a caddy or similar device to slot the new drive into the optical bay.

Alternatively,data archiving solutions can simplify matters by securing the data in other storage, so that it is safe if and when users decide to return to it. Used in conjunction with cloud-based options, this approach may be more realistic for individuals or small business owners who routinely handle large volumes of high-density files.

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