I’ve spent each weekend for a couple of weeks now trying to get my new Samsung RF711 laptop set up to use a solid-state drive (SSD). It has been an experience of unmitigated pain. Today is gone, and nothing to show for it.
Not that this is the fault of Samsung. Their kit works well, and the easily accessible hard disk bays are wonderful. It’s quite simply that setting up any hard disk to work with Windows and boot the Samsung Recovery Solution from the F4 menu is strictly for people with plenty of time. Which is not me. It’s strictly for people with day after day on their hands.
My current approach has required a lot of disk swapping. You also need to create an admin USB key drive. Unless yours is 32GB, tho, it won’t be big enough.
The best way to do this is to start with the original hard disk in its original bay, and the SSD in the spare bay. If Paragon will create your recovery partition (it did the first time I used it, not today) then all you need to do is to remove the hard disk, restart with a USB stick and use it to fix the MBR on the SSD so that the recovery solution will run from your new recovery partition. Restart and you are done.
What I had to do was create a partition at the end of the drive using normal tools, and format it and assign it a letter (G:). Then boot from the stick, and copy the Z: drive using robocopy to the G: drive in the DOS box under the hidden menu. Then reboot from the stick, and use the new menu to fix the MBR. Then boot and check F4 takes you into the recovery; and then you can delete the other partitions (not your G: drive!) and do a complete restore, and reboot, and … you’re done. Phew.
It’s brain-teasing stuff the first time you see it, really it is.
What I have decided to do is keep the original HDD in a bag somewhere, and instead just fit a new HDD as my data store. So I can always go back to factory settings that way.
Mind you, having Windows on an SSD does mean that it boots incredibly fast. Booting from the HDD was utterly turgid.
Manufacturers need to stop supplying HDD for Windows, and supply an SSD main drive with ancillary hard drive.