5) Planning the migration from your smaller SSD to the larger SDD: Since the new Solid State Drive is about 4 times larger than your existing 128GB SSD, you will need to decide how much space you want to allow for the Windows partition and if you have a data partition its new size must be taken into consideration also. The 100MB ‘System’ partition will remain unchanged and any recovery / utility partitions supplied by the PC manufacture should also remain unchanged. Also note that drive sizes are advertised in binary values, therefore a 128GB SSD is actually 119.24 in decimal notation, 256GB drive is actually 238.47 (decimal) and a 500GB SSD is 465.76GB in size as displayed in Windows Disk Management.
In addition you may find that some SSD manufactures such as Samsung for example require the user to manually reserve about 7 to 10% of the total drive space for provisioning (over provisioning). Other SSD manufactures such as Intel and Kingston may have internally provided additional drive space (hidden and not accessible) for over-provisioning and the user need not worry about manually provisioning the drive.
Over Provisioning allows the SSD to perform better and last longer as over provisioning provides free space which is used to perform routine SSD maintenance (TRIM and Garbage Collection) in the background during idle time allowing the SSD’s internal hardware controller to prepare free blocks for Windows to use in the future. Because the SSD performs best when writing to free blocks, the result is a better user experience through reduced wait time. Drives that require the user to manually include Over Provisioning space must have unallocated space located at the end of the drive for this purpose.
Therefore the Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD (465.76GB decimal) used in this article will only have about 419GB (Decimal) available to Windows and other partitions, the remaining 46.6GB (10%) of unallocated space at the end of the SSD is set aside for over provisioning.
Note: Some SSD manufactures have utilities such as Samsung’s Magician and Intel’s SSD Toolbox to help with configuring and verifying overprovisioning is enabled.
Two additional and important utility features that need to be considered is the ability to perform a “Secure Erase” and the ability to manually run “TRIM” / Garbage collection (Samsung calls it ‘Performance Optimization’) to maintain optimal performance of the SSD, especially for versions of Windows that do not support TRIM such as Windows XP and Vista. Samsung and Intel drives have both features.
Note that Kingston does not have a utility at this time.
If you are considering another brand of SSD call their Technical Support team and ask about provisioning (manual or built in), Secure Erase, Performance optimization (Garbage collection) and support for both SATA-III and SATA-II interfaces. The original SATA-I interface may not be supported by all manufactures, for example at the current time all Samsung models support SATA-I (commonly found in later models of Windows XP computers), Intel SSD models may or may not support a SATA-I interface. It goes without saying that SATA-III will deliver the full performance of your SSD, drives connected to a SATA-II interface will run at reduced speed but still noticeably faster that a hard disk drive.
Since my older 128GB SSD with Windows 7 installed has 3 partitions (100MB System partition, a 87GB Windows partition and a 20GB data partition) and 12.14GB unallocated space for provisioning I plan to increase the Windows partition on the new SSD to 340GB (346.16GB binary) leaving about 80GB for the Data partition, this leaves about 45.6GB for provisioning (unallocated space at the end of the drive). If your older SSD also has a recovery partition this must subtracted from the available space for Windows and the data partition.
128GB SSD 500GB SSD System partition: 100MB 100MB Size of 'System' partition (in decimal notation) is unchanged. Windows partition 87GB 340GB Data partition 20GB 80GB Provisioning 12.14GB 45.6GB
Note: One possible space saver for users with a small capacity SSD is Hibernation, which should be disabled for desktop computers, laptops users can keep hibernation enabled but it’s not an absolute necessity as Windows loads a lot faster when using an SSD as compared to slower hard drives. A PC with 8GB of memory installed will have more than 6GB of space (hiberfil.sys) in use on your drive.
To disable Hibernation, open a command prompt (run as administrator) and at the prompt enter: powercfg /hibernate off and press the ‘Enter’ key.
Note: The 128GB Solid State Drive used in this article only contains about 40GB of used space as it basically a clean install of Windows, MS Office, Acronis True Image and only a few other small apps installed. The Data partition has about 7.5GB of files and Hibernation has already been disabled which is recommended for any Solid State Drive with Windows installed.