Upgrading Laptop from a 250GB SSD to a 500GB SSD

My work Windows 7 laptop has been running with a 250GB Samsung 840 SSD for quite some time now. It’s been running out of capacity, and I’m between projects at work, so this was the perfect time to do something about it. I’d love to ditch the laptop and get a Surface Pro 3, but that’s a little out of the budget right now. Instead, I found a 500GB Samsung 850 SSD for $199 to keep me going for a while.

Ideally, it would be best to start with a clean Windows install on the new SSD, but it would have been too painful to reinstall all of my work programs. So it the plan was to image the old drive to the new drive. I first tried using the included Samsung Data Migration software, but it hung on 100% copied and never showed complete. Apparently, a Google search shows I’m not the only one with that problem.

So onto Clonezilla, my cloning and backup software of choice. That worked, and the new drive was bootable. Then I used GParted to expand the partitions to take advantage of the full 500GB, following this trick to get the partitions aligned properly. The only problem is that resulted in a “dirty bit” on the C: drive, which couldn’t be cleared by CHKDSK while booted to that partition. So to fix that, I first went down the rabbit hole of manually resetting the dirty bit without running CHKDSK. That cleared the dirty bit, but then made my partition unrecognizable by Clonezilla, making future backups impossible.

I later found out that for some reason, CHKDSK won’t run on my system at startup, even though it should with the dirty bit. I considered trying this fix, but instead, I booted to a Windows 7 recovery disk and ran CHKDSK from there. CHKDSK found no errors on the drive, but running the check cleared the dirty bit, and my migration was done!

Success! Now to recycle the old 250GB SSD in my wife’s laptop…