lunes, 17 de julio de 2017

Just a simple SSD install... pc building site custom pc builder

This is a long read - sorry for that - but it was quite the "adventure" I had this weekend of just installing a simple SSD.

A little backstory - I recently found a GREAT deal on a pre-built thanks to this subreddit. I happened to have an existing 500GB SSD that I had previously bought (another great deal). So my plan was to put this SSD into the new pre-built that I bought. I have installed SSDs before and cloned/imaged an old drive - wasn't really a big deal, so doing this task should be pretty simple. Boy was I wrong...

The following happened over the course of the entire weekend in bits and pieces, since I wasn't able to sit down and devote a chunk of time to fixing it while being dad.

I started by popping open the case and taking a look at the hard drive bay rack. Thankfully the rack was oriented well and was easily removable. Also thankfully there was a power connector right there as well as an accessible SATA port. This was about the end of my good luck. When I pulled the hard drive rack, I found that Acer had used some custom rubber grommets to mount the drives. Great idea in theory, but the bad part of that was it required these custom extended screws to run through the rubber in order to secure the HD to the rack. I managed to steal a screw from the original HD to get one screw into the new SSD mount. For the other three screws I was able to find a little longer mounting screw in my old box of screws. I had to depress the rubber a lot and it wasn't as pretty as the custom screws, but it got the job done and secured the SSD.

So, SSD mounted, I go ahead and power up the computer. This next part is entirely my own fault, but it was a headache none the less. I go to search for the drive on windows explorer and its not there. Shit. So I power down, pop open the case again. My first thoughts are one of three possible things: 1) bad SATA cable or port, 2) bad power connector, or 3) the SSD itself is bad. I start by testing power connector by swapping power with the other HD. Reboot. Confirm that the power connector is not the problem, but I still don't see the drive. Open the case again, swap the power connectors back, and grab a new SATA cord and try a new SATA port. Reboot. Still no drive. At this point I go to google to see what the problem might be. I quickly discover/remember that you have to go to disk management and format a new drive before you can see it. Dammit...an hour of work swapping cables around all because I forgot that step. So I go to disk management, and thankfully the drive shows up there and I format it. Hooray!

Now that the drive was formatted and showing up, it was time to clone the existing drive onto the new drive. This part went pretty smooth and the drive cloned over. Now that the drive is cloned, the next step is to boot into the BIOS and change the boot priority so it boots from the SSD. So I try to get into the BIOS, and NOTHING I press gets me into the BIOS. None of the common keys. I spend an annoying amount of time rebooting and trying new keys...nothing, no BIOS. The key that the Acer users manual tells you to use does not work...motherfuckers. Finally I find a way on google that you can tell Windows 10 to reboot directly into the BIOS. I didn't know about that feature, so that was kinda cool. So I finally get into the BIOS and I go to the Boot section. But alas, I find there is no way to boot into a specific HD, but only into "Windows Boot Manager". So I spend more time on google trying to figure out WTF that is and how to fix it. In my research I find that newer BIOS have this "safer" UEFI mode and that you can change to "Legacy" mode. So I try all that. No success. I cannot for the life of me get the damned thing to boot to a specific hard drive. Google shows me that a LOT of people have had the same problem I had. So I make a reddit post asking for help. Someone recommends forgetting the clone and just doing a fresh windows install on the new SSD. So I decide that is probably for the best since its a new computer anyways.

So I drop the clone idea and move on to installing Windows 10 fresh on the SSD. I do some googling and find that Microsoft has a nifty little program that lets you create your own installation DVD or USB. Perfect. A USB would be much much faster, so I start down that route. Pop in my newest 16 GB USB (you only need 5GB) and start the process. After a long wait, it gets stuck at 55%. I let it set for ahwile, but it doesn't move. Dammit. I go ahead and kill the process and restart it again. Let it run, and it stops at 55% AGAIN. *&$#!!! Back to google. I find that this is a very common problem, and it can occur with USB3 drives and ports. So I move the USB from a 3 to a 2 port and start again. Freezes at 55% AGAIN!!!! At this point I switch to an older USB and try again. Thank Jesus it works finally!! I guess the first USB had a bad spot on it or something.

So, boot USB in hand, I unplug the old drive completely and fire up the computer with the new SSD and USB plugged in. I get to the Windows install screen. Move in a few steps and get to the part where I select the drive to install on. I pick the USB. Press OK. Instantly get an error that Windows is "not able to find or create a partition on this drive." DAMMIT!! Back to google (on my phone now). I find that this is yet again a common problem that people encounter. Recommended solutions are to play around with the BIOS and remove the USB as a boot option and only have the drive, then upon restart go into the boot menu and manually select the USB. So back into the BIOS I go. Unfortunately, the BIOS is still being a giant cunt, and I cannot select the HD as a boot option. Back to google. I find another solution that has me backdoor my way into a CMD prompt. I am able to follow some manual commands to manually create and activate a new partition on the SSD. Reboot again and try the windows installer again...IT WORKS! Windows starts installing!! PRAISE JESUS!! So I let Windows install - thankfully it installed quickly since it was a USB and not the old DVDs. Windows installs ok and the computer reboots. I go back into the BIOS and thankfully the stupid "Windows Boot Manager" is gone now and I am able to assign the SSD directly as boot option #1. Restart and Windows launches and I run through the set up. At this point it is around 9pm on Sunday evening....but its over. I won.

I spend the next hour downloading and installing updates (thankful that Ninite exists...). Around 10pm everything is installed. Computer works great. I reboot a few times to make sure everything is all good. Victorious I go to bed with the sweet taste of victory. (I mean lets be honest, I play World of Warcraft for 45 minutes on the new rig and THEN went to bed...).

submitted by /u/toddx318
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from /r/buildapc - Planning on building a computer but need some advice? This is the place to ask! https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc/comments/6ntyal/just_a_simple_ssd_install/
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