Well I'm now buzzing along with my brand new 500GB Samsung 840 EVO SSD on my Lenovo.
If you recall, here's what I though I was going to do:
1. Hook up the SSD into USB 3.0 enclosure;
2. Use DriveImageXML to clone the HDD to the SSD;
3. Use DriveImageXML to activate the new SSD as the active partition;
4. Swap out the HDD with the SSD;
6. Pray really hard;
7. Boot (hopefully);
8. Enable trim
Here's what I actually
wound up doing:
1. Purchased the inland 2.5" External SATA Hard Drive Enclosure with USB 3.0 (Aluminum version)
from MicroCentre on sale for $12.99.
2. Researched the hell out of what I was going to do, and investigated such things as SSD Alignment (thanks for the tip furball146!)
3. Checked the existing alignment of the HDD which was fine for a direct clone because it's a damn 500GB HDD already partitioned from Windows 7. None of the partitions had offsets that couldn't be divided evenly by 1024 (or 4096 for that matter). I also plugged in the SSD to the USB 3.0 port (MYSTERY QUESTION: HOW COULD I PLUG THE SSD Into a USB 3.0 PORT WITH THE T420 if I do not have a USB 3.0 expansion card?). It turns out that the SSD reported the exact same storage space as the HDD. Considering the HDD was a Seagate and the SSD was a Samsung, I was very pleased to see that 500GB means exactly the same amount of storage to both companies.
4. Checked the HDD for errors. Then ran Windows HDD cleanup. Then defragged the HDD. Then made a restore point (probably should have done the restore point before defragging but whatever).
5. Used Macrium Reflect Free Edition
to clone all three Partitions without any resizing. NOTE: DriveImageXML would not work as it does not recognize the hidden partitions. The Thinkpad physical disk 0 has three partitions, as follows: SYSTEM_DRV, Windows7_OS (C:) and Lenovo_Recovery (Q:)
6. Was nervous because, although the clone went off without a hitch, Windows labeled the newly cloned hard drive partitions with new letters (e.g., "D:" for Windows7_OS and "E:" for Lenovo_Recovery). I was worried this would cause Windows to fail to boot.
7. Used "Safely Remove Hardware" and "Ejected" the SSD/external HDD enclosure.
8. Shut down.
9. Removed Battery.
10. Discharged all static electricity from my being (okay, maybe I didn't really do this step).
11. Removed HDD from Thinkpad.
12. Unscrewed & removed HDD from Tray/Caddy.
13. Screwed SSD into Tray/Caddy
14. Installed SSD into Thinkpad.
15. Placed Battery back into Thinkpad
16. DANG IT FORGOT TO PRAY/PRAY REALLY HARD
17. Booted up. It booted up JUST FINE! AND IT BOOTED UP BLAZINGLY FAST!! YAY!!!
18. Checked to see Drive Letters. Windows automatically changed the "D:" to "C:" and restored Lenovo Recovery Partition to "Q:" SUCCESS!
19. Rebooted because Windows detected new hardware and wanted me to reboot.
20. Ran Windows Experience. Damn it no change in Disk Data Transfer rates so more testing to be done.
21. Checked to make sure TRIM enabled. It was.
22. Checked to see if Defrag scheduling was disabled. IT WAS NOT. I disabled it.
23. Ran Windows Update. It works too. Ran some other programs, everything seems fine (except the aforementioned Windows Experience Index disk score).
24. Ran ATTO to make sure benchmarks are consistent with this SSD. They are.
25. Re-ran Windows Experience Index. Disk data transfer rate jumped from 5.8 to 7.9. Success!!!
I hope this helps anyone trying to upgrade their Lenovo Thinkpad T420 with an SSD!