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idata
Community Manager
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How to get migration tool software to recognize my X25-M 120GB drive so it will install?

I've got an HP notebook computer (dm3-1030US) and bought a new X25-M 120GB drive to replace the notebook's SATA drive. The product code is SSDSA2MH120G2K5. I've got the SSD plugged into an external SATA drive dock, connected to the notebook via USB. Windows 7 sees the unformatted drive connected via USB. However, when I try to install the Intel data migration software, it reports that it can't find an Intel drive, and refuses to install. How do I get the migration tool to install?

Thanks for any help!

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idata
Community Manager
191 Views

According to this site: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=19324 http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=19324, it should be detected since it says "If you're installing on a laptop computer, a third-party SATA-to-USB cable adaptor is needed." The documentation also says it is supported.

Can Windows identify the SSD as an Intel SSD or does it just see it as removable storage?

As a workaround, do you have access to a desktop with two free SATA ports?

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

When I open up the disk management in Win 7, it sees an unformatted drive (the SSD), but I'm not sure how to tell if it can identify it as an Intel drive vs. generic USB attached drive. As you note, this seems to be a supported configuration, so it's frustrating not to have it work out-of-box (one of the reasons I bought an Intel drive was to avoid such issues).

Unfortunately, currently no desktop with two free SATA ports. Were you thinking that I could attach both the current notebook HDD and the SSD to a desktop's SATA ports, then install the migration tool software on the desktop's own HDD and copy the notebook's HDD contents to the SSD?

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

The built in Windows 7 System Image back up option is an effective and quick way to transfer a system image if you have got a spare drive or blank DVD's to write it to.

Personally I would always go with a fresh installation. I know it can take a lot of time and effort, but it's hard to beat a fresh install.

Also notebooks/laptops quite often have hidden recovery partitions, which can take up a lot of space on an SSD. If you don't intend to use the recovery partition it is a waste of premium space. (It only recovers the OS and drivers, it doesn't recover data).

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

Unfortunately, I have so many things installed that it's not practical for me to do a fresh install (I agree that that's the ideal way to go). I'm very disappointed at the apparent flakiness of Intel's migration software drive-maker-ID checking, as one of my main reasons for buying Intel vs. others was an expectation of a solid product with solid support. I still expect that the SSD itself is solid, but it sure would be nice to be able to use it!

Along that line:

1) Is there any telephone tech support available for this migration software issue, or just the volunteer forum here?

2) I have used another program (R-Drive Image) to clone HDDs before, but I wanted to use the Intel migration software in the expectation that it would properly align data on sector (or whatever) boundaries on the SSD, as the Win 7 installer apparently does. I'm pretty sure R-Drive Image won't do any such alignment. Is this a real issue (i.e. does the Intel migration tool do any alignment?)?

3) redux: yes, I was already planning on not transferring the recovery partition.

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

Can Device Manager see the SSD as Intel or just a generic storage device? If Windows cannot identify it as an Intel device, then the Data Migration tool won't either. Would you happen to have another USB-to-SATA adapter? I know some exhibit this behavior.

As for your questions:

1) Intel offical support can be contacted via chat, email, and phone number: http://www.intel.com/support/feedback.htm?group=ssd http://www.intel.com/support/feedback.htm?group=ssd

2) You can use a 3rd party disk imaging application. Intel even recommends for Macs. If the SSD is misaligned, there are procedures that can be performed to align it. That being said, Intel controllers are not suppose to be affected by misalignment... I'm trying to get an explanation of this myself.

The easiest solution would be to take the SSD and the current HDD to a desktop. Just unplug some optical drives temporarily.

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

I wonder if this is because support for the 120GB models has not been updated in the migration software? I see that Build 14133 added support for the X25-E on the 2nd November but there is no mention of the (new) 120GB drives, so maybe the migration software needs to be updated to recognise it? It would explain why it is not recognised even though it can see it.

(Mondoman) The migration software only works with Intel SSD's. If the software has not been updated to include support for the120GB version it may well not see it as an Intel drive. As this drive has only just come out it is possible that it has no support yet.

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

redux, I didn't think of that! That would be *incredibly* sloppy work by Intel (like sending out a 160GB drive in all the UPC-labeled packaging for the 80GB drive because the correct packaging wasn't ready yet), so I hope it's not true.

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

Hey guys, I just confirmed that that Data Migration Tool does in fact work with the 120GB X25-M. That means the issue is with the SATA-to-USB adapter.

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

Thanks for checking - that makes more sense!

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

Just wanted to say "thanks!" to Duckie and redux for their quick responses here. I've seen both of your posts on other threads as well, and you're both a credit to the forum and a big help to us newbies here.

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

OK, broke down and hooked up the Intel SSD to my desktop SATA, the notebook HDD to the computer via USB dock, and got the Intel migration software to install and run. A few minor user interface complaints about the software, but it produced a working image on the SSD, so I'm happy. Win 7 is happy, too, with hard drive experience score going up from 5.9 to 7.5. The Intel Toolbox software installed and ran without a hitch -- it's great and definitely up to the level of what I expect from Intel.

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

Congrats and enjoy!

If you ever get the chance, would you be able to find out what SATA-USB chip is used in your docking station? It would be good to compile a known issues list.

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

Good job Duckie!

Given that the problem is the SATA-USB chip, (I'm not implying that it isn't) this is a perfect example of what can go wrong with software that has to work with many different interfacing devices, such as this chip. There are a myriad of things that could be wrong, and that includes the Intel software, although the task of communicating with an interface depends on so many things being just right and that all standards and protocols are strictly adhered to. All it takes is one parameter not being communicated or communicated incorrectly, or assumptions on either side of the interface regarding the communication protocol that turn out to be wrong, to cause a program to fail.

As a former software engineer, I've always felt that a program can never have any chance of being perfect or operating correctly unless it's data is verified up, down, and sideways. Any programmer that works with data interfaces can tell you that a good percentage of a programs code is used to verify data and deal with bad data. I used to say, software is always "broken", and a programmers work is never done.

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

parsec, what annoyed me in this case was that the software wouldn't install not for a technical reason (the transfer would have worked), but rather for a mickey-mouse (IMHO) copy-protection issue. I understand Intel being worried about indiscriminate use of the software, but there are other ways to deal with that that won't hassle legitimate users like me (e.g. single-use or limited-time activation codes).

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

All,

Just to clear this issue up - the Intel Data Migration Software only works when one end of the cloning process includes an Intel SSD. Various Apricorn cloning kits/cables mask the unique ID that identifies a storage device as an Intel storage device. If you're having this issue, call Intel Customer Support, and they can help you out...

-Scott, Intel Corporation

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

Oh, I see... I didn't know that Mondoman. Yes, certainly frustrating, but I can understand why the protection is there.

Acronis, as I recall are the makers of that software, which is called Acronis True Image, is a product they sell, although Intel has purchased some usage of it as in the case of the disk image cloning software for Intel SSD's. I received a copy of Acronis software with an Intel mother board I purchased a while ago, that was on the supplied driver and software DVD. You cannot download that software from Intel's support pages for that mother board, and although I've never tried it on a different PC, I'm guessing it will only work on Intel mother boards, or perhaps only this one.

The obvious reason for that and the restrictions that caused your grief is to keep their product from being endlessly copied and used for free, as you know can happen in the PC world via the Internet. Unfortunately in your case, the program was "smart" enough to not allow the copy when it could not identify the destination 'drive as an Intel SSD, as described by SSDelightful. That turns out to be a variation on the theme of what I described in my previous post, the expected protocol was not followed so the program stopped, albeit gracefully, rather than crashing, which left you out of luck regardless.

Frankly, it was a basic and major protocol error from Intel/Acronis's perspective, and likely unknown to or ignored by Apricorn. Or do you not buy into the explanation given by SSDelightful?

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

I agree with pretty much all of what you write; it's more a matter of perspective and expectations. I would think that single-drive notebook HDD drive replacement is a major part of the Intel SSD market. For those systems, the major way to connect the SSD for data transfer will be via an external USB/SATA converter or dock. In practice, it seems that such docks/converters will often not allow the system to directly see the "Intel" ID of the drive.

Thus, if I were selling the drive, I wouldn't rely on a mechanism (looking for an Intel ID) that is likely to often fail for legitimate Intel SSD purchasers. There are other easy-to-implement mechanisms, for example using the drive SSN as a limited-use-count or limited-time-period key to activate the migration software, that would avoid this forseeable issue.

idata
Community Manager
191 Views

Ya know, you make a very good point in the scenario you described, the replacement of a laptop's HDD with a SSD.

Given the popularity of the USB interface, particularly with external HDD cases, that situation will be quite common. Also, the less sophisticated user (not you!) is far more likely to use the USB interface, have the cable handy, while likely not having spare SATA cables, or even less likely, an eSATA cable, as well as the chance of an eSATA jack on a laptop being slim to none. USB and eSATA are the two most common interfaces used on external 'drive enclosures as far as I've seen, which is why I mention the later.

I am not at all familiar with the Startech/Apricorn (I'm confused, both are mentioned) equipment, but I can't see how the problem can be the USB cable, as implied by what SSDelightful wrote, USB 2.0 cables have a total of four connecting points on each end, two of which are used for data transfer. Or is there some weird SATA plug to USB plug cable, I've never seen that, unless there are some electronics in the cable I can't see how that would work. Dismissing that, the problem must be in the Startech/Apricorn firmware or the processing chip(s).

The question is will this particular Acronis/Intel software fail with all USB interface devices, or is this just an issue with certain USB equipment? Intel should put a warning about that in the softwares documentation in either case, or is it already there?

idata
Community Manager
28 Views

Ok, I checked the Intel Data Migration Software User Guide (IDMSUG), and I found the Startech USB to SATA IDE device that Mondoman is using. The Startech device is a combination cable, powered interface translating device, that allows connection between USB devices and SATA and IDE HDDs, and, er..., SSDs.

The first page of the IDMSUG (don't-cha love acronyms?) contains this statement: "For laptop computers: a USB-to-SATA cable/enclosure", for use in connecting the HDD to the SSD. Otherwise, the Guide specifies the use of a SATA cable. But, we do have the above statement referencing a USB type connection.

To be fair, IMO Intel cannot be held responsible for the function of all the USB to SATA interface devices. While the Startech device is a convenient Jack-Of-All-Trades interface, it apparently (obviously) is either cutting corners somewhere, or ignoring some protocols, perhaps ignorantly, mistakenly, or by design. I have no idea which of these is the case.

While the situation was frustrating to Mondoman, IMO I don't believe Intel can be held responsible for this problem. I think it would be a good idea for Intel to add a few lines of text to the Guide, warning users of this potential problem with some USB to SATA interface devices. Mondoman, quite innocently, followed the directions as they were, and hit a wall. We can thank him for discovering this issue and bringing it to our attention, and performing the workaround solution.

Startech should acknowledge that their device has a potential shortcoming, although ignoring certain data may be seen as a positive feature to some people that are acting in pirate-mode. That was not Mondoman's intent of course, and he experienced a situation where the software was smarter than the interface. Regrettably, in the end it was the user that suffered the most.

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