My aging ASUS P6T Deluxe i7 920 6GB had 2 500GB WD Black drives. The C: drive failed. I had just done the weekly back-ups to an external USB drive, yay! Bought a WD 1T Black. Used Acronis 2010 Plus Pack to restore, life's good.
Got to thinking I should replace the sister drive before I had to. Did not want to re-install. Picked up a Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD. Amazon USD219. Upgraded to Acronis 2013 because it knows how to do the SSD alignment and offsets. On sale free Plus Pack upgrade.
Here's what I did:
1 moved Libraries, pics, music to the old 500 GB second drive. Got the C drive down to 130 GBs.
2 backed up both drives.
3 Put SSD in the case, disconnected the new/old C, used the same SATA connection so no drive letter hassles.
4 recovered the C back up to the new SSD. Acronis 2013 with the Plus Pack knows all about restoring a 1T HDD to a 256 SSD. Including how to do the weird offsets and alignments the SSD requires. Just follow the manual. Be sure to do the last step of restoring the MBR and disk signature last.
5 recovered the data drive to the 1TB used the same SATA connection - do the MBR and signature last
6 boot up, find a reliable guide for tuning an SSD. Turn off pre-fetch, super-fetch, search, indexing, write caching, and hibernation. Turn on TRIM. I used to always hibernate to speed up the boot but these SSDs are so fast it doesn't matter and you really don't want to waste those GBs. Found an article, Tom's Hardware? that said if you have over 4GB of RAM set the paging file to 100MB.
Life is not good.
If like I you forget to restore the MBRs and signatures you too will panic as windows tries and fails to rebuild your desktop. No interface. Pat myself on the back for figuring out pretty quick what happened. When I got the libraries and documents off the C and on to the data drive windows kept track of where I put them apparently using the MBR, track 0 or the signature. When it couldn't find them it decided to start over and clobber all my years of personalization and even more panic inducing it also destroyed my wife's account. Re-restored the C drive. Recovered the MBR, track 0 and the signatures for both drives. Re-boot and tune. Everything came up correctly except eLicenser. Complained about the signatures. It's built-in repair did the trick though. It's like a new PC! And, no-reinstall required. Life's very good.