OK, I've played around a bit.
First, SSD performance... wow
. HD-Tach rates it at 240MB/s read over the entire drive. Copying a 5gig file from my 2x74gig raptor raid-strip to the disk delivered a constant 113MB/s speed (gotta test with a ramdisk source to see whether it's the SSD or the raid that's setting the speed limit). Of course both of those speeds are relativel irrelevant, what's important is the random-scattered-read/write performance, which I don't have anything to benchmark... but it will be "subjectively tested" once I put an OS and all applications on it.Win7, disk imaging, vmware
Next, for the disk imaging applications... I followed the link to the Paragon Drive Backup site and registered for a license code. There was no download there, so I though I was supposed to grab the trial. Looked nice, features were good etc, but no place to enter the license code, and thus I couldn't test the backup functionality. Considered whether I had to grab the files from #2 site in 4wd
's first reply (which doesn't feel 100% right since it's not Paragon's own site), but I only got ~20kb/s from there, so I uninstalled and rebooted... and then my system was hosed, because the uninstaller for some reason had removed the 32bit MS VC++ runtimes from my system, wtf? Fortunately I was still able to use explorer.exe to locate some random application that had decided to bundle the runtimes in it's own install folder and copy to %WINDIR%\SysWow64... phew.
So I think I've decided to play with Acronis TrueImage instead, even though PDB looked like it might be as good (or better, with SID changing and all). A shame both applications are so damn huge these days, all I really need is the recovery CD iso image, I don't need all the bloated junk
Anyway, tested in vmware: seems like Win7 has no trouble restoring an image from a disk at IDE0:0 to IDE1:1 (primary master -> secondary slave) - that rocks. And I did create an entirely new, empty disk to restore to, so bootloader etc. were restored just fine - rocks! Trying to restore a vmware image to physical machine won't be tested until I've made a new install and tweaked it some more. And I'll probably try it out on my testbox before I do it on my workstation on the SSD, just to play it safe.
Hopefully I'll be running Win7 off the SSD no later than friday UPDATE:
I still wonder what use the 100meg BCD partition is. For fun, I wiped virtual disk #2, and restored only MBR and the Windows partition (ie, not the BCD area). Gave "BOOTMGR missing" error when trying to boot. Booted from the Win7-RC ISO and choose a system repair (which created C:\boot, ie the BCD files) - still BOOTMGR missing. Copied BOOTMGR from the BCD-partition on vmdisk1, and... presto, things work! So it seems you don't need
that partition, I still wonder if it's useful
to keep it split that way, though.