And today's upgrade is... *rolls dice*... Windows 7! Because there's a massive question mark over hardware compatibility, I wanted to take a backup of the SSD first so I can roll back if it all goes pear shaped. And because there's a similarly massive question mark over the reliability of the USB-to-everything adapter I've got, I picked up a couple more tools for the bits box:
Yes, it's another mSATA adapter, and yes, the first thing I did when I got it was take the mounting bracket off so I could see what was underneath. This time it's mSATA-to-SATA and so there's merely some power circuitry... which is a bit curious, because the SATA power connector in theory does have a 3.3V rail. Except there's a lot of Molex-to-SATA adapters that only provide 5V and 12V, so I suppose one can't actually rely on it being present. Especially here where I'm using a SATA-to-eSATA/USB cable that only provides 5V.
That forms the other part of the puzzle - see, my desktop has an eSATA port, and so it made sense to go with that rather than plain USB as in theory it should be a lot faster (in practice it was merely somewhat faster). Since eSATA doesn't provide power I found a combined eSATA/USB cable that pulled 5V from the USB port, and so had the whole mess dangling off the back of Nyx. To actually image the drive I ended up using... *rolls more dice*... Paragon Backup and Recovery Free - using DriveImage is considered unwise in this day and age, and Acronis doesn't entirely get on with Nyx.
Even more curiously there's an unpopulated USB socket on the adapter. I wonder what that's for?
Anyway, once imaged I stuck the SSD back in Aether and fed a 32-bit Windows 7 DVD to it. I did contemplate doing a dual boot or side-by-side install, but realistically if this worked I'd stay put in Windows 7 land and not boot the old XP install. So I just told the installer to use the existing partition without reformatting (the installer did save a copy of the old Windows folder, which is a nice touch). The actual install was surprisingly easy, and even more amazingly Windows Update had drivers for everything short of the sound hardware. Including the ATi FireGL T2 graphics (which AMD have disavowed all responsibility for) and the Intel 2915ABG wifi (which Intel claims won't work on Windows 7).
As with all major computer changes a new name is in order, and so the frankenlaptop is now known as Hemera, the personification of the day (to match Nyx, the personification of the night).