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Liverpudlian at heart
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello. Years ago, before my warranty expired, I posted somewhere in this forum about my intention to pull the 80GB PATA hard drive from my car and take a precautionary backup image. Well, I am now well beyond warranty and my fear of drive failure incurring an expensive dealer repair exceeds my fear of borking my trim or iDrive unit.

Small form-factor (1.8", mSATA) SSDs and their adapters to legacy 2.5" mobile 44-pin PATA are ubiquitous and inexpensive - many times less than a new part from BMW anyway - so I am considering cloning my PATA drive to such a SSD and using an adapter to create a much more mechanically robust drive for use in my car.

I am confident that I can completely image the PATA drive including any funky non-standard filesystems and partitions to a SSD. I'd first try a block-by-block dumb copy using Linux's 'dd'. I also have some other tools to hand if that doesn't work. I would even experiment with expanding the partition used to store music to whatever size is supported by the filesystem I discover.

I cannot as easily copy or spoof the original PATA device IDs, serial numbers, and other intrinsic identifiers though.

Has anyone cloned/replaced their PATA drive without invoking professional assistance from BMW or their agents? If they have then I can presume that the iDrive does not expect a known, registered, hard drive and that my proposed SSD clone would be accepted. My ambition is that electro-mechanically the iDrive would not be able to discern the difference between the original OEM PATA drive and my clone.

I'll post updates and directions here.

Frank.
 

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Has been done many times:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=841458

BMW should have used an SSD to begin with in an environment they know would be exposed to excessive vibration and impact. I understand the need for cost savings but SSDs are getting cheaper and cheape. For the price you pay for a nav package upgrade, you'd think they would have invested a bit more for an SSD not only from a reliability stand point, but also from a performance one as well.
 

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Yep, had an SSD in mine for many years, used clonezilla, car does not care about anything device ID, just clone it 100% and your good to go!
 

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Did it speed things up?
Maybe a little, the issue is that it has to go through the PATA interface, so that is part of the bottleneck, on the SSD reads will be a bit faster as it is consistent no matter where the data is and has not rotational latency, so it is a bit faster, but not like 3 times faster. Boots a bit quicker and has no lag between menu items.
 
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