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Windows 7: From HDD to SSD restore...

12 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX Maverick
 
 
From HDD to SSD restore...

I have a PC with an HDD as system drive, with three partitions:

From HDD to SSD restore...-disk0.jpg

This is an OEM installed system and plan to replace this 256GBs HDD with and 160GBs SSD drive. The partition size for the HDD can be reduced with various software tools to match the size of the SSD. Once the size is matched, backup HDD and restore to SSD the system images seems to be a viable option, after formatting the SSD first.

This sounds good, but couple of things that are questionable:
  • the first partition (71MBs) will not be moved over, but it has the boot record
  • the size of the recovery partition (10GBs) should be reduced
  • restoring the image from the HDD to the SSD
Will the alignment of the SSD drive remain intact, or the image from the HDD will change it?

The plan for moving over to the SSD is:
  1. Shrink the "OS", or "C" drive, to the size of the formatted SSD drive
  2. Create an image of the "OS" drive
  3. Restore the image to the SSD drive
  4. Do a start up repair for the SSD drive
This plan seems like workable, but I am not sure.

There's also another HDD for applications that will be replaced by an SSD drive as well. This move seems rather easy since it is a single partition, just an image backup and restore should suffice. As long as the drive letter is the same, the applications work just fine, right?

Installing the OS and the programs is certainly an option, but I rather not spend hours with installing programs and restoring data for a number of applications. Not to mention finding all of the license key and installation media for the applications...

Any suggestion would be appreciated...



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Feb 2011   #2

Windows 7 64 Professional
 
 

Is the original copy of windows (on HDD) a full install or a upgrade version ? If its an upgrade version it will not align properly. I drove myself crazy for days trying to properly restore an image and alignment until i found this out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Feb 2011   #3

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX Maverick
 
 

The system drive, or "C", is a full version original install of the OS.
Thanks...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


12 Feb 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

I would not waste SSD space with the Recovery Partition. Make the disks now if you haven't already and then store the partition as an image. It will likely lose its hotlink to run from boot on the new SSD anyway, which is it's only residual value after disks are made.

Likewise the EISA partition cannot be counted on to continue its hotlink to any utilities which are linked to it. And I would not waste expensive SSD space for this partition either since it provides only driver storage and possible hotlinks to bloatware factory utiltiies which have much better versions built into Windows 7 OS.

What this is leading to is considering a clean install using a Windows 7 installation DVD for your version and the Product Key on the COA sticker. This is a much superior install which loses the factory bloatware which weighs down the lightest, most instantaneous OS ever. Here are tips for getting a purrfect reinstall of factory OEM: re-install windows 7

If you decide to reimage or clone I'd only transfer over the C partition. If either HD or SSD are WD or Seagate they offer excellent free Acronis cloning apps on their Support Downloads webpage. And Here are tips for cleaning up factory bloatware you can use ahead of time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2011   #5

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX Maverick
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
I would not waste SSD space with the Recovery Partition. Make the disks now if you haven't already and then store the partition as an image. It will likely lose its hotlink to run from boot on the new SSD anyway, which is it's only residual value after disks are made.

Likewise the EISA partition cannot be counted on to continue its hotlink to any utilities which are linked to it. And I would not waste expensive SSD space for this partition either since it provides only driver storage and possible hotlinks to bloatware factory utiltiies which have much better versions built into Windows 7 OS.

What this is leading to is considering a clean install using a Windows 7 installation DVD for your version and the Product Key on the COA sticker. This is a much superior install which loses the factory bloatware which weighs down the lightest, most instantaneous OS ever. Here are tips for getting a purrfect reinstall of factory OEM: re-install windows 7

If you decide to reimage or clone I'd only transfer over the C partition. If either HD or SSD are WD or Seagate they offer excellent free Acronis cloning apps on their Support Downloads webpage. And Here are tips for cleaning up factory bloatware you can use ahead of time.
The "C" drive is and has been clean from factory bloatware; it didn't come with much and had been rather easy to cleanup about a year ego.

I use Windows and Macrium image backups. The SSD does come with Acronis and some cables for cloning; however, the plan isn't to clone the whole drive.

The only partition that is planned to be moved over is the "OS" or "C" drive from the disk 0. While I can do a quick format of the SSD drive and restore the "C" drive on it, I am not sure if the restore would change the SSD alignment since the image is from HDD?

The more I look into this, the more I think that the best way would be is just start from fresh install. It'll be a royal pain to reinstall all of the applications and the associated data. Since this is a small business PC, the data is critical for the end user. Just migrating Outlook could be a pain since the person has about 10 email accounts setup and may not remember all of the password for the accounts. And unfortunately, Outlook 2007 and later does not backup/move passwords by default...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

I believe the superior Acronis free versions can image over your choice of partitions. You can change drive sizes during cloning, however I don't recall if you can select partitions.

You can check the alignment after imaging using this: SSD Alignment

What I would do is try the imaging using Acronis or your favorite program, then check alignment and see how performance pans out. We have had good reports only so far that I have seen even though it was originally thought to be inadvisable.

If you're not seeing faster instananeous performance then I would re-install windows 7 following the tips in this link (which apply) to get a purrfect install you'll never have to reinstall again thanks to backup imaging.

You can ask in our Office forum about ways to automate moving the accounts/passwords.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2011   #7

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX Maverick
 
 

Well, it seems that the customer will wait until the Sandy Bridge CPU will have its motherboard fixed; that should take another four to five month. It'll be a new install on a different hardware and restoring the image is out the window. There are ways around it, but I rather start from fresh with the new hardware...

The Office forum learned the same thing I've learned a while ego at another customer with his Outlook 2007:

Quote:
"Your accounts are stored in the registry and need to be recreated on the new computer."
I've even tried some of the registry tricks to no avail to move over accounts. While one or two accounts ain't that bad, people nowadays have a half a dozen or more accounts. My Outlook has about 20 accounts, most of them relate to the sites that I manage.

Visiting the Office forum wasn't a total lost; tw33k found a third-party tool that can backup and restore Outlook. It's a shame that Microsoft didn't include backing up accounts in Outlook like they used to, but ABF Outlook Backup will be part of my toolbox.
Thanks Greg...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2011   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. The easy way for transferring the OS from HDD to SSD is this: Paragon Migrate OS to SSD - Overview

2. I have made a migration guide (PDF Document) which you can download from here: Install an SSD and transfer the Operating System.zip - Windows Live
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 From HDD to SSD restore...




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