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Windows 7: Cloning questions re: upgrading to SSD


08 Sep 2012   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64
 
 
Cloning questions re: upgrading to SSD

I have never attempted to clone a drive before, so this is a new one for me. Plus, the SSD is going to be 2x the size of the original drive. Current machine is a Windows 7 64 bit, and am going to start a new build. Haven't decided about Windows 8 yet. So, the questions are:

1. Macrium Professional seems to be able to clone to "dissimilar hardware". I assume that means it can clone a Western HD to a larger SSD with no issues. Per some threads, there are issues with Norton Ghost and Windows 7 64 bit, so is Macrium the best choice, or should I be thinking of other software?

2. Dumb question perhaps, but the new SSD, with the cloned image, should be able to be inserted into a new build, with my existing registry information, and be bootable, correct? Any software issues normally encountered while doing this?

Any known issues with Windows 7 64 bit on being transferred to new hardware/box?

I have heard I may have to do something with MS Office Pro due to the other changes in the computer that would be taking place due to the new build (motherboard, cpu, memory, etc.)

3. Particularly with Windows 8 coming out, if my existing build is with Windows 7 64 bit, can I install Windows 8 on the new SSD, and somehow restore all programs to the SSD, as opposed to a complete clone? Any advantages / disadvantages?

4. If cloning does cause issues with the software operating properly (OS or one of the software packages), I could always resort to loading a new drive with my software. While laborious, if this causes a more trouble free environment, that's what I would do. Any thoughts on this?

5. Can I retain the original drive as a backup, or should I be using imaging software at that point?

Appreciate your thoughts on this. Thx,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

08 Sep 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

You refer to a new SSD. And later refer to "new build".

So clarify: will there be any new hardware other than the SSD?

The path of least resistance if you don't mind spending $20 is probably Paragon Migrate, which is built for the purpose.

Have you rejected imaging in favor of cloning? I ask because some use the 2 terms interchangeably, when they are actually different processes. You use the term "cloned image", which implies confusion.

If you have Win 7 on the SSD, you could put Win 8 on another partition on the same SSD, but you would have to install the Win 8 programs separately.

I'd probably do this in your shoes:

1: Decide if you want to spend $20. If so, use Paragon.

2: If you decide against spending $20, maybe make an attempt at a clone or an image--probably with Macrium Free, not paying.

3: If cloning or imaging fails on the first attempt, cut losses and do a clean install rather than troubleshoot for hours.

Many would tell you to do a clean install as step 1 regardless, to avoid any doubt or troubleshooting. All that costs you is time.

You could put the existing hard drive and its installation into the closet as some type of backup, but it will quickly become out of date, lacking Windows updates and maintenance. The more common thing to do is to wipe the old drive and re-use it as a data backup drive of some type---quite possibly using it as a place to store images of your new SSD installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2012   #3

Windows 7 Pro 64
 
 
Cloning to a SSD

Thank you for your reply.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
You refer to a new SSD. And later refer to "new build".

So clarify: will there be any new hardware other than the SSD?
It has come time to replace my existing computer (some motherboard issues), so it would be a complete new build. I use my computer for both home and work purposes, so it needs to be trouble-free and solid.

For the OS and programs, I was wanting to upgrade to a SSD, as it seems to have matured in reliability now. (if that is a wrong assumption, please advise). Looking at the Corsair Neutron GTX SSD. At approx. 500 GB, the SSD would be twice the size of my existing C drive.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
The path of least resistance if you don't mind spending $20 is probably Paragon Migrate, which is built for the purpose.

Have you rejected imaging in favor of cloning? I ask because some use the 2 terms interchangeably, when they are actually different processes. You use the term "cloned image", which implies confusion.
I was thinking of a "clone", not an image, wanting a bootable drive that would function the same as the original drive. I haven't cloned a drive before, assume that a "cloned" drive" would be a full and complete replacement of the original drive, bootable, same registry (program configurations), etc.

I have heard briefly of Macrium Professional ($60), which is supposed to clone between different sized "dissimilar drives". I will check out Paragon Migrate as well.

Cloning seems more straightforward than imaging to me. The path of least resistance, along with a reliable new drive, is what I am seeking.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post

Many would tell you to do a clean install as step 1 regardless, to avoid any doubt or troubleshooting. All that costs you is time.
This is one of the key points. It would take a weekend (more or less) to load all the software, get all updates, etc. A hassle, but it could be done. And, if that is what is ultimately the "best" trouble free solution for long term reliability, I would do that.

Appreciate your questions, and assistance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


09 Sep 2012   #4

Windows 7 Pro 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Have you rejected imaging in favor of cloning? I ask because some use the 2 terms interchangeably, when they are actually different processes. You use the term "cloned image", which implies confusion.
That confusing term tht may have snuck into my fingers while I was typing. I have considered installing a fresh copy of Windows 7 or 8 on the new drive, necessitating buying a new copy. If I did that, I would then want to transfrer most of my software, but not all, to the new box.

I don't know enough about imaging to know if I can choose which programs I want to retrieve out of the image and place on the new drive, complete with all registry info. If that is possible, I may consider that route.

Thx again
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

With a new mobo a clean install is recommended. Just know that the SSD will speed the process dramatically. It also is an excellent time to re-evaluate just what you need and where you want it, like placing less used games and software on a spinner and keeping the C boot drive as clean as possible for updates and vital software loading.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

I have no personal experience with Paragon Migrate or Macrium Pro's ability to clone to dissimilar hardware. I know several members have used the former successfully, although I'm not sure if they used it in a total rebuild, as opposed to just a change to an SSD.

I assume you have a retail Windows license and will therefore not need to buy another?

Imaging typically is an all or none proposition---on a partition basis. You cannot pick and choose what OS files or installed programs you want to restore.

Windows 7 apparently is quite forgiving of new hardware, so you may have success with a clone. Some people report transferring an existing hard drive and installation onto a new motherboard with few problems.

It's a tough call. I tend to be conservative in these things and would probably go along with Linnemeyer and lean toward a clean install.

But you might wait for more comments on Paragon Migrate or search this and other forums for comments by those who have used it successfully.

Regarding SSDs: I'd look at Samsung, Intel, or Crucial ahead of Corsair.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

+1 on Crucial and Samsung
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #8
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I have a Crucial but would opt for a Samsung next.
Also with a new Motherboard I'd also do a clean install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

You need to do a Clean Install. If you image you are going to take old Motherboard drivers in the image and who knows what else. You said it is for work and needs to be as stable as possible. Imaging an old PC to a new one will not get you that. The Clean Install will not take that long. Try this tutorial. Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Sep 2012   #10
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Although I've never used it, you can use sysprep
Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer
But personally it would have to be exceptional circumstances for me to go this way. Again I'd start nice and clean and then with a proper system imaging strategy you may never need a clean install on the PC again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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