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Windows 7: Pulling my hair out... nothing works to clone a new drive in laptop

14 Mar 2013   #1
VTX1800N1

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 
Pulling my hair out... nothing works to clone a new drive in laptop

First, I HATE Microsoft. There, I said it. NOT ONE of their tech or "how to" articles has ever worked. Not a single one, and their tutorials on backup and restore are no different.

I recently bought a Samsung 250 GB SSD to put in my Dell XPS-17 to speed it up. The OEM drive is a Toshiba 500 GB HD, but is much less than half full. All I want to do is make an exact copy of the drive onto the new hard drive and then use my old drive (the laptop has two internal drive bays) to store files while the new drive runs the OS and programs. Seems like a simple request, right? Yeah, I thought so too....

The Samsung comes with their own software that promises to let you clone the drive. Well, they lied. Their software points you to their website, where you can download a copy of Norton Ghost. Great, I thought, that should take care of it.... well, not so fast. Seems Samsung failed to include the license key with Ghost, and without the key, Ghost will not clone the drive. Thanks for nothing, Samsung.

I have a WD passport drive that has its own software for maintaining a backup. Well, I found out that was about worthless too. I had it set to "Category" backup, and because it wasn't on "File" backup, it will only restore my files to a new folder on the new drive after I install Windows on that drive. That means that none of my settings or programs are there. What a waste of time. I have now changed it to "File" backup and have to wait several hours while it completes that before I can try it again and see if it will restore all my files, programs, and settings. I have my doubts.

So I started to research other options. First on my list was making a complete system image with the built in Win 7 backup and restore utility. Several hours later, the image complete (on an external drive), I installed the new SSD in the primary slot and the laptop and installed a fresh copy of Win 7 Pro 64. After that was done, I tried to restore, only to discover Microsoft's lie. You cannot reach a USB drive in order to find the backup copy to restore from. So, I installed the original HD in the secondary laptop slot and copied the image file from my external drive over to the HD. A couple hours later and that was done, and then I rebooted only to discover that not only can Windows not find an external USB drive, it can't even find the backup copy in the secondary (original HDD) drive slot. What the hell good is making a complete drive image if you can never find the damned thing to restore from? This is 131 GB of data, and at 4.7GB per DVD, it would take me 28 DVDs to make a complete image. I'm not going to do that. Microsoft, you suck.

Does ANYONE know of any actual way to completely clone a drive. I'm talking boot sector and all. I want to just be able to swap the new drive over after cloning and have it boot up as if nothing had changed. Microsoft clearly doesn't know how to do this. Does anyone else?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2013   #2
VTX1800N1

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

Oh, and BTW, I tried Macrium as listed above too. That took even longer than the Win 7 utility and didn't work either. All I got when I tried to boot from the new drive with the "clone" on it was a flashing cursor. The computer would do nothing else. I'm just completely disgusted at this point.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2013   #3
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 8 Pro / Desk2 7 Home Prem / Main lap Asus ROG 7 Pro
 
 

Hello VTX mate take a deep breath and relax I know it is frustrating but you will get answers here.

I used to use this for cloning drives Best free backup software. Hard drive backup and recovery, image and clone freeware - EaseUS Todo Backup Free

but because you can only clone from small to large and not the other way it is limited I don't clone much these days but the Ease todo was good.

There is this too

5 Free Apps to Clone Your Hard Drive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2013   #4
VTX1800N1

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

Will do if this doesn't work:

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Mar 2013   #5
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 8 Pro / Desk2 7 Home Prem / Main lap Asus ROG 7 Pro
 
 

Hum one more - Clonezilla - About

Otherwise what I might suggest VTX is to install on to the SSD and then just transfer over what you want from the larger drive. I know that is a PITA but maybe the only way.

I ma going for another look round.

Mate I am not trying to be rude but you are "letting it beat you" by getting so frustrated and sooner or later you might just make the mistake of rubbishing the older drive.

Did you see these Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer
SSD - Install and Transfer the Operating System
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2013   #6
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Well basically, you can't "clone" a larger drive to a smaller drive because "clone" means making an EXACT copy. You can "migrate" from a larger drive to a smaller, and I suspect, that is what some of the so-called "clone" operations are really doing.

Paragon makes such a migration app and what it allows you to do is select filetypes to be omitted from the migration, thus shrinking down your current space demands (on the HDD) to be small enough to fit on the SDD. I used this to migrate my HDD to SDD and it worked great.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2013   #7
VTX1800N1

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
 
 

The Samsung Migration software worked great. My system is operating on the SSD now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2013   #8
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 8 Pro / Desk2 7 Home Prem / Main lap Asus ROG 7 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by VTX1800N1 View Post
The Samsung Migration software worked great. My system is operating on the SSD now.
Good to hear VTX - now wax on - wax off LOL!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Pulling my hair out... nothing works to clone a new drive in laptop




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