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Windows 7: Questions about upgrading SSD C drive

22 Aug 2015   #1
pokeefe0001

Windows 7 x64 Pro
 
 
Questions about upgrading SSD C drive

I have an old backup/test PC that has a very small (80GB) SSD C drive. I'm considering replacing that with a larger drive before attempting to migrate to Win10. Rather than doing a clean install of Win7 (and having to re-install everything I currently have installed) I think I'd like to do an image backup of the current drive and a restore onto the new drive. I would be willing to use either the Windows Backup and Restore utility or Acronis True Image 2015.

This PC is no longer in use much, so I don't want to spend very much time and money on this project. I thought I would buy an inexpensive 256GB SSD and use the easiest technique.

But first I have some possibly bonehead questions.

If I don't use the same make of drive, do I have to worry about drivers? I assume BIOS will be able to read the drive and start the boot process, but I don't know what will happen if Windows expects an Intel SSD and finds something else - a Samsung or something.

My PC currently has the SSD and 2 (small) HDDs. Luckily, the case has room for another. I assume I can install the new drive, point whichever utility I use to it, and restore. Do I then have to remove the old SSD and put the new one in its place, or can I just point BIOS to the new drive as the boot device?

I've never done a system image restore before. Are there potential pitfalls? (At least I'll be restoring to a new device, not overwriting the old one.) Any suggestions concerning Windows vs Acronis utilities for the process?

Do I need to worry about anything else I haven't thought of? This doesn't seem like a tough project, but I'm not a technical wizard; there is probably something important I haven't thought of.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Aug 2015   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

see comments in bold

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pokeefe0001 View Post

But first I have some possibly bonehead questions.

If I don't use the same make of drive, do I have to worry about drivers? I assume BIOS will be able to read the drive and start the boot process, but I don't know what will happen if Windows expects an Intel SSD and finds something else - a Samsung or something.

No worry about drivers.


My PC currently has the SSD and 2 (small) HDDs. Luckily, the case has room for another. I assume I can install the new drive, point whichever utility I use to it, and restore. Do I then have to remove the old SSD and put the new one in its place, or can I just point BIOS to the new drive as the boot device?

The new SSD may come with transfer software which may or may not work. You could at least try it.

You've got 2 basic choices: cloning or imaging. Either can work or fail. Cloning is probably worth a try, but be prepared to try imaging if cloning fails.

Personally, I'd use Macrium Reflect rather than Windows or Acronis or whatever software may come with the new SSD. Windows Backup would be my last choice for the job.





I've never done a system image restore before. Are there potential pitfalls? (At least I'll be restoring to a new device, not overwriting the old one.) Any suggestions concerning Windows vs Acronis utilities for the process?

Do I need to worry about anything else I haven't thought of? This doesn't seem like a tough project, but I'm not a technical wizard; there is probably something important I haven't thought of.

Yes, there are potential pitfalls.

Cloning and imaging may fail for known or unknown reasons. Be prepared to do a clean install if that happens.

Best advice is to outright disconnect everything except mouse, keyboard, monitor, old SSD and new SSD. You don't want other hard drives connected.

How complex it is would depend on your current partition situation on the old SSD.

Does the old SSD contain any personal data?

Is your data backed up?

Does the old SSD contain ONLY Windows and applications?

Is any portion of Windows or installed programs on any drive other than the old SSD?

Do you have a "System Reserved" partition?

Might be best for you to post a screen shot of your current Windows Disk Management.

Cloning probably has a shorter learning curve than imaging because you don't have to get involved in making a recovery disk or doing a formal restore, like you would with imaging.

There are tutorials on this site about Macrium.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2015   #3
pokeefe0001

Windows 7 x64 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
...
Does the old SSD contain any personal data?
Yes. The "Users" directory is on the SSD. There are also some Program Files and Program File(x86). And the ProgramData.

Some programs I put there because I wanted fast access. At least one other program installed some of its code there even though I told it to install on the D drive. And that is the only important program on the PC. I was told on the program's forum that some of the programs code had to reside on the system disk. No explanation was given. Maybe it is accessed (for some reason) via a Windows symbolic link. There is also a file added to the program by a 3rd-party extension. I don't know if I can move that or not; I don't know how it is referenced. BTW, the program is the music notation software Sibelius. I also have Firefox and Thunderbird installed on the C drive, but I could reinstall them on one of the HDDs.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Is your data backed up?
Yes. Via Acronis. I can recover individual files if I have to.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Does the old SSD contain ONLY Windows and applications?
No. I mentioned some other things above.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Is any portion of Windows or installed programs on any drive other than the old SSD?
No part of Windows is installed anywhere except the C drive ... as far as I know. When I recently took System Image backup by the Windows Backup and Restore utility it said both C and D were system disks so I could be wrong.

That is why I was thinking of using the Windows system image restore, by the way. If it thinks both are system disks I maybe want to restore them both when I populate the new SSD.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Do you have a "System Reserved" partition?
Yes. I'm not sure what is in it, but I assume a system image restore or clone operation would include it.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Might be best for you to post a screen shot of your current Windows Disk Management.
The PC is powered off right now, and I'm too lazy to go to the basement and power it up. If you don't mind going off to a different thread, I posted that info when I asked why D was considered a system disk:

Create system image - what constitues a system drive?
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Cloning probably has a shorter learning curve than imaging because you don't have to get involved in making a recovery disk or doing a formal restore, like you would with imaging.

There are tutorials on this site about Macrium.

Ok. I'll look at Macrium. Acronis True Image also has a clone function.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

25 Aug 2015   #4
pokeefe0001

Windows 7 x64 Pro
 
 

I ended up using the clone utility that came with the drive. It worked, and I now have a 256GB SSD on the PC. Update: The Samsung cloning utility made a perfectly usable drive for Windows 7, but did something to the 100 MB System Reserved partition. It renamed it to "Data" (which didn't seem to bother Win7) and reduced the free space from 32% to 7% ... while still keeping the partition size at 100MB. My Windows 10 update choked because it could not update the System Reserved partition. I then tried the Acronis clone utility. It can clone from a USB-connected source to an internal destination. Since I had already swapped the old and new SSDs, I now met that requirement. That clone process has to boot up the Acronis Linux system, but the cloning too less than 10 minutes so that wasn't too bad. I now have 32% frees pace in the in the System Reserved partition so I 'm trying the Windows 10 update again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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