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Windows 7: Re-imaging to an SSD

12 Oct 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Re-imaging to an SSD

I have a desktop with Windows 7 & a 1TB HDD, and everything is on the HDD. If I want to add an SSD & put the OS & some programs on it is there an easy way to do that? Perhaps copying all the data folders to an EHD & then making an image of the stripped down HDD & restoring that to an SSD? And then putting the data folders back onto the HDD?

Or do I have to start from scratch & re-install a fresh copy of Windows 7 to the SSD?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Oct 2012   #2

7 x64

If your present drive is 1 TB and it is one big partition you may be better off reinstalling Win 7 on the SSD instead of trying to image the original drive. The original 1TB may have to much data on it and won't fit on the SSD.

Yes install a fresh clean copy of Win 7 and programs on the SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2012   #3

Win 7 Pro x64 SP1, Win 7 Ult x86 SP1

I recently transferred an OS "C:" partition from a HD to an SSD using this tutorial by whs.
SSD - Install and Transfer the Operating System

I store my data on a different partition, and only have the OS and Programs on the "C:" partition.
I use Libraries to access my data folders and never had problems with this.

It sounds like you need to get your data moved to a different partition before migrating the OS and programs to an SSD.
You could also start from scratch with a clean OS (and programs) install to the SSD if you prefer.

How big is your HD, how big is the SSD you plan to get, and how much space is used for data on your "C:" HD partition?
Are you a gamer and have a lot of space used for games?

Most tech's store data on a different partition than the OS and Programs partition.
It makes backup/restore much easier...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Oct 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP


Since you have a Seagate in the mix, I'd clean up C and clone it over to the SSD using Acronis' superior free Cloning/Imaging app which comes free with Seagate: Seagate Acronis cloning free util

The Manual is there with the Download and is easy to understand. Use Auto clone to resize to the SSD space.

After cloning set SSD to boot first in BIOS setup. If it won't start, unplug all other hD's and peripherals, mark SSD Windows 7 (or it's 100mb System Reserved) partition Active, then run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times

After Windows 7 on SSD is running fine you can copy (not move) your User folders to HD if you need the space, then link them back to Windows 7 using the related Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums

To clean up C best use the tools and methods in Clean Up Bloatware
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks everyone for all the information. Iíll have to read through all the links a few times.

Not a gamer but have lots of photos & some videos on the HDD & don't know if it could be shrunk down to fit on a smaller SSD. I was thinking about a 128GB or more likely a 256GB SSD.

I think creating a new partition on the HDD for the data & then just cloning the "C:" partition with the OS & programs might have to be done. But then I'm not copying the data from the SSD to the HDD as mentioned, so does that mean the programs may never find the data?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP


Which programs need to find the data after you move it to a HD data partition?

You can shrink C to create a Data partition then copy the User folders over now, test by linking each by rightclicking to add to related Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums

If it works satisfactorily delete the content of the C User folders, run CCleaner to clean up temp and other files and Registry keys, then clone it over.

Remember after cloning to set SSD first to boot in BIOS setup. Later delete the Windows 7 partition on HD to Recover Space Used by an Older OS
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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