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Windows 7: SSD Cloning Software (Two Partitions) Recommendations

31 Jul 2014   #1
momanium

Windows Xp Home 32 Bit, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
SSD Cloning Software (Two Partitions) Recommendations

I have a friend who wants to upgrage from a HDD in his laptop to an SSD. The thing is the current 500GB hard drive has two partitions (400B and 100GB ). It sounds like one has the operating system and the other his data. Altogether he has used less than 100GB on both partitions so he wants to buy a 256GB SSD (probably Evo or MX100).

He has come to me for advice but I always do a fresh install when I upgrade to SSD. Can someone give me advice on what software to use and whether the two partitions will be a problem.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Jul 2014   #2
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Macrium Reflect free, or Macrium Reflect Standard (with additional features that are useful, including vendor support if you need it). Either can do the job of making transition from one HDD to another (or SSD) a breeze, no matter how many partitions are involved. The complexity or simplicity of the job depends on whether or not you can have both the old and new drives available at the same time, or if you have an "intermediate" storage device (such as an external USB 3.0 drive to copy-out to and copy-back from). Use the standalone boot CD to run from during the time when you don't yet have a bootable OS from SSD.

For any partitioning requirements (including resizing, creating/deleting partitions from free space, merging multiple partitions, moving partitions left and right, etc.) you would do well to make use of Partition Wizard. Again, using the standalone boot CD when you want to most conveniently perform operations involving the C-partition where Windows lives is the simplest way to complete those tasks.
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31 Jul 2014   #3
momanium

Windows Xp Home 32 Bit, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Macrium Reflect free, or Macrium Reflect Standard (with additional features that are useful, including vendor support if you need it). Either can do the job of making transition from one HDD to another (or SSD) a breeze, no matter how many partitions are involved. The complexity or simplicity of the job depends on whether or not you can have both the old and new drives available at the same time, or if you have an "intermediate" storage device (such as an external USB 3.0 drive to copy-out to and copy-back from). Use the standalone boot CD to run from during the time when you don't yet have a bootable OS from SSD.

For any partitioning requirements (including resizing, creating/deleting partitions from free space, merging multiple partitions, moving partitions left and right, etc.) you would do well to make use of Partition Wizard. Again, using the standalone boot CD when you want to most conveniently perform operations involving the C-partition where Windows lives is the simplest way to complete those tasks.
Thanks for the reply, very useful. I have received mixed advice (certain people claim more than 1 partition is not possible).

I have used PartitionWizard a while ago (thanks for the great recommendation) and I might use it in this case to merge both partitions into 1. Would this be possible whilst the drive is running Windows? That would make it a lot easier.

He has a HDD (currently using with Windows 7), an SSD (waiting for delivery) and a third external hard drive with backups and system images of the current OS. He has also ordered an enclosure for the current hard drive (and to connect OS for cloning prep) Knowing this, what steps would you recommend. I really think merging (if possible) is the best option as he has very little data altogether.
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31 Jul 2014   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

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31 Jul 2014   #5
gregrocker

 

The benefit of using another data partition is to keep your User folders and storage separate from the OS so its image is smaller. In case WIn7 ever becomes irreparable you can reimage C in 20 minutes and your data will be safe, current and waiting on its own partition. Of course those files should always be backed up against HD failure.

The easiest way to do this is copy the User folders to the data partition, then rightclick each to add to its Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums then set each data partition User folder as the default save folder: Library - Set Save Folder - Windows 7 Help Forums.

Once you confirm everything shows up in the library for that User folder on D, you can delete the content of the C folder it duplicates. The C User folders will remain in the Library so you can see if anything lands there and drag it to D.

Here are also steps for doing a perfect Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
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31 Jul 2014   #6
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by momanium View Post
Thanks for the reply, very useful. I have received mixed advice (certain people claim more than 1 partition is not possible).
Huh? You can create two or more partitions on any type of drive, depending on your needs. For most situations at least two partitions are what I'd call "normal", with a C-partition sized appropriately for Windows and installed programs and a reasonable extra allocation for things that end up there... like some user data you casually did not place elsewhere when you saved it. Depending on your situation, somewhere between 50GB and 100Gb should be "reasonable" for Win7, in my experience.

The rest of the drive should be allocated to a "data" partition (or two or three or...), but at least one. With an SSD from Samsung they recommend leaving about 10% of the drive unallocated to any partition, for use in "over-provisioning" which improves SSD performance. You use Samsung Magician to set that up, when optimizing Win7 for SSD performance.

As has been mentioned by others, the advantage of having a separate essentially Windows-only partition is the ease with which you can restore it from a "system image" backup (taken automatically at regular scheduled intervals ideally, such as weekly, using Macrium Reflect) in the event of a real disaster that you have no other recovery alternative for. And if your "data" is on a separate partition, again it makes it just easier and more organized to keep track of things, back it up regularly (say monthly for a FULL "data" backup and nightly for "INCREMENTAL" data backups), while keeping it separate from Windows with the obvious flexibility that implies.

This multi-partition idea also makes it easier to do a clean from-scratch Win7 reinstall or upgrade to Win8, if you had to or wanted to.

I replaced the 500GB spinner in my Lenovo W530 laptop with a 512GB Samsung 840 Pro, leaving about 49GB for "over-provisioning" and allocating multiple "data" partitions (to mimic my desktop machine organization and partition drive-lettering, which have 3-4 hard drives partitioned into a similar organization as my laptop looks with its single 512GB SSD, just with smaller individual partitions on the laptop). You can do whatever you want, per your own style and tastes.


Quote:
I have used PartitionWizard a while ago (thanks for the great recommendation) and I might use it in this case to merge both partitions into 1. Would this be possible whilst the drive is running Windows? That would make it a lot easier.
Most PW functions not involving changes to C can be done by the installed program while running under Windows. As a general rule, anything involving a change to C can be done either all-at-once using the standalone boot CD version, or can be at least set up while running under Windows but requesting a re-boot once you push APPLY. That triggers a re-boot, and PW kicks in before the Windows desktop starts... in order to complete the scheduled operations. Once everything is done (again, this is before Windows desktop is brought up as part of this PW-triggered re-boot) PW will return to the normal Windows boot process, and you'll eventually end at your desktop as normal. And all previously scheduled partition changes will now have been completed.


Quote:
He has a HDD (currently using with Windows 7), an SSD (waiting for delivery) and a third external hard drive with backups and system images of the current OS. He has also ordered an enclosure for the current hard drive (and to connect OS for cloning prep) Knowing this, what steps would you recommend. I really think merging (if possible) is the best option as he has very little data altogether.
To each his own. But my own style when helping friends and family install new machines is to always use PW to divide the generally 500GB or larger delivered hard drive into a C and D partition, for Windows and data. C is generally no larger than 90GB (which is still VERY generous) and D gets whatever is left.

I also insist that they get an external USB 3.0 drive to be used for regular "system image" and "data" backups, and I set up Macrium Reflect for a regular weekly scheduled "system image" taken in the middle of the night between Saturday and Sunday. Although Macrium Reflect Standard also includes folder/file "data backup" capability, my own preference is to use Novastor's NovaBACKUP for "data backups", just because I've been using it for many years and prefer its GUI interface. Note that NovaBACKUP also includes its own "system image" backup capability but I prefer Macrium Reflect for that function. So I myself use two different programs, where either one really could suffice if I weren't so influenced by GUI usability.
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31 Jul 2014   #7
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Or you could use Aomei backupper. The free (standard) version does both system imaging and file/folder backup. It also does differential/incremental as well as full images.

You can use the small 17mb download on the right of this link:

Free Download AOMEI Backupper Standard: Windows Backup & Cloning Software
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05 Aug 2014   #8
momanium

Windows Xp Home 32 Bit, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for the reply, particularly those informing me about multiple partitions.

For ease, he has now deleted the second drive and extended the primary partition to full size. Now I need to choose which software to use.
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 SSD Cloning Software (Two Partitions) Recommendations




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