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Windows 7: Moving Windows 7 to new drive

15 Oct 2015   #1
Flogger23m

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 
Moving Windows 7 to new drive

Hello,

I have received a new SSD and I am considering moving my install of Win 7 Pro 64bit onto the new SSD. Currently I Win 7 boots from a 2TB WD Black HDD, and I use a Crucial M500 240GB SSD for a couple of programs. I am going to be adding a new MX200 500GB drive in addition to these for daily use. Note that I do have two other HDDs which are purely for data back up.

Currently there are no partitions on the boot HDD.

Typically I would clone the entire drive with Acronis, however, I am using 1.12TB of space on my HDD so directly cloning my boot drive over to a smaller 500GB SSD will not be possible. I am wondering if there is a way to add the new 500GB SSD and then move just my Windows 7 install over to it?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Oct 2015   #2
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Are you meaning you will uninstall Windows 7 from its former home [the older HD] and installing said Windows 7 onto a new HD? If so, make sure the new HD is Primary and Active, while the old HD is "demoted" to Logical. And if you have a System Reserved hidden partition, take care, ensure a System Reserved partition exists on the new HD before absorbing the old HD's SysRes partition into the old HD's main partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2015   #3
Flogger23m

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
Are you meaning you will uninstall Windows 7 from its former home [the older HD] and installing said Windows 7 onto a new HD?
That is correct. Though I am wondering if I can just copy the Windows 7 install rather than cloning the entire drive. Pardon my possible use of incorrect terms, but currently my boot HDD has a single partition where all the programs/files are stored. Would it be possible to create a new partition, move Windows onto it, and then move over only the Windows partition to a new SSD?

Here is what my current drive situation looks like:


C being my Windows/programs/data, with my new SSD called Crucial E which stores a few programs. To be clear, currently, C is the boot drive and E is just a slave. Essentially, I'd like keep the current programs/data on their respective drivers and just move Windows 7 onto Crucial E. Crucial E would then become the boot drive.

If this is not possible, I can do the following:

Reformat Crucial E, move Windows 7 to it (if possible) and reinstall those few programs manually.

Hopefully what I'm saying is clear enough. Any help appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Oct 2015   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

It's not clear to me.

Your first post refers to a 240 gb Crucial SSD. I don't see it in your picture.

Your first post says you are going to be adding a 500 gb SSD. I assume you've already done that? Or do you have two 500 GB SSDs?

Your pic shows 2 partitions marked active. Normally, I'd expect to see just one---the partition containing the loader for Windows. That should be C. You should probably remove the active flag from the E partition.

Your C is 1.12 TB, much too large to fit on a 500 GB SSD.

I think some cloning applications may allow you to clone ONLY certain portions of a partition, rather than all of it. I'm not familiar with that because I use imaging rather than cloning. You might try to confirm that capability in applications such as Macrium, Paragon, Aomei Backupper, or Acronis.

Failing that---

How much of that 1.2 TB on C is personal data rather than Windows and applications?

If it is mostly personal data, I'd likely try to move the data to another partition made from the free space on the large 2 TB drive, leaving only Windows and applications on C. C would then presumably be less than 500 GB and therefore fit on the SSD.

If you could do that, you might try cloning to the new SSD. If cloning fails, try imaging.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2015   #5
Flogger23m

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
It's not clear to me.

Your first post refers to a 240 gb Crucial SSD. I don't see it in your picture.

I cloned it to the new 500GB via Acronis. It has the old data still and is unplugged. Wanted to test the new drive and Acronis before putting an OS on it.

Your first post says you are going to be adding a 500 gb SSD. I assume you've already done that? Or do you have two 500 GB SSDs?

Already added. Just looking to move Windows to it now.

Your pic shows 2 partitions marked active. Normally, I'd expect to see just one---the partition containing the loader for Windows. That should be C. You should probably remove the active flag from the E partition.

How would I remove the Active flag from E? If I am to move Windows to it, I would have to re-enable the Active flag I assume as it will become the boot drive. I would assume I would have to remove the Active flag from the HDD to once Windows is moved.

Your C is 1.12 TB, much too large to fit on a 500 GB SSD.

My trouble and reason for making this thread. Ideally a 2TB drive would be cheap and a simple clone would be easy, but sadly 500GB was as big as I could afford.

I think some cloning applications may allow you to clone ONLY certain portions of a partition, rather than all of it. I'm not familiar with that because I use imaging rather than cloning. You might try to confirm that capability in applications such as Macrium, Paragon, Aomei Backupper, or Acronis.

Will double check with Acronis. Although my main problem is how would I delete the windows install off of the HDD? Even if I could only clone that partition, it will remain on the HDD to. Is there a way to simply move (rather than clone) a Windows 7 install? Or can I make a new partition on C, allocate Win 7 to it, and then move that partition over?

Failing that---

How much of that 1.2 TB on C is personal data rather than Windows and applications?

If it is mostly personal data, I'd likely try to move the data to another partition made from the free space on the large 2 TB drive, leaving only Windows and applications on C. C would then presumably be less than 500 GB and therefore fit on the SSD.

If you could do that, you might try cloning to the new SSD. If cloning fails, try imaging.

Originally this was my intention, to "slim down" the amount of stuff on C drive and clone over. Problem is the only thing I really want on C to go onto the new SSD (drive E) is Windows 7 itself. 95% of the data/programs don't need to be on the SSD. Essentially, I'd like to put my Windows 7 install on what is currently drive E with my other demanding programs.



Replied in bold.

Edit: Acronis is 2014 edition, and does not seem to be able to clone partitions but only full drives. I assume this means it can't "cut and paste" only the OS either. So Acronis is likely not an option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2015   #6
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Flogger23m View Post
How would I remove the Active flag from E?

how would I delete the windows install off of the HDD? Is there a way to simply move (rather than clone) a Windows 7 install? Or can I make a new partition on C, allocate Win 7 to it, and then move that partition over?


Originally this was my intention, to "slim down" the amount of stuff on C drive and clone over. Problem is the only thing I really want on C to go onto the new SSD (drive E) is Windows 7 itself. 95% of the data/programs don't need to be on the SSD. Essentially, I'd like to put my Windows 7 install on what is currently drive E with my other demanding programs.
You'd remove the active flag from E via menus in Windows Disk Management.

I'm unaware of any way to "move" an OS anywhere other than by imaging or cloning. Simply copying files around is begging for trouble.

If you clone or image a complete partition containing an OS to another partition, you wouldn't then "delete" Windows from the original partition. You'd more likely delete the entire partition, make a new partition from that newly created unallocated space, and then use that new partition for another purpose---typically for data storage.

If you instead cloned ONLY certain portions of an OS partition to a new partition via some special capability in the cloning app, as mentioned earlier, then you'd be in uncharted territory as far as my experience goes. You'd have to just delete whatever you thought was "Windows and applications" (whatever was cloned to the new drive) without touching anything else on the partition. I've never done it. I assume it would be messy. For all I know, the entire idea of cloning only certain portions of a partition is messy and best avoided. You may have to experiment with that if you insist on cloning only certain portions.

I don't see why you'd want to "make a new partition on C, allocate Win 7 to it, and then move that partition over". If you intend to clone C or any portion of it anywhere, why not do it directly to the SSD?

I still don't know how much of your 1.12 TB is data. Windows is likely under 30 GB. So you've got circa 975 GB that is either data or apps.

It's one thing to have 950 GB of apps and 25 GB data on C and another thing entirely to have 950 GB of data and 25 GB of apps.

Could you do a clean install and reinstall apps if it came to that? That may be the path of least resistance if C is mostly apps with little data. If your "Windows plus all apps" size is beyond the capacity of your biggest SSD, you have to put apps on multiple partitions---and that's always a complication.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2015   #7
Flogger23m

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Thanks for the reply. Looks like my only realistic option is to slim down drive C and clone to drive E or do a clean install. I figured this was the case. Last rough estimates I took, even moving data off of C will still not net me enough free space to clone onto the smaller SSD. I can then uninstall & reinstall programs across the various drives but that would likely take as much effort as a clean install.

I'll have to double check how much my programs take up, move data off, uninstall everything else and then hopefully drive C will be small enough to clone onto the 500GB SSD. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2015   #8
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

You should just clean install to the new ssd with all the other drives unplugged, no cloning involved, do it right.

Clean Install Windows 7

Then just either get your files off that hard drive and format it, then put your files back on it, or just wipe out all the windows files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Oct 2015   #9
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

You should be able to use paragon to make an image, excluding files and folders.

Then apply the image to the new drive.

https://www.paragon-software.com/home/rk-free/



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Flogger23m View Post
Thanks for the reply. Looks like my only realistic option is to slim down drive C and clone to drive E or do a clean install. I figured this was the case. Last rough estimates I took, even moving data off of C will still not net me enough free space to clone onto the smaller SSD. I can then uninstall & reinstall programs across the various drives but that would likely take as much effort as a clean install.

I'll have to double check how much my programs take up, move data off, uninstall everything else and then hopefully drive C will be small enough to clone onto the 500GB SSD. Thanks for taking the time to reply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2015   #10
Flogger23m

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
You should be able to use paragon to make an image, excluding files and folders.

Then apply the image to the new drive.

https://www.paragon-software.com/home/rk-free/
That is one alternative. Now, would I then have to re-format my HDD to remove the Windows install and make it a slave/data drive? Although does using an imagine of just the OS cause any issues? Never considered imaging just an OS but only a whole drive.
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