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Windows 7: How to image a partitioned OS drive to SSD

13 Dec 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
How to image a partitioned OS drive to SSD

Hi, I'm about to receive my first SSD (Intel XM-25, 120GB), which I plan to image my current OS drive to. I am running Windows 7, 64 bit. I'm hoping to avoid having to reinstall my OS and all apps.

My C:\ drive is actually a 100GB partition from a bigger SATA 500GB drive (WD Caviar Green). So I also have a 400GB D:\ drive.

I have never attempted to image a drive before, so this process is daunting to me. There are a lot of things I have to consider.

0. Is this procedure even possible? (imagining a partition of a conventional HD to a SSD)

1. What's the best software for this kind of job?

2. How would the procedure go? Would it go like the following
a. Install the imaging software on my current system as is
b. Physically install the SSD in my rig
c. Turn on the computer, and let Win7 auto assign the SSD some drive letter
d. Use the imaging software to duplicate my C: drive to the SSD
e. Shut down PC
f. Physically change the SATA cables between the Caviar Green and the SSD.
g. Reboot?

3. At step g. of the above, what happens when I reboot and there are two OS drives in my rig with the? Is there any other step I would need to do to avoid conflict or trouble?

4. What do I do about my old C: drive? Does windows 7 automatically assign it to another drive letter and treat it like a data drive instead?

5. How would I go about removing the partition on my old drive so I get one drive that is 500GB back?

These are all the fine-print issues I am mulling over. If anyone can provide some resources, guides to help me sort through this, it would be greatly appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

it is actually very simple:

1. Shrink your C partition on your current HDD to a little smaller than the SSD you plan to install - e.g. 58GB for a 60GB SSD (both binary numbers).

2. Attach the SSD via USB and create a partition and align the SSD at the same time: SSD Alignment

3. Make an image of your shrunk HDD partition to an external disk. All the instructions are here: Imaging with free Macrium Do not forget to burn the Linux recovery disk. You will need that later.

4. Install the SSD and disconnect all your HDDs.

5. Boot from the Recovery disk you burnt in step #4 (change the boot sequence temporarily to CD/DVD in the BIOS). Mark the partition as active and restore the MBR (check the steps on my video. Also read the Warning in the pink field of the tutorial)

6. After you rebooted from the recovery, check everything out and then shut everything down (including electricity) and reattach your HDDs. Set the boot sequence permanently in the BIOS Setup to boot from the SSD.

Note: should you have a 100MB active boot partition on your current HDD, then post back. The procedure is a bit more complicated in that case.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Dec 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP


Since you have a WD HD you also qualify to use their excellent Acronis free app in case you have any problems with the others: WD Support

Acronis can shrink during the cloning or imaging process.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 How to image a partitioned OS drive to SSD

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