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Windows 7: Looking for experiences & guidance on cloning current HDD to SSD

02 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
Looking for experiences & guidance on cloning current HDD to SSD


I am running Windows 7 Pro on a Sony Vaio S-series laptop. The laptop has one Toshiba 320GB HDD, showing as 290GB C: drive, and 8GB recovery partition and 100MB system reserved partition. Used space is only 62GB at the moment.

The laptop is 3 years old & I'm looking to extend its life by replacing the HDD with an SSD (crucial M4 or similar) of 256GB size. I've done some research but not got a clear impression of a simple & reliable way to go about this. I want to simply clone the existing system onto the new SSD.

So... I guess I need to make sure that I get the partitions down to below 256GB to start, then... what? What experiences can forum members share, what recommendations (eg cloning SW, strategy (eg Acronis says best to put the SSD in its final location, with the source HDD attached via USB etc... seems a faff - why is that 'best'?), hints, problems to watch out for etc...) or even a tutorial I may not have seen...

I appreciate that some may recommend a re-install but I'd rather not do that (with the attendant re-installs, configuring etc) so would rather clone the current system reliably.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Look here for the successful cloning experience of DeaconFrost, a well-regarded and experienced member.

Best method to clone SSDs

He used Acronis.

Imaging is another possibility for you, assuming you have another drive on which you can store an image file temporarily. Macrium is a good choice for that.

Current versions of Macrium will also clone, but I can't point you to a thread of a member using Macrium to clone. Most people here image rather than clone.

The M4 is a good choice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2012   #3

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

I recently bought an M4 128GB and did (a couple of time!) the transfer.
Have a look at WHS's tutorial
SSD - Install and Transfer the Operating System
The Paragon product referred to could be a very easy option. Although it didn't work to my satisfaction it appears to work well for most. I ended up doing the whole process manually similar to WHS's method.

Also, with the Crucial M4 do the latest firmware upgrade.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Feb 2012   #4

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

Thanks for these suggestions. Will follow up & research.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Looking for experiences & guidance on cloning current HDD to SSD

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