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Windows 7: How do I clone a System Partition onto a new Drive

07 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit
How do I clone a System Partition onto a new Drive


I recently got a new SSD drive that I was interested in turning into my "System Drive" where I just keep all my system files (and some applications that I want to run fast) so that my boot speed is faster.

So this is what I did:
  1. Downloaded EASEUS Disk Copy
  2. Booted it from a USB
  3. Copied my System Reserve and System Partition onto my SSD
  4. Set my System Reserve on my SSD to Active using Diskpart
  5. Changed the boot order to run my SSD first at startup

Once I completed all these steps I started up my computer and after my post I get a little white bar "_" that just stays there blinking forever.

I have tried changing my SATA controller to AHCI with the same result. (It's on IDE, now)

Did disk copy not copy some of the files I need to boot with my SSD? Or did I not copy all the correct partitions? Thanks so much for the help!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

Have a look at this tutorial for pointers on anything you may have missed.

SSD - Install and Transfer the Operating System
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2012   #3
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I would start anew. There is apparently something missing.

step 1. move the bootmgr to C - Bootmgr - Move to C:\ with EasyBCD Then you do not have to mess with the system reserve partition

step 2. create 1 (one) aligned partition on the whole SSD with diskpart as described in my tutorial linked above by Andrew

step 3. Make an image of C - make sure the partition (not only the data) you image is equal or smaller in size as the space on your SSD partition.

step 4. dump the image into the SSD partition you created

step 5. change the boot order and the thing should boot correctly.

step 6. stop defrag for the SSD and get rid of the hiberfile - unless you use hibernation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Apr 2012   #4

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

Alright thanks so much for the help, I'm still working on it. I'll let you know, I appreciate it!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

Okay so here's the update: It worked....kinda.

I can boot up windows on my SDD but when I get to the log in screen I only get a black screen with a cursor (Which is the reason I bought this SSD because I think my HDD is going bad) Now my HDD also has these symptoms. (Go figure it's an exact copy)

Here is how I go it to work:
  1. Follow instructions on your tutorial to create a new System Reserve partition
  2. Made a C: Partition in Disk Manager
  3. Used my EaseUs Disk Copy to just clone my System Reserve and System Drive from my HDD into the Partitions that I created on my SSD with diskpart (I don't have my External right now.)
  4. I copied the HDD System Reserve to the 100MB partition I made on the SSD and the C: System Partition to the partition I created with Disk Management (which left some unallocated space on my SSD)
  5. I put it as only boot device just to make sure I wasn't getting my other HDD

I think the things that made it work was doing:

List disk
Select disk n (where n is the number that was given for your SSD in List disk)
Create partition primary size=100 align=1024
Format fs=ntfs quick
from your tutorial to create the System Reserve on my SSD, then turning the rest of the unallocated space on my SSD into an NTFS (though windows didn't let me make it a logical drive) partition using Disk Management.

I didn't try to mess around with partition manager because I'm not that used to images yet.

Thanks so much for getting me this far!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

Oh My Goodness! No, sooner did I finish posting that message when my computer randomly pops out of the black screen and starts up. That means it must have taken sitting in the black screen for about 10 minutes for windows to actually start.

Any ideas, or should I post a new thread?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

It looks to me that you had a serious problem with your OS on the HDD and now you have transported that problem to the SSD. That is not the fault of the SSD or the setup you made.

Before we go any further, we first have to fix your basic problem - on SSD or HDD. A new thread would help if you can describe the problem - but you can also continue here.

I think you have 2 options:

1. a repair/install trying to get it fixed on your current system: Repair Install

2. if #1 does not help, you should consider a reinstall directly to the SSD. Make sure though that you have all your data backed up (should be in the image anyhow). I know that is painful, but chasing the problem may take longer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

I'm making some progress.

I booted into Safe Mode and followed this guide to disable all my start up services but windows ones.

I can now boot into windows normally, which makes me think that maybe this isn't my HDD and it has to do with some software I have installed. I am currently using WD Lifeguard to fully scan my HDD for errors (to see if it was just bad sectors that my SSD inherited) and if nothing comes up I'll have to guess and check which program is interfering I guess.

The strange thing is that I already clean installed windows about two weeks ago because of this same problem and now it is back again. That makes me think either my HDD is going bad (Which is why I thought to buy this SSD) or some software I installed recently (Pro Tools 8) might be interfering.

Thanks for all the help, you rock!

Edit: Does Repair installing from Windows completely delete all my system files? Meaning that if I have software with settings and Licenses (or whatever they put in there) saved in the registry that I will have to reinstall all those applications?

Double Edit: I just finished the Extended Drive Check with WD Lifeguard that said it "Passed," (pretty vague) but I guess that means it isn't an issue with my HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2012   #9
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

Good, in fact you can disable ALL startup programs except the aniti virus and those that you started yourself like gadgets (sidebar), docks (e.g. Rocket Dock), etc.

But this Pro Tools 8 sounds suspicious. I would stay away from such programs.

I think your HDD is OK. The bug is in your installation.

Startup/repair fixes defective system files. Nothing else. It works similar as sfc /scannow except it has access to all system files whilst sfc has only access to those files that are in the mirror (which are only the essential ones). Drivers that were loaded later and program files of programs that you installed afterwards do not get fixed because those are not on the installation disc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2012   #10

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

Okay, I systematically went through and started back up all my Services (Not Start Up programs yet) except ... BitDefender Virus Shield and Bitdefender Desktop Update Service. These two whenever I check the boxes and hit Apply Windows automatically unchecks them.

All my other services are up and running and it restarts fine.

Did windows....fix itself? (I know unbelievable) Maybe Bitdefender was the problem?

Update: I went through and turned back on all the start up items I knew weren't the issue and then one by one turned back on the ones I thought might be the issue and everything works. The only services that will not start - because I guess windows doesn't let them - are the BitDefender Virus Shield and Desktop Update Services. If BD is the reason my computer doesn't start....that's just wonky. Or Maybe getting it to start up once fixed the initial problem?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How do I clone a System Partition onto a new Drive

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