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Windows 7: Migrating to a bigger hard drive

31 Aug 2010   #11

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

yes Jim, all are WD drives. I want to move the image off the 300gb drive to a bigger 500gb WD drive.
The aim is to use the 300gb drives in another machine for work, and use the current system (home and family) as my family pc - so it doesn't need as much grunt as the new rig - email, net browsing and MS office.

All drives were bought at the same time.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2010   #12
Phone Man

Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64bit, Windows 7 HP 64bit

Good you are in luck. Go to WD and download this free software and also the manual. It will allow you to "clone" the drives. It will copy one drive to the other and works great. Just read the manual and you should be good to go. There is an option to erase the original drive but it is better to let the files stay until you are sure the new drive is OK.
WD Support

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2010   #13

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers


Assuming you can mount both Disks temporarily at the same time.

1) Use our Windows install disk or GPARTED to create a partion size you want to install your OS on and another partition say "E" of sufficoient size to temporarily hold an image of your first Disk.

2) use Acronis -- you can get a TRIAL version to image your original disk --use Maximum compression. If you have an external USB drive to put the image on even better. You should find that your 300 GB partition will probably fit on to 170 GB or even much less depending on how full your HDD is.

3) Now RESTORE the image to the target partition --

4) delete the image file if its not on an external HDD.

5) Use GPARTED to shift around partition sizes and / or merge partitions.

6) set the boot sequence for your new drive

7) boot and delete the data from the old HDD.

Acronis and GPARTED make bootable media too so if you hose it all up you can re-start by booting the bootable media and running the restore again.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Aug 2010   #14
Microsoft MVP


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by saverio View Post
But, I never made the 500gb drive active, before doing any of this, I just assumed that the recovery disk would do all the necessary stuff for me.

Can't make the 500gb target HD Active before reimaging because you need Unallocated Space to reimage to, not a partition.

Try wiping the 500gb using Diskpart first: Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command

Or reimage to 300gb and clone to 500gb using free WD cloning app Phoneman linked to.

Unfortunately, Win7 Backup Imaging is not fully reliable in cases like this. If you cannot afford to lose your backup image then save a second one using Macrium or free Paragon 10.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2010   #15

Windows 10 Pro X64

I would try cloning the old 300GB drive to the new 500GB drive without using any backup image. A program like HDClone Free will do this as will others, like Macrium Reflect Free.

Just install the new 500GB drive along with the existing 300GB, use either of the above programs (or any other you like) and see if that does it for you.

I don't know if the backup software included with Windows 7 will clone a HD from one to another if the 2nd is a different size. HDClone and Macrium will.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2010   #16

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

First, Win 7 Backup & Restore is perfectly reliable for cloning. I've done it several times.

That said, then since you have WD disks, then you will find their Clone software excellent.

Other approaches are:


PARTITION WIZARD (a favorite of many SevenForum contributors)
Free download. Move/resize/delete/etc partitions.
Go to their web page and download the “bootable CD” version.
Free Download Magic Partition Manager Software – Partition Wizard Online

Macrium Reflect Backup and Hard Disk Imaging for Windows 7, Vista, XP and Server 2003/2008
Hard disk image and backup software.

Free Backup Software: Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Advanced Edition - Overview
Backup & Recovery Free Edition
Based on the commercial backup and recovery software from Paragon.

Free hard disk copy, disk clone, partition copy, backup.
EASEUS Disk Copy: Free Disk Copy, Disk Clone, Partition Copy Software. Sector by Sector for hard drive backup freeware.

Backup & Restore (WIN | type back | Enter)
Disk Management (DiskMgmt.msc)
Disk Partitioning (DiskPart)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2010   #17
Microsoft MVP


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by karlsnooks View Post
First, Win 7 Backup & Restore is perfectly reliable for cloning. I've done it several times.
Hi Karl -

Wasn't aware Win7 backup imaging utility can be used for cloning. How is it done?

I'm not sure about "perfectly reliable" either since it seems that more than half of the experts around here won't rely on it.

I would still have a second backup image if you can't afford it to fail during reimage to another HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2010   #18

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

Use the Create & Restore steps listed below when you want to replace your hard disk with one of same or larger size.

• START | type Backup your computer | Enter key
• In left-hand pane, select Create a System Image
• select where you want to save the backup | Next
• Select the drives you want to backup | Next
• Start Backup button
• Finish button after completion

START | type System Repair | Enter key | Create Disc button

• Boot from the System Repair Disc you created.
• Connect the external drive with the backup image
• NEXT button (change language if desired)
• Restore your computer using a system image
that you created earlier radio button
• NEXT button
• Use the latest available system image radio button
• NEXT button
• Format and repartition discs checkbox
• NEXT button
• FINISH button
• YES button

On Windows 7, this is the only way I've cloned.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2010   #19
Microsoft MVP


OK I understand now that you were using "Cloning" generically to include "reimaging" which are the steps that are given there.

I consider "Cloning" to be the direct imaging from one HD to another.

It would be interesting to hear how others feel about Win7 Backup Imaging's reliability as compared to other free Imaging software. I like to promote Win7's features but feel I cannot recommend Backup Imaging as being as fully reliable as most other major Win7 features.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2010   #20

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

The win 7 backup & restore is 100% reliable.

The problems are as they have ever been since the dinosaurer days of computers- failure to read and follow instructions to the letter and operator malfunction. I can guarantee failure with any backup/restore/clone software out there in the hands of certain users. The software itself is nearly always solid, although I did run across problems with one very well known company when they first migrated from software for XP to software for Vista.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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