Cloning WIndows 7 to a larger hard drive...?

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  1. Posts : 142
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
       #1

    Cloning WIndows 7 to a larger hard drive...?


    Hi all!

    I've got a question about disc cloning. I've used it before with some Linux installs on my "tinker boxes" which happily took to whatever partition resizing I wanted, but never on my personal, everyday desktop. Currently, I've got two hard drives installed in my machine - an old 80gb IDE that is my main "OS" drive, and a 320gb SATA which is my "Data" drive. I'm running Win7 Ultimate 64-bit.

    I've read in the past that it's impossible to successfully clone a Windows 7 install to a larger hard drive and grow it from it's old size to fill the entire size of the new drive....however, I found this article this morning and it confused me because it IS talking about using Win7's backup and restore to copy it to another larger drive AND extend it to use the full partition...? Did I misunderstand something there? Does Backup and Restore only copy WINDOWS and not the programs installed on it's drive?

    Basically, I want to be able to clone Windows from it's current 80gb IDE drive to a 160gb SATA drive and have everything work exactly as it was, EXCEPT it's now on a larger partition on the 160gb drive...? Is this even possible?

    Thanks for any help! :)
    Last edited by Darkstrike; 05 Oct 2013 at 07:20.
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  2. Posts : 5,440
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
       #2

    Not sure what you mean by
    install to a larger hard drive and "grow it" from it's old size to fill the entire size of the new drive..
    but why not take an image of the old drive and restore that to the new drive. For that I would recommend Macrium Reflect
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  3. Posts : 142
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #3

    I could do that, but would taking that image and restoring it allow me to grow the size of the partition (80gbs) from my original drive (an 80gb drive) to fill the new drive (a 160gb drive) in such a way that Windows would function exactly as before except it's partition is larger?

    What I mean is that I currently have Win7 on an NTFS partition on my 80gb IDE drive. The partition takes up the whole 80gb IDE drive. I want to clone that partition exactly to the 160gb SATA drive and have that partition become 160gb, not end up with an 80gb partition on the 160gb drive that I can't resize because Windows doesn't allow it or some such....does that make my intent clearer? Haha! :P

    So my question is, could I clone that 80gb partition over, and then somehow resize it without bothering Windows to be 160gb...?
    Last edited by Darkstrike; 05 Oct 2013 at 07:41.
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  4. Posts : 50
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
       #4

    i think what mitchell says is a way to go.
    there are 3rd party apps that might do the job like Macrium, Acronis, Paragon HDM, Active DiskImage or Ghost...
    personally i've used norton ghost for years and it never failed on me.
    first i make old drive images of every partition i want to move to a new drive.
    then i partition and format new drive the way i like, and partitions can be bigger than on an old hdd no problem.
    eventually i restore partition(s) from image files of old hdd to the new one.

    hope this helps
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  5. Posts : 4,287
    W10 Pro desktop, W11 laptop, W11 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
       #5

    Cloning to a larger disk is not an issue, it's when you want to clone to a smaller disk that it becomes a bit tricky since you may have more data on the original drive then will fit on the new drive.

    I cloned a Win 7 disk to a larger disk just yesterday using a tool called EASEUS Todo backup and during the cloning process it allowed me to expand the target partition to span the entire disk instead of just creating a partition the same size as the source disk.
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  6. Posts : 142
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Cool, thanks for the help guys. I usually use Clonezilla when I am playing around and resizing my Linux installs on my older "tinker boxes"....it should work fine for Win7? (This is the first time I've ever planned on using it for a Windows partition.)

    My other question is, is it going to matter at all that the old hard drive is an old IDE drive and the newer drive is going to be SATA...? The computer should still pick up the run the new drive with Windows as it always has?

    ***On a side note, before I try cloning everything to that SATA drive, can anybody recommend any good "MemTest86-like" software for checking hard drives? I don't want to clone everything over to find this SATA drive is in rough shape. I've plugged it into my USB IDE/SATA adapter and it seems to work great, but I've not done any real "checks" on it...?
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  7.    #7

    Since you have WD drives in the mix, I would use the premium WD Acronis free cloning app
    to clone over to unallocated space you've made on the target HD. The manual is on the download site and easy to understand.

    Then Partition or Volume - Extend to the full 160gb.
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  8. Posts : 142
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #8

    gregrocker said:
    Since you have WD drives in the mix, I would use the premium WD Acronis free cloning app
    My current drives are both WD, my 80gb IDE and my 320 SATA. I'm a HUGE fan of their hardware, although Seagate are good too. WD drives are rock solid though...I have one somewhere I use for sporadic moving of large amounts of less-important files that has something like 9 YEARS of power-on time according to SMART, and it still works perfectly with no errors at all). The newer 160gb SATA drive I'll be using that I got for free is a WD as well.

    Guess I could try Acronis, is it any better than CloneZilla? Still wondering if, before I try cloning everything to that SATA drive, can anybody recommend any good "MemTest86-like" software for checking hard drives?
    Last edited by Darkstrike; 05 Oct 2013 at 20:14.
      My Computer

  9.    #9

    Run the Extended scan from WD Support / Downloads / SATA & SAS / WD RE2 for diagnostics from Windows, Western Digital Data Lifeguard CD ISO (extract first) burned using WIndows Image Burner to bootable CD, or WD Data Lifeguard Create Diagnostics Flash stick.

    Acronis is the best app for cloning and imaging I've found. The WD app includes almost everything except the very most premium features like converting a Win7 image to Acronis, etc.
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 4,287
    W10 Pro desktop, W11 laptop, W11 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
       #10

    You can stick with Clonezilla if that's what you are comfortable/familiar with.
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