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Windows 7: Cloning Win7 to SSD

16 May 2010   #21
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Michaelst,

I went out and bought a Corsair 128 GB SSD.

Have just finished doing a Backup from old drive and restore to new drive.

Old drive is ~160 GB.

Thus, new drive size is smaller than old drive size.

After getting some sleep, I'll go over a couple of procedures I used to make this possible. Basically, all is the same as I stated before but did need to shrink first. I have two partitions- 1 is C and is the boot drive with Windows on it. D is a data drive where I keep the major portion of the Win 7 libraries.

But first some sleep. Oh yes, disk score jumped from 5.4 to 7.4 and the performance improvement is noticeable.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 May 2010   #22
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Michael,

Ok, caught some shuteye.

First here are a couple of snapshots of before and after.
The first is of the old drive with two partitions.
The second is of the new drive after the cloning procedure.


Attached Thumbnails
Cloning Win7 to SSD-diskmgmtwitholdharddrive.png   Cloning Win7 to SSD-diskmgmtssdafterclone.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #23
gregrocker

 

Currently XP is your System Active drive which controls the Dual Boot with WIn7, and without which the Win7 HD cannot boot. There is a way to instead managed the Dual Boot via the BIOS making the HD's independent to come and go as you please.

To do this, you need to recover the System Active MBR into Win7 by marking it Active, then run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots from the booted Win7 DVD Repair console or Repair CD. Do this with the XP HD unplugged and Win7 HD set first to boot in BIOS Setup (after DVD).

When Win7 starts up on its own, you can replug XP HD, set the preferred OS HD to boot first in BIOS Setup, then trigger the other OS HD if you need it using the key given on first boot up screen for one-time Boot Menu.

If Acronis came bundled with the SSD then it is a nice gift which I would use to clone Win7 to your new SSD. Be sure you tick any box to include MBR, which it should do anyway. If perchance Win7 will not start up, repair the MBR by unplugging XP to run Startup Repair up to 3 times from booted Win7 DVD/Repair CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 May 2010   #24
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Michael,
Now as to how I got from point A to point B.

Basically, with a couple of detours.

First I tried to simply backup the old and clone to the new.

Since the old is bigger than the new then, as Microsoft says, and I suspected, this will not work despite the fact that I had much empty space on both C and D.

I tried this because if it did work, then this would be easiest. I had already defragged and run disk cleanup, hoping against hope that this would help.

When I tried the restore to the new drive, I got typical useless error messages from the Microsoft software.

After several futile tries, then I broke down and followed the approach I had used before that had always worked.

Here the approach is to defrag, run disk cleanup, and then to shrink the partitions.

In Disk Management, if you right-click on a partition then one of the options is to "shrink". I shrunk both.

The unallocated areas you see on the snapshot of the new drive is from shrinking the partitions. Of course, here in the next few days I'll "grow" the partitions, however, presently I have enough play room on each of them.

After backing up, by doing a System Image backup using Windows Backup and Restore and choosing to include both C and D in the system image then I could insert the System Repair CD into the optical drive and power down the system.

I had already set the BIOS to boot first from CD.

After the insertion of the CD and powering down, then I went about the business of removing the old drive and installing the new drive. (Don't be brave but rather be cautious and remove your laptop battery and disconnect the power cord when replacing drive, ram, optical drive, replacing the keyboard.) I know a very experienced tech who just plunges ahead but I'm not that brave.

Now after powering backup and booting from the repair disk, you will be given the opportunity to install a system image. Here the only thing to watch out for to be sure to let it format, create partitions as it desires. You probably won't be able to go wrong here as normally this option will already be selected for you since you are installing to a virgin drive.

When I perform a restore to the same disk I backed up then I can choose whether or not to format,etc. but you probably won't have that choice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #25
michaelst

windows 7 32
 
 

Wow... you guys are extremely helpful.

OK... I've decided to dump the XP drive. Once I get rid of that and make a system restore image and system repair disk from the current drive, it will make this a simple transfer of win7 to a new SSD.

Shutdown, install SSD, install win7, recover from backup/system image, reconnect data drive (the xp drive with XP partition reformatted).

Am I getting close?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #26
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Currently XP is your System Active drive which controls the Dual Boot with WIn7, and without which the Win7 HD cannot boot. There is a way to instead managed the Dual Boot via the BIOS making the HD's independent to come and go as you please.

To do this, you need to recover the System Active MBR into Win7 by marking it Active, then run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots from the booted Win7 DVD Repair console or Repair CD. Do this with the XP HD unplugged and Win7 HD set first to boot in BIOS Setup (after DVD).

When Win7 starts up on its own, you can replug XP HD, set the preferred OS HD to boot first in BIOS Setup, then trigger the other OS HD if you need it using the key given on first boot up screen for one-time Boot Menu.

If Acronis came bundled with the SSD then it is a nice gift which I would use to clone Win7 to your new SSD. Be sure you tick any box to include MBR, which it should do anyway. If perchance Win7 will not start up, repair the MBR by unplugging XP to run Startup Repair up to 3 times from booted Win7 DVD/Repair CD.
Greg,
Since he has one disk with XP on it and one disk with Win 7 on it, can't he simply disconnect the XP drive and use a system repair disk, if needed, to make the Win 7 drive the boot drive?

I do think I made a mistake earlier re his C and D drive.

Another possibility, can't he use the boot tab of MSCONFIG to change his boot drive to his Win 7 drive?

My problem is that I've never had an XP / Win 7 dual-boot system. This was a deliberate decision on my part dating back to my aversion to dual-boot systems from the Win 3.x and Win95 days.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #27
gregrocker

 

Karl - Yes, I give the steps in second paragraph above to recover the MBR into Win7 so it becomes System HD equal to XP to now be booted via BIOS boot order or BIOS Boot Menu F-key.

If OP wants a Windows-managed Dual Boot menu then keep it as it is, however WIn7 will not start without XP HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #28
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by michaelst View Post
Wow... you guys are extremely helpful.

OK... I've decided to dump the XP drive. Once I get rid of that and make a system restore image and system repair disk from the current drive, it will make this a simple transfer of win7 to a new SSD.

Shutdown, install SSD, install win7, recover from backup/system image, reconnect data drive (the xp drive with XP partition reformatted).

Am I getting close?


Yes, you are nearly there.

You really should follow Greg's advice to make your Win 7 partition the boot (active) partition. Follow his procedure.

After making Win 7 your "boot" partition, then you may remove your XP disk.

I'm fond of booting from the system repair disk and using DiskPart to declare partitions active and inactive but that's just my personal preference. DiskPart is very powerful and consequently very dangerous, potentially.

The system repair disk is a 100% necessity! While in Window 7, go to backup and restore and make that system repair disk. With that disk you can recover/repair from a multitude of problems.

Summarizing:
Step 1; Make Windows 7 partition the boot partition.
Step 2: Remove XP disk (this will simplify matters).
Step 3: Shutdown and restart you system a couple of times just to make sure all is OK.
Step 4: If you have unused partitions on your Win 7 drive, then starting with the last one, delete the unused partitions. This will simplify matters.
Step 5: Perform a System image backup of your Win 7 partition to an external usb driive.
Step 6: insert your System Repair CD
Step 7: Swap out drives
Step 8: After the boot from the system repair cd, choose to restore the system image you backed up.

OH YES, DO NOT INSTALL WIN 7 on YOUR SSD.

When you "restore" the system image you backed up, then this will put Win7 on your SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 May 2010   #29
gregrocker

 

If you want to get rid of XP drive, then you could also use SIW2's cool new tool above to recover MBR into 7. It saves having to run Startup Repair repeatedly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2010   #30
michaelst

windows 7 32
 
 

Karl... Greg... Tw33k...

thanks for all your help.
Karl's method looks pretty easy, and will be the one i use.


Small(I hope) question, will I have to do any formatting of the new ssd when I boot from the system repair cd?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Cloning Win7 to SSD




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