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Norton Ghost to transfer existing Win7 install to SSD?

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June 4, 2011 8:48:28 AM


I have been looking to buy a home license for Norton Ghost 15, to use both for scheduled backups, but also if possible to transfer my existing Windows 7 installation to a new SSD.

Does anyone know if this is an easy (and working) approach? I do not want to do a re-install due to massive customization done of the operating system.
June 4, 2011 1:53:44 PM

ricno said:
I have been looking to buy a home license for Norton Ghost 15, to use both for scheduled backups, but also if possible to transfer my existing Windows 7 installation to a new SSD.

Does anyone know if this is an easy (and working) approach? I do not want to do a re-install due to massive customization done of the operating system.


It is preferred to do a fresh OS install on the SSD. You risk alignment issues that will hamper your performance if you try to clone. There are ways to realign your partitions though.
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June 4, 2011 2:06:35 PM

timinator said:
It is preferred to do a fresh OS install on the SSD. You risk alignment issues that will hamper your performance if you try to clone. There are ways to realign your partitions though.


I would very much preferr to do any manual work to make sure the partitions are aligned than do a new install. Perhaps it is best to manually create the partitions on the SSD first, since they will be correctly aligned when just created with Disk Management.
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June 4, 2011 2:20:09 PM

ricno said:
I would very much preferr to do any manual work to make sure the partitions are aligned than do a new install. Perhaps it is best to manually create the partitions on the SSD first, since they will be correctly aligned when just created with Disk Management.


Understandable. Another potential problem is your SSD will need AHCI enabled for best results. If you installed your OS with it disabled, it will give you a BSOD upon reboot. I've read Acronis and Snapshot work better than Ghost but I have no experience with Ghost 15. I stopped using Ghost when I switched to Win7 and have been using it's Backup and Restore tool. Works great and from what I read it does preserve partition information if you restore from a system image.
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June 4, 2011 2:56:17 PM

timinator said:
Understandable. Another potential problem is your SSD will need AHCI enabled for best results. If you installed your OS with it disabled, it will give you a BSOD upon reboot.


I installed the OS some year ago onto the HDD in IDE mode, but later enabled AHCI and changed the registry key, so that should not be a problem.

However, since I do not yet have bought the Norton license I could use any way that works good with this kind of transfer. So I kind for example use the builtin Windows Backup tool if it is cabable of this operation.

One interesting problem is also the hidden 100 MB system partition which also has to be transferred in a correct way.
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Best solution

June 4, 2011 3:47:59 PM

Try the Backup and Restore tool. It will handle the hidden system partition just fine.
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June 4, 2011 3:57:16 PM

2 words, FRESH INSTALL
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June 4, 2011 6:44:08 PM

gerry410 said:
2 words, FRESH INSTALL


Please give more information to back up your "2 words".
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June 5, 2011 4:22:03 PM

timinator said:
Try the Backup and Restore tool. It will handle the hidden system partition just fine.


I have now done the transfer, and even if it involved some amount of research and some trouble, it did work.

The strangest part was the time line of several hours to restore the system image. After perhaps two hours I gave up, did some more research and it showed that you should switch from AHCI to IDE while doing the system image restore. After the change it only took ten minutes.

I will probably write together a small tutorial in this kind of transfer, since there was some traps along the way.
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June 5, 2011 4:22:35 PM

Best answer selected by ricno.
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