How to make a bootable Windows 7 hard drive that is a copy of my (C:)

I have asked this question before, but I was still left confused.

I am somewhat computer knowledgeable. I am not new to the computer world I know how to write in C# somewhat and C++.

I am a college Student that has a failing desktop hard drive. Its an IDE 120 WD Hard drive that I would say is almost 8 years old. I have had this hard drive since I was 11. (I am 19 now).

The drive does boot but its says that it fails the S.M.A.R.T. test and to replace it.

It has also started making Windows 7 very sluggish

I know its the hard drive since its the only thing that is not up to date

AMD X6 1075
Asus M4A87TD/USB3
8 GB DDR 3 1600
120 GB IDE
550 ti 2GB
Corsair Gaming Series 700 Watt PSU

I have gotten a new 500 GB SATA drive that i want to make my new primary hard drive.

I do not have the Windows 7 Disk.

I think a good program would be Macrium Reflect (I think that the name). Just when I see the program it looks very confusing and I feel kinda of intimidated because I do not want to cause anything to mess up.

I just want to make my new hard drive act like my IDE drive. So when it asks what drive I want to boot from I would choose that one and it would boot up normal like my other drive. With all the drivers, programs, games and such.

If somebody could help me step by step instead of just telling me what program to use would be helpfull.

Thank you for your infinite knowledge to computers guys
5 answers Last reply
More about make bootable windows hard drive copy
  1. Also FREE would be appreciated since I am in college and I am broke.
  2. Bump
  3. You'll need an imaging software program, if it's a 1 time shot, R-Disk Image from I believe has a 15 day trial and it works well. I'm sure there are some free imaging programs out there as well. This will maintain the boot sector etc so the drive is bootable.
  4. Clonezilla is also very good and free.
  5. 1) primary problem will be the HDD driver that is installed vs bios settings for the HDD. Most cloning software creates an exact copy. There is one forgot which one that gets around this problem.

    This is what I would try:
    Go to windows 7 and create an Image of your "system" drive (For a partitioned drive this would be "C" drive). Windows 7 BU (to create the image) is located in win 7 control panel. You can place this image on A) a 2nd HDD, either internal, or an external Backup drive. B) a set of DVDs (min is usally 3 disk), or C) A Usb thumb drive (must be big enough) and must be formated using Fat32, (or NSFT) - forget which one. Once the image is completed you will be prompted to make a "Repair" Disk (this will be a bootable DVD). If You have any (yours or barrowed) Win 7 installation disk you can use that instead, Just select Repair, repair from image.

    Down load AS SSD and run the program - Do Not need to run Bench mark (It's primarily for SSDs), But in the upper left it will show the driver, most likely it will be pcide. This will determine what to set Bios to.

    Disconnect the IDE drive, and connect the new sata drive. Enter bios and set the HDD to A) if old driver was IDE then set bios to IDE or B) if old driver was ahci then set to ahci.

    Boot to windows 7 repair disk created above, if using win7 installation disk then select repair, repair from image and follow prompts.

    When done try booting to the new HDD. If it works - great.
    NOTE, if you had the BIOS set for IDE, and are using Pcide as a driver you will want to change this to ahci. Select one of the methods found here:,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=6a38b958ac5aa915

    If everything is good, then reconnect your IDE drive. You will be able to dual boot between the drives. Just select the "Key" during post that brings up a boot menu. For gigabyte it's normally F12, for my Asrock it is F11, for Asus, check manual.
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