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Cloning HD to SSD - Question

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April 15, 2012 2:39:36 AM

I am switching to an SSD for my laptop and have shrunk my 500GB hard drive down to 77.2GB in order to fit onto the 120GB SSD. Looking at disk management, which other partions need to be copied along with the C: drive? How can I tell what is on the 1.46GB (active, recovery partition) and 10.13GB (primary partition)? No drive letters are assigned to them. Without an OS disk, cloning is the best option for me. I am not concerned about a recovery partition.

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a c 265 G Storage
April 15, 2012 2:56:40 AM

Just clone your C drive! Make sure you have made a recovery disk if you have not gotten one with your computer before deleting what is on the hard drive preferably before cloning!
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April 15, 2012 2:58:54 AM

So I can ignore the other partitions?
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a c 265 G Storage
April 15, 2012 2:59:24 AM

Yes if you make a recovery disk!
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April 15, 2012 3:20:31 AM

I was wondering why the 1.46GB partition is listed before the c: partition in computer disk management.
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a c 265 G Storage
April 15, 2012 3:27:36 AM

It is a hidden partition to save them money not to have to send a DVD/CD with the computer.
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a c 102 G Storage
April 15, 2012 3:52:04 AM

While you CAN clone the drive (possibly without issue), my advice would be to request replacement Windows discs for your specific laptop then reinstall Windows. It depends how comfortable you are with that.

You may have to get a USB case to clone the drive to since most laptops have only one internal case.

Another option is to hook BOTH drives up to a desktop computer and use it to clone to the SSD.

There's a free version of Acronis True Image for those with WD or Seagate drives (even USB).

Other clone software exists on this boot disc:
www.ultimatebootcd.com
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April 15, 2012 4:16:41 AM

The easiest route would be to pick up an OEM Win7 but I am trying to save some bucks and the hassle of reinstalling programs, etc.
I just built a new desktop using a Crucial M4 and with a new copy of Win7 but for my laptop planned on copying an image from the existing hard drive to the new Sandisk Extreme using my Thermaltake dock that hold two drives.
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a b G Storage
April 15, 2012 6:33:52 PM

As this is a laptop, I would clone the entire hard drive. That 1.46GB recovery partition could come in handy if you ever need to repair or recover Windows while you're on the go.

I've used Acronis True Image to clone hard drives to SSDs on three separate occasions and never had any issues. Just remember, brand new SSDs must be initialized before Acronis can see them. In Windows you can do this in Disk Manager, or you can use a third party program like Parted Magic (which is what I did).
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April 15, 2012 6:52:37 PM

LordConrad said:
As this is a laptop, I would clone the entire hard drive. That 1.46GB recovery partition could come in handy if you ever need to repair or recover Windows while you're on the go.

I've used Acronis True Image to clone hard drives to SSDs on three separate occasions and never had any issues. Just remember, brand new SSDs must be initialized before Acronis can see them. In Windows you can do this in Disk Manager, or you can use a third party program like Parted Magic (which is what I did).

I second this. I did the same thing on my Dell laptop. I thought I would skip the Recovery partition...then it would not boot. I then cloned the entire drive, it fired right up. If its a laptop, I would clone the entire drive.

I used Macrium Reflect. Its free, and it lets you do just about whatever you need to clone the drive. http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx
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April 16, 2012 3:53:59 AM

So I will keep the 1.46 GB partion that has recovery and image it with the c: drive. What about the 10.13GB partition that follows the c: drive? It has no letter assigned. How do I tell what is on that before I delete it?
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a b G Storage
April 16, 2012 5:30:55 PM

pcdad said:
So I will keep the 1.46 GB partion that has recovery and image it with the c: drive. What about the 10.13GB partition that follows the c: drive? It has no letter assigned. How do I tell what is on that before I delete it?

The easiest way to determine the purpose of the partition is to look at it under Disk Manager. Manufacturers usually give important partitions obvious names: RECOVERY, RESTORE, etc.
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April 17, 2012 3:49:45 AM

The info I posted was from disk manager:
1.46GB - (Active,recovery partition)
77.2GB - Window 7 C: (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)
376.97GB - unallocated - shrunk down to fit on new SSD
10.13GB - (Primary Partition)

In Macrium Reflect, the 1.46GB is called System and the 10.13GB is called HDDRecovery.
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a c 316 G Storage
April 17, 2012 12:44:10 PM

Cloning partitions will not be adequate, as the system boots from the MBR, which is not in any partition. You will need to use an app that clones drives, and keep the recovery partition (which contains your boot manager).

The SSD will lose performance if it is attached to a default IDE-mode port; you should set your port to AHCI before restoring the clone. You will have to use a backup utility that 1) is bootable, and 2) can restore to dissimilar hardware. Number 2 is necessary because the OS will not boot a straight clone from an IDE installation to AHCI hardware. EASEUS ToDo backup is free and does a respectable job.
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a c 353 G Storage
April 17, 2012 12:53:09 PM

My suggestion.
1) DO A Clean Install. NOTE you can use your DESKTOP OEM win 7 Disk to do this!!
... Just do NOT enter the key untill Installation is completed, then enter the LAPTOP key when activating win 7.

DO not have to Buy a New copy, But yes the time spent reloading win 7 and programs is worth it.

With clean install.
Partition will be CORRECTLY aligned for an SSD.
Trim will be enabled, do do have to manually edit the registry.
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April 18, 2012 3:26:08 AM

RetiredChief said:
My suggestion.
1) DO A Clean Install. NOTE you can use your DESKTOP OEM win 7 Disk to do this!!
... Just do NOT enter the key untill Installation is completed, then enter the LAPTOP key when activating win 7.

DO not have to Buy a New copy, But yes the time spent reloading win 7 and programs is worth it.

With clean install.
Partition will be CORRECTLY aligned for an SSD.
Trim will be enabled, do do have to manually edit the registry.


I didn't know I could do that. The product key on the bottom of my laptop is a Toshiba WIN7 key. Will it still work?

It will be a pain to reload programs that I already have installed but I can do that if it is best in the long run for the SSD.
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a c 353 G Storage
April 18, 2012 12:04:50 PM

Yes you can do that.
Bought a Samsung RF711 laptop several Months ago. Replaced the HDD with a Curcial M4. Rather than use the Restore disk, I used one of my desktop Win 7 Disk to re-install windows. Then after I had installed windows 7, allowed windows 7 to update, loaded my drivers and programs. I then activated by entering the windows 7 key from laptop.

The samsung had a handy utility program that allowed me to pick which drivers and what software that came with the laptop to restore. For example I choise not to use the Intel chip driver from samsung and instead downloaded and used the newer one from Intel. For software I choise not to re-install all the "Try me for 30 day" programs such as Office and anti-virus.

Once you have everything installed and have verified everything is working, make a BACKUP image of your "C" drive using windows 7 backup your "C" drive (located in Control panel). This will image your C drive + that little 100 mb system partition. You can place the image on a backup HDD or on a set of 3+ DVD disks. I have 2 HDD bays so I placed image on internal HDD then copied to a backup drive. Since you have a windows installation disk you can skip the "Create a restore Disk (You will be prompted to do this once the image has been completed).

Complete restore can then be accomplished in as little as 10 -> 15 mins. Just pop in the windows disk, select repair then restore from image. 10 Mins later walla bang you can boot to the exact same confiuration as when you made the image. NO re-install, no windows updates (except for ones not included in image), NO reloading drivers, No reinstalling all them programs!!!

Added. Also used that method on My toshibia A305.
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April 18, 2012 12:18:53 PM

Wow. That sounds easy, I am still a little unclear how to tranfser the programs, drivers etc. I have on the Tosbiba laptop to the new SSD. Perhaps Toshiba has a similar utility?
I have external for the backup as I try to image all the computer in the house weekly.
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a c 353 G Storage
April 18, 2012 12:39:43 PM

For my Toshiba I had to do it the hard way.
First goto to select your laptop: http://www.csd.toshiba.com/cgi-bin/tais/support/jsp/hom...
That takes you to page to select which OS (ie windows 7 64 bit) and to select which catagory (ie drivers).
Download all drivers that are applicable.

NOTE: windows 7 is pretty good at installing default drivers and you can test system using these default drivers and only download the ones that improve functionallity such as the Intel chipset driver (if yours is intel based).
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