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Cloning from HDD to SDD - getting stuck on "Loading Operating System"

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April 17, 2012 12:45:32 AM

Hey Everyone,

I'm new to this forum although I've often ended up on the site when troubleshooting for random answers through Google. I'll try to be as thorough as possible.

I recently upgraded my entire PC - New Mobo, APU, Graphics Card (to run in crossfire), RAM, HDD, Case. I put it all together in November and after a couple weeks of troubleshooting and tinkering, I finally got it to run really nice.

My old hard drive was a Western Digital 250GB
I upgraded to a Seagate Momentus XT 750GB Hybrid Drive
But a week ago, I decided to upgrade to SSD and bought a Sandisk Extreme 120GB.

I am using the Western Digital as a storage drive.
I broke up the Momentus into multiple partitions, including the C: drive at 60GB.

What I want to do is clone the C: partition onto the entire 120GB SSD. I've done this using "EaseUS Todo Backup".
It clones the partition, but the bytes for the C: partition and the SSD (J:)  aren't exactly the same... shouldn't they be?

Anyways, my point is:

I go into BIOS and change the order of my Hard Disks to have the Sandisk SSD to be #1 on the boot order. It seems to work fine, but while booting, at the very top of the screen it'll say "Loading Operating System..." (Which is what it does when I boot normally through the C: drive), but it never progresses to actually loading the OS. (Edit: The J: drive is listed as "Active")

I go back to setting the Seagate as the #1 Hard Disk and it boots up fine, so it doesn't seem to be a problem with RAM or Power Supply (as is normally recommended).

Through some searching, I've found that making a clone of the boot partition doesn't including MBR and/or boot.ini? Is this true? I'm somewhat of a novice when it comes to all this and my knowledge of MBR and boot.ini are limited... they are located outside of the boot partition?

My main question is: How can I make an exact clone of my C: partition (60GB) onto my J: SSD (120GB) and make the J: bootable into Windows 7? (Also, I want to keep my entire SSD into one partition using the entire disk space... I don't want it split into multiple partitions).

(Other information that may be useful: I am running Windows 7 Professional x64. I've tried doing a sector-by-sector clone, but it doesn't allow me to make the partition the full size of the SSD, it cuts it off to the partition that I'm cloning and makes me split the drive into multiple partitions. Lastly, while I am waiting for help/suggestions, I am downloading and trying the Free Trial of Acronis True Image Home 2012. Maybe that'll do a better job at cloning... I think my problem lies in the cloning not including MBR/boot.ini though).

Thanks in advance for any help. Sorry if my post is sloppy/confusing.
a c 261 G Storage
April 17, 2012 3:43:59 AM

I used the same program to clone my C drive (OS drive) 320GB with 50 used on to a Mushkin 120GB SSD! It fired up right away after the cloning!
Did you select disk cloning or partition cloning?
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a c 99 G Storage
April 17, 2012 4:51:12 AM

You should not clone TO a SSD.

Did you miss the "System Reserved" partition on the old C drive?
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a c 289 G Storage
April 17, 2012 12:39:53 PM

If you really want to do that, you have to clone the drive, not the partition. The system requires the hidden partition that foscooter mentioned plus the MBR, which is not in any partition.

foscooter is again right that you should really do a fresh install to an SSD. If you prefer to clone, note that EASEUS has an option to "restore to dissimilar hardware" and does a decent job. Do a full disk backup, use a bootable EASEUS CD, remove all drives but the SSD from the machine, set the motherboard controller to AHCI mode, boot the EASEUS CD, and restore to that drive. It should notice that the drive is smaller and allow you to restore only the system partition. I hope; I have never tried that.
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a c 353 G Storage
April 17, 2012 1:54:22 PM

I do NOT recommend cloning from HDD -> SSD! SSD -> new SSD same MB YES it is acceptable and I do do that.
Rational:
.. How was the orginal HHD set up. Was the HDD the ONLY drive in the system when windows was install - SHOULD have been. Was the Bios set to AHCI. What size is the "system" Partition, as for a SSD should be 100 mb.
.. You will have to manually enable trim in the registy in most cases or run a dos commad to enable.
.. Is the Partition alginment correct for an SSD, possibly NOT which will effect performance.
.. Great time to really clean the registry (W/Clean Install).

With Clean install. Two precauctions:
1) Disconnect ALL other HDDs, SSD should be the only drive in the system during the windows Install.
2) Verfy that the Bios is Set to AHCI. NOTE: if Bios was NOT set for AHCI, you should set it to AHCI and insure HDDs are working BEFORE disconnecting them. For eample if it was set to ide mode google changing Ide to AHCI in windows 7.

3) Added in your case, I would first delete all partitions on the SSD since you have already installed a CLONE from the HDD.

When You have completed the win 7 installation, let windows do it's updates, load all drivers, Load all Programs. TEST that it is working Fine, then activate. Then reconnect your other HDDs. NOTE, in a pinch you can daul boot to the HDD untill you are satisfied every thin is OK then delete the "Old" HDD windows OS.

Once you are sure SSD is working great - make a BACK-UP image of your SSD for future re-installs. Simple, just go to control panel and select backup. create the Image of your "C" drive, Image WILL included that pesky 100 mb partition. You can place the image onto the HDD, but I recommend that you also copy the image to an external HDD.
You can skip the "create a restore disk" as you can use your Win Installation DVD to restore this image.
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April 17, 2012 10:05:46 PM

foscooter said:
You should not clone TO a SSD.

Did you miss the "System Reserved" partition on the old C drive?


When I open up Disk Management, it doesn't show any "System Reserved" Partition.
Additionally, it was my understanding that Windows only created this "System Reserved" Partition in Win 7 Ultimate (For BitLocker)?
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April 17, 2012 10:07:19 PM

rolli59 said:
I used the same program to clone my C drive (OS drive) 320GB with 50 used on to a Mushkin 120GB SSD! It fired up right away after the cloning!
Did you select disk cloning or partition cloning?


I selected Partition cloning as Disk cloning is impossible (since that disk is 750GB and my new disk is only 120GB).


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a c 261 G Storage
April 20, 2012 10:38:35 PM

DeGarmo2 said:
I selected Partition cloning as Disk cloning is impossible (since that disk is 750GB and my new disk is only 120GB).

Disk cloning is possible even with a bigger disk to a smaller if the data stored is less than the space on the new smaller disk, which is what I did with 320GB HDD drive (56GB data) to a 120GB SSD.
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October 19, 2012 12:35:54 PM

rolli59 said:
Disk cloning is possible even with a bigger disk to a smaller if the data stored is less than the space on the new smaller disk, which is what I did with 320GB HDD drive (56GB data) to a 120GB SSD.



Did you use the Easeus Disk copy or another software
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