Clone to a smaller Drive ?

I am aiming to replace my current Vista ultimate 32bit Os with Windows 7 64 bit for which I need to do a custom (clean install).

Whilst doing this I feel its time to upgrade my primary hard drive to a 128gb SSD also, to future proof my PC for another 2-3 years. My question is about cloning my old HDD and its OS to the new smaller SSD.

Am I correct to assume that if I reduce the contents of my original 320 gb HDD to (for arguments sake 75gb) them shrink the volume to 80gb that I will then be able to clone the contents to the smaller SSd ?

Thanks in advance for any assistance

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More about clone smaller drive
  1. Cloning from an HDD to an SSD is not recommended. SSD's require certain parameters to be set to ensure performance. Windows only sets some of these on a clean install. Sector alignment may also be an issue. Also your controller needs set to AHCI for maximum performance. In short, clean install.
  2. Thanks for your reply.

    Unfortunately that would (I assume) would be a problem as my Vista licence and media having come with the pc are OEM not full.

    Unless there is another route to running the upgrade and installing on to a secondary drive (being the SSD) that is,, any advice appreciated.

    I would to be honest prefer a clean install onto a new drive and have already backed up everything in preparation and restored the existing OS to factory settings to reduce the amount of data on the drive to be cloned to the SSD prior to running the windows 7 upgrade.
  3. AN OEM is a full install. The only difference is the OS is tied to the motherboard. Since you are not swapping motherboards, you should be able to reinstall Vista onto the SSD.

    Is this a win 7 upgrade disk? You can clean install with an upgrade disk as long as you have a valid OS and key to upgrade from. option 4, double install works every time.
  4. I cloned my 750GB HDD down to a 256GB SSD running XP Pro. It worked perfectly using a device/process from a company called Apricorn. Also, changing storage devices does not violate the OEM license agreement although expect to make a phone call to Microsoft.
  5. So after booting from the upgrade DVD simply tell it to install to the new SSD (which I will have installed as a second drive) ??

    Sounds too simple :) will give it a go.

    Thanks for your assistance Hawkeye22 really appreciated.
  6. I would disconnect all drives other than the SSD you are installing to. Attach any remainng drives after the OS is completely installed. After that, you should be able to access your vista drive as a secondary drive.
  7. OK so the original Hdd with the installed version need not even be present in the machine to run the upgrade?

    I completely misunderstood that then, I was under the impression that the upgrade checked for the presence of a valid windows installation prior to allowing you to register.
  8. XP did that. I don't think vista does and 7 doesn't. When installing a windows OS, it's best to only have the OS drive connected so that windows will put the boot loader and OS on the same drive, otherwise windows likes putting the loader on a seperate drive. This is fine until one day you decide to remove what you think is a secondary drive and windows no longer boots up due to the loader being on that drive.
  9. @ royv - Using the double install or the registry edit, it never asks for your "old" OS key. One case where uSoft is relying on your integrety.

    Using the Upgrade version to do a clean install - SELECT custom Install.

    For Installinging to a SSD I prefer the single install with a registry edit (cuts down the extra write cycle to the SSD). Has worked for me evey time.

    Step 1 - Access & Edit the Registry
    A true geek has never been intimidated by the registry, but lets face it, it's a mess in there. To access the registry you will first need to open up the start menu and type "regedit" into the search field, followed by enter. To find the proverbial needle in this haystack, you will need to navigate through the tabs listed on the left in the following order:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/ . If you don't like doing it the hard way just click Edit then Find and type MediaBootInstall into the search field, and press enter.
    Once found, double click MediaBootInstall and change the "1" to a "0". Once you have finished this, simply click Ok and close out the Registry Editor.

    THEN do this:
    Step 2
    Before we try to activate our copy of Windows, we need to reset or "Re-Arm" the activation sequence. To do this, simply open up the start menu and type cmd but instead of just pressing enter, you need to press "Ctrl" + "Shift" + "Enter" to run it as an administrator. You can also accomplish this by clicking the start menu, typing cmd into the search box, then right clicking the command prompt application and selecting Run as administrator.

    Once the command prompt appears type slmgr /rearm and press enter. Next simply type Exit and hit enter again, after which it will ask you to restart your machine.
    Compliments of:,1

    Then enter YOUR Win 7 Upgrade Key and activate!!!
  10. How could it know you have a valid licence in place? surely it doesn't simply rely on you entering the old Vista licence key ?
  11. Thank you both for your assistance really appreciated.
  12. Which ever method you use, DON't forger to disconnect the HDD and set the bios to ahci prior to installing windows on to the SSD.
  13. Ah Retired Chief, there is my biggest mistake the motherboard on the Dimension E521 apparently does not support AHCI no setting in the BIOS for it. Darn it
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