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Cloning hard drive with recovery partition to bigger hard drive

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September 20, 2012 10:24:51 AM


Hello Everyone

I have a Dell XPS M1210 Laptop with 60gb hard disk. The break up is something like this-




Now I want to upgrade to a hard disk with more space probably 500gb.


Is it possible to clone the hard disk along with recovery partition and so that the size of c drive changes from 20gb to say 200gb? If yes how can it be achieved?


Otherwise If I manually copy the image files from recovery partition can I use them somehow to restore the system?

Best solution

a b G Storage
September 24, 2012 9:55:52 AM

yes you can achieve this goal through partition software, like AOMEI Partition Assistant, it support resize the partition and you'd better resize the partition after you clone.
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October 1, 2012 9:31:52 AM

Best answer selected by sanchitgoyal.
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a c 362 G Storage
October 1, 2012 2:51:25 PM

I should be easier that that, even. The trick is to read the manual of the cloning software and look for how to use the menus to change the default options.

Most cloning software does three jobs for you. First it Creates one or more Partitions on the new empty HDD. Secondly, it Formats all those Partitions. (Together, these two first steps are often called "Initializing" the disk.) Since the Initialization steps are done by the cloner, there is not need for you to do it yourself ahead of time. Finally, it copies absolutely everything from each old drive's Partition to its respective clone Partition on the new drive. In this process, it ensures that any special files requiring placement in particular spots are put there; thus, when it's done, the bootable Partition on the new HDD really is bootable, and the unit can completely replace the old HDD.

As it does these tasks, the cloner software normally has and proposes certain default settings for doing the work, and asks you to approve or to change them. Most people just hit "yes" because they don't know what else to do. That is why the manual can help you understand your options and make changes.

Your case involves a Source (older) HDD with more than one Partition on it - 3, to be precise, plus a bit of Unallocated Space. In this case the cloners I have used propose to use a plan called Proportional Partitioning. The propose to split up the space on the new HDD into Partitions in the same size proportions as on the old one. In your case, the old Partitions of 3 GB (unnamed recovery), 20 GB (C: ) and 31.4 GB (D: ) plus 0.8 GB Unallocated would be re-created on a 500 GB new HDD as: 25.2 GB (recovery), 168.5 GB (C: ), 264.5 GB (D: ), and 6 GB Unallocated. I REALLY doubt that is what you actually want.

By NOT approving the proposed plan and using the menus, you can set it up your way. For starters, the recovery Partition does NOT need to become huge - it already is known to fit into about 3 GB. So, set it for about 4 GB to allow a little slack space. You can set your C: Partition to what you want - say, 200 GB as you suggest. Then set the D: Partition to all the rest of the space - no need for any Unallocated. As you go, check for this parameter also: the C: Partition must be bootable, but the other two should not be.

Now, once the Partition sizes are set, you also have the opportunity to set parameters for the Format process. I see that the unnamed recovery Partition is a FAT32 style, and the C: and D: Partitions are NTFS. So, set those choices for the new drive, too. You'll have a choice of Quick or Full Format for each. Quick Format is MUCH faster, but Full does a thorough check of the HDD before using it, and takes several hours. So if you have time and patience, let it do Full Formats on the new Partitions.

Once all of your choices have been made and checked, let it run. Hours later the whole job will be done the way you wanted.
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October 2, 2012 6:30:02 PM

Paperdoc said:
I should be easier that that, even. The trick is to read the manual of the cloning software and look for how to use the menus to change the default options.

Most cloning software does three jobs for you. First it Creates one or more Partitions on the new empty HDD. Secondly, it Formats all those Partitions. (Together, these two first steps are often called "Initializing" the disk.) Since the Initialization steps are done by the cloner, there is not need for you to do it yourself ahead of time. Finally, it copies absolutely everything from each old drive's Partition to its respective clone Partition on the new drive. In this process, it ensures that any special files requiring placement in particular spots are put there; thus, when it's done, the bootable Partition on the new HDD really is bootable, and the unit can completely replace the old HDD.

As it does these tasks, the cloner software normally has and proposes certain default settings for doing the work, and asks you to approve or to change them. Most people just hit "yes" because they don't know what else to do. That is why the manual can help you understand your options and make changes.

Your case involves a Source (older) HDD with more than one Partition on it - 3, to be precise, plus a bit of Unallocated Space. In this case the cloners I have used propose to use a plan called Proportional Partitioning. The propose to split up the space on the new HDD into Partitions in the same size proportions as on the old one. In your case, the old Partitions of 3 GB (unnamed recovery), 20 GB (C: ) and 31.4 GB (D: ) plus 0.8 GB Unallocated would be re-created on a 500 GB new HDD as: 25.2 GB (recovery), 168.5 GB (C: ), 264.5 GB (D: ), and 6 GB Unallocated. I REALLY doubt that is what you actually want.

By NOT approving the proposed plan and using the menus, you can set it up your way. For starters, the recovery Partition does NOT need to become huge - it already is known to fit into about 3 GB. So, set it for about 4 GB to allow a little slack space. You can set your C: Partition to what you want - say, 200 GB as you suggest. Then set the D: Partition to all the rest of the space - no need for any Unallocated. As you go, check for this parameter also: the C: Partition must be bootable, but the other two should not be.

Now, once the Partition sizes are set, you also have the opportunity to set parameters for the Format process. I see that the unnamed recovery Partition is a FAT32 style, and the C: and D: Partitions are NTFS. So, set those choices for the new drive, too. You'll have a choice of Quick or Full Format for each. Quick Format is MUCH faster, but Full does a thorough check of the HDD before using it, and takes several hours. So if you have time and patience, let it do Full Formats on the new Partitions.

Once all of your choices have been made and checked, let it run. Hours later the whole job will be done the way you wanted.





Thanks. Thats a pretty detailed reply. Can you also suggest any software for this particular process?
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a c 362 G Storage
October 5, 2012 3:50:59 AM

There are several good third-party software packages out there that do cloning well, although you usually have to pay for them. However, many HDD manufacturers will let you download from their website a FREE cloning utility. The ones I've used have a common limit on them. Since the manufacturer is trying to induce you to buy one of their HDD's as the upgrade, their free cloner will only make a copy TO one of their drives - they don't care which old one you are "leaving".

As examples of ones I've used, Seagate has Disk Wizard if you bought a Seagate drive. If your drive is from WD, they have Acronis True Image WD Edition. Actually, each of these appears to be a customized but free version of Acronis True Image. That is a very good utility that does a LOT more than just cloning, so get the user manual with it and READ it - it will help you navigate the menus, and understand all the other things you can use it for. If you buy a HDD from another manufacturer, check their website before paying for a third-party package. Or, search out a free utility.
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October 6, 2012 3:17:12 PM

Paperdoc said:
There are several good third-party software packages out there that do cloning well, although you usually have to pay for them. However, many HDD manufacturers will let you download from their website a FREE cloning utility. The ones I've used have a common limit on them. Since the manufacturer is trying to induce you to buy one of their HDD's as the upgrade, their free cloner will only make a copy TO one of their drives - they don't care which old one you are "leaving".

As examples of ones I've used, Seagate has Disk Wizard if you bought a Seagate drive. If your drive is from WD, they have Acronis True Image WD Edition. Actually, each of these appears to be a customized but free version of Acronis True Image. That is a very good utility that does a LOT more than just cloning, so get the user manual with it and READ it - it will help you navigate the menus, and understand all the other things you can use it for. If you buy a HDD from another manufacturer, check their website before paying for a third-party package. Or, search out a free utility.




Thanks! I have a hitachi hard drive. I will see what software I can use. I have 1-2 softwares already. Maybe they would do the work well.
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