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Cloned HDD but cannot find OS

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December 17, 2012 11:27:16 AM

Hi, i decided to make the switch from HDD to a slightly smaller SSD. I had to shrink the C partition in the process to make everything fit on the SSD.

When i put the SSD in my laptop it cannot find the Operating system,
however when i swap back to the HDD it loads windows etc fine. The C partition on both drives is exactly the same, i used EASEUS Disk copy to copy the C partition over to the new drive.

The old HDD has a "recovery partition" on it which i didn't copy across as i didn't think it was necessary, its just for full restores etc.

Any ideas why my laptop cant find the OS with the SSD installed?

More about : cloned hdd find

December 17, 2012 11:33:54 AM

Can you make or do you have a bootable recovery disk you can install windows from? I would go that route installing an OS on a SSD.
December 17, 2012 11:38:25 AM

You probably didn't copy the master boot record over. Its at the front of the disk and is not part of the physical c partition. There are commands and utilities to copy that. Just google for it. If you bought a new hard disk in a retail kit it probably included migration software which would move the MBR and your partition over.
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December 17, 2012 11:42:15 AM

parted magic is a free set of utilities like norton's partition magic that will clone drives, resize and move partitions, etc. It is a bootable disk image that you can burn to a disk. You can move the master boot record with it as well.

http://partedmagic.com/doku.php
December 17, 2012 12:36:54 PM

Thanks, Yeh all i copied was the C partition, there was a system reserved partition that i didnt copy over first time.

I tried cloning the system reserved partition onto the SSD too and the laptop still wouldnt load, it might be something to do with it not being at the "front". Im not too sure what that means but ill try the other methods you mentioned
December 17, 2012 12:38:22 PM

Sooth1 said:
Can you make or do you have a bootable recovery disk you can install windows from? I would go that route installing an OS on a SSD.


Sony didnt sell it with any recovery disks.. it has a recovery partition which i have burnt to a disk but the laptop doesnt seem to recognise those either...
December 17, 2012 12:58:33 PM



shrink the size of the HDD os patition , using win7 pro... computer management > storage > shrink disk... (or something like that) then using the win7 system image in "backup and restore" to make an image of the OS... so when the size of hdd os is smaller than the SSD you can restore to to the SSD.

use a win7 recovery Disk to restore the OS to the ssd.

i did just this process to get my 670GB win7 install to a corsair GT 90GB...
of course i had to transfer almost all my data (Steam games, itunes etc, movies, everything to a data disk) then disk clean, then defragment the disk, then shrink.etc ) and repeat until it fits.... then image ...it took a long time... but I did get the os on the SSD.

The linux command "DD" will also clone unmounted disks... search online for directions.(i have read about it...)

a better option might be to buy acronis disk image, or any disk image software that can shrink the os partition...
December 17, 2012 1:15:16 PM

I'll say this again. The master boot record IS NOT A PARTITION. Google the words "master boot record" and figure out how to copy that from the old hard disk to the new hard disk. It is some bytes of data at the very beginning of the hard disk that tells the computer where to look for an OS to boot.

One last time, if you are copying something called a "partition" you are not solving your problem.
December 17, 2012 1:23:27 PM

That article gets into some of the specific issues witrh cloning to an ssd vs doing a windows 7 install directly to one. I don't have any experience with that but it sounds like there are some things you need to fix after the fact so you get optimal performance and don't put the ssd under undue wear.

All things being equal, doing a new install and copying your data over is pretty easy.
December 17, 2012 3:22:04 PM

I would do a clean install but its a laptop and i dont have any motherboard drivers etc to install after i clean install. I also dont want to lose one time subscriptions to programmes like virus protection which are limited to one use.
It might just be worth me buying windows 8...
a c 122 G Storage
December 18, 2012 3:44:40 AM

Did the SSD drive come with any cloning software? I only ask because I used the software that came with the SSDs I purchased (laptop and desktop) to clone the boot drives of both. Both of the hard drives that were cloned had larger capacities than the SSDs that replaced them. I didn't shrink any of the HDDs but instead made sure the HDDs were not utilizing more space than the SSDs could store. In short, I uninstalled programs and move data to another drive. What brand of SSD did you purchase? If it did not come with cloning or migration software you can check the web site for a download.
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