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Best way to move over to Intel SRT?

Last response: in Storage
February 15, 2013 11:31:59 PM

I currently have my Windows 8 Pro 64bit installed on a 32GB SSD. I am finding it is too small and annoying to manually manage everything, and I think Intel SRT would be better suited to an SSD of that size. What would the best way to move over my installation without losing all my programs on my 2TB? I have over 650GB in "Games" (Including high-res texture packs and mods and whatnot.), so I can't redownload them all. I have a monthly cap of 250GB and I don't want to redownload them all unnecessarily.

I was thinking the best way to do it would be partition my 2TB and format my SSD. Would this work? Say I split it into 2 1TB partitions, one with all my games and programs on it, and one for Windows. Could I install Windows 8 onto the partition and then merge them after re-installing? I also don't have any installation media. I assume I can download that from MSFT and reactivate with my code.


More about : move intel srt

February 15, 2013 11:49:29 PM

OK, I decided to test that since I see no reason for it not to work. It won't let me download Windows 8 from the utility because of my lack of diskspace though.

Would it be legal to download an ISO from The Pirate Bay or something and use my product key? That seems the easiest way. Or is there some way to download it directly from MSFT's site?

EDIT: Managed to clear up 5GB of free space on my C: by deleting some random files. Win 8 is starting to download now. 8 minutes remaining. (MSFT clearly has excellent download servers if I can download a 4-5GB file in 10 minutes. It doesn't say but I must be getting at least 3-4MBps.
a b * Windows 8
a c 141 G Storage
February 16, 2013 12:50:11 AM

If you reinstall, You may or may not be able to just run games.
Some will create registry entries, these may be needed for the games to play. Steam in general can be just installed then copied over it self.

In fact, most games and programs can be installed(with the DVD or downloaded installer), then copied over with the updated ones(so lets say you play SC2, install it, then copy the old one over the new one, when all your games have had this done, you can extend your c : partition to take the full drive and erase the extra partition.).

Partitioning the drive would allow this, so you would install windows on the first(technically second partition as the first is the System reserved that boots Windows). Now you can install games then just copy and past them overtop of the old copies in most cases.

Option 2 would be to CLONE your SSD to the hard drive(would require you to push the partition across the drive(leaving empty room at the start) and leave room for windows + the system reserved partition).

The interesting part is that the system reserved will still be trying to boot off the SSD, you would need to use a tool like EASYBCD <- (its a link) to edit the BCD from the SSD copy of windows. This involves accessing the system reserved(its a partition) of the HDD from EASYBCD.

Once you adjust the it, you should be able to power down then remove the SSD and see if you can boot. On windows 7, the Windows DVD can fix a BCD error with the start-up repair option. I have never tried it on 8, so you may not even have to use easyBCD.

Now you will have to edit the registry(or use a fix MS provides) if your MB bios is not set to RAID(SRT). This will avoid constant blue screen errors.

This method of cloning then working maximizing the c : partition and leaving what is on d : (or what ever the file drive was) would allow you to not have to reinstall anything, but can be a bit confusing for some users.

I know it sounds like lots of work. so ask questions if you have any.
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February 16, 2013 6:05:05 AM

Ok, well I got it working. I can't friggen format the C: drive to use with SRT though. I have terrible luck with Windows. Every time I try and do something installation or activation related I get issues. First my SATA driver got messed up a few months ago, and Windows has unactivated itself twice since then forcing me to call Microsoft and have them remotely activate it.

Since it is a system drive I can't format it. I tried doing these things:

But I don't have any CDs or DVDs, and no Windows installation media.

Urghhhhh. I guess I need to get some sort of USB-bootable thingy that can format it.

Best solution

a b * Windows 8
a c 141 G Storage
February 16, 2013 1:30:58 PM

You should not be formatting c : if you want to install on the HDD.

Formatting c : will also make windows un-bootable. I do not think this is your goal quite yet,

If you are on the SSD now, then it is your current c :

You want to move the partition on the hard drive over to make space to either clone the old data into(partition copy system reserved and windows partition would be best) OR just leave the space unallocated and tell windows to use it.

The goal here is to NOT erase or format he partition that holds your games.

Partition Master is a free windows based tool for partition editing. It takes care of almost all of the work for you.

If you do not mind linux(it still has a graphical user interface and runs from a cd/dvd or flash drive in your case.), this is another option.

It is important to at this point NOT edit your SSD partitions as moving the windows partition will require you to either edit the BCD entry in the system reserved partition or use a windows start-up repair(this is not the same as a repair install, it is much faster and just fixes common start-up problems.).

Again, if you are fresh installing on the hard drive(after pushing the partitions start point over to make room for windows, please remove the SSD first so windows does not try to add it self the to SSD's bootloader. The end result of this would be an unbootable system when you add the SSD to SRT).

Also make sure you are in RAID or SRT mode in the bios BEFORE installing windows to make like more easy.

I can try to give you a more step by step, but every user has different things to overcome when doing this.

In general it should be move partition over, create/clone the windows and system reserved partition OR install windows into the unallocated space. If you cloned, you should be running games off the other partition and things should work. If you reinstalled, install games to the c : then copy and paste them over the old copies to avoid needing updates.

If you use steam, you can just install steam and copy the full steam folder restoring LOTS of games in one shot :) 
February 16, 2013 3:39:51 PM

I am in RAID mode. I have the new Windows installed on my 2TB HDD, and my old Windows is currently on the 32GB SSD. I have already copied over my Steam library and Battlefield 3.

So you are saying I shouldn't format the SSD since the MBR is on there? I am not on it right now. Also, it isn't actually C:. I got confused. In the new partition my SSD is E:. Does that change anything?

Here is a picture of my drives. I renamed them to show what they are.

I'd like to merge the two HDD partitions into one partition if possible.
a b * Windows 8
a c 141 G Storage
February 16, 2013 4:25:00 PM

Try to boot with the SSD removed. I just want to make sure your boot loader is not still being used from it. My windows added it self to the boot loader on another drive once. I think it does this to simplify things.

If it boots fine with it removed, and you are sure you have all your files off the SSD, you can power down connect it(SSD) again and setup SRT.

You enable it from the Intel Rapid Storage Manager in Windows(nothing else needs to be changed from the bios).


As you use it, SRT will learn your usage habits and improve performance. Remember it only has so much space to work with so stuff that is not used often will not stay in the SSD cache.

EDIT saw your update.
Partition Master can merge partitions. Never used it, but it is a feature of the software.
February 16, 2013 4:27:19 PM

nukemaster said:
Try to boot with the SSD removed. I just want to make sure your boot loader is not still being used from it. My windows added it self to the boot loader on another drive once. I think it does this to simplify things.

If it boots fine with it removed, and you are sure you have all your files off the SSD, you can power down connect it(SSD) again and setup SRT.

You enable it from the Intel Rapid Storage Manager in Windows(nothing else needs to be changed from the bios).


As you use it, SRT will learn your usage habits and improve performance. Remember it only has so much space to work with so stuff that is not used often will not stay in the SSD cache.

I can't remove the SSD. It is some mSATA thing. I don't even know where it is within the case. I assume it is mounted to the motherboard somewhere since there are no cables I don't recognize. Is there any other way to test it?

I edited my previous post, not sure if you saw that. Lol, there we go.
February 16, 2013 10:56:58 PM

Yeah, no chance of removing the SSD. Dell has made it as hard as possible to get it out.

It is beside the PCI-e slot, underneath my video card. -_- They have also put on some brace over the video card, that is screwed in with these screws that are completely impossible to remove. I tried for like 45 minutes, using every screw driver in my house. I kind of damaged the brace though, so hopefully I didn't void my warranty there. xD

This is so frustrating. I tried using Gparted and it didn't work. The SSD didn't show up in the disk manager.

How come I can't get back into the SSD Windows now? I obviously didn't delete it since that is what I have been trying to do this entire time, but it won't let me boot back into it.
a b * Windows 8
a c 141 G Storage
February 16, 2013 11:55:33 PM

From windows can you get me a screen of the windows disk management? Start + R(to get run) then type "diskmgmt.msc"

Remember when I said that Windows did strange things? This may be one of them. so get back to me with that image if you can please.
February 17, 2013 12:26:53 AM

As you can see the format option is grayed out.
a b * Windows 8
a c 141 G Storage
February 17, 2013 1:06:58 AM


You are dealing with a fair bit here.

1. You have a pre-built system so the drive setup is a bit different.
2. Your OS partition is all the way at the end of the drive. This is the slowest part of any hard drive.
3. You seem to have had an option to restore the system without all this extra stuff.

On topic 1. It looks like your system reserved partition has been shrunk to 39megabytes. I am willing to bet this is your boot loader's location. When you reinstalled, windows seems to have stopped using it. That was what would have been booting the SSD in the past.

So yeah, things look kind of messed up right now.

Does the Intel software let you enable SRT? I see no reason to need the SSD anymore(I do not think you are booting from it.), but at some point in the future, you should decide what you want to do about your partitions. The c: should be NEXT to the system recovery one(if you can).
February 17, 2013 1:13:14 AM

Nope, there is no accelerate option any where within the software. The only files that matter are my Steam games. I would be fine with completely resetting everything, except I can't redownload them all. I'd get charged a ton for overage, and I don't want to wait 3 months to redownload them all.

EDIT: As for the OS partition being at the end of the the drive, it is definitely being slow. Most of my friends don't have SSDs and their PCs start up and load much faster.
a b * Windows 8
a c 141 G Storage
February 18, 2013 12:27:43 AM

Very strange. having the board set to raid and the latest Intel drivers/software should be all that is needed.

This board is Z68 or newer right?

As far as the location of windows, you would almost have to move around the partitions.

My only worry is that when you do that, you may have problems booting. It almost looks like Windows is booting off the "New" OS partition, but used to boot from the OEM partition.

Can you assign the OEM partition a drive letter and see what is on it? You will need to show hidden and protected operating system files(2 options) to see anything on the OEM partition.

See if it has files like
and a BOOT folder with a BCD file.
February 18, 2013 5:24:09 PM

Yeah, it is H77. When I first got the PC it was running Windows 7 with SRT, and when Windows 8 came out I bought it for $15 and installed it on the SSD.

It won't let me assign the OEM partition a letter. When I right click it it just has a "help" option. It says it is 100% free though, so unless those boot files are really small I assume there is nothing on it.

I was thinking, and I guess it would be fine if I had to completely format everything. The speed at this point is abysmal. It takes like 30-40 seconds to completely start up. With the SSD it was like 10. Out of my 100 or so games on Steam, I only actually play about a dozen or so regularly, so it would probably be fine to just download those ones and start to gradually redownload the rest. I'd rather avoid this, but if it is the only way to fix everything it would be alright.
a b * Windows 8
a c 141 G Storage
February 18, 2013 6:36:56 PM

If you had an external drive, I would say put the steam games on it.

Steam also has a backup option to compress backup copies of games to burn off to DVDs ect. Remember to grab your save games for non steam cloud games.

If you go the reinstall route, you may wish to use the advanced option to REMOVE partitions. Please note that if you remove the RECOVERY partition, you will loose the ability to go back to 7 without an install disk in the future.

Can you check on the d : (it seems to be set to Active)drive to see if you have to BOOT folder on it? I am very interested in what your version of Windows is using for booting.
February 18, 2013 7:32:23 PM

All 3 have boot stuff apart from the storage partition. I don't have any sort of external HDD, so if I were to backup the game files they probably wouldn't all fit on any of my USB sticks anyway. I have a 16GB and a bunch of 4GBs. I guess I could put a few on.
a b * Windows 8
a c 141 G Storage
February 18, 2013 10:55:34 PM

It looks like you may be able to boot the SSD by selecting it as the boot device from the bios.

This may allow you to try to mess with the partitions on the hard drive(using partition master or similar), If you can do it just right, maybe you can keep your games on what is currently the OS partition then remove all the other ones and make a partition from the start of the hard drive for windows. At least that would place windows in the right location.

You would have to reinstall windows and stuff after, but this should let you save files.

Are the BOOT folders empty?
February 19, 2013 12:02:55 AM

No, they have stuff in them.

I will try to boot to the SSD.
February 19, 2013 12:10:24 AM

I can't boot onto the SSD. In the BIOS boot order thing the 2 storage devices are in the same slot. If I go into the HDD option thing and set the first boot device to the SSD, it still boots to the HDD. I probably messed up the SSD trying to fix it myself.
a b * Windows 8
a c 141 G Storage
February 19, 2013 3:39:36 AM

I cant accept that :p 

lets try to add the SSD to the current boot loader :) 

Get this.

And lets try to ADD and entry for the SSD to boot. Call it Win8 SSD or something.

All you do is select Add New Entry, select Windows Vista/7/8, give it a name, select the drive letter of the SSD and click Add Entry.

Ensure that under Edit Boot Menu, you have boot default OS after 30 seconds or Wait for user selection and not Skip the boot menu.

On the next boot, you should be able to select Win8 SSD or whatever you named it.

This will at least let you boot the SSD to attempt partition moving on the hard drive.

you will NOT want to touch the OEM or Recovery(I think you are booting from the recovery partition) ones, but should almost be able to move the Windows and Files ones.

You can even try to load the file BCD from the recovery partition BOOT folder, but if you can an error, it is most likely because you are booting from it.

A second computer would make this SOOO much faster/more easy.
February 20, 2013 1:10:18 PM

Alright, sorry for that long delay. I had school and a bunch of homework.

That EasyBCD worked, so I am back in the SSD now. I'd be fine with this if fixing the partitions and whatnot is going to be troublesome. I assume the other computer would need to access the HDD, so I can't really do that. I have my dad's Mac and my old laptop, neither of which will work for this as far as I know.
a b * Windows 8
a c 141 G Storage
February 20, 2013 2:44:45 PM

With a USB -> SATA(slow) or ESATA - SATA(fast, but needs the esata port) adapter it could be done from the laptop. OSX does not always work nicely with NTFS, but even that may have worked(linux/unix have some great partition editing tools).

Ok, now that you are booting from the SSD(yet still booting from the hard drive first.). I want to make sure that the BCD entry you edited was on the Recovery partition.

Try to forcefully open the recovery drives(was d: on the HDD load of windows). BOOT/BCD file(it has no extension) with EasyBCD. If it generates an error(file in use), chances are you are booting from that partition. If you are, do NOT edit that partition when you are trying to move things around.

I am going to try some of the easybcd features such as setting a flash drive with the boot loader to see if we can get you a fail safe since you do not have easy access to a second system to do your work.

This is a bit of a hackaround due to a lack of extra drives to use AND the fact that you are booting the SSD from the HDD. I generally keep on boot loader per drive and have the other operating systems on it as well so I can almost always boot something to do any required fixing.
February 20, 2013 9:21:49 PM

When I right click the BCD system file and open with EasyBCD the program opens without any errors but nothing seems to actually be there. It doesn't seem to actually notice the file at all. It is as if I just opened it with the desktop shortcut.

I think I will just stick with the SSD as my boot drive. I managed to clear up a few GBs in glitched temporary files and stuff and I have 7.4 GB free of the 32GB drive. (29 formatted).

I would like to remerge the 2TB back into one partition though, and fix this bootloader so it is actually on the SSD.
a b * Windows 8
a c 141 G Storage
February 20, 2013 10:19:54 PM

I do not think the bootloader was ever on the SSD. This is part of the issue.

In easyBCD did you select File -> Select BCD Store to try to load the one from the hard drives recovery partition.

One thing you may be able to try is to boot from the Windows 8 DVD(with the hard drive disconnected. so just the SSD) if you made one and select the startup repair option. I have never used it this way, but it can repair many BCD errors on its own. Maybe it is good enough to make you a boot loader partition.

An more proper fix would be to move your windows partition over a bit(lets say 100 megabytes) then copy an image of the boot loader over. From the working hard drive copy of Windows, use BCD edit to fix up that loader on the SSD and set it active(partition). After that, The SSD should be able to boot it self. This requires a working copy of windows if you want it to be easy to edit the BCD entries

At that point, each drive could boot its own OS and you could do whatever you want to the hard drive.

To try to make some more room...

Ensure you are using your desktop/documents and other personal files from the hard drive as they do not need speed. Its just a quick option in the Location tab of those users/yourname/ folders.

Disable fast boot and hibernate if you are not using them.

Reduce the page file size.
February 20, 2013 10:39:11 PM

Yup, I've done all of those. I have the recovery disabled too. 32GB is pretty small. When I first installed it I only had about 1GB free.

I'll do the File -> Select BCD Store.

EDIT: I selected the file and for a brief moment the bottom of the Window said something alone the lines of "BCD file loaded." Does that mean it is not currently in use and part of a different Windows installation and not being used by the SSD?
a b * Windows 8
a c 141 G Storage
February 21, 2013 12:08:02 AM

When i trued to load the BCD from my own system, I got an in use error. I will try on another system to be sure.

When you load it, Does it show the edits you had made? If it does, you should then know that you have the right one.

At that point, you could either leave it as is and use Win8 from the SSD(even if it is booting from the HDD) or try the above. As said, moving windows partition will require a BCD edit from another OS for sure to get it to boot, but if you can get a boot loader onto a small partition on the SSD, then the hard drive will not be booting at all. At that point, you can do what ever you want to it.

If you go that route, I would guess that removing the OS partition(at the end of the HDD) and then extending the files partition to take the rest of the drive would give you what you want.

At that point removing the assigned letter from the system recover partition will make it go away in (My) Computer while not stopping you from booting.


I just tried another system and get the same in use error trying to open it. But if I load another and go back it opens.

I have also installed the BCD to a flash drive to do some tests. If you have a flash drive you can install a boot loader to it to boot the HDD version of windows in the case that its loader becomes damaged. When you boot from it, The error will not happen when loading the BCD from the hard drive.

Now the interesting bit, I am going to TRY to install the boot loader on the Windows partition and not another partition, If this works, You can do the same with the SSD and should be able to select to boot it from the bios(It did not work before because the drive was not bootable).

Wish me luck :) 
February 21, 2013 12:16:13 AM

Sounds like more trouble than it's worth to be honest. I see no reason to move the bootloader now that I am sticking with the SSD as a boot drive.

Thanks for all your help. I wish there was a better way to thank you than just doing best answer.
February 21, 2013 12:16:38 AM

Best answer selected by voiidwulf.
a b * Windows 8
a c 141 G Storage
February 21, 2013 12:53:11 AM

I edited above. If this gets locked as answered threads do, I will send you a private message in the forum. Shows up on the right top side when you are on the forums with the right column showing.
a b * Windows 8
a c 141 G Storage
February 21, 2013 1:38:08 AM

One last post I think.

It is up to you, but for fun I just booted an old 120gigabyte HDD with Windows 7 on it and used the BCD Deployment option from EasyBCD then told it to Install on c:( so you would HAVE to do this when you are on windows from the SSD or select the right drive letter).

Then you have to go to Add new entry and add Windows 8(because you have an empty boot loader on the drive) then select EDIT Boot Menu and give it a nice name to ensure you KNOW you are booting from it and hit Save settings.

On the next boot ensure your bios is set to boot off the SSD and see what it does. For me it was perfect. I even went as far as to remove the system reserved partition and reboot and it still boots perfectly.

This may be JUST what you are looking for on your SSD. It involves no moving of partitions and you can work at getting your HDD all organized again.

My recommendation is once you are happy, remove the OS partition at the end of the drive and use the built in extend partition feature of diskmgmt.msc to extend the files partition to take the rest of the drive. It is the fastest most easy way to at least get things back to normal.

I do recommend in the future that if you want to try to go the SRT rout again, to use either Gparted or partition master to MOVE the files to the end then pre create a partition for Windows, this way YOU are in control.

No system reserved or other boot loader it is ALL on c: You see another system reserved, but that is for my actual load of Win7, this was an old load just to show someone how to do something.

My old system reserved space was big because of some strange thing it did with the Win8 previews I was using on the drive before.

Even I learned lots from playing with BCD settings :) 

I am open to a PM if you get stuck or need help with this kind of thing in the future.