I have Windows 7 Home x64 on a 500GB HDD, partitioned to 78GB C: (for OS) and 387GB D: (for user libraries, programs, etc).
What I want to accomplish, ultimately, is to clone the C partition to the new SSD (120GB) and keep it at a 120GB partition, and expand the D: to take up the entire 500GB HDD for data. Then I will be back to C: for OS (120GB SSD) and D: for data (500GB HDD) I first used DriveImage XML to backup C: and restore to H: (the letter assigned to the SSD after my external HDD and optical drives), then attempt to boot from H:. Well, that did not go well. It either booted from C: anyways (even if I took C: off the boot list in UEFI BIOS), or, when I physically unplugged the disk, said that I must "Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot medial in selected boot device and press key", yadda yadda. So, I try the diskpart/DIXML method 15 more times, with no success of course. I also try this random method, as well as reading tons of other guides and info pages, before I decide to just give up and use Paragon Migrate OS to SSD (I enjoy learning new things and doing them myself, but when it's impossible...). I clean the SSD using diskpart from an elevated cmd prompt, and I let Paragon do everything - I just point to my OS install, point to the SSD, and click GO.
Apparently Paragon thought everything was fine. I follow the next instructions to restart, get into BIOS, change boot order - system boots from C:, not H:. Awesome, lovely. I unplug C: HDD to force system to boot from HDD: "Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot medial in selected boot device and press key.". Ok, so apparently there are no boot files in the disk image that Paragon created/moved. So now I'm out of ideas. I was planning to boot from the new OS, change C: on the HDD to some random letter (X , and change H: to C:, then format X: and expand D: over the top of X:. Not happening T_T
Tried using Backup & Restore method built into Windows 7 to restore a system image of the OS partition: created the image on my USB drive, booted from my Win 7 DVD, excluded the 500GB HDD in the restore wizard, and it gave me an error saying something along the lines of that I couldn't exclude my internal HDD because it was needed for the restore. I can't imagine why, since the image is on a different HDD and the target disk is the SSD...
I have 6 different partitioning/cloning/imaging utilities and NONE of them will do the simple job of cloning my OS to a new drive? Give me a break...
I (accidentally) got into the OS from the SSD (by selecting my Hitachi internal HDD, if you believe it). Rebooted after applying some system optimizations, and C: changed back to G:, G: to C:, and when I turned the HDD off from the boot order menu, it told me I had no valid boot media again. So, I go back into BIOS, turn HDD back on, restart, F11 to take me to boot menu, select the SSD, and it boots from HDD again. I dont' know how I possibly got on the system from the SSD if it is saying I don't have a proper boot device. So in summary, my install is still hosed...I think. But I can't be sure, since it runs sometimes off the SSD randomly. which makes zero sense.
I booted back from the Hitachi (HDD) using the F11 boot menu function of my mobo...since selecting the SSD doesn't work. And it booted from my SSD. Screenshots attached.
Basically, if I turn the HDD off in the boot settings, it wont boot from the SSD. If I turn it ON, put boot priority as Optical > SSD > HDD, and select HDD from the boot menu, then it boots from the SSD. I suspect this has something to do with boot files being on the HDD or something? I have no idea. It's as if it's using the HDD to boot, and running the OS from the SSD, which is quite beyond my capacity to understand. This makes the last part of my master plan impossible: reformatting the old C: (78GB partition of my HDD) and merging it with the larger HDD partition so I have 1 partition on the HDD and 1 OS partition on my SSD: because it seems the SSD running the OS is dependent on the HDD, and I'm afraid if I wipe the OS install from the HDD, I will no longer be able to boot.
So, I can no longer boot unless I select the Hitachi from my boot list, and then it boots from the SSD. Removing the SSD from the boot order boots from the Hitachi 78GB partition. Please advise.
I was going to add a line about not being interested in a fresh install, but I didn't. I knew someone would mention it Well, now you know: I'm not interested in a fresh install.
Clonezilla might be the one utility I haven't used recently. I might have a boot disk somewhere. What makes you recommend it over any other utility? I've got Acronis, Windows built in imaging, DriveImage XML, etc etc etc...
Thanks for the tip...I think you're on the right track...
I did use the startup repair, on both disks, many times...in fact, I think it had to do exactly with my having 2 disks with OS's marked as active partitions...running startup repair with both disks plugged in, I think, is what hosed the boot files.
Unfortunately I seem to have crossed that bridge, because now when I run startup repair on either disk, it either tells me there's nothing to repair (no matter how many times I run it), or it tells me it can't be fixed. I booted up with a Partition Wizard boot CD and ran it's "Fix MBR" on the disks, too, but that didn't help.
It's just so bizarre - both disks are capable of running the OS, but neither can boot up without some help: either both need to be plugged in, or there has to be some bootable CD/DVD to start me out.
Thanks for the input, but I believe the culprit was AHCI.
After switching back to IDE, I was able to boot without optical media and no 'insert boot media' errors after POST.
I think the issue was that I enabled AHCI in Windows (properly) AFTER all my cloning, imaging, and restoring. That screwed with my hardware recognition and storage drivers big time...plus all the messing around with MBRs and starup repairs, multiple active partitions on multiple drives...ugly.
But I restored my latest Acronis image to the SSD with IDE on and it booted up independently just fine.