Restore to a New Hard Drive

I have a ThinkPad Edge with an SSD I installed. I can't remember for sure, but it looks like I cloned the original drive to the SSD as there is a SYSTEM RECOVERY partition with a 226MB windowsre.wim image file.

I need to swap my SSD into a different laptop and install a different HDD into the Thinkpad and restore it. What's the least painful way to do this? I do have another 17" laptop with two drive bays I could use to transfer data between drives. Or I could use Acronis to image to my Server.

My best guess is the easiest way would be to pop both drives in the 17" laptop , start Windows in Safe Mode so it won't try to load a bunch of new drivers (I'm assuming) and use Acronis to copy the SSD image to the HDD. Pop the HDD in and hold some function key to initiate the restore. Think its F4 or F9 for a Thinkpad.
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  1. why don't you start fresh and install new on the HDD in theThinkPad...?
  2. Isn't that exactly what I'm asking?

    Maybe you're not clear on what I'm doing.

    I'm replacing the Thinkpad and moving the SSD currently in the Thinkpad to the new laptop. Then I'm putting a spare HDD I have back in the Thinkpad and want to restore it to Factory install. But the System Restore for factory install is on the SSD and if I run it off the SSD it will overwrite my O/S, Apps, etc.

    When I get a new computer, it is much much easier and less time consuming to just install my SSD into it as-is and then install all the drivers manually (or in some cases Win7 installs them automatically). This way a) I don't have to reinstall dozens and dozens of apps, and b) I don't have to remove any bloatware.

    So essentially what I need to do is image the SSD for the Thinkpad to the HDD and then run the restore off the HDD to get it back to factory. The original HDD for the Thinkpad I formatted and installed it in an XBox 360.

    Luckily on the SSD my data is non a D partition so all I need to image is the boot partition, system recovery partition, and maybe the C partition, although that may not be necessary if Acronis or the restore is smart enough to create the blank C partition as I don't need the old OS and Apps imaged over.
  3. You can image the SSD that has the recovery partition and the OS to the old SSD via Acronis or Paragon or any other available imaging app on the internet.

    If you have a desktop handy, then you can actually image SSD#1 to SSD#2 and away you go.
  4. What I'm going to try is to put the SSD in Bay 1 of my 17" laptop, boot in safe mode so it ignores all the driver conflicts, put HDD in bay 2, image the boot and system recovery partition, then pop HDD in thinkpad and give the restore a try.

    Actually I think I can use Acronis to make a Boot CD that I can use to image so I don't even need to load Windows?
  5. Yup, that is another often overlooked option.
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