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GUIDE: Move your old Windows onto your new SSD

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Imaging a system drive onto a new drive using Windows 7 Backup and Restore
This guide is useful if you want to preserve your old Windows install and move it onto your new drive, without reinstalling all your programs etc... Usually I recommend a fresh install, but in some cases it's better or easier to do it this way.

This is the image your OLD windows onto new drive guide, if you're looking to fresh install Windows onto your new drive you want this guide


Stage 1.
Preparing for imaging

You will need an external or secondary storage device large enough to contain the system image to continue.
  1. Locate or purchase a storage device
  2. Ensure it has enough free disk space
  3. Ensure you have a blank CD or DVD, or a Windows 7 setup disc
  4. Ensure your CD/DVD drive works, and can be booted from

Stage 2.
Matching the Source drive size to the Target drive size.

Skip this stage if your Source and Target are the same size, or the Target is larger then the source.
  1. Note the size of the target drive
  2. Make space: Make sure the used space on the source drive is small enough (move files, delete files etc)
  3. Open Disk Management

    (EDIT: I had it listed as Windows Disk Management which was a red-herring convenience link that Runtime Software's DriveImageXML had put in my start menu, please search for "Create and format" or just right-click My Computer > Manage)
  4. Find the Source partition (C: drive) probably to the right of a small "System reserved" partition
  5. Right-click it, and choose Shrink Volume... then wait for "Querying volume for available shrink space..."
  6. If the Size of available shrink space in MB is not sufficient you'll need to consolidate the free space with a disk defragmenter
  7. Don't shrink the disk too far, or Windows might run out of disk space while you're using it.
  8. Good to leave yourself a 500 MB or so, you will expand the space after so it doesn't really matter as long as it fits


Stage 3.
Create a system image.

  1. Open Backup and Restore
  2. Click the Create a system image link on the left hand side
  3. Choose your target storage device (external or secondary HDD)
  4. Make sure System Reserved (System) and C: (System) are checked in the list and click Next

  5. Click Start backup
  6. Wait for the backup to complete... Coffee time
  7. Afterwards, you will be prompted to create a system repair disc - you can use either DVD or CD, if you don't, you'll need to use your Windows 7 setup disc
  8. If you use the Windows 7 Setup disc you'll need to be sure it was the same number of bits, 32 bit or 64 bit as the operating system you're restoring

Stage 4.
Restore the image onto the new drive.

  1. Shut-down the computer
  2. Remove your old drive
  3. Connect the new drive to the same SATA port
  4. You can use either a system repair disc or your Windows 7 setup disc, if you use the Win7 setup disc, there is an additional step
  5. Turn on the computer, and boot from the system repair disc or Windows 7 setup disc
  6. Win7 setup disc: Choose your language and click Next
  7. Win7 setup disc: Then choose to "Repair your computer" (link at bottom)
  8. system repair disc: Choose your keyboard input method and click Next
  9. In the dialog: "System Recovery Options", choose the Restore your computer using a system image that you created earlier radio button (the bottom option).
  10. You can click Load Drivers if your SATA controller isn't supported out-of-the-box
  11. Click Next >
  12. Choose Select a system image, or just choose the default latest available...
  13. If you choose to select you will be shown a list of backup devices and given the option to install drivers
  14. In the next screen "Choose additional restore options" you should be very careful
  15. There is a checkbox "Format and repartition disks" you should tick the box
  16. Then press the Exclude disks... button
  17. IMPORTANT: The ticked disks in the list WILL NOT BE FORMATTED, so choose your secondary and backup drives so they don't get wiped out
  18. The UNTICKED Disk(s) should be the new SSD only
  19. Double check you're not wiping out any important disks and click OK
  20. There are Advanced options like checking the disks for errors and auto-restarting...
  21. Once you're happy, click Next
  22. Drink a coffee etc
  23. Once done, restart into your old copy of Windows on a new DRIVE!


Stage 5.
Expand the new partition to fill the drive.

Skip this stage if your Source and Target are the same size.
  1. Open Disk Management

    (EDIT: I had it listed as Windows Disk Management which was a red-herring convenience link that Runtime Software's DriveImageXML had put in my start menu, please search for "Create and format" or just right-click My Computer > Manage)
  2. Find the new partition (C: drive) probably to the right of a small "System reserved" partition
  3. Right-click it, and choose Extend Volume...
  4. Extend Volume Wizard, click Next
  5. The next step will be filled out correctly by default
  6. Disk 0 should be in the right "Selected" list
  7. The Maximum available space in MB should be selected
  8. If the defaults are correct just click Next

You're done, your old Windows is now on your new drive.

If you like, you can now do some of my other space saving and configuration guides:
Edited by TheDreadedGMan - 12/17/10 at 6:23pm
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post #2 of 26
Is there any drawback to this method at all compared to just a clean install? Sounds awesome.
    
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post #3 of 26
Great guide. Thanks and +rep.



Although an easier way is to download the free Intel SSD Data Migration software (made by Acronis) and run it.
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post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfenWind View Post
Is there any drawback to this method at all compared to just a clean install? Sounds awesome.
Well a clean install is always going to be clean... it's mainly if you really don't want a clean install...

Quote:
Originally Posted by reaper~ View Post
Great guide. Thanks and +rep.



Although an easier way is to download the free Intel SSD Data Migration software (made by Acronis) and run it.
yeah you could use any number of 3rd party software
I wrote this guide because you don't actually need any third party software at all
And I have not seen a good guide showing step-by-step.
Also partitioning and alignment etc is automatic with Backup and Restore...
Personally I think is great that you can do all this using only built-in windows stuff... finally
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post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDreadedGMan View Post
Well a clean install is always going to be clean... it's mainly if you really don't want a clean install...



yeah you could use any number of 3rd party software
I wrote this guide because you don't actually need any third party software at all
And I have not seen a good guide showing step-by-step.
Also partitioning and alignment etc is automatic with Backup and Restore...
Personally I think is great that you can do all this using only built-in windows stuff... finally
Right, I was just wondering if it would mess with settings or break programs. I remember if you did a OS upgrade it would require a reinstall of certain programs for them to work again.

Sorry, im a nub
    
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post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Nope, a SATA storage device is a SATA storage device, it doesn't change any settings.

That's probably the biggest advantage of an imaged install over a clean install, everything is already set up.

You might want to run Windows Experience Index again, and check you're not defragging the SSD automatically, but everything should be exactly the same as it was on the HDD, but faster.

Actually a good way to compare application launch and boot speed, since your software stack is the same, so you're not comparing a clean install to an old install.
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post #7 of 26
Do you know of any reason why stage 4 step 15 should have the box grayed out?
    
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post #8 of 26
I can't seem to find windows disk management, I'm running Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit build 7600, does anyone know why?
    
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post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by daltontechnogeek View Post
I can't seem to find windows disk management, I'm running Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit build 7600, does anyone know why?
You can always right click on My Computer and click manage and then go to disk management shown on the left window that pops up.
    
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post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by just_nuke_em View Post
Do you know of any reason why stage 4 step 15 should have the box grayed out?
Perhaps it means you have to format since only the SSD is connected, and it's blank?

I don't know the screenshots I took were on my machine which has other drives connected...

Quote:
Originally Posted by daltontechnogeek View Post
I can't seem to find windows disk management, I'm running Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit build 7600, does anyone know why?
EDIT: Sorry my mistake.
I had it listed as Windows Disk Management which was a red-herring convenience link that Runtime Software's DriveImageXML had put in my start menu, please search for "Create and format" or just right-click My Computer > Manage)

Disk Management can be run via:
by searching the control panel or start menu for "Create and format"... if the search service is working
Right-Click my computer click Manage (like just_nuke_em suggested)
or
In Control Panel > System and Security > Under the heading Administrative tools there is a link that reads "Create and format hard disk partitions"
or
You can just run the actual file: C:\\Windows\\System32\\diskmgmt.msc
Edited by TheDreadedGMan - 12/12/10 at 7:14am
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