How to clone your hard disk to SSD using a live Linux CD/USB

We’ve just posted the following news: How to clone your hard disk to SSD using a live Linux CD/USB[newsimage][/newsimage]

The video covers how to prepare the hard disk using Gparted by shrinking its main partition to fit within within the SSD’s capacity, then make a 1:1 clone using ddrescue and finally how to deal with a factory recovery partition at the end of the hard disk (if present) without deleting it or copying it across.

            Read the full article here: [](

            Please note that the reactions from the complete site will be synched below.

Great presentation Sean

G-parted has been in my tool box for years now,great software.

Does this method work for a GPT hard disk with a pre-installed Windows 8 ?

Although I have not tested with a pre-installed Windows 8 OS, this should work fine as Gparted is compatible with GPT disks. You could also try shrinking the partition in Windows 8 if it will let you shrink it small enough to fit on the SSD. I can confirm this process works with my own Windows 8.1 installation on a GPT disk, so I’d expect this to also work with a pre-installed Windows 8.1 installation.

The ddrescue step works regardless of what’s on the hard disk, including Mac OS, third party bootloaders, etc, so long as the last partition ends within the outer boundary of the SSD. So if you’re cloning to a 240GB, I recommend ending the last partition at least within 10% of the outer boundary before the clone, e.g. 200GB for a 240GB to 256GB SSD. You can then expand the partition to fill the drive once the SSD is installed.

The only issue you may have is if there is a recovery (or other) partition located at the end of the hard disk. In this video, I showed how to do keep such a partition on the original hard disk, but delete its reference from the resulting clone using fdisk. However, fdisk is not compatible with GPT. From what I read, gdisk works just like fdisk and supports GPT, but I have not tested this technique with a GPT disk. I’ll give it a try when I get time.

I’ve just gone through this process for the first time with a GPT volume and the fdisk steps do not work as this utility does not support GPT.

To correct the GPT, gdisk needs to be used. As for as I can tell, this process needs to performed whether or not there was an unwanted partition at the end as GPT stores a header at the start of the disk indicating its size and a secondary header on the last sector that obviously does not get copied when migrating to an SSD that is smaller than the original HDD.

After the ddrescue process completes, install the SSD and disconnect all other internal and external storage devices apart the bootable Linux USB stick (if using one.) Then boot back into the live Linux OS.

Perform the steps as follows from the terminal:

[li]Type in ‘gdisk’ and press enter.
[/li][li]For the device, type in the following and press enter: /dev/sda
[/li][li]It should show a warning at this point about the disk size being smaller or larger than the main header indicates. If not, type in ‘quit’, start from step 1 again, but try a larger letter such as ‘/dev/sdb’ for step 2.
[/li][li]Type in ‘p’ and press enter.
[/li][li]If the drive has an unwanted partition at the end, type in ‘d’, press enter, type in the number of that last unwanted partition and press enter.
[/li][li]Type in ‘w’ and press enter.
[/li][li]Type in ‘y’ to proceed and press enter.
[/li][li]Finally to shut down the Linux OS, type in the following and press enter: shutdown -h 0

I know this thread is a little old, but I just wanted to add to it.

One thing to keep in mind when cloning a HDD to SSD is the sector alignment. Most HDDs are 512 byte sector size, or at least they emulate 512 byte sectors. SSD’s however are generally native 4K sector size, which can lead to issues when you clone this way. It may still work, but if your clusters aren’t properly aligned to sector boundaries, it leads to extra IOP cycles which can slow down and actually strain the SSD needlessly.

It’s part of the advantage of using SSD migration tools over just imaging.