Migrating to a Smaller SSD, an after action report

vbimport

#1

Ignoring the issues I had because of settings that I was trying to change that were
already set up correctly…

What I did to migrate from a 104mb partition (as much as I could shrink it) on a
500gb HDD to my new 120gb SSD (114gb net) was to do a partition clone of my
OS partition to an external drive then mount that partition clone back to the new SSD.

(I could probably have saved time by doing a direct partition-to-
partition clone)

This did not produce something “bootable”, I did not get the expected notice that
“windows failed to start” and an invitation to run startup repair, what I got was a
“No Operating system found” however I knew how to fix that… Doing a windows
Start-up repair from the installation disc rarely fails.

Before trying to boot from the SSD I “peeked” at the drive to see that what appeared
to be a complete Windows7 installation, folders & Files appeared to be there…
(rather than one large image file)

My computer is always set for DVD drive as first in boot order, So
I fed the DVD drive my Win7Pro-64 installation disc and booted the computer from
the DVD disc and progressed forward to the page where you get to choose between
“install Windows” or “REPAIR Windows”, I chose “Repair”

Five minutes later I was looking at my windows7 Pro x64 desktop running on the SSD.

at that point the only things left to do was to:
1)allow the system to load device drivers for the new SSD as system drive.
2)allow it to reboot when prompted to finish loading drivers.
3)after restarting to go back into disc management and “expand”
the C: partition to fill the available space (114.7GB) on the drive
4)to set up another cloning operation, a complete disc-to-disc clone of my SSD
as-installed to a spare 120gb HDD (this is fully bootable as my System drive)
5)To clone AGAIN as a system image (saved on my 2tb external drive as an additional backup)
6)To format and repurpose the 500gb WD black drive as a Data drive

and finally

  1. sit back and enjoy just how fast the SSD is.

THE issue people run into is cloning from a hard drive to a smaller SSD
is that Direct cloning to a smaller device is not possible
(the cloning software usually refuses to play nice)

Direct system images still refuse to mount to a hard drive smaller than the original,
because the “image” knows how big the original device was and will refuse to be
mounted to a smaller device.

Cloning from a “partition to partition” “Breaks” the bootldr, but bootldr can be fixed
via startup repair launched from an installation disc.

if you don’t have the proper installation disc you can download a “clean” ISO here:
http://www.w7forums.com/official-windows-7-sp1-iso-image-downloads-t12325.html

I never had any success cloning any OS more advanced than XP with the older versions
of Norton Ghost, but way back then I didn’t know about running Startup Repair from a
Vista or Windows7 installation disc.

I’m going to play around with that when I have some free time, because Ghost had
one interesting “feature”, it IGNORED the device sizes during a cloning operation,
what was important to Ghost was not the size of the drive but the size of the allocated
space on the source drive…

I don’t think I need to explain the repercussions of that to
anyone who can actually make use of that information…


#2

Thanks for this.

How much data-space had you consumed on your original 100Gb-odd partition? And this was the OS plus Program Files plus __ whatever else, yes?

Could you tell me how much Free & Used Space you now have on that SSD? 50-50? 75 used/25 free?

You basically wanted to avoid doing a Win Re-Install/Re-Activate, yes? (Which is among my least favorite things to do.)

Thanks for all the details.


#3

[QUOTE=ChristineBCW;2657534]Thanks for this.

How much data-space had you consumed on your original 100Gb-odd partition? And this was the OS plus Program Files plus __ whatever else, yes?

Could you tell me how much Free & Used Space you now have on that SSD? 50-50? 75 used/25 free?

You basically wanted to avoid doing a Win Re-Install/Re-Activate, yes? (Which is among my least favorite things to do.)

Thanks for all the details.[/QUOTE]

The actual “Used Space” on the SSD is 79gb (1024) which is the OS plus programs,
documents and about 5gb worth of jpg files (which don’t move) and 39.6gb (1024)
free space, there is a second 3gb partition (3072mb) at the back end of the drive
for my e-mail program

On my Mail program, I use an older version of Eudora which makes no registry entries,
but does save my mail (in and out) to the drive. 15 yeqars of archived e-mails takes
up just over 300Mb, so I’m using <10% of that 3gb partition.

The only thing I deleted on my Hard Drive was the Temp folder for my DVR, and one
defragging program, Smart Defrag 2, that I only actually used for it’s automatic boot
time defrag. Obviously I didn’t want it boot time defragging my SSD, and there was
no way to permanantly turn that feature off, and with that feature off I had no use
for the program anyway.

My “data”, Music & Video is all resident on a 750gb WD Black drive
(I have two of these that I manually “mirror” any time I add files)

What I was avoiding was not reinstalling windows, I can make a virgin computer
indistinguishable from my own in about four hours.
What I didn’t want to do was re-set all the settings in DVDFab
or Reinstalling my Full professional Adobe Photoshop suite or my full professional
version of Microsoft Office.

reinstalling Windows7 for me is as troubling as swimming is to an Orca, not an issue
at all, it’s all the other crap. THIS is why I prefer cloning as a backup method, if I
have a clone I can get my computer up and running again as fast as I can swap out
the failed system drive, and since my backup system drive is already physically
mounted in the case that involves moving power and data cables to it from the failed drive.

Even if I did have to swap out the drive my case uses tool-less drive mounting…
(Literally unplug the drive, grab the handle and pull…)

But in the end I honestly don’t expect to be using this 120gb 3k Kingston for more
than 3-4 months, I expect to replace it with a bigger (240-256Gb) Faster (intel 550
or OCZ Vertex4) as soon as I can buy one of those for <$125, and being honest
how long do you think I’ll really need to wait for prices to fall that far?

Newegg has already offered an Intel 550 120gb drive for $124

I bought this drive on sale for $59-shipped as a learning experience, I’d say
I’ve learned something…


#4

Just wondering why you avoided using the free cloning utility(Acronis) from Seagate/WD? Way too late in the party to alter the course of history, but I’ve been using either of them to make bootable clones of my drives with complete abandon in the past year. System partition never an issue. As long as used space on the source is smaller than the target, just done.


#5

The same reason why different people scouted different trails to the west
coast in the 19th century.

I was sure it could be done with Acronis, but I wanted to see it done
with Clonezilla.

The thing about cloning is provided you don’t do something to the
"Source" the worst that can happen is that you need to do it over
if the clone doesn’t work.

I still have tested clones of the original setup so I can “play” with the others when I have the time.

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#6

Ahh

Completely understand. Did you plant a flag at the top of this one :confused::slight_smile:


#7

[QUOTE=AllanDeGroot;2657562]… and one
defragging program, Smart Defrag 2, that I only actually used for it’s automatic boot
time defrag. Obviously I didn’t want it boot time defragging my SSD, and there was
no way to permanantly turn that feature off, and with that feature off I had no use
for the program anyway.[/QUOTE] That’s odd. IOBit Smart Defrag v2.5 recognizes my SSD as an SSD and doesn’t even offer me the chance to defrag it, and boot-time defragmentation is turned off by default on my harddrive.


#8

I just struggled with the same sort of thing myself. I ended up just reinstalling the OS and the core programs onto my new Kingston 120Gb V200+ SSD drive. The boot time and the time to open a program has definitely decreased.


#9

[QUOTE=DrageMester;2657626]That’s odd. IOBit Smart Defrag v2.5 recognizes my SSD as an SSD and doesn’t even offer me the chance to defrag it, and boot-time defragmentation is turned off by default on my harddrive.[/QUOTE]

Did you install Smart Defrag after the SSD or before?

Also on my installation of smart defrag I had a seting to turn off boot time defrag, but no matter how many times I turned it off and “saved the setting” next time I rebooted it was turned back on.

When I was running on a HDD I decided I really didn’t care if it ran or not
as I don’t turn off my computer all that often.

As an example in the 408 days since I installed my WD 500GB "black"
hard drive it has been power cycled only 97 times. total run time is 402 days
(it was off for one day after switching to the SSD and four days a year ago
August after our power was out from Hurricane whatsitsname

I have a general idea how long the fluid dynamic bearings on my WD black HDDs will run.
I also know that by the time the drive fails from bearing failure probably all be using
"Data Crystals" like characters in Science fiction.

Do you stop to think like I do, that my desktop computer with it’s
two 500gb data drives, two 750gb data drives and the 2Tb external backup drive
(ignoring my 120gb SSD system drive) represents several times the entire storage
capacity of every computer in North America at the time Neil Armstrong took that
"One Small Step" 43 years ago. I also recognize that I use 300times more storage
space to save an mp3 of AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” than the computer that Neil used in
the lunar lander

But Smart Defrag doesn’t recognize USB flash drives as "SSD’s"
and I have one of those permanantly installed inside my computer,
it’s the backup for my mail.

And if Smart defrag has the ability to allow you to EXCLUDE a volume I couldn’t find it.

Both Auslogic and Defraggler DO have “exclusion” features.

My prefered defragging program is Auslogic Defragger.
It is my Day-to-day defragging program of choice

Defraggler’s ability to move files larger than a specified size
to the end of the volume is why I keep it.
I also believe it is a better free space defragger, the reason I use Auslogic in “optimize” mode more often is that it is MUCH faster than defraggler and allows me to set it to defrage multiple volumes in a single run.

But I didn’t really want to discuss defragging programs.

the people who are anti-cloning from a HDD often bring up “alignment”.
IF you are running on a “Advanced Format Technology” drive and you did a “Clean install” on that drive (or originally formatted your drive with a Vista or 7 installer) “Alignment” is already correct.

MY upset with reinstalling runs entirely to the very expensive pro office suite and adobe photoshop.

I’ve fought with microsoft over office activation before, I believe they still “owe me” a copy of Home & Student, I bought and used up a “three pack”, but later a hard drive failed unexpectedly on one of the computers and they gave me an incredibly hard time (causing me, Mr Stubborn) to finally give up (how much aggrevation is 1/3 of $120 worth?)
My professional office is a $470 software package, and frankly even though it is personally registered in my name, arguing with microsoft about activating it in a fresh installation would get me to dull-up a knife for a special trip to Redmond to increase my testicle collection.

As for Adobe that too is registered, and probably would reinstall, but last time it took me an entire day.

DVDfab? it took me the better part of a week to get that set the way I wanted it, I just don’t want to do it over again.

a “Clean” installation of Windows is EASY…
It’s the extra baggage that’s the problem.


#10

AllanDeGroot

In Clonezilla I take it you did the saveparts and not the save disk, is that correct ?


#11

Yes, I did the partition not the disc.

I was migrating from a 100gb partition on a 500gb drive to a 120gb SSD.

I unnecissarily complicated the issue by migrating to a 120gb HDD
via an image, when what I should have done was simply clone the
partition then do a startup repair.

As I’ve said (elsewhere) if you need special tools to "shrink"
a partition you are doing it wrong.

Typically the “unmoveable files” that won’t move are System restore files.

the end around to that is to turn system restore off, run Ccleaner, defragment the drive, then turn System restore back on THEN do your partition clone.

Images are great for backups when you want to conserve space,
but transfering your installation as an image, then mounting that
image, immediatly, to another drive… great for practice, useless otherwise.

I don’t know how things would work out if you have an installation
where windows7 has created the famous (or imfamous) 100mb
"System reserved" partition.

BTW, on installation you can avoid that 100mb partitions creation if you create a partition on the drive with another computer then install windows7 to a partition
that is already on the drive.

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#12

The 100mb partition did give me trouble, I did get it to work finally.

Then I tried it this way:

I then went and loaded Win 7 Pro ( From a Digital River Image I have ) on the new SSD and it created the 100mb partition and the 120 GB for the OS, after the second reboot when it was established I then booted up in Clonezilla and restored the image I got from a 118 GB Partition from a 500 GB SATA disc.
Then I just rebooted it.
It came right up no repair necessary, then loaded all the MOBO drivers, and so far been running it for 4 days now with no problems.

Love the extra speed I got from the SSD drive.


#13

[QUOTE=bean55;2661565]The 100mb partition did give me trouble, I did get it to work finally.

Then I tried it this way:

I then went and loaded Win 7 Pro ( From a Digital River Image I have ) on the new SSD and it created the 100mb partition and the 120 GB for the OS, after the second reboot when it was established I then booted up in Clonezilla and restored the image I got from a 118 GB Partition from a 500 GB SATA disc.
Then I just rebooted it.
It came right up no repair necessary, then loaded all the MOBO drivers, and so far been running it for 4 days now with no problems.

Love the extra speed I got from the SSD drive.[/QUOTE]

I suspected that would work, but I’ve lacked the ambition to try doing it that way.

On my Desktop (and all laptops) I specifically avoid letting Windows create that partition, because it counts towards the number of primary partitions windows will allow you to create.

Windows7 and Vista will allow you to have a total of four “primary” partitions, but Vista will only allow you to create three before it
makes the forth an "extended partition/Logical drive"
and in my experience “logical drives” have stability issues.
I’ve had several evaporate along with all contained data.

And on a laptop you usually only have ONE drive to work with
so you seperate “System” from “data” and often “recovery” by partition.

IF you have “System” and “Data” in seperate partitions you can do
a complete reinstallation of Windows without affecting data.
sure you’ll need to tell the system where to find that data but that’s generally easier than recreating it…

BTW, if you ever need to have FOUR primary partitions use Windows Vista
or Windows7 to create the first three, then use an XP machine to create the fourth.

Yes, those Digital River images are kinda handy.
I downloaded them all.


#14

On my Desktop (and all laptops) I specifically avoid letting Windows create that partition, because it counts towards the number of primary partitions windows will allow you to create.

I know what you mean, but on this particular drive there will be no need for any other primary partitions

BTW, if you ever need to have FOUR primary partitions use Windows Vista
or Windows7 to create the first three, then use an XP machine to create the fourth.

Good to know, Thanks


#15

There are two partitions on my 120gb SSD.

the Single System partition (without the 100mb “reserved partition”)

And at the back end of the drive a 2048mb NTFS partition for my stand
alone e-mail program. WITH 15years of archived e-mail that takes up all of <300mb

My previous system drive was the same partitions plus the remainder of a 500Gb drive that I used as the “Media Temp” partition for my computer.

Basically a catch all for my DVR recordings and YouTube downloads.

Now my 500gb drive does that job without that pesky “System” partition
getting in the way :)LOL

Frankly that SSD was the cheapest way for me to free up 120gb of
space on my computer, that and I’ve spent the last month merging
digital media files on four hard drives to eliminate the pontless duplication

I have no problem storing two IDENTICAL copies of the same file.
What I have an issue with is having four or seven (or more) different
airings of a recorded-from-broadcast episode…

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