Clone Windows 7 from HDD to SSD; How To

November 5th, 2009 by Daniel

So you decided to upgrade your current harddrive with a blazingly fast SSD. But you just installed Windows 7, all your apps, and got settled in Microsofts new OS, and really don’t wanna spend an entire day reinstalling it all again. Well, atleast that was my scenario.
So would it be possible to take your current install from a much bigger harddrive over to one of the small and fast SSD’s, without reinstalling? Yes, ofcourse. And it’s not even as bad as it might seem, and best of all, it won’t cost you a daime.
Proceed below to read my humble guide on how I switched from a 500 GB HDD to a 160 GB SSD.

Ok, to begin this guide I’ll set up some kind of overview of what we have to do here. The scenario is; we have windows 7 installed on our HDD which is most likely bigger than the SSD we want to transfer to. Since we want to “clone” the system from one disk to another, we will need to make the size of the backup image we’re going to use smaller. If you for instance have Windows 7 installed on one big partition that is bigger than the disk you wanna clone to, the restore function of any cloning tool will tell you, that it can’t clone the image, since your target disk doesn’t have space enough. So let’s start looking at making your current system partition smaller.

Step 1: Setting system disk partition down
Windows 7 has a habbit of placing some systemfiles in the very end of the harddisk. So that means, if you have a 500 gb harddisk, all system files, and other files you might have on the drive, will most commonly be placed in the beginning of your drive, where a pagefile will be placed in the very end of your drive. We need to change that somehow, so you can resize your system partition.

1. Defragging.
First thing I did was to defrag my current harddrive. Windows defrag sadly won’t do here, since it doesn’t move the pagefile, as far as I have experienced anyways. So what you need to use is PerfectDisk 10 (Get it here!). Install the trial version, and run it. Choose to defrag your c: drive, or where ever you have your Windows 7 installed. When it’s done, simply close the program, and proceed.

2. Fixing the partition.
I personally had a 500 GB disk without any partitions except the one I used for Windows 7. Since my new SSD disk only could hold 160 GB, I clearly needed to shrink down my 500 GB partition to fit it on the new SSD. Windows own Disk Manager wouldn’t let me touch my system partition though, so I had to find a good 3rd party app, that would let me shrink my system partition. Partition Wizard is a brilliant app for this task (Get it here!). Just download the app, install it, and run it. Go set the size of the system partition c: using the rulers, press the button Apply, and reboot when it asks you to do so. I personally changed my c: partition from 400 GB to 100 GB. Windows 7 has a 100 MB hidden partition, that it brings on over to your new drive when you’re cloning, so basically, resize your c: partition to approx the size of the disk you want to clone to, minus 100 or 200 MB. When your computer has rebooted, a short status-screen will pop up during Windows loading, telling you what is going on. When that is done it will boot into Windows, and your disk has been shrinked to the wanted size.

Step 2: Making the Windows 7 image
Windows 7 has a brilliant backup tool build in. Some say it’s only from Windows 7 Proffesional and up, but I wouldn’t know, since I run Windows 7 Pro here, and the tool worked for me. Anyways, we will use the built-in backup tool here, especially because it’s free, it’s very simple, and it doesn’t misallign you partition. Let me break this down in steps. You need an extra harddisk for this step, formatted in NTFS.
1. Go to Control Panel and press Backup and Restore.
2. On your left hand in the little pane there you’ll see the point “Create a system image”. Click it.
3. Your system will now scan for free space where it can put the image you’re gonna create. Once it’s done scanning, select the place where you want to place your backup, and press next.
Windows will now create a system image on your chosen location. Once it’s done backing up it will ask if you want to create a repair disc. If you have the Windows 7 install disc you can simply click “No” to this, as the installation disc has the same feature.
With your system image all good to go, find your Windows 7 installation disc or repair disc, and tell Windows to shut down.

Step 3: Cloning your system to your SSD
This is really simple. To start with, you need to unplug your HHD’s sata cable, and plug your new SSD in instead. Turn on your PC afterwards, and put the Windows 7 installation disc or repair disc into your DVD drive. Be sure that your BIOS is set to boot from the DVD drive unless there is a system disk. So, what should happen is, that your PC will boot from the Windows 7 DVD.
When the installer has booted, simply choose your prefered language, as you would do when you installed Windows 7. On the next screen you get the install option. Don’t press that though. Underneath, with smaller text, is an option to repair. Press “Repair” to choose that option. Once it hits the next screen, it will ask if you would like to repair from a system image, and this is what you want. It will scan your drives, find the image you made earlier, and proceed. On a short note, I would make sure that only my target disk, the SSD, and the disk which holds the system image are connected to the PC. That way you can’t make any errors, and format any other important discs. Anyhow. Press the button to fullfill the task, and let it work. It warns you, that it will format and replace all data on the disk, but that’s fine, since that’s what we want. And aslong as you only have your new SSD disk and the disk with your system image connected, there is no worries.
Now lean back, and watch it restore your system image onto your new SSD disk. Once it’s done, it will reboot, and your system is now on your new and fast SSD.

Small tips!
Activating AHCI
If you installed Windows 7 previously with your motherboard set to AHCI mode instead of IDE mode your settled. If your motherboard runs in IDE mode though you really want to set it to run AHCI instead, since it’s faster. Some claim you need to reinstall Windows to archieve this, but that’s not true. Thing is, you need to do two very simple things to activate AHCI.
1. Activate AHCI in Windows first!
There’s a brilliant guide on how to activate AHCI in Windows from Microsfot here! Since it’s written in danish, I’ll just re-write it here in english. So here’s how to activate AHCI in Windows, which needs to be done first before you activate it in your BIOS.
1a. Close all your open programs in Windows.
2a. Click Start (the windows logo in your taskbar) and type regedit in the searchfield.
3a. Open regedit, and do a search for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci
4a. Right click on the “Start” entry it found under Msachi, and select “Properties”
5a. The value will most likely say “3″. Change that value to “0″ (zero).
6a. Quit regedit, and reboot your PC. AHCI has now been activated.
2. Activate AHCI in your BIOS
When your PC boots up, press Delete, F2 or whatever your BIOS prompts you to press to enter setup. When you’re inside your BIOS, go to the harddisk configuration menu. Now go to where it says SATA Setting or similar, and it will probaly stand as “IDE”. Simply select “IDE” press enter, and choose AHCI from the drop-down menu. Once it’s set to AHCI, press escape, save and exit.
Your SSD will now run in AHCI mode, and gain some speed. Notice, that it is very important to activate AHCI in Windows before you activate it in the BIOS. If you do not activate it in Windows first, you’ll simply get a blue screen upon loading Windows. If that happens, just go to your BIOS and set SATA mode back to IDE, then boot Windows, and activate AHCI as described above, reboot, and jump back into BIOS and activate AHCI as described.

Making use of your former harddrive
What I did here was simply plugging my old drive back in the SATA connector while having Windows booted on my SSD. Doing it like this will prevent your old disk from booting the system rather than your SSD. Windows will find the drive, but you won’t be able to see or use it. Well, not untill you reformatted it. To do this, click on the start button, and hover your mouse over the “Computer” button. Now right-click, and choose “Manage”. In the manager, go to “Disk Management”, and find your previous system disk, ie. your old HDD from which you cloned Windows 7. In the most right side of your disk describtion you’ll see it says that the drive is offline. Right-click on the drive, and set it to “online”. Now you’ll be able to delete it’s partitions, and to reformat it. Presto, now your old drive is free again, and it won’t bother your SSD disk during boot.

I hope you find this guide useful. It’s how I did it, and it works great for me.

Additional tweaks for Windows 7
This site here has some additional tweaks for you if you use Windows 7 and an SSD. Read it through carefully though, and also note the comments. Also note, that Windows 7 will make some of those weaks on it’s own, once it detects the SSD.

Another quick tip: Make Windows 7 shut down faster
Open Registry Editor and go to the following location:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\

In the right side, double click on “WaitToKillServiceTimeout” and edit the Value Data and click on OK and close the Registry Editor.

NOTE: The Value Data should be from 2000 to 20000 Milliseconds. The default will be 12000 Milliseconds. I’ve set my own to 2000, and the PC now shuts down fairly fast. Nice for reboots atleast.


Posted in Zhe Rest

52 Responses

  1. Leon

    It doesn’t work for me.
    It states that there is no disk it can recover the image to.

    And yes the SSD disk is recognized because it shows up in the list of possible disks to exclude.

  2. Sonic

    That’s weird. I simply went to the bios and made it find and add the disk, unplugged my hdd with windows on it, and it worked fine. I also got the option to exclude my SSD in the recovery window, but since I was cloning to it I didn’t obviously.

    What drive are you trying to clone to? As in, what brand, size etc.?

    Also, are you sure your diskimage you made has a small enough partition/size that it fits on your new SSD?

  3. Leon

    I didn’t even need to go to the BIOS, as it recognizes the attached disks automaticaly. I just need to press F10 after the restart and then I can choose, from a list, which drive to boot from.

    I have 1TB HDD with ~80GB system partition and another partition with 630GB which contains a few programms and games installed(thus I want to cloen it as well) and 2 another not important partitions.

    I want to clone it to my new X25-M Intel SSD 80GB.
    The content of my both 2 first partitions is about 35BG(20GB from system partitions and the rest from the programs partition).

    I didn’t do step 1, because the image size is much smaller than 80GB so I thought it’s enough.

    I’m thinking about installing new Win7 and migrate settings/files from the original. It’s frustrating :(

  4. Sonic

    Yeah, I thought it would fit nicely also, since my image was only 51 GB big. However, it told me that it wouldn’t fit on my disk. Therefor I did partition my system drive just like 30 GB under the capacity of the SSD, so I was sure it would fit on the SSD.

    So, does the recovery DVD tell you that:
    A: There isn’t sufficient space on your drive
    or
    B: That there is no drive to clone to?

    I’d imagine, that if you try to partition your system drive down to 60 GB, it will fit on the SSD without any problems. So basically, partition it to 60 GB, make a new disk image of it, and try to recover from the DVD again. You have to remember, that Windows 7 has some hidden partitions also, so if your main partition is 80 GB it won’t fit on a 80 GB SSD.

    I’m not sure this will help you in your case, but that’s what I did, and it worked like a dream.

    Lemme know how you’re getting along.

  5. Leon

    Hi,

    I’ve already tried something similar. I shrinked the system partition of the HDD to ~64GB, made a new image of it and tried the same again – nada!

    It doesn’t report anything has to do with space. It just states that there is no disk on which restoring the image is possible. Again – the SSD is recognizable drive as it shows also in command prompt.

    Maybe it expects to get a disk with the same signature or something.

  6. Sonic

    Very odd I’d say.
    All I can advise you is to make 100% sure the disk is activated in your BIOS. Recovery mode might be able to exclude the disk, but if it isn’t activated in your BIOS, you won’t be able to put data on it.

    What you also could try is to let it be connected when you boot Windows, and format it in Windows. I don’t know if you tried that.

    So basically, make sure it’s activated in your BIOS, if that doesn’t help, take it into Windows, partition it there and format it (your SSD that is).

    Let me know how it’s going with that.

  7. Leon

    I finally succeeded!

    In a different way. I used EASEUS disc copy application to:
    1. copy the hidden partition to SSD.
    2. copy the system partition to SSD right after it.
    3. Removing the HDD>
    4. changing the new system partitions’ in SSD letter to C via DISKPART from Win7 installation DVD.
    5. Making the hidden partition in SSD to be active, again, using DISKPART.
    6. It still didn’t work because of “boot failure”. I did restart, again, with the Win7 DVD and applied the automatic repair there – it fixed the trouble and it worked.
    7. installed back the HDD – it didn’t do any problems and was just assigned different letters to its 1st 2 partitions(ie the hidden and system, the hidden is no more hidden now).

    I hope the above can be helpful for people who failed doing so your way(even though it isn’t a step-by-step because I didn’t write how exactly to use DISKPART).

    Thanks for you help dude.

  8. Sonic

    It’s odd that you had to manually copy the hidden partition, since Win7 disk image tool should copy it over also, but nonetheless, great that it worked out for ya in the end :)

    Have fun with your SSD, I know I do :)

  9. Shawn

    Hello Sonic,

    Do i need to set alignment on the X25-M if i wanna clone from my velociraptor HDD to the X25-M?

    Thanks

  10. Sonic

    No, Windows 7 own disk image tool will set the correct allignment. I tested this, and it works perfect.

  11. Shawn

    How do you check whether the alignment is good?

  12. Shawn

    btw, the win 7 disk image tool, it’s just like any other cloning tools that will clone the ENTIRE C:\ drive?

  13. Sonic

    You can find an online alignment calculator here: http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/other/157

    And yes, the Windows 7 Disk Image tool is just like any other clone-tool, just easier to use and understand, and doesn’t screw your alignment over. That’s why it’s as cool as it is :)

  14. Shawn

    So basically once i “clone” into my X25-M SSD, i input the values into this calculator and it will check whether it’s aligned?

  15. Sonic

    Yes, that is correct :)

  16. Colin Pastuch

    PC Build:
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
    Western Digital Raptor 74gb to Intel X-25m Gen 2

    Sonic this is the best guide I have ever seen! I LOVE YOU MAN!

    Backup:
    Used the FANTASTIC WIndows 7 image backup tool just like this guide says.

    Imaging Process:
    Then I used the windows 7 repair disk to boot from. Once in the bootcd I ran the tool to restore from image. I had to run it a couple of times before it found the image (Odd). Once the scan did find the image it started to load but advised me I needed to restart and run the tool again. It does this because a reboot is required if your SSD isn’t already partitioned. After the restart I ran the tool again and it completed the restore perfectly.

    SSD Windows 7 Optimizations:
    The author was 100% correct to suggest enabling AHCI in WIndows 7 and then in the BIOS. It improved ALL of my disk performance by 10%, enables NCQ and allows TRIM to function.

    SONIC: You made a mistake when copying Microsofts instructions for enabling AHCI: You missed these lines:

    In the right pane, right-click Start in the Name column, and then click Modify.
    In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
    On the File menu, click Exit to close Registry Editor.

    TRIM:
    The Trim command should be enabled by default on Windows 7, but if you want to check to make sure do this

    Command prompt(Run as Administrator)> fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify

    DisableDeleteNotify = 1 (Windows TRIM commands are disabled)
    DisableDeleteNotify = 0 (Windows TRIM commands are enabled)

    DISK RESIZING:
    Finally I used Partition Wizard to resize my OS drive from 69gbs to 74gbs. It worked perfectly.

    FINAL STEP:
    Now that you have a perfectly working TRIM enabled WIndows 7 install MAKE A NEW IMAGE! Backup Backup Backup!

    Then thank Sonic for all his hard work. Your the man dude!

  17. D-MAN

    ***Note*****
    You have to change the start entry to 3(left that part out).

    *****Important Note********

    Activating AHCI

    This worked on one computer and would blue screen others 0x00000007b(driver). I had to follow the steps changing the reg and also changed HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStor start(dword) to 3. (I looked up the current driver for my storage controller and set the corsponding reg entry to 3)

  18. Ray

    I can only second Colin’s statement… thank you Sonic! This is a fantastic guide!

    Before finding this page I read many confusing forums that focused on alignment and third party imaging tools. Your recipe is way easier than anything else I found… and it worked!

    I had a bit of trouble due to the ~18 GB recovery partition that came with my Dell… but once I removed it and got my original hdd OS booting again, the guide worked almost perfectly for me.

    I had an additional hiccup during my first attempt to restore to my 60 GB vertex 2… apparently shrinking the OS partition on my hdd down to 50 GB wasn’t enough. I reduced it further to 40 GB and tried again, and it worked beautifully.

    I made a few other simultaneous adjustments… so I’m not entirely sure that it was the partition size that caused my problem. After failing the first time, I booted back into the original hdd OS, shrunk the partition, formatted the new ssd with zeros, and created a new OS image. It’s possible I had made a mistake with the first image, or that the factory delivered state of the ssd wasn’t compatible with the Windows 7 restoration tool.

    So for those of you for which this technique didn’t work the first time out… don’t give up. You probably just need to make some minor tweak somewhere.

    Thanks Sonic!

  19. Greg

    I have followed this guide but have a problem. When I go to repair to load the previously saved image, the system cannot see the drive. I saved the old image to an external hard drive. I have subsequently loaded Windows 7 Starter on the drive and can easily see the external drive but it is not identified when I go to repair. What can cause the failure to see the drive image in repair mode?

  20. Sonic

    Good question. I’ve heard of people having this problem before. I think what you might wanna do, is shrink your Windows 7 partition more, before making an image of it. If the image of your windows partition is bigger than your SSD, it won’t reckognize your SSD as a viable source for the cloning process.

    Try this, and lemme know how it goes.

  21. Staunch

    Sonic, Awesome guide!!!
    It was fairly straight forward too, which amazed me. Not too much with W7 is that easy normally.
    As a note, the only problem that I had occure was with the .pst folders for Outlook 2010, and that was only really because they are stored on another HDD so it didn’t link up straight away.
    All good now, Thanks for saving me days of setting and installing.

  22. Alex

    @Greg I had the same problem and installed Win7 completly new on my SSD (I think this is the better alternative than first defrag and then shrinking). Then I cloned the old Win partition to the new. I used Norton Ghost but other tools would do the job also I guess.

  23. Tyler

    Hi,
    Great Guide!
    Do you think I need to save the recovery partition that came with my hp? I would like to delete it to save space. Also, just so I get it right, you want the installer to repair the image from the external drive to the target SSD? Will the installer automatically force this path?

  24. Andrew

    I am trying to create and image of my new HP computer and transfer to my 60GB OCZ Agility. I notice that when I try making the image it includes a 12GB recovery partition that causes the total image to go up to ~40GB. Anyone know how to remove the recovery partition to make the image smaller and save SSD space and if this will cause any problems? Thanks!

  25. Bryan

    Sonic – Great tutorial, thanks for posting. I have followed this process but am stuck getting 0×80042412 errors.

  26. Bryan

    Sorry hit “Submit” early.

    My setup is moving from a 300GB HDD to a 160GB SSD (OCZ Agility 2) in a Thinkpad x201 running W7 Pro.

    Before I shrunk the partition, I got the 0×80042403 error. I think shrunk to ~30GB and now am stuck getting the 0×80042412 error. I’m wondering if copying over the OEM utility partition is creating an issue?

    Thanks for any ideas.

  27. Bryan

    Sonic, great guide, very clear. I’m also experiencing a problem–I am stuck on getting 0×80042412 errors when trying to restore.

    I shrunk the partitions on the original 300GB HDD to about 30GB and used the Windows tool to create the system image and boot repair disc. But when I try to restore to the (brand-new) 120GB SSD, it gives the 0×80042412 error “No disk can be found.” I tried re-shrinking the partitions to be exact size of the 120GB, that didn’t work either.

    If I boot into the bios with the SSD installed, I can see the SSD in the list for boot order. I’m not sure what else might be the issue? Grateful for any ideas.

  28. Bryan

    Resolved the issue. Copied my data to external HDD, reset my HDD to factory settings, then used the standard Windows 7 restore functionality to create backup of (now factory default) HDD, swap in new SSD, and restore from external.

  29. Aaron

    Thank you Sonic, every step of the guide worked as you stated. My config was a Lenovo T410 laqtop with a 320GB SATA drive, moving to a new Intel X25 160GB SSD. My goal was to do a simple and free transition from my large SATA drive to a new smaller SSD drive with no reconfiguration. I had planned to use EASEUS Disk Copy but that wouldn’t support my “downsize” requirement and I couldn’t do it locally to the laptop, would have required to use my desktop system.

    Your guide was exactly what I needed and everything worked as stated.

    Your steps allowed me to do everything on the T410 with only the addition of a large enough external USB drive (for the image) which I happened to have on hand.

    Thanks a ton!

  30. bdd

    So does this only work if you are using a HDD that has pretty much nothing on it except the hidden window’s 7 OS on it? Because I can’t get this to work exactly :/ I use windows 7 ultimate. I have a 1tb drive with a lot of games, applications etc. on it. I made a 100gb partition from my c: drive. So it leaves me with 358gb’s free of 830gb’s. I went into create a system image. I tried backing up the files onto the 100.96gb partition but it says there isn’t enough space :o I guess I am not fully understanding step 1 in terms of making the partition? :/

  31. Sonic

    Sorry that your comments wasn’t posted guys. It was drowned in tons of spam this site recieved, so I had to sort it out manually :) Thanks for all your kind words though, I am glad it helped many of you.

    @ BDD – You need to shrink your entire C: partition to be a bit under the size of your target SSD. When the partition has been shrunk, you do a disk image of it through Windows 7 Backup and Restore function in the control panel. If your backup image is from a partition that is say 260 GB big, it won’t fit on say a 160 GB SSD. I would say you would try and shrink your partition to like 60 or 80 GB, and then do an image of it, where after you can clone it to a 100 GB disk.

  32. croll

    Based on my experience, the safest way to transfer data with system is cloning the whole system located hard disk.
    I only find two utilities can do quick work
    1. todo backup
    http://forums.v3.co.uk/showthread.php?p=1273228
    also there is an good instruction to guide you.
    2. driveimag
    http://www.driveimage.com
    easy but a little bit of unstable

  33. Jonathan

    Hello,
    here it’s not working.
    Firstly it said that I need to format the ssd. So I did it.
    Then it said that a disk (that I unplugged) was still active in the bios.
    So I checked everything, becouse it was inactive in the bios. changed some other things.
    Now it says it can’t find the ssd.
    The ssd is listed in the device that I can deactivate when going to restore win 7.

    Maybe I’m having problems becouse I have dual boot win 7/xp?
    In the image it created there are both win 7 and xp. There is for me no way to change it.
    I don’t have any intention of touching the xp.

    Maybe it’s giving me problems becouse I have the image on a hdd with 2 partitions?
    I might move the image to another hdd not partitioned. (to be sure have about 5 hdd to try with)
    The reason I was trying the move of OS in your way, was becouse I corrected some functions in win 7 like activated quick launch, deactivated the unuseful toolbar in explorer.
    I also added xplorer 2, to be able to see the column folder size.

    I installed classic shell, to have a decent explorer.

    This to say that I worked many hours and changed windows 7 to make it “almost decent”. Still with win xp I have a better control on my os.

    I actually have 30-40 programs and games installed. I think I will have to reinstall win7 and everything (tank you microsoft) from the beginning. Waiting for a rainy day to do it.

    Cheers

  34. chad

    do any of you guys live in teh SF Bay Area..and wanna make a few bucks installing my corsair force 80gb ssd?
    thanx

  35. Jonathan

    Haha! Chad I would like to be there. Unless you installed a huge amount of apps I suggest you reinstall from the beginning

  36. Glen

    Hello everyone,

    I have a 250gb hdd that I want to clone to my new intel 160gb SSD but Im having a few doubts and I need some help!!

    My HP HDX dragon has two hard drives both 250gb, the first drive holds the active boot and system with another partition for HP recovery, the second hdd is my game and music making software(nothing needs to be done with this drive)

    I have acronis and I cloned my hdd to ssd allowing acronis to adjust the sizes in respect of hdd sizes. When I swapped over the drives after completing cloning it would not boot I replaced the original hdd and when I loaded the ssd within a caddy I noticed that the HP recovery section was in the red and nearly all used space!

    I have been scratching my head with this but I hope its an easy fix.

    any help would be great,

    thanks

    Glen

  37. stab99z22

    Old system drive: WD Raptor 36GB
    New drive: Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB

    I read the guide and most of the comments. Tried using the built-in Backup and Restore funtion in Windows 7 but since I’ve moved some of the stuff Windows 7 wants to backup on to my larger second drive the total backup Windwos wanted to make would exceed the capacity of my SSD.

    So I just went to the EASEUS website and downloaded the free home version of the app: http://www.todo-backup.com/products/home/download.htm

    I installed the SSD in my system, formatted it using NTFS (in one big partition) and used the clone feature of the EASEUS program (did not the sector-by-sector method – I left it unchecked).
    Tried booting from it and it worked without a glitch the 1st time :-)

    Afterwards I enabled ACHI in Windows 7 using regedit and the guide in the article. Enabled it in BIOS and checked that TRIM is enabled (using the guide in one of the above posts).

    And now to enjoy the faster system :-)

  38. Jacko

    Hi,
    excellent tut, however neither that or the suggested fixes for the “No disk can be found” issue using DISKAPRT has worked.
    Eventually i actually installeda fresh win7 pro onto the ssd. Once done i booted into WinRE and tried restroing the image again (albeit the SSD now had proper partitions), but still got the “No disk can be found” error.
    so i booted into windows, loaded up Backup and Restore, but it couldn’t even find the image on the mounted usb hdd. ???
    i’m totally stuck now, so any help would be most appreciated.
    BTW, this is for a laptop, hence the need to clone the drive as it has all the necessary drivers for everything installed. Win7 doesn’t find them all.

  39. Jacko

    Forgot to mention, i’m not to clued up on the alignment thing. Could this be causing the issue?
    I reduced the c: partition on the old drive down to 40gb before imaging it, so it should easily fit into the 80gb X25-M SSD.

  40. Implaer

    i have another problem.

    My C partition is 86GB of which 71GB is filled. I created a backup, which is about 60GB. I try to restore to 120GB SSD and windows recovery starts nagging about SSD being to small for my image and that it won’t be able to recover.
    Repair fails and I have to reboot.
    Any ideas?

  41. ciscokid

    It works like a charm! Although I had to work through win 7 system backup and restore issues from external drive.

  42. Daniel

    @Implaer
    I’ve noticed when doing the Win7 backup, that it sometimes wants to backup files from more than the C drive. This mostly happens when you have some of your system or program files spread over several partitions or disks. When doing the Win7 backup, does it say it wants to backup from any other partition than C:?

  43. Implaer

    @Daniel
    Not really. Only C drive.
    But I kind of figured that error out. It was due to the fact that my USB drive was set as a system one. Hence I partitioned my SSD. However, now I get infamous error about the drive I am trying to recover to, not being a suitable one. :|

  44. Implaer

    The error code being 0×80042417.

  45. Daniel

    Hm, well I guess you have to delete your ssd’s partition, and reformat it. I think you can do so in Windows disk management.

  46. Implaer

    Did. Failed :)

    Anyway… will reinstall windows 7. :)

  47. fickit

    Thanks for the tutorial.
    Worked great!
    [upgraded to a larger HD instead of SD]

  48. Clogger

    Nice guide… thought you might want to add in your steps for HDD prep PRIOR to imaging to an SSD would be to remove the Windows 7 hibernation file, this will give you back a few GB’S and it is really not needed.

    Lots of info on web for this easy step, http://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-7/windows-7-delete-hibernation-file-hiberfil-sys/

    I am in the middle prepping my SSD and was looking to shrink it when I came across your guide.

    Good work.

  49. Anark

    Works perfectly thank you for the guide..i myself changed from a 600Gig HDD to a 120 gig SSD not problems at all

  50. fdhealy4

    I downsized my HDD from 500 GB to 200 GB after defrag with Perfect Disk, using boot defrag, and resizing with my Partition software disk. Everything works great so far but when I look at my HDD in Win 7 Disk Management it shows on the resized partition “Healthy (Boot, Pagefile, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)” Are things ok to proceed?
    Thanks

  51. Mike from Ohio

    Great tutorial! I added a Crucial 256GB M4 to my Win 7 system. Everything went very smoothly. Changing from a 500GB drive.

  52. Daniel

    @fdhealy – yeah, I’d say so. Your SSD will take over, just be sure to pop out the original hdd when you’ve done cloning, so you won’t be getting conflicts in the first time booting up. When booted again, and your clone is good, you can pop in the old drive, and delete partitions/format etc.