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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a 120 GB Corsair Force 3 SSD to use as my system drive. My current Windows installation is working just fine and I heard there's a way to transfer your current Windows installation to a new drive in a few minutes rather than spending hours and hours re installing each program one by one.

How do I transfer my installation to the new drive to avoid having to re install every program?

Can this be done for free or does it require the purchase of special software?

Thanks
 

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Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

You can clone your whole Hard Drive over to the SSD with Acronis Drive Image. It's not free but works with cloning from a larger drive to a smaller SSD drive which free cloning software doesn't do
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

The SSD is twice the size (120 GB) of my current C: partition (60 GB), so what are the free options?

Thanks
 

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Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

most hd makers have a utility on their website to accomplish this these days
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

I got my SSD and tried Easus HD clone but it will only allow me to select a physical drive and not the c: partition on the drive which makes no sense.

Is there a better free program that supports copying the c: partition from my physical hard drive to the only partition of the SSD?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

I got my SSD and tried Easus HD clone but it will only allow me to select a physical drive and not the c: partition on the drive which makes no sense.

Is there a better free program that supports copying the c: partition from my physical hard drive to the only partition of the SSD?
Edit: I know you said "just use google" so far all the clone programs I tried myself don't actually support cloning the partition.

Isn't the point of a forum like this that people that know the answer can point me to it rather than me spending all day trying one program after the other only to see they don't support what I want?

Please, I know someone knows which software can do this.
 

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Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

You can clone your whole Hard Drive over to the SSD with Acronis Drive Image. It's not free but works with cloning from a larger drive to a smaller SSD drive which free cloning software doesn't do
I don't think any of the Free tools will do what you want. I gave you answer, you just didn't like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

At first you said the free ones did what I want because my SSD is double the capacity of my current C: drive.

I found a program that "works" (xxclone or something like that), but when I click the "make bootable" option after cloning the drive the program crashes, and if I try to boot from the SSD it says disk boot failure.

Even though I want to re install Windows and my software like I want needles in my eyes, $40 for a one time use app is just much too expensive when I'll never use it again.

I'll keep looking as I'm sure there's free software to do a job as simple as cloning a drive to another drive.

Edit:

Wow, WD offers a free version of Acronis whatever it's called.

BTW will Windows still boot on a cloned drive? I heard doing this locks Windows or something. The last program I tried had the option to change the new driver's serial number to the old drive's number, is this safe and a good idea? Is it reversible?

Edit 2: Acronis won't allow me to select any drive for the destination, the computer's 3 hard drives/SSD are listed, but all disabled in the list.

Does the drive need to be formatted or completely blank to be selectable?
 

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Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

You never mentioned in your original post that you wanted to clone just a partition. Most of the free programs are setup to clone a whole drive to another whole drive, not just a single partition to a whole drive. You need an advanced program for that. I hope you find a free one that works for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

Please see my "Edit 2", I got a free version of Acronis from WD but it won't allow me to select a destination drive, does the destination drive need to be formatted or completely blank to be selectable? The help says only the source drive should be disabled.

Edit: I erased the partition on the SSD and it's still disabled in Acronis, but I noticed Acronis is not allowing me to select the specific partition of the drive so all destinations are probably disabled because they're all smaller than the main drive.
 

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Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

Hello, I would like to let you know that regular imaging software to back up or restore information from a regular hard drive to an Solid State Drive will not work since this type of software was not meant to work using Solid State Drives, SSD’s work in a very different way than a regular Hard drive so they won’t work.
But this may work for you
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

Thanks but with a combination of programs I managed to at least get it to boot with a windows boot error, so I used my Windows repair disk and now I have my Windows installation working on my SSD... well not quite.

It works if I plug in only the SSD to the mobo and boots into Windows and was amazed at the speed, but as soon as I plug my old hard drive also, even if I set the SSD specifically as #1 boot priority in BIOS, it insists on booting from the hard drive. The thing is I need my hard drive for mass storage as my C: is for windows and programs only.

Why is it insisting on booting from the hard drive even with the SSD set as the #1 boot device? And with the horror stories of SSDs failing I want to keep my old c:\ partition bootable in case the SSD fails, but don't want it as my main boot device (the SSD I have had been recalled because 100% of them failed within hours or days of use, but I got the revised working version).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

Norton Ghost 15

exactly what you need
I managed to get the OS cloned with the free software.

Now my problem is how to get it to boot from the SSD with the hard drive also connected, if I unplug my hard drive it boots to the SSD fine, but as soon as the HD is plugged in it boots to the HD, even if the BIOS is set to boot to SSD.

So what's the solution for that? And I want to keep the hard drive bootable so removing the OS from the HD isn't an option.
 

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Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

I managed to get the OS cloned with the free software.

Now my problem is how to get it to boot from the SSD with the hard drive also connected, if I unplug my hard drive it boots to the SSD fine, but as soon as the HD is plugged in it boots to the HD, even if the BIOS is set to boot to SSD.

So what's the solution for that? And I want to keep the hard drive bootable so removing the OS from the HD isn't an option.

I dont understand why you need the old HD to be bootable, are u gonna use both windowses? lol however, check your jumper setting!! as your old HD was MASTER i guess the jumper is set to master. set the jumper to slave, guide on how to set to slave schould be noted on the HD close to the jumpers. u might also check if youre using the right cable. If you have an CD-DRIVE replace it with the HD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

Uh... this is 2011, hard drives haven't had jumpers in years. Computers use SATA cables now, those old wide and flat IDE cables that you could plug 2 drives each are long gone, CD drives too.

And SSD disks are known to die without warning, so I want to keep my old partition bootable for if/when the SSD dies.
 

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Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

lol please dont explain me that, i use SATA as well, i just thaught YOU had this kind or sumtin. You never mentioned what type your old disk is. However, its still a connection issue, i just remembered i had almost the same problem when i plugged another drive to my MB. i guess you use the cable from the slot:SATA1 and your CDdrive to SATA3 or similiar,, SWITCH THEM! make sure port S1 is not connected to an "HD". the system will recognize its now a CDdrive instead of a HD , so if your BIOS is configured to boot from SSD it schould work. if not, IDK i never used SSD (i didnt notice at first that your new hd is a SSD)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

I really don't understand what you're saying, you can plug CD or HDs in any SATA port and they will be properly recognized. Maybe older motherboards work like you mentioned but not any of the ones I had and this is at least my 2nd or 3rd with SATA.

Anyway I found it was because I didn't have the proper boot files or records on the new SSD and I found a simple program that makes the boot record and now it boots to the SSD even with the hard drive also plugged in.
 

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Re: How to transfer Windows installation to new drive?

I wouldn't really put off Acronis True Image as a one off thing. It is a wonderful program with a useful array of features that you may enjoy. Features I can think of include ongoing backups, great backup choices, univeral restore (like in your case), mounting of backups, and more.

I think one big problem you will face with making the transfer is first making sure that it is bootable, and secondly making sure Windows itself is bootable (since it is a SSD, not a HDD).

As some of the links below might explain, the transfer isn't as great as a clean install since the clean install will come up optimised for the SSD. The partition alignment might also be a problem.
You might end up using DriveImage XML (free) based on the great information from the third link, however I'm not too sure on it's ability to make things bootable without some hassle on your part (I say this from personal experience quite a while ago).

Moving Windows 7 to SSD
[Solved] How do I transfer Windows 7 from my HDD to an SSD safely? - config-customize - windows-7

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