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Moving Windows Vista 64 from large to small HDD

Posted on 2009-07-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Hi all,

I recently ordered a new PC that had Vista Ultimate 64-bit pre-installed on it, with full supporting media.  It has two hard drives, a primary Intel 80GB SSD and a secondary 300GB WD Raptor for my documents.  I proceeded to populate the SSD it will all my programs (all document data is kept on a the secondary Raptor drive).

Unfortunately the SSD crashed terminally and had to be returned for a replacment.  In the meantime, I reinstalled Vista on the 300GB Raptor and all is almost back to where I was before the SSD crashed.

However, I do notice a considerable difference in speed for the applications I am running and intend to once again use the replacement SSD as the primary Windows and Programs drive when it arrives.

My question is - having gone to all this trouble reinstalling all my programs etc - can I clone the Windows install onto the SSD from the Raptor, rather than go thru the whole lengthy process again.

I have Acronis TrueImage Home 2009 which will clone HDDs fine but only when they are the same size (or partition size).  If I install a fresh copy of Vista on the replacement SSD, can I use Transfer Files and Settings to port over all the programs I have painstakingly installed etc?

In essence, how do I move the Windows install onto a new, smaller HDD?

Many thanks for any assistance!
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Question by:Rdysan
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by:gikkel
gikkel earned 200 total points
ID: 24860528
Its possible, but it won't be fun.  Try to resize your partition to match the replacement drive size and create a complete backup image.  I'm not sure if you'll be able to get it down to 80gb though.  If you use windows vista complete restore, it probably won't work very easily...but you can try wbadmin from the command prompt to attempt the restore.  
It would probably be easier to start fresh on the SSD...you won't be able to transfer program installations using the transfer wizard, but you will be able to retain all your settings.  
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noxcho earned 300 total points
ID: 24861362
It is possible and if you have even small experience with partitioning you could do it easily. First rirght click on My Computer - select Manage - Disk Management. There right click on system partition and select Shrink. You could need to shrink it twice as this feature allows taking 50% of free space only. Then backup system partition and replace the drive. Boot from recovery cd and restore from backup. Reboot to Windows.
So your task is to shrink the partition to the size of your new drive.
I have done this several times, no problem is there. But I used Drive Backup from Paragon. I trust that ati should the same but if not here is a link to DB: www.drive-backup.com
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Author Closing Comment

by:Rdysan
ID: 31603749
Thanks both - not the answer I was hoping for but probably the truthful one, I'm afraid.  Cheers!
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