clone image fom big hard drive to small hard drive

Posted on 2011-09-12
Last Modified: 2012-06-27

I have a hard drive that is 120GB big but only uses about 20 GB of data. It is imaged from our corporate office  with all the right software we need. I just bought a new 80 GB SSD and I cant seem to clone it with clonezilla, with DIsk Utility (mac) using an NTFS support plug in or any other software. I do get to clone it but when it boots, it gets to a windows boot loader like image and crashes, even if I clone it to a regular non-SSD drive. The only way the image will work is if I copy it to a HD with the same or bigger size. I even used a hardware stand alone cloner. I wanna clone it to fit a 30-40 GB partition so I can install other OS on the other partition. The drive itself seems to have a very small (recovery partitionn) empy space and the windows 7 partition which is actualy and installer (imaged installed that just configuers your hardware but then all your programs and everying from the corporate image are there. It does not load ghost or anything.

Any ideas how I can go about doing this?? I can wait to use my new SSD!
Question by:kaosmadness
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Expert Comment

ID: 36525443
I would first backup the drive to an image that can be restored in case anything goes wrong.

Then reduce the partition size of the C: drive from 120 GB to, let's say 40 GB ... and then clone and see if it works.

LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Gerwin Jansen
ID: 36525449
Windows7 Disc Management can shrink a volume. Backup your disc first (using clonezilla for example), then resize your 'C' volume down to 30 or 40Gb and clone it so it will fit onto your SSD drive.

Author Comment

ID: 36525508
Thank you, the problem is that the drive will "install windows 7" from the image the moment I plug it in before I can get to any settings. I want to do a little differnt setup with new hardware and also add OSX, and linux (yes, on windows hardware) to all boot from SSD while using a HDD as storage. I am not sure its the best idea, so thank you kindly for your advice.  

Author Comment

ID: 36525515
Oh... Unless I can do this plugging it in to an extrernal drive enclosure???

Accepted Solution

ZephyrTC earned 500 total points
ID: 36525551
I would back up the drive to an image and then perform the following:

Use Gparted from :
this utility can be used to change the partition size.

Then use my favorite freeware HDD Cloning utility: EaseUS Disk Copy

Both are VERY self explanatory and straight forward in their use, complete with a GUI interface, but please don't be shy if you need any help with completing these tasks.
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Expert Comment

by:Gerwin Jansen
ID: 36525623
>> Unless I can do this plugging it in to an extrernal drive enclosure???
Yes you can create an image from the drive that way, resizing using W7 disc management won't work :)

First create the backup, then resize the partition using gparted (which is on UBCD btw), create the image and restore it onto your SSD.
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Author Comment

ID: 36525768
Yup, I used gparted, both from the live CD and from linux, but they seem to corrupt the image (maybe when I clone it using gparted) but I had sometimes both partition (the one being cloned and the target one) get to be unbootable (usually mac). I will try doing the resize in gparted and then the clone from EasuUS but i think my problem is with that free space between the recovery and the actual partition. Maybe its not free space?

Thanks again!
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Expert Comment

ID: 36527652
i suggest to use Backup & Recovery from paragon will auto adjust the image to the new disk :

Expert Comment

ID: 36529575
I've done this plenty of times - including exactly what you described big hdd->ssd on my personal laptop.

1. I booted from
2. shrunk all the partitions (you may have to shrink the nested partitions separately) to under the SSD size
3. reboot to verify large harddisk works with new , smaller size (also does the chkdsk)
4. boot partedmagic again - connect both disks to the system with a caddy or usb adapter
5. type in fdisk -l to display both drives/partitions (this is read only)
6. use the following command and replace the names with real device names from fdisk run the
 dd if/dev/old_disk of=/dev/new_disk

Open in new window

7. swap the boot drives, and you may have to grow the partition on the SSD if there is too much freespace.  but that is a short time.
LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Gerwin Jansen
ID: 36530261
@JRoyse - sorry to intrude but "3. reboot to verify large harddisk works with new , smaller size (also does the chkdsk)" is not possbile, see this comment above "the problem is that the drive will "install windows 7" from the image the moment I plug it in before I can get to any settings"

Expert Comment

ID: 36530485
dd if=/dev/old_disk of=/dev/new_disk

"dd" will do a bit for bit clone.  The computer will boot without question.  The other tools mentioned may not do that.  If a bit-for-bit clone doesn't work to lets say another identical platter HDD the same size than you have something else going on with the HDD - and security messures that someone has put in place.  but I doubt it.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 36713968
This ended up working very well!! Thanks for the advice and sorry for the late reply.

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