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Migrating Windows 7 OS from one disk to another

Posted on 2013-02-03
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Last Modified: 2013-02-03
Greetings!

I have Windows 7 Pro OS on 1.5 TB sata disk.
Now I want to buy SSD disk about 120 GB only to host my OS and some new programs I will install.

- The idea is to copy only Windows related stuff and make it bood on new disk SSD which will be new partition C. I know which folders are important, but will it work if I just copy them by hand? I can clone it because its smaller disk. What must I watch out?

- All other stuff installed on my current 1.5TB disk will become partition D, so I need some easy ways that registery related options will know not to look on partition C but on D. So this way I dont need to install anything from scratch.

I know its better to install fresh OS on SSD but I just dont have time right now and I need quick solution for this.

Thanks and regards,
Marc
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Question by:celjan79
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8 Comments
 
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 38848631
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Author Comment

by:celjan79
ID: 38848649
Please read my question again. I dont want to clone the disk.

I will have new SSD as main partion C. And my old 1.5TB disk will become partiton D.
Because SSD is smaller I will only copy windows OS to C. Then I need to tell windows somehow that my programs and data are no longer on partition C but on D.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 38848659
You cannot just copy programs; you generally have to reinstall them. Also you need to reinstall Windows itself.

You have two big issues that copying won't solve.

1. Windows has to go on the new SSD drive. If your prior Windows is OEM, you may have difficulty re-using the license but you can try.

2. You are changing the relationship between Windows and its programs. That, too, requires re-installing the programs.

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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 38848665
Make sure you have a good backup first. Then delete the data you don't want to be on your SSD (just the data, not the installed software). Now shrink your partition to a size that will be a little smaller than your SSD using diskmanagement.

Now use paragon's migrate to SSD utility to get your OS and isntalled software onto the SSD:

http://www.paragon-software.com/products/home/

After that first remove the old HD and boot to your SSD to make sure it runs OK. If that is the case, return the old disk and delete the partition on it, create a new one and assign it a drive letter, preferably D:, then restore your backup of the data to it. You can use backup software like paragon's free backup and recovery utility, or Windows backup, or any other backup tool for this, like cobian backup. In my point of view it is better to backup using a specialized software rather than just copying files manually.
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Expert Comment

by:Thomas WERNHER
ID: 38848667
Hi,

given your question, i would first copy your Windows on the D partition
after i'd do a winpe
i'd then boot in winpe
launch diskpart
change the letters (C becomes D and D becomes C)
use bcdedit to make the bootstore point to the new c:\ boot file

Cheers
T
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LVL 88

Accepted Solution

by:
rindi earned 300 total points
ID: 38848790
You can't copy the OS. it won't work. You need to use the migration tool I mentioned, (Or clone). Also, you can't just move your programs to another partition. You'd have to first uninstall them and after that install them again and tell the installer onto what partition and into which directory you want to install them to. But generally you'll probably have enough room on your SSD for the OS and your installed software. Windows 7 fits very nicely on 20GB, and installed software usually also doesn't need more than another 20GB, except if you install everything you can find, which in my point of view is terrible practice.

Actually I only need to install very little software on a PC, like Antivirus utility, a backup tool firefox, thunderbird and two or three other tools. Practically all the other software I use are tools available via portableapps, and those are first of all free, and they don't really need to be installed in the same way as normal software needs to be. They can also be copied to USB sticks and run from there for example. There are also a large number of apps available so you can practically do everything you need with them:

http://portableapps.com
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Author Closing Comment

by:celjan79
ID: 38848813
Based on options I have this is probably the best solution.

There is also this solution if I dont have enough space:
http://www.ghacks.net/2012/05/29/how-to-move-installed-programs-in-windows/
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Darr247
ID: 38848837
Move enough data files to another partition, shrink C: to smaller than the SSD, clone C: to SSD, then expand the file system on the SSD to take up all its space.

That can all be done with free tools, but since this is already closed, there's no use mentioning them. :-)
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