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Windows 7 Pro - Swap System Hard Drive

Posted on 2013-06-19
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Last Modified: 2013-06-20
Hi,

I have a perfectly good working system.  I want to replace the current hard drive (1TB partitioned into two drives for system and data) with an SSD or Hybrid so that the new drive becomes the system drive and the old drive becomes a physically separate data drive but with the old system partition in place so that I can swap should I need to.

You'd think that all I need to do would be copy an image from the system partition to the new drive, change the slave pins on the back of the two drives, and then boot up.  I get conflicting opinions as to the ease with which I can do this.  The last thing that I want to do is to have to rebuild the system on the new drive from scratch.

Can someone please advise of a simple, step by step, full proof method to achieve my aims without all the hassle of a completely new install?

Many thanks
Chris
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Question by:Chris_Ryan
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Assisted Solution

by:tailoreddigital
tailoreddigital earned 600 total points
ID: 39261111
If your system is smaller than the SSD, i'd image it with Acronis or Paragon, or whatever image software you prefer.

If your system is larger than the new SSD, i'd resize the partition to make it small enough to fit.  I personally like Minitool for partition management,  
http://www.partitionwizard.com/free-partition-manager.html

Apply the newly created image to the new drive.

Once you've tested that the system is running on the new drive, delete the old system partition and extend the data partition to include the old system space.

AND DEFINITELY backup everything to somewhere else.


"change the slave pins"

How old is this computer?  Are the drives IDE?

Nice thing about your plan is that you don't have to format the original system until you see that the newly imaged drive is functioning properly.
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aleghart earned 1000 total points
ID: 39261504
Paragon Hard Disk Manager is fifty bucks.  I've used it to migrate desktops, laptops, and servers (with the server version) to new drives.

There is a "Migrate OS to SSD wizard" that helps with migrations from HDD to SSD.  Or, you can:

move your "data" to an external drive or separate partition
reduce swap to 0 or as close as you can get it
empty trash, browser history, etc.
defragment drive
reduce partition size to smaller than the new SSD
copy partition to new SSD

I haven't tried the wizard yet.

As with any operation like this...backup, verify backup, then backup to an external location for good measure.  :)
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LVL 47

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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 400 total points
ID: 39261703
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