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Win7 OEM installation - How to move it to a new SSD?

Posted on 2013-11-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-26
My home PC runs an OEM version of Windows 7 from a HDD. I've just purchased a 120GB SSD and would like to move windows onto it.

In Windows Explorer, the HDD shows 119GB free of 465GB, so I can't just image everything onto the SSD. Would this be an option if I could get the disk usage well under 120GB?

I do have a 500GB external HDD I can temporarily put data onto.

Alternatively, is it possible to re-install Windows from scratch onto the SSD? I have burned a "64-bit System Repair Disk" at some point, but the name implies it won't be enough for what I need.
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Question by:Terry Woods
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by:Terry Woods
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I see there are a couple of existing questions about this:
My new SSD is a Mushkin one, so that rules out using the Intel tool for copying an image.

I'd strongly prefer to make the changes without spending money on software licenses; my home computing is generally done on a shoestring budget!
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by:Bing CISM / CISSP
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as you have a 500 GB external hard disk, you may first move all data files from the 465 GB disk to the external drive, and make sure the remaining OS and applications use less than 120 GB. then try cloning the 465 GB drive to the smaller 120 GB SSD, and test if you can boot from the SSD.
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by:Terry Woods
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What do I use to do the clone? I haven't done that before.
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rindi earned 300 total points
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I wouldn't just move data over to the HD, but rather also uninstall software, particularly what isn't essential. You can always install the software again later to another location (not C:\Program Files....) if you really need it. After that you can use most cloning uitlities available to clone your current HD to the SSD. I'd recommend Paragon's Disk Copy and Migration though, or if you don't want to buy any software, then use Paragon's free Backup and recovery, to create an image of your drive, then restore that image to the SSD:

http://www.paragon-software.com/downloads/home/
http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/index.html

A clean installation would be a good chance to clean up your system though, and that's what I'd really recommend. If your PC came preinstalled with the OS, you should have a tool builtin to create factory recovery media. If you haven't made those when you bought the PC (that should always be done as one of the first actions anyway), you should create those now. If you installed the OEM windows yourself, you would still have the DVD to install from...

If you take the reinstallation/factory restore from DVD route, make sure you only have the SSD installed during the installation. Otherwise you could get issues with your boot drive not being C: etc.
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 50 total points
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Do you have the Recovery disks from the manufacturer? Or can you get them?  

A complete install of Windows 7 with Office, Adobe and much else but no data runs happily in about 40 Gb. So Windows 7 and your applications will work happily on a 120 Gb SSD. Use the hard drive for data.  

... Thinkpads_User
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by:Bing CISM / CISSP
Bing CISM / CISSP earned 110 total points
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you may use the free imaging tool offered by Microsoft - SYSPREP and IMAGEX. you may download it from Windows 7 AIK.

FYI - The Windows® Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows® 7
http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/download/details.aspx?id=5753

the benefits using SYSPREP and IMAGEX is its hardware independent. the other imaging tools simply make bit-by-bit mirror from the source to the destination, but SYSPREP removes the machine and hardware dependent information from the OS installation and IMAGEX clones the installed files.
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by:Seth Simmons
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sysprep is not an option here

Microsoft does not support the use of Sysprep to create a new image of a system that was originally created by using a custom OEM installation image or by using OEM installation media.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/828287
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by:Bing CISM / CISSP
Bing CISM / CISSP earned 110 total points
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Microsoft does not support the use of Sysprep to create a new image of a system that was originally created by using a custom OEM installation image or by using OEM installation media.

interesting. the sentence followed is: Microsoft only supports such an image if the image was created by the OEM manufacturer.

it seems to be a policy issue not a technical issue?
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by:McKnife
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Of course no technical issue. "not supported" in MS-language only means "doable but not recommended because we don't help you if problems arise".
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by:Bing CISM / CISSP
Bing CISM / CISSP earned 110 total points
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"not supported" in MS-language only means "doable but not recommended because we don't help you if problems arise".

so why not just do it? :-)) here is EE not MS and that's why people come here helping each other.
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by:Terry Woods
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Thanks everyone for the help! I haven't completed this project yet, but will hopefully remember to post a comment on the success of it when I have. The free Paragon tool will probably be my first choice to try.
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