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Clone boot drive question

Posted on 2016-08-19
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
Hi,
I have windows 8 running on a PC I built for my son a while ago. The SSD that is being used as his C drive is pretty much full - it was only 120GB and at the time it seemed enough.
I'm amazing at how inexpensive SSD drives are now. I want to get a larger SSD but would like to avoid reinstalling the OS and all applications.
Is it possible (and easy) to clone my boot drive 120 GB SSD to a new larger SSD drive and then boot from that?

Thanks -- suggestions and software recommendations to do this are very welcome.

Mike
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Question by:nachtmsk
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Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016 earned 1000 total points
ID: 41763042
Hi Mike,

I use Casper to clone:
http://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/

I run it every evening in the wee hours (it utilizes the Windows Task Scheduler to schedule jobs) on several machines to clone the hard drives (a mix of HDD, SSD, and hybrid). It has an intelligent cloning mechanism so that it copies only the necessary tracks. The first run takes a while, but after that, it's extremely fast. It can clone to the same size drive or to a larger one or even to a smaller one, as long as there is enough space on the smaller one to house the used (non-free) space from the larger one. I also use it often as you want to — just a one-time clone to go to a larger SSD (or sometimes a smaller one). I recently cloned a 512GB SSD to a 275GB SSD, and then a 500GB SSD to a 1TB SSD. It's not free, but it's reasonably priced and worth every penny.

Two other well-regarded (also non-free) products are Acronis and Macrium:
http://www.acronis.com/
http://www.macrium.com/

I used Acronis previously, but now prefer Casper.

If you're looking for something that is free, I've heard good things here at EE about these (some may be free only for non-commercial use — check the licensing terms for each):
Clonezilla
DriveImage XML
EaseUS Disk Copy Home
Paragon Backup&Recovery Free

But I haven't tried them as I do all of my cloning now with Casper. Here's a 5-minute EE video Micro Tutorial, Cloning a Hard Drive with Casper, showing how to do it. As a disclaimer, I want to emphasize that I have no affiliation with this company and no financial interest in it whatsoever. I am simply a happy user/customer. Regards, Joe
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by:rindi
rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 41763097
Most new SSD's come with a utility which allows you to move the system to the new disk.

If there is no such tool with the new disk, then the best tool would be paragon's backup and recovery. As this is a privately used PC you can use the free version. I can also particularly recommend it as your regular backup tool.

https://paragon-software.com/home/br-free/
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by:nobus
nobus earned 500 total points
ID: 41763422
i also use the paragon software so +1
but in essence, any of the many free tools will do that

some additional info : if you can connect both drives to a working pc  - as extra drives -
you can directly clone from one disk to the other
if you have only one, say a laptop, you have to make an image file of your drive (imaging)
then boot from the BOOTABLE CD you made from the used product - Casper or paragon - to restore that file to the new , emty drive
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by:nachtmsk
ID: 41763572
Thanks everyone. All excellent advice!
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Expert Comment

by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE 2015&2016
ID: 41763631
You're welcome. Happy to help. Good luck with the clone! Regards, Joe
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