troubleshooting Question

Seek Advice on Cloning Windows 7 Boot Drive Before Upgrade to Windows 10

Avatar of Chip Levinson
Chip LevinsonFlag for United States of America asked on
Windows 10* SSD* Disk CloningWindows OSWindows 7
6 Comments1 Solution18 ViewsLast Modified:
I am (finally) getting ready to upgrade my primary desktop PC from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro.  I built this PC way back in 2012 and the boot drive has accumulated a lot of legacy programs and files over the years.  I have put off upgrading due to concerns about losing applications in the process (that may not be so easy to install from scratch on W10).

My current boot drive (drive letter C) is a Samsung SSD 850 Pro 512GB drive. I want my new boot drive to be a Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB drive (installed as drive letter H).  My plan is to clean up the current boot drive (about 80% done with that), then clone it to the 1TB SSD drive.  Physically remove the current 512GB boot drive and lock it away as a backup in case the upgrade fails, then upgrade the cloned 1TB drive to Windows 10 Pro.

In a previous thread nobus referred me to the following site for the OS upgrade:
https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/139745-upgrade-windows-10-windows-7-free.html  

A week ago I only had 40GB of free space on the boot drive.  I have since cleaned things up a bit and have 165GB of free space out of 512GB. I am going to now look at the applications that are installed and uninstall any that I would not use in the future (including legacy AV software like fprot, spybot search and destroy, adaware, etc.).

My PC has many open bays for HDDs. Both SSDs are installed in the desktop, along with several Western Digital HDDs. Once my current 512GB boot drive is ready for cloning, what is the best way for me to clone it to the 1TB SSD?  I seem to recall Samsung offering an app for doing this, but I purchased the 1TB drive a couple of years ago.  I also have an old version of Acronis (2011 I believe). I am looking for advice on the best (and preferably cost-effective tools) for cloning.

Finally, I would appreciate advice on actual steps to follow. My plan is to do the following;

Step 1) Reformat 1TB H drive to be sure nothing is on it (I have been using it as a temporary storage space for 2 years).
==> Should the new drive be NTFS or something else? I heard about ReFS but know nothing about it.  My desktop connects to a server running Windows Server 2012, if that matters. (Update: looked into ReFS a little and I think the inability to backup eliminates it as an option). Just want to confirm NTFS is the correct format.

Step 2) Clone the C drive to the H drive using the software that you recommend.  I imagine after I clone the drive I may need to go into disk manager and expand the cloned partition to the full 1TB capacity, correct.

Step 3) Shut down the PC, physically remove the C drive, then turn it on and go into Bios and tell it boot from H and not C.  See if my PC boots and works from the H drive. Use the C for a day or so to make sure the cloned H drive is working. Assuming the cloned drive is working, upgrade it to Windows 10 Pro.
==> I would like the cloned H drive to be labeled C drive moving forward.  Is the best way to do this to go into disk manager, change the drive letter to C, then reboot and go into bios and add back the C drive in the boot path?

Hope this is not too much info. Thank you for your advice!
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
Join our community to see this answer!
Unlock 1 Answer and 6 Comments.
Start Free Trial
Learn from the best

Network and collaborate with thousands of CTOs, CISOs, and IT Pros rooting for you and your success.

Andrew Hancock - VMware vExpert
See if this solution works for you by signing up for a 7 day free trial.
Unlock 1 Answer and 6 Comments.
Try for 7 days

”The time we save is the biggest benefit of E-E to our team. What could take multiple guys 2 hours or more each to find is accessed in around 15 minutes on Experts Exchange.

-Mike Kapnisakis, Warner Bros