Moving Windows 7 to ssd

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Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:29 pm

Is there any problem with making an image of an existing windows 7 installed on a conventional 1GB Sata and then restoring it to a ssd?
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:09 pm

You just need to make sure that your imaging program will restore the partition with an appropriate starting offset, i.e. a multiple of 4k bytes, rather than the 63 sector (32256 byte) offset that was typically used on Windows partitions pre-Vista.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:56 am

bigjohn888jb wrote:Is there any problem with making an image of an existing windows 7 installed on a conventional 1GB Sata and then restoring it to a ssd?

If you fit an installed Windows 7 OS on a 1GB Sata (do these even exist, I think not), that'd set a new world record.

Alas, your typo, you meant a 1TB sata hdd, not a 1GB. :wink:
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:55 am

Yes, I did mean TB. Usually it's my wife that points out my mistakes. She'll be happy to have more help.

What dictates the starting offset - the original drive setup or the image program? I was planning on using Paragon. Is this something I can look up, or do I need to do it to find out?
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:03 pm

The program that writes the image back to the disk determines the offset. This press release for Paragon Hard Disk Manager 11 indicates they've added automatic partition alignment, and Drive Copy 11 does advertise HDD>SSD migration capabilty, so at least the latest versions of their software seem to be optimized for SSDs.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:32 pm

I found that DriveImage XML did it just fine. It's also free.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:41 pm

Plazmodeus wrote:I found that DriveImage XML did it just fine. It's also free.

According to their FAQ, you can't restore an image to a smaller partition. That could be an issue, or at least an inconvenience when migrating to an SSD.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:46 pm

Hmmmmm, that's odd. I swear that is what I did, though I must be wrong.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:53 pm

I believe Acronis has trialware versions of their MigrateEasy and TrueImage products. IIRC both of these tools support partition resizing.

I've also successfully shrunk Windows boot partitions using gparted running from a Linux Live CD, but Acronis would probably be easier to use if one of their trialware versions does what you need.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:08 pm

If one of your drives is a Western Digital, you can use the WD edition of Acronis TruImage from the WD site.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:39 am

just brew it! wrote:I believe Acronis has trialware versions of their MigrateEasy and TrueImage products. IIRC both of these tools support partition resizing.

They do. But their trialware is very limiting! We use the enterprise version of Acronis TrueImage at work - it's awesome.

GHOST was useful back in the day, but now it's no longer a freebie... GHOST history/timeline: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_(software)

The most useful "free" tool I have ever used in situations like these is Clonezilla. It's a miracle worker I tell ya! Use it!
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:36 am

ImageX is another free option that will work.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:08 pm

Use Windows 7's Backup feature to do a full system backup to either an external drive, or across your network. Also create a System Restore Disc at the end.

Replace the hard drive with the SSD.

Boot off the Windows 7 DVD and use the Advanced setup to format it (which will give the SSD appropriate alignment).

Boot from the System Restore Disc. Restore your backup from the external drive or network store.

You're done. This is how I backed up my notebook's SSD, then restored it to another SSD.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:52 am

This system is being backed up to a Windows Home Server. If I did the previous procedure, but restore with the home server boot disk, would that work out the same?
The old disk is 1 TB with 100 GB being used. Planning on restoring to a 128 MB SSD. Would that work? Is that too “tight”? Planning on putting the 1 TB in as a D drive.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:48 pm

bigjohn888jb wrote:This system is being backed up to a Windows Home Server. If I did the previous procedure, but restore with the home server boot disk, would that work out the same?
The old disk is 1 TB with 100 GB being used. Planning on restoring to a 128 MB SSD. Would that work? Is that too “tight”? Planning on putting the 1 TB in as a D drive.


It should. I have a Windows Home Server, so I'm familiar with the backup (which is pretty much the same as Windows 7's). Make sure you back up and restore the Windows 7 recovery partition as well.

I have not gone from a bigger drive to a smaller one though, so I can't say what will happen there.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:01 pm

I am fairly sure that the restore will fail before it really even starts. Since you will not have the same size partition, the recovery SW will balk. HOWEVER, since you are using Windows 7, you have the option to shrink the volume. That may not solve the issue entirely, either. There seems to be a limitation in the shrink based on the location of the last file(s).
If you can do all of that first, then get a backup, then do the restore I expect that you will have success.

Good luck.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:25 pm

OK, I did it. The C> drive was 297 GB with 40 GB used.

First tried going into the Win 7 advanced setup and formatted the SSD and then restoring an image I made in Paragon Backup & Recovery 2011 (free). It looked like it was working, but then once I hooked it up as a boot drive and nothing. Looked at the partition and nothing. Tried a couple other ways to do it – no go.

So now that I wanted to shrink the partition, thought it would be safer to make a test drive. So I restored to a 500 GB but left the size alone. That booted nicely. Looked to shrink the partition and Win 7 would only shrink it to about 160 GB, still too big for the 128 MB SSD. So tried the Paragon partition manager. It would not allow me to directly shrink the partition. It wanted to shrink one and make bigger any that were next to it. Since I still had room on the 500 GB, I created another partition next to it. It then allowed me to increase it’s size while shrinking the C> to 116 MB. Had to do a restart and it made the changes “outside” of Windows. When done, it booted fine. I made a new image of the smaller partition and then restored it to the SSD. Booted up and was like greased lightning.

Thanks for all the help and recommendations.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:34 am

Didn't even give Clonezilla a chance, didja? Oh well. I tried.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:23 am

I did check out the web page. Saw this:

•The destination partition must be equal or larger than the source one

and thought that would not work. Then as I got through the process I did, I realized that what I used had the same problem. I did like that Paragon allowed me to do this within Windows, so I could work on other stuff while this image and shrinkage went on in the background.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:29 am

ImageX is a file based imaging tool.

It would have allowed bigger to smaller, so long as the sum total of files was not larger than the new drive.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:23 pm

If I try this going from an 80 GB 5400 rpm laptop drive to a 120 GB SSD, will Windows 7 figure out that the drive is fast enough to set the SSD optimizations for me, or are there a set of instructions I should follow to make that happen after I've booted from the copied image?

I have the retail version of Acronis True Image Home. I've also got plenty of disk space on other drives to try the backup and restore method. The only part of this three-week old installation that I dread re-doing is the configuration of all of my cable channels & listings in Windows Media Center.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:55 pm

There is no documentation detailing when Windows 7 does the random reads, random writes, or flush tests to determine if the system disk is an SSD and passes the necessary baseline to disable SuperFetch and Readyboost.

Assuming that the normal plug and play process/transition is insufficient. I would focus in the following areas:

--If it's during the hardware detection phase then doing a sysprep before (or after) migration of the OS to another disk would generate the end result you're after.

c:\windows\system32\sysprep\> sysprep /generalize /oobe

This would regenerate the entire disk subsystem. Just don't get in a habit of doing something this. I resets activation and the OS can only handle that so many times without having to start mucking in the plumbing.

--The benchmarks listed above are part of the Windows Experience Index. If it's just a matter of WinSAT running a disk test to enable the functionality it would be a very simple command line task.

Admin Elevated Command Prompt:

winsat diskformal -v -xml "c:\users\<profile>\documents\disktest.xml"

Alternatively you could just run the entire WEI suite.

Control Panel > Performance Information and Tools > Rate this computer (Requires Admin)

--

Frankly, other than double checking that defrag isn't running on the SSD, there's really should not be any need to muck with the OS. It's incredibly unlikely that the system will be faster without SuperFetch and Readyboost. It's also unlikely that leaving the services active will make the system slower.
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:18 pm

Sorry for resurrecting this, but I do have a follow-on question. I am thinking of buying a new SSD myself and pass my G2 down to my brother's machine, which is still using a mechanical drive.

JustAnEngineer wrote:If I try this going from an 80 GB 5400 rpm laptop drive to a 120 GB SSD, will Windows 7 figure out that the drive is fast enough to set the SSD optimizations for me, or are there a set of instructions I should follow to make that happen after I've booted from the copied image?

Ryu Connor wrote:There is no documentation detailing when Windows 7 does the random reads, random writes, or flush tests to determine if the system disk is an SSD and passes the necessary baseline to disable SuperFetch and Readyboost.

Assuming that the normal plug and play process/transition is insufficient. I would focus in the following areas:

--If it's during the hardware detection phase then doing a sysprep before (or after) migration of the OS to another disk would generate the end result you're after.

c:\windows\system32\sysprep\> sysprep /generalize /oobe

This would regenerate the entire disk subsystem. Just don't get in a habit of doing something this. I resets activation and the OS can only handle that so many times without having to start mucking in the plumbing.


I think I get the ImageX part in terms of migrating the data+settings from C: (the whole drive), but has anyone found out whether defrag/superfetch/readyboost is disabled automatically after the SSD is in play? Or is there some documented steps that I need to perform?
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Re: Moving Windows 7 to ssd

Postposted on Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:30 pm

The Windows Experience Index (WEI) is supposed to trigger most of the changes (Readyboost & SuperFetch). The defrag change happens as soon as the system sees the drive report itself as an SSD.

There is no point in having Windows change behaviors. If you want to disable ReadyBoost, fine. That saves you a few megabytes of memory. Windows 8 actually reversed the Windows 7 SuperFetch adjustment. Windows 8 now leaves SuperFetch on even with an SSD as the system disk. As I noted in this thread, cached RAM contents are vastly faster than an SSD.
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