Solved Migrate Windows 7 to a new Hard Drive?

June 2, 2011 at 16:17:36
Specs: Windows 7 Home Premium x86 (32-bit), 2 GHz / 1022 MB
I have recently bought a new 500GB WD Caviar Black HDD, and I would like to move my entire Windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit) installation to the new drive from my old 80GB one. (Yes, I know, how old is this computer?? Long story.)

I realize questions such as this have been asked before, but I couldn't get anything out of them except that Windows can already do this by itself, no extra software needed. Well, I tried making a System Image using Windows Backup on the 500GB one, and then restoring said image via the installation disc. Well, I didn't realize that you couldn't reformat/repartition the drive that the image itself was on (makes sense, now that I think about it). So, I wasted a few hours tinkering, leading to no real result except for a backup on a drive that is way too big for just that.

I am running out of room on my 80GB drive - I have 4.33GB free at the time of this writing. Can anyone please provide a detailed and crystal-clear way of cloning my hard drive using Windows alone? I would rather not use additional software if possible, even if there are a few good freeware ones (ToDo Backup Free Edition comes to mind).

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Note: My original plan was to have the OS on the 80GB and everything else on the 500GB one. If someone knows how to do this, even better! (Both are SATA, the 80GB I'm pretty sure is SATA II and the new one is SATA III backwards-compatible with SATA II).


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✔ Best Answer
June 6, 2011 at 21:08:04
It is always safest to back up first.
This is going on now for days, if you reinstalled windows and your programs you would have been finished in an hour or two at the most. At some point in time, just cut your losses and reinstall. If you are installing from an install DVD then choose Custom>Format/Partition, delete all partitions and just create the one operating system partition from scratch and format it. After windows is up and running you can create the remaining ones in disk manager from the unallocated space.
If you are using a restoration disk, just let it install and you can fix the partitions later.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.



#1
June 2, 2011 at 18:32:24
Usually companies that sell hard drives offer a program just for that.

If you suspect any hardware changes then you may need to add in drivers or fix later.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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#2
June 2, 2011 at 18:56:48
Your hard drive manufacturer (Western Digital) does offer free software for this purpose. I know that unless it changed recently, all 'boxed' drives came with the CD for this and the OEM (plain packaging, no acc.) did not. You download the software, burn the ISO image to CD, reboot to the CD (set your CD/DVD drive to first in boot order), and follow the instructions for cloning the drive. You can also download PDF file with instructions and print out the related pages you will need. Look here:
http://support.wdc.com/product/down...

Understand that cloning the drive will make a full replacement of the drive, it will not allow you to move programs and not OS (they would not work even if you found a different way). The old drive is going to be slower than your new drive and not as reliable due to the 'mileage' on it. I would recommend dividing the drive into two or three partitions. with two you would make a 100GB-150GB partition for your OS and programs and the rest for your files (clone to this partition and later cut/paste your files to the larger partition). With 3 partitions you would clone to a 100GB partition, uninstall the programs you have install disks for and reinstall them to a second 100GB partition, and then cut/paste your files to the largest of these partitions (approx. 300GB). Then I would recommend taking your original drive and installing it as a second drive, format it and use it as a back up destination (wait until all works correctly since this is your fail-safe to start all again) and set up an automatic back up.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#3
June 2, 2011 at 18:58:28
Okay, thanks, I'll follow your directions tomorrow.

So... let me see if I have this right:

1. Download WD's software (bought the HDD from Canada Computers OEM, no included anything).

2. Reboot with said software burned on disc.

3. Format and partition the new hard drive, with 3 partitions: one for OS, one for programs (I have like no discs for anything, and I JUST downloaded and installed Autodesk 3DS Max for students, a 3.1GB file, which I deleted for some stupid reason), and finally, one for files.
Due to Windows' retarded allocation space, I only have 465GB to start out with, so my final amount for files will likely be less than 300GB. However, thanks to the fact that my files will not be sharing space with my programs, that shouldn't be as much of a problem.

One final question:
How do you install programs to somewhere other than drive C? Do you just browse/type in a different drive, or is there something special you have to do, like move Program Files over?


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Related Solutions

#4
June 2, 2011 at 20:12:33
One final question:

How do you install programs to somewhere other than drive C? Do you just browse/type in a different drive, or is there something special you have to do, like move Program Files over?

most of the pregame's installer will give you an option to browse ( Sometimes you might have to select custom installation option) ..Browse to a folder on any drive you want..

If you C: is running low on space , it would be a good idea to create a folder name "program files" or apps or something and let the programs drop in that..

Subhash Chandra.
http://www.wintechgeek.com


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#5
June 2, 2011 at 22:46:48
if you already have the image, just create a partition of 100 g on the new drive, shut down unplug the old drive, reimage the 100g parition.
shut down plug in the old drive, format the old drive and use it for extra storage until it dies.

i hate computers!
but cant help myself....


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#6
June 3, 2011 at 04:46:36
You will need install disks or install downloads for any program you plan on putting on the separate 'Programs' partition, just uninstall them and as mentioned choose custom and designate the drive, but first create the new 'Program Files' folder on the new partition. To reduce confusion later you can name the drives like 'System', 'Programs' and 'Files' right in 'Computer' or disk manager windows. If there are programs you need but do not have install files, just leave them on the system partition until such a time you will replace them with a newer version, they will not interfere with anything where they already are.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#7
June 3, 2011 at 12:21:26
Is there really a benefit from installing programs to a separate partition? I've searched a bit and, while I couldn't find anything regarding Windows 7, it seems it doesn't do much in XP and Vista.

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#8
June 3, 2011 at 14:12:51
You can't format and partition with clone software. You can only clone.

Unless you are in some odd situation there is little benefit from partitions. It may be that you would like to organize it that way for personal reasons. It may assist backups. It will not speed up your system or save data in crash in most cases.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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#9
June 3, 2011 at 16:39:42
So you're saying I should just clone my hard drive? No partitions? That's what I have right now, but then again, I'm using and 80GB hard drive here.
I used to use Ubuntu Linux, but, despite my love for Open Source software, Windows 7 has too many benefits.
My only problem, again, is restoring the image... wait, you said the WD software would literally "clone" my hard drive? So I can just format the drive beforehand? Or will the software do that for me?

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#10
June 3, 2011 at 17:35:58
You don't format at all. You let the software clone the drive. Then if you want you can shrink partitions.

You don't restore any image since OEM software doesn't let you in any case that I have seen.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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#11
June 3, 2011 at 17:52:23
Look here:
http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers...
There is a manual cloning method with the downloadable WD/Acronis software for you to change and adjust partitions as per this method and there is an automatic method which has less options:
http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers...
Choose the manual method and then choose proportional to keep one single drive but to fill the drive or choose manual to choose partition lay out. At this point you could just select to create the first partition and later create additional partitions with Disk Manager within windows.
The advantage if keeping your data on a separate partition is that if you ever need to reinstall windows, your data will not be affected (back up anyway). The reasons for keeping programs on a separate partition is less clear cut, they will survive a repair of windows, but they would not be in a compete reinstall's registry so they would need to be reinstalled anyway (I did say 2 or 3 partitions), I followed the method when it was suggested to me because windows has always chose to put blocks of unmovable files at different places on the disk breaking up otherwise continuous parts of the disk making complete defragging of limited effectiveness. I feel that if windows has it's own partition it can be more efficient and do what it wants while not reserving blocks of prime real estate everywhere else. Maybe it is more efficient, maybe it is not, but for me, it is more organized. Your choice.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#12
June 3, 2011 at 20:36:33
Thanks, when I finally do this (either tonight, tomorrow, or Sunday), I will likely use the WD software to clone my hard drive manually, and create two partitions: one for data, another for the OS and programs, as you have already said that I`d need to reinstall the programs in the case of OS corruption (or something similar).
Which would never happen to a point where I couldn`t recover using System Restore, unless it`s a drive failure.
At which point, using the 80GB drive for backup purposes (as much as possible before running out of space) would be my only option of recovery.

By the way, I said "format" because I already have my system image and backups on the new drive. It's not blank. I don't care about those, though, if the Western Digital software will just copy over them.


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#13
June 4, 2011 at 06:57:50
Okay, so, it worked - kinda.
I first tried to do it manually. That was a real pain, I'll tell you now, because the partitions just wouldn't resize how I wanted them to. Then I read in the Help section [(?) button] that, when you form Logical drives (like I did for my files partition), it reserves unallocated space for future system needs (like creating another primary partition).
What confused me the most was, after the cloning process, I rebooted into Windows, and what did I see? The Primary, Active partition was empty and ALL files were on the Logical partition, even the OS and Programs.

After trying to do it manually, I tried again. This time, however, the "Source" hard drive (the 80GB one) had a partition on it whose file system was "'None' (NTFS, HPFS)" or something similar. As a result, the Acronis True Image software would not let me use the drive to its full capacity. Seeing this, I let it do everything automatically. When I booted up, however, there were only two drives: Drive C:, which was only 74.5 or so GB, and Drive E:, which was approximately 370 GB.
Needless to say, I'm not satisfied with that.

I think I'll try what princecorum suggested before I go any further with the Acronis True Image WD Software. Format the drive with Disk Management in Windows, create a 100GB partition, and restore an image stored on the rest of the hard drive to that partition. Seems Logical. ;)

EDIT: And, of course it didn't work. Again, restoring from the disk image requires that you have a separate hard drive from where the image is stored, NOT a separate partition. I don't have a 3rd hard drive, and it seems as if that's what Windows is telling me.
So, that's out the Window(s).

I'm going to keep trying with this Acronis thing.
Mayhaps I'll get it right, sooner, rather than later.


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#14
June 4, 2011 at 12:06:32
If you hadn't fooled with it and just cloned it, it may have worked.

Where are you getting this image from???

A clone should have been one disk to another. Then when you switch it back to only new drive it should have booted exactly like it was on the old drive.

Then I'd have used windows 7 to resize and make partitions. I never do make extra partitions either. Can't see any use. Some people I do understand need it for backups or organization but I don't.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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#15
June 4, 2011 at 15:20:10
I had made the image before I even knew that WD made cloning software. I made the image before or when I made this topic.

I just attempted to clone the drive again; I chose Manual, then Proportionate, instead of fiddling around with partitions. I disconnected the old drive, booted up, and got a bluescreen that lasted a few seconds, basically saying that Windows couldn't start. (Thanks, I think I figured that out-!)

Reconnecting the old drive and booting into Windows, I discovered that the new drive was not set as an Active partition. Rather, a 100MB partition that Acronis True Image made, was. I corrected that mistake, but I don't have time to open the computer, disconnect the drive, and check if it works. I'll do it later, but I think the incorrectly flagged partitions may have been the problem(s).


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#16
June 4, 2011 at 16:43:12
I knew there was a reason my for saying "At this point you could just select to create the first partition and later create additional partitions with Disk Manager within windows." (using manual/manual) since it would have eliminated the confusion of which partition to put the image on. You did not need to use an extended partition with a logical drive since you would only be using 2 partitions, both could have been primary partitions. The reason for an extended partition with logical drives is the old limit of 4 primary partitions on a disk or 3 primary with one extended partition which can have many logical drives on it.

If what you now have works fine you can leave it as it is or shrink the partition using disk manager within Windows 7 and then create the additional partition and format it right there if that is what you want.

I am not sure why the partition was not active and I hope you are all set now. Let us know how things went.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#17
June 5, 2011 at 07:19:55
"I hope you are all set now."

Were it so easy...

This morning I booted up after disconnecting the old drive, and what do I see?
"BTMGR is missing".
Fixed that with Startup Repair.
Started up again.
Blue Screen, my arch-nemesis! We meet again!
Went into Startup Repair again.
This time, SR was unable to automatically repair my system.
Here's the error message in the diagnosis box:

Root cause found:
--------------------------
Unknown Bugcheck: Bugcheck f4 Parameters = 0x3, 0x85929b30, 0x85929c9c, 0x82c710e0.

Repair action: System files integrity check and repair
Result: Failed. Error code = 0xa1
Time taken = 5360 ms
----------------------------------
----------------------------------

I might also want to add that, after reconnecting the old drive and starting up (successfully), Windows warned me that "Optional update could not be delivered" or something like that and that my Windows may not be genuine.
:S


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#18
June 5, 2011 at 10:07:33
windows may not be genuine just needs to be activated again, because you changed the specs of teh machine.
this is such a simple thing to do.
add the new drive.
boot into win 7,
format the new drive to ntfs
create 2 partitions of the new drive.
crate an image of the C;\ on the 2nd new partition.
unplug the old drive,
boot with win repair cd or acronis.
choose the image and install on the new 1 partition.
once you are back to windows, activate if needed.
should take about 1.5hrs.

i hate computers!
but cant help myself....


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#19
June 5, 2011 at 11:42:56
I tried this already:

"I think I'll try what princecorum suggested before I go any further with the Acronis True Image WD Software. Format the drive with Disk Management in Windows, create a 100GB partition, and restore an image stored on the rest of the hard drive to that partition."

Let me clarify:
I created two partitions: one that was 100GB, and another that filled the rest of the drive. I backed up the image to the 2nd, larger partition, then tried restoring using the Windows 7 Installation disc. But, it wouldn't let me restore the image onto the new drive, because it said that it was "excluded because the image needed to restore the system is on the drive". I'll try again, but I have the feeling the same will happen again.
And you can restore an image using Acronis...?

By the way, got the activation thing sorted out, no need to worry.

EDIT: Stupid Windows Update caused a problem when I selected the Windows 7 SP1. After restarting, this message blocked me from booting every time:

Fatal error C00000D4 applying update operation 2859 of 67900 (MpCommu.dll)

What I did to solve this was press F8 before the Startup Repair bootloader (asking if I wanted to launch Startup Repair, which could not find any problems - yeah, right) appeared. I believe this reset the system to "Last Known Good Configuration," though I'm not sure. It's likely, since now I have to fix the activation message again.


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#20
June 6, 2011 at 14:19:05
Should I just try some other cloning/backup program? Might I have to simply re-install Windows, with all my files backed up onto another partition, and re-install all my programs (something I would really, really rather not do)?
Windows' system image restoration process doesn't work, it apparently can't restore onto separate partitions, as it restores all partitions onto the destination drive: hence "system image". It literally takes an image of the entire source hard drive, and tells Restore to put that same folder and drive hierarchy onto the destination drive.
Likewise, WD's Acronis software refuses to work properly. I assume that, once you're done "cloning" the drive, it's supposed to boot just like the original drive? Well, that hasn't been the case, so far. I've had problems every step of the way.

I may try another program, but first: do I have to back up my system, first, using Acronis? Should I not be able to just simply click "Clone hard drive" and it work?


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#21
June 6, 2011 at 21:08:04
✔ Best Answer
It is always safest to back up first.
This is going on now for days, if you reinstalled windows and your programs you would have been finished in an hour or two at the most. At some point in time, just cut your losses and reinstall. If you are installing from an install DVD then choose Custom>Format/Partition, delete all partitions and just create the one operating system partition from scratch and format it. After windows is up and running you can create the remaining ones in disk manager from the unallocated space.
If you are using a restoration disk, just let it install and you can fix the partitions later.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#22
June 7, 2011 at 13:28:35
Very well, I think I will simply install Windows 7 Home Premium on the 500GB hard drive onto a 100GB or so partition, then format a larger partition for my files (should I back up my files to that partition, then restore them using the new installation? Probably, since it's not like they're programs or an entire OS or anything, no need for an image).
A shame, really. I have quite a few programs on here, including some old games for which I don't have the install discs for. As well as Photoshop, Microsoft Office (I DO have the install disc for that...), and Autodesk 3DS Max...
Meh. As long as my files (ie music, pictures, documents, etc.) are safe.

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#23
June 7, 2011 at 19:01:53
If you unplug our original hard drive before you install/format the new drive your files will be safe on there and when you are finished, plug it in as a second drive and you can directly copy/paste them over. I would personally still prefer backing up to an external source just because you never know.
If your version of photoshop is a newer one you may be able to download it from Adobe, but if it is an older version you may be able to purchase an install disk on ebay and use your own key to activate it.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#24
June 8, 2011 at 12:57:51
It's the newest one, and I do know how to reinstall everything; my complaint was that I had to.
Currently backing up to 1 of 3 partitions on the hard drive. The other two are my OS, which is already installed, and the partition that I plan on restoring to, then deleting the backup partition and expanding the other one.
I can do that, right? Restore files even if it's on a different installation?

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#25
June 10, 2011 at 21:30:46
Well, everything's sorted out now, all my files have been transferred and I've been busy installing all my programs again (and playing a few games on the side while some tasks are taking place, too).
I've also managed to point my Libraries (Music, Video, Pictures, Documents) to the larger partition, as I didn't realize that the files had all been restored to the wrong one. In the end I just decided to delete the contents of "My Music," "My Pictures," "My Videos," etc. and set the target to the identical folders on the 2nd partition, "F:". Everything installs to C:, but ALL my files, even downloaded ones, are automatically saved to the other partition. I've intentionally made it complex to do otherwise, so I don't accidentally use up the 100GB I have set for OS/Program File needs.

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#26
June 12, 2011 at 19:44:04
All sounds good. Sorry I haven't been online for the past few days, but it sounds like you are all set. Just make sure you set up an automatic back up to protect your files, my preference is using the old drive for back ups since being on two distinct drives is a good thing for your files and compression on windows back up should help fit quite a bit on it and it is light work for an old drive.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#27
June 13, 2011 at 12:52:16
Yes, I probably will use the old drive for backups, I just have to boot into it again to make sure I have all (or most) of the programs I need installed, and to see if there's anything I need to take care of before formatting the drive.

Thanks again all for your help.


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#28
June 14, 2011 at 20:09:30
Your welcome.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#29
June 24, 2011 at 10:20:10
Hi everyone.
I just migrated my Windows 7 from one SSD (Corsair 32g) to another SSD (Kingston 64g) and everything went well. I was able to boot windows from my new SSD.
The problem started after Windows tried to update SP1.
I keep getting the following error:
Fatal error C00000D4 applying update operation 4716 of 114531 (MpCommu.dll)
I tried Windowsvii's method of pressing F8 before startup repair but that didn't work.
Has anyone been able to fix this C00000D4 error?

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#30
June 24, 2011 at 12:04:09
Create a new post for your question.
Do a manual update and select SP1, when it fails (if) you will see options to repair windows updater. The first simplest things probably will not work, but if you are persistent you will eventually get to where it will offer you an option to rebuild windows updater and that should do it.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#31
June 24, 2011 at 15:38:26
Thanks for responding!
I posted my question here
http://www.computing.net/answers/wi...

What's the best way to do the manual update?


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#32
June 24, 2011 at 18:39:09
Start>All Programs>Windows Update

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#33
June 24, 2011 at 18:41:31
Just read your post, do start up repair or reinstall Windows as everyone said.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#34
July 2, 2011 at 15:58:44
wow..really a long discussion...adding #34 and waiting for #35 :)

Subhash Chandra.
http://www.wintechgeek.com


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