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I've got an old Mac (early 2008 24" iMac) and a new one (27" iMac). Mac OSX has a nice migration assistant, which takes care of all Mac documents, settings, programs, etc.

My old mac also has a Bootcamp partition running Windows 7. What is the best way of migrating the windows partition?

Plan A:

1. Migrate OSX
2. Create an empty partition
3. Boot the old mac with a Linux live CD
4. Create an .iso of the old partition
5. Somehow get the iso on the empty partition
6. Reinstall the bootcamp drivers, just to be sure.

Plan B: Screw it!

1. Just start all over with installing windows 7 from blank
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It won't be really OK if yo use a .iso and all. You need a partition management tool which saves the whole partition down. Also, you'll need the same amount of space to "reload" it, and a lan cable / external hdd to have some space, to have a place where you put the image of the old partition. –  Shiki Jul 3 '10 at 20:39
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I never had any luck using my usual Windows imaging tools in the context of the hybrid MBR/GPT partition used by OS X for Boot Camp. I think it confuses the heck of the MBR oriented image tools.

Instead I have used WinClone. It runs under OS X and allows you to create an image of your boot camp windows partition which can then be restored on your new Mac. I believe you will have to use Bootcamp to recreate/reallocate the Windows partition of the correct size on your new Mac before you can use WinClone to restore to it.

So my suggested procedure would be:

  1. Install WinClone.
  2. Use WinClone in OS X to save an image of your Windows partition to your OS X Desktop (or wherever else in your user directory you prefer).
  3. Migrate OSX, including your big honkin' WinClone image of your Windows partition.
  4. Use Bootcamp manager on the new Mac to Create an empty "Windows" partition big enough to restore into.
  5. Use WinClone in OS X to restore your Windows image to the partition you created in the previous step.
  6. Boot Windows just to make sure it was restored correctly. (Windows may want to run CHKDSK on the restored partition. I suggest you let it do this.)
  7. Redo Windows authentication if needed. (Your hardware probably changed enough that you will probably need to do this.)
  8. Reinstall the bootcamp drivers, just to be sure.
    (Besides, if you had not previously upgraded to Snow Leopard then with the purchase of a (late?) 2009 iMac you have now. Snow Leopard includes a newer version of Bootcamp and its drivers. The current version of the drivers when I posted this appeared to be v3.1.)
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Two notes in WinClone: 1. The UI is very sparse, and it does not use a visual progress bar during image creation or restoring. You can check its progress trough Console.app. Otherwise, it looks like WinClone is doing nothing. 2. Before creating the image, have windows do a ChkDsk. If the image contains disk errors, it will not restore. –  Gerrit Jul 25 '10 at 19:44
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