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I have a 500 Gb hard drive currently split into two partitions:

+---------------------+--------------+
| Data (D:\)          | System (C:\) |
+---------------------+--------------+

Now, I just bought a new SSD with a capacity of 120 GB, which is just slightly higher than the "System" partition above, where I have Windows 7 currently installed. I also bought a new hard drive with 1 Tb, to use in place of the "Data" partition above.

What I want to do is to basically copy the Windows installation from C:\ to my new SSD so that I can start booting directly from the SSD, while copying all my data from D:\ to my new hard drive. (The 500 GB has started to make weird noises, which is why I'm trying to replace it.)

So I want an end result that looks like this:

120 GB SSD:

+--------------+
| System (C:\) |
+--------------+

1 Tb hard drive:

+---------------------+
| Data (D:\)          |
+---------------------+

Is this possible? My main concern is that the boot area of my current drive is at the beginning (right?); so if I just clone my C:\ partition to my SSD that won't actually make my SSD bootable. Or am I mistaken about that?

Obviously I can't just clone my entire 500 GB drive onto the SSD, as the SSD doesn't have enough space for that.

Unfortunately, while I realize reinstalling Windows from scratch wouldn't be a really big deal, that isn't an option as I seem to have lost my installation disc.

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3 Answers 3

There are two things you can do.

  1. Copy only the C partition, then run a startup repair on the new drive before booting it. You may have to run startup repair more than once.

  2. Move data off your drive so that the total data will fit on the SSD. Next shrink the partitions on your drive so that both partitions will will fit on the SSD (or just delete the non-C partition). Then image the entire drive.

You can repartition your harddrive from within Windows 7 using the Shrink feature. The MS kb article is at: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Can-I-repartition-my-hard-disk

  1. Go to Control Panel -> System and Security -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management
  2. Click Disk Management (it's under Storage)
  3. Right-click the volume and then click Shrink Volume
  4. Follow the Wizard

This question is very similar to How to shrink Windows 7 boot partition with unmovable files.

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If you a willing to pay money for a commercial tool, you can use Acronis Trueimage.

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1.. Search for, download and install MiniTool Partition Wizard 8.1.1 or greater. This is a totally legit, malware free, freeware partitioning tool.

2.. Insert both disks (old hdd / new ssd) into the same machine.

3.. Start MTPW. You'll get a list of drives:

Start

Above you'll see a new Unallocated SSD and an existing disk with boot, system and data partitions.

4.. Click on the Copy Partition Wizard Option to the left and move through the wizard to copy the Boot partition.

Copy

Destination

Of particular note when selecting the destination partition is to ensure you create the partition as a Primary partition. Windows can only boot from a primary partition. The tool however has Logical selected by default.

5.. Now click Apply at the top of the screen and let the tool copy your Boot partition.

Boot partition

6.. Now run the Copy Partition Wizard again this time selecting the System Volume C: that you want to copy and the remaining Unallocated space on the SSD as the destination. Once again ensure you create a primary partition for the new system partition.

System Partition

7.. Now click Apply and you will get a warning that the system needs to reboot in order to copy the System partition. Why? Because it's in use and locked down. So click Reboot Now and your system will shut down, boot into the Windows loading screen and then flip over to Partition Magic in command line mode to complete the copy. It may take 30-45mins.

Reboot

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