Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have Windows 7 Professional 64-bit running on my SSD (C:) and besides that I have a big HDD (D:) for my data files. I regularly make an image of C: (with driveImageXml) and a copy of the files on D: (to an external disk).

Imagine the scenario where my SSD crashes. I'll ask for a new one and I guess OCZ will send it to me, but until I have it I will be out of business. I'm thinking about (in this hypothetical case) doing a restore of the image on my D: drive after having created a partition for it (retaining the old data on the other partition).

  • Do you foresee any problems when restoring an image of Windows on a HDD, considering that it was created from an installation on an SSD?
  • Doesn't Windows 7 make all kinds of configuration settings in the registry and who knows where about the SSD?
  • Will Windows not be confused when "waking up" on a different kind of disk?

Your thoughts, or even better: experiences.

(edit)
Forgot to mention this: When I installed Windows 7, two partitions were created on my SSD. One system partition of 100 Mb without any drive letter connected. And then the main partition with Windows. If I do a restore on my HDD, I wont be having this small partition. I don't know what it's for but will it not be missed by Windows?

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Do you foresee any problems when restoring an image of Windows on a HDD, considering that it was created from an installation on an SSD?

There shouldn't be any that would cause it not to work. If you restore the image onto a drive with 4k sector sizes with an older imaging program it may end up missaligning the partition. This would hurt the write performance of the drive. This problem has nothing to do with the image being from an SSD, but is because some imaging programs still use XPs 32.5K partition alignment, rather than the 1MB partition alignment of Vista and 7. Newer imagine programs should not have this problem. Or, if the drive you image to has the old 512B sector size then you have no problem. Even if there is a problem it won't keep the machine from working, just slow it down. And going from an SSD to a HHD will make it feel dog slow in any case.

Doesn't Windows 7 make all kinds of configuration settings in the registry and who knows where about the SSD?

Just refresh the Windows Expreience Index. This will make Windows adjust itself for the hard drive.

Will Windows not be confused when "waking up" on a different kind of disk?

Both SSDs and HHDs use the same drivers. The confusion shouldn't be anything the breaks anything. It might want you to reactivate it, but that's about it.

share|improve this answer
    
This is right, I've restored cloned hard drive images to vastly different brands and types with no problems. Most of the time Windows just finds and installs the new HDD on first boot. –  Tyler Faile Jul 11 '11 at 19:22

It'll work fine; I have built many machines with automatic software backup from SSD to HDD and it's perfectly bootable. The ONLY thing I could see being an issue is if the drives are on different SATA controllers (specifically, ones using a different AHCI driver).

share|improve this answer

I think so long as you do the restoration properly, and your magnetic drive is something remotely normal (very likely), then you'll be fine.. Provided you restore Windows to the same partition number of whatever drive..

I've found Norton Ghost to be really easy to use for this sort of operation. The closest Open Source option I'm aware of is Clonezilla (which I haven't really used).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.