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I am currently in the process of cloning my HDD to a SSD.

As the HDD (320 GB) is bigger than the SSD (120 GB) it was recommended that the HDD be shrunk to a smaller size than the SSD. Using Windows 7 built in disk management, it is unable to shrink the HDD to anything smaller than 160 GB.

After running defrag, removing restore points, re-running defrag again, installing Defraggler I learnt that the Master File Table (MFT) is located roughly in the middle of the drive hence why it won't shrink to anything less than 160 GB.

Some more specific deltails:

  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • TrueCrypt encryption is on system drive
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More likely, you really want to create new filesystems on the new disk, rather than massaging the old ones into it, and then copy over all the files, preserving necessary metadata. However, I'm uncertain of how much out-of-band data Windows 7 likes to have, but I would guess it is sufficient to have the boot and system partitions copied by files and the MBR (apart from partition table) dumped over. – Eroen Feb 13 '12 at 3:58
PerfectDisk should be able to move the MFT. They have a trial period on the program so you can test it out. Also, PerfectDisk will work with SSDs to help keep it fast. – Scott McClenning Feb 13 '12 at 4:10

Use a partition manager like Paragon to shrink the volume, then expand it again if needed. It will move the MFT as needed.

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I just went through the hassle of shring my a 2 GB MFT down to 150 MB. The only thing that worked and was 100% free was Paragon´s defragger. It has a separate button to shrink or defragment the MFT. – TheBlastOne Mar 8 '12 at 16:14
@TheBlastOne: Are you sure it shrank the MFT? (A 2 GB MFT?!) Or did shrink the MFT reserved zone? I've never heard of a tool shrinking an MFT (much less even heard about a 2 GB MFT in the first place), even though some tools do move it... but it's definitely possible to (at least temporarily) shrink the zone reserved for it. – Mehrdad Mar 8 '12 at 16:43
I understand what ya say. Yes it was ~ 2 GB MFT. Reserved zone had been left months ago on that blaster. Ultimate defrag required 4 minutes to highlight the $MFT file on its map. A boot took about 20 mins. Afterwards, the $MFT was as good as "new" -- short, continguous, 100% within the reserved zone. And that sucker boots in 35 minutes know. It was due to excess file creation, with most files being very very small, and with lots of creates and deletes while the volume was 95% full. Windows Vista. Was a nightmare. – TheBlastOne Mar 8 '12 at 17:01
@TheBlastOne: Wow... amazing, thanks for sharing! :) – Mehrdad Mar 8 '12 at 21:29

Nothing will budge those vital file system items while the OS is operating. It is possible to get the reserve to move, but not the used MFT.
Many of the partition managers can do that before boot. "Easus partition manager home" (free) version should be able to shrink the volume. That is what I use. It has to be installed, which installs the boot driver thing, then it will tell you to complete the operation it would restart.

You should have a backup of the disk or the data first (as always). I do not know what other difficulty using true crypt would offer.

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