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Basically I just got a new (refurbished) HP H8-1260t to use for Windows Media Center.

The shipping drive is a 2TB Hitachi drive, but I have an older and barely used 640GB WD Caviar Blue 7200RPM drive I would like to move my Windows install to. I have about 750GB of data with over 1TB free left on the drive.

Having googled my heart and fingers out, I would think that I can shrink my partition down to the size it is full at now with over 1TB free for a second partition where I can move my media files to further shrink my boot partition so that I can fit a system image smaller than 640GB on that WD drive.

I want to have a separate drive for Media and TV Recordings from my boot disk. Does this sound like the easiest method for me? Or am I doing this all wrong. Help appreciated.

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So you want that 750GB of data fits inside of 640GB hdd? Is that right? Does it sound sane? – Sampo Sarrala Jun 9 '12 at 22:49
I want to shrink the 2TB volume to about 750GB that is used right now, leaving >1TB free for a second partition. Move the media files that are using 90% of said 750GB to the second partition of the 2TB volume. Then once I have all the media on a separate partition, shrink the boot partition to <640GB to System Image it, and recover on the 640GB separate volume. – reedacus25 Jun 9 '12 at 22:55
I couldn't just use the Windows "Backup and Restore" tool? I have disk media, albeit not from this installation and the key is used up. If I use the backup and restore, could I not restore the image in the Installation prompt under repair? – reedacus25 Jun 9 '12 at 23:16
I don't like that software, I always use 3rd party, Microsoft's backup image software is really limited, and one of the limitations is not allowing you to apply the image to a smaller hard drive, but may work if you shrink it to a slightly smaller size than 640 before you image it. – Moab Jun 9 '12 at 23:22
Out of 724GB used on the 2TB volume, 552GB of that is primarily movies and recorded TV. So if I more or less split the drive into 2 ~1TB drives, move my media, shrink the boot down to ~200GB and make the image, I should be fine, no? I won't be able to test it tonight as there are 4 scheduled recordings tonight, and I am only halfway through running WD LifeGuard Diag to check the drive for issues. Will report back once I test this method. Any tips until then appreciated. – reedacus25 Jun 9 '12 at 23:31

Should work after enough data is moved, now you just have to choose your 3rd party software to make an image of the partition(s) you wish to move to the 640. Once the image is made, apply it to the 640, swap the drive in and hopefully it will boot the first time.

Most 3rd party image software's can move from a larger partition to a smaller one, as long as the total amount of data will fit on the smaller partition. There is no need to shrink it to 640 before you make the image, as long as you move enough data off of the partition you wish to image>apply to the 640.

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Tried my hand at it, not worth the hassle. Too many recordings with FairPlay DRM that I would lose. I'm going to delegate the smaller drive for Live TV buffer and for recordings that I can convert and spit out to my 2TB volume. Not optimal, but in the end this will save a ton of headaches. Appreciate the time, knowledge, and help this community has welcomed and assisted me with. – reedacus25 Jun 11 '12 at 1:06

You can do ntfs resizing and/or cloning easily with any Linux live cd/ that comes with ntfsutils and gparted. Moab's answer already contains information for preparing partitions so i'll skip that part.

There is also GParted Live that boots from CD or USB. Another good alternative is Clonezilla Live.

Both gparted and clonezilla is well documented (most of time they will explain operations on demand) and easy to use, even when it comes to advanced features.

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