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Some SSD vendors offer "upgrade kits" that are supposed to move the operating system from the old disk to the new one without the need to reinstall it, however, it didn't really quite work for me in the past and I always ended up installing the system from scratch. I'd really like to avoid it now so I'd like to ask:

Generally speaking, when upgrading from a smaller to a larger SSD, will something like Windows Complete PC Backup and Restore work? Has someone experienced a seamless upgrade? Is there a proven tool to do that? (That worked for you, not that should work theoretically.)

My problem usually is that the restored system sees a different disk, thinks it is a different hardware and doesn't want to restore.

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MAKE SURE that the image is restored to the drive correctly (or in the right way? Whichever.) - some users here have moved smaller drives (say 80GB) to larger ones (500B) and it ended up as a 80GB drive on the 500GB... it will try to copy the partitions as well unless you're careful. –  ekaj Nov 7 '12 at 22:39
    
Yes, partitions might have been the problem in the past. How to restore 80GB partition into a new 500GB partition? Any link to a good tutorial? –  Borek Nov 7 '12 at 22:45
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4 Answers

Upgrading from one drive to another drive usually works without problems if:

  1. The new drive is large enough to hold all used data.
  2. The old and new drive are using the same driver.

In your case a full disk image made with ghost or Acronis, and restored on the new drive will work without problems. Clonezilla should also work, though I never used this and it can not restore to a smaller drive.

Since your new SSD is larger and both are SATA I do not expect any problems for making a copy. However if you keep the old drive around as a second SSD in the system then make sure both drives get separate serial numbers.

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I just replaced a 500 GB HDD in my laptop with a 256 GB SSD. I used Macrium Reflect's disk clone option. Took about 3 hours to complete, but worked absolutely flawlessly. With MR Version 5 (even the free trial), you can size up OR down when you change disks.

No need to reboot, no muss, no fuss, minimal bother.

I used the purchased version of MR, but have seen reports of success using the free trial version.

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I have done it before with Windows XP.

Booted into linux, and copied all the files from one HD to the other. Had no problems.

There is some discussion here.

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My way of doing a seamless upgrade {HDD->SSD} is to use Acronis disc cloning software (included in the Home/Small office package) Having done this for 4 computers now, it really works well when you follow the instructions.

The cloning software handles resizing of partitions, both smaller to large and larger to smaller.

Office colleagues that have tried the Windows path you describe have been less successful.

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