Up front: I've seen these:
- Changing hard disk with ssd, can I migrate contents so that I can switch drives without a hassle?
- Replacing notebook SATA hard disk with SSD without reinstalling
plus some more when investigating the topic on the web. Neither of these provides a solution, although some provide clues. Still I haven't been able to pull this off successfully.
I have installed my Windows 7 x64 with the default partition layout (System Reserved aka Boot plus system volume). Now, I finally got the bigger mSATA drive that I ordered (256 GB) of which 64 GB are used as cache for one of the HDDs. The remainder is available as a data volume. Now, what I would like to do is not to migrate the HDD contents over and remove the "source drive", because the mSATA disk is obviously complementary. No need to remove it. Also I cannot boot from the mSATA drive directly for whatever reason (tested, it won't work), but I reckon if the
System Reserved volume is on the HDD it will happily boot into Windows 7 using the system volume from the mSATA if I manage to convince it to use that.
What I would like to do is to migrate the system volume (aka
C:) onto a partition on the mSATA drive and then perhaps move some more profile-data off of it (irrelevant for the question, done that in the past and I know how to proceed there). I just want the performance boost from using mSATA for the system volume.
All guides and the one tool from Paragon Software I stumbled over seem to take into account only the single scenario where the old drive is removed and a new one contains the complete cloned data. This - again - is not what I want.
I have successfully cloned Windows systems for nearly fifteen years (starting with NT4), but I'm out of ideas here. The problem appears to be to convince the Windows boot manager that the cloned partition (I have done that part) is the one it's looking for. I have made the appropriate changes to the BCD and also re-assigned the drive letter for
C: in the registry using the "Boot Corrector" from Paragon HDM 12. But something is still missing. In order to test my changes I have changed the partition ID of the old system volume (on the HDD) to a different value (0x63) and set it to hidden in order to prevent Windows from picking it up. And indeed Windows fails to pick it up. However, it doesn't pick up the intact clone on the SSD either.
In short the current setup is:
HDD: |Boot |System|Data | SSD: |System|
and I want Windows to drop the System one on the HDD so it looks like this:
HDD: |Boot | |Data | SSD: |System|
whereas to Windows the drive letter should be
C: after migration.
Any ideas short of actually physically removing the partition from the HDD?