Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to clone my existing HDD with Win7 to a brand new SSD, ideally using dd on a live Ubuntu CD. The SSD is bigger, so no problems shrinking. The HDD has two partitions.

My partition start offset on my HDD is 32256 bytes (31.5 KiB), which is supposed to mean that the partition as is, is not aligned properly for the SSD. (right?)

Question 1. After cloning, will simply moving the partition or shrinking "from the front" in GParted, to an offset which is a multiple of 4 KiB fix the problem? Is this all there is to it? I need to do this for both partitions, correct?

Edit: Moving a bootable partition with Windows 7 is not a good idea. Won't work out of the box, but may be fixable with a recovery disk.

Question 2. My HDD sector size is 512 and my NTFS cluster size is 4KiB. Will this be just fine on the SSD after cloning? (I have no clue what my SSD reports for its sector size, but I guess it doesn't even matter for an SSD)

Edit: Apparently, this is just fine. Will put up an answer if I manage to do everything I intended.

share|improve this question
Clone partitions, not drives. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jan 30 '13 at 5:16
+1 for partition cloning.. – The_aLiEn Jan 30 '13 at 7:42
It may not have been obvious: I have a Windows 7 installation on one of the HDD partitions which is bootable. Simply cloning that partition and dding it back to a different disk with a precreated parition table, and potentially a slightly different location definitely won't work. Trial and error has shown that simply moving it after dding the whole disk doesn't work without some fixing either. – Irfy Jan 31 '13 at 2:54

Your Answer


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

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.