I have laptop with Windows 7. The whole drive is encrypted with Bitlocker. I want to switch magnetic hard drive to SSD. How can I mirror the entire system onto the SSD with the LEAST amount of user attention? Ideally, I'd like to be able to just pop the SSD into the laptop and get on with the life


I successfully upgraded my laptop drive to an SSD. It’s much faster now. Instructions:

Make sure you get an SSD that is bigger than your HD. I bought the Intel 520 SSD 240GB for about $250.

  1. Back up your laptop just in case.

  2. In Control Panel, open the Bitlocker Driver Encryption applet, go to Tools and print out the Bitlocker Recovery key (about 48 digits).

  3. Using the same Bitlocker applet, suspend Bitlocker encryption.

  4. Download Clonezilla Live CD, which is a linux-based boot CD for cloning drives, burn it to a DVD.

  5. Boot laptop with this Clonezilla DVD.

  6. Plug a large USB drive to the laptop with enough space to hold the disk image.

  7. Use Clonezilla to save the disk image from the HD to the USB drive. It saves the partition info too. Will take hours.

  8. Take out the HD and install the SSD into the laptop.

  9. Boot with Clonezilla DVD and Use Clonezilla to restore the disk image from the USB drive to the SSD. It will restore both the main multi-GB partition and the Bitlocker Disk Encryption (maybe 315MB) boot partition to the SSD. Will take some more hours.

  10. Reboot from the SSD this time. In my case I got the dreaded boot error from Bitlocker asking for the recovery key. I entered it and it booted OK. This is because I had forgotten to suspend Bitlocker before. When I tried to reboot again, it again asked me for the recovery key. I entered it again. It turns out you have to go to Control Panel, Bitlocker Disk Encryption, suspend it and resume it to have it accept the new config.

  11. Go back to Control Panel, Bitlocker Drive Encryption and resume Bitlocker encryption.

  12. Also, MS Office might give you an error that Office 2010 requires activation. If your company has a site license you may just need to connect to the corporate LAN, otherwise you may have to call Microsoft or somehow reactivate it.

| improve this answer | |
  • If you don't have a large USB drive, you could also try using a hard drive in a USB caddy/dock. – WindowsEscapist Dec 5 '12 at 18:59
  • I've got a system that doesn't have bitlocker on it - can I follow these instructions and just do the Clonezilla image straight to the SSD drive from the existing HDD and then boot from there? – mtyson Mar 21 '13 at 23:22
  • @mtyson: Yes, you should be able to do that. Plug the SSD to the machine either directly with SATA or with a USB caddy and clone it using Clonezilla, then boot from it. – Carlos A. Ibarra Mar 26 '13 at 19:16
  • I am not sure that clonezilla will properly align the SSD blocks when partitionning, which will degrade the SSD performances. EaseUS partition master free does the HDD > SSD migrate job better (but pay attention when installing it, otherwise it will install lots of crapware) wilderssecurity.com/threads/… – galinette Mar 15 '15 at 5:55

There are several possibilities. In certain job, we used to create images with Image Magic (not Image Magick) if I remember well. We had remote images(like systems cloned) in certain local server, one image per type of computer/hardware. It was a matter of 30 mins in download + setup, no user interaction.

These days, probably one of the best options is Clonezilla.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.