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Is there a good tool/program that allows me to clone a system drive to another, smaller hard drive?

I've bought a new 64GB SSD drive and would like to move my current Windows 7 Professional 64-bit installation to that new drive. My current drive is a 200GB SATA drive with one partition only. Of course there's enough free space to shrink my current partition to less than 64GB.

marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, fixer1234, DavidPostill, mpy, Nifle Apr 11 '15 at 18:02

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  • Lots and lots.​ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 18 '11 at 21:06
  • If you can shrink, CloneZilla will do the job. (Free, good stuff.) As Smurf64 suggested. If you won't shrink, then stick to Acronis. – Apache May 18 '11 at 21:30
  • WHat do you mean "if you can shrink"? I have to shrink to be able to copy it to a smaller drive, right? – joscarsson May 23 '11 at 9:59
  • Another thing to mention: If you would like to use your 200GB Sata-drive as data-drive, you have to move all boot-specific things (bootloader etc. - have to read through this -.-) and maybe rearange SATA-boot-priorities in your bios. Maybe you need to do system-repair a few times in order to get windows moving and correcting boot-specific settings. Search SU for this, there are a few questions about that problem. – wullxz May 23 '11 at 16:25

You can even use a linux-live-disk to copy that partition with dd. You have to shrink that partition first.

You should first defrag your HDD under Windows 7. Then you could try to shrink your partition to less than 64GB (You have to try, Windows sometimes doesn't allow you to shrink your harddrive extremely even though there's enough space free). To do this, you have to right-click your computer, choose manage and click on storage-management (or similar, I haven't got an english Win-7 here...). Then you have to right-click your partition and choose downsize (or similar... see above).

If that doesn't work, you could try ntfsresize with a Linux-live-cd. Backup your data first!

If any of the two resize-steps completed successfully, you could copy your partition with dd.

Hint: Try to make your partition as small as possible. The smaller your partition is, the faster your dd gets.

As mentioned in other answers, GParted is also a good way to do resizing. It's contained in any Ubuntu-Live-CD. You could run GParted to shrink your partition and then dd your partition to your new SSD in the same live-cd-session. GParted uses ntfsresize in the background.

  • Yeah, I think I would have figured out how to do the image copy of the disk. It's the shrink-step that makes me ask here. Thanks for your input though! – joscarsson May 23 '11 at 10:02
  • I updated my answer. Let me know if anyone of my suggested steps works for you. I successfully used ntfsresize under linux in the past. The Windows-way should be better anyway... – wullxz May 23 '11 at 15:59

Clonezilla works great for me.

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    Have you used it for shrinking a current partition before copying it on a new, smaller disk as in my case? – joscarsson May 23 '11 at 10:02

Ghost is a very good one if you just want a clone. Acronis True Image is one that I use personally.

  • Ghost Solution Suite or Acronis – pcunite May 18 '11 at 21:30
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    Maybe I should have mentioned this in my first post, but I would if possible avoid to buy software to do this as I'll only do it this one time. Thanks for your input though! – joscarsson May 23 '11 at 10:03

You can shrink your partition to 64GB by using gparted live-cd and then make an image with ghost.

  • What is ghost? A program/tool, or a general term referring to creating a ghost of the now smaller partition? – joscarsson May 23 '11 at 10:00

I've used Partimage and an external hard drive to do this.

  • This looks promising. Do you know if it is possible to shrink the partition using this as well? – joscarsson May 23 '11 at 10:01

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