I'm planning to switch my boot drive to an SSD. I've reduced the size of my C:\ drive so it would fit on the SSD, and made a system image via Windows Backup and Restore.
I'm not certain if the 100MB Windows 7 boot partition is included in that image.

If the entirety of the system drive is backed up, I can simply restore that image onto the SSD and be done, right? If not, how do I move everything to the new drive, and assign it as C:\?

  • hey i just wanted to say that I mistakenly edited this post as I confused it with one that I was writing (too many tabs open)! anyways, i didn't delete any information, just added one sentence after "image via Windows Backup and Restore." to say "image via Windows Backup and Restore--->create system image" sorry about the confusion. Please feel free to remove the edit. – Kalamalka Kid May 30 '16 at 7:27

I'm not sure the default Windows Backup and Restore creates an image. It normally creates an archive of files and settings and certain programs, but in cases of full system failure or new HDD, you'd have to install windows first, and then run the Backup and Restore to put all those files and settings back into place.

Many HDDs come with imaging utilities on bootable CDs that allow you to copy one HDD to another, in cases of an in-place upgrade such as you're doing. Or they allow you do download a tool like that from their website.

Otherwise, there are several disk imaging tools for free and cheap you can use to do this as well.

  • 1
    There's an option in Windows Backup and Restore to explicitly include a "system image", which is supposed to contain all the files on the boot drive. I didn't look at 3rd party tools but it sounds as if I can skip the windows recovery process if I copy the entire image onto the new drive, switch boot devices, and be done. Will the drive letters match up? – Ampersand Nov 25 '11 at 21:13
  • Is your current drive "C"? C is generally the letter assigned the main drive, the booting drive on which the OS is installed. If you're adding new drives to the arrangement, I'm not sure if the letters'll stay the same, but if the drives are staying the same and you're just replacing the primary, the letters should stay the same. – music2myear Nov 25 '11 at 21:48

I'm not entirely sure how the process works, but I can tell you that as long as the backup completed successfully, you don't need to worry about it.

My laptop's hard drive died a few years ago. When I got a replacement drive, I just put it in and restored from the backup using the recovery tools on the Windows 7 installation DVD. The image was restored exactly how it was on the original drive, including the recovery partition and everything.

I don't know if it actually backs up the recovery partition or if it just recreates it during the repair process, but it will be there.

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.