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I'm having trouble replacing my hard drive

System Info:

  • Sony VAIO VPCF115fm
  • i7 Q720 Quad Core CPU (1.6 GHz) Turbo boost up to 2.8 GHz
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M GPU with 1 GB VRAM
  • 500 GB spinning media hard drive (Seagate ST9500325AS)
  • 6 GB DDR3 1333 MHz RAM
  • Motherboard: M930 main board 1P-009BJ00-8012 REV 1.2 MBX-215

Old Drive: Seagate ST9500325AS (500GB spinning media)

New Drive: Samsung 840 EVO (500 GB SSD)

1st Attempt

  1. Using MiniTool, copy Recovery partition from Old Drive to New Drive
  2. Using MiniTool, copy System Reserved partition from Old Drive to New Drive
  3. Left the rest of the space on New Drive as Unallocated; Unallocated space is identical in size to C partition on Old Drive
  4. Shut off machine, and replaced Old Drive with New Drive (i.e. Old Drive no longer connected to machine in any way)
  5. Started in System Recovery Mode
  6. Tried to recover C Drive; didn’t work because C Drive doesn’t exist on new drive
  7. Did a full system recovery from recovery partition on New Drive
  8. After recovery, machine auto-reboots, on auto reboot, the machine is stuck at the black screen with the blinking white cursor. It looks like it can’t find the new main partition
  9. Continued in “After attempts 1-3 . . .” section below

2nd Attempt

  1. Using MiniTool, copy Recovery partition from Old Drive to New Drive
  2. Using MiniTool, copy System Reserved partition from Old Drive to New Drive
  3. Made the rest of the drive into an empty partition named B. B is identical in size to C partition on Old Drive.
  4. Shut off machine, and replaced Old Drive with New Drive (i.e. Old Drive no longer connected to machine in any way)
  5. Started in System Recovery Mode
  6. Tried to recover C Drive; didn’t work because C Drive doesn’t exist on new drive
  7. Did a full system recovery from recovery partition on New Drive
  8. After recovery, machine auto-reboots, on auto reboot, the machine is stuck at the black screen with the blinking white cursor. It looks like it can’t find the new main partition
  9. Continued in “After attempts 1-3 . . .” section below

3rd Attempt

  1. Using MiniTool, copy Recovery partition from Old Drive to New Drive
  2. Using MiniTool, copy System Reserved partition from Old Drive to New Drive
  3. Left the rest of the space on New Drive as Unallocated; Unallocated space is identical in size to C partition on Old Drive
  4. Shut off machine, and replaced Old Drive with New Drive (i.e. Old Drive no longer connected to machine in any way)
  5. Did a full system recovery from Recovery Disks
  6. After recovery, machine auto-reboots, on auto reboot, the machine is stuck at the black screen with the blinking white cursor. It looks like it can’t find the new main partition
  7. Continued in “After attempts 1-3 . . .” section below

After attempts 1-3 the following happens:

  1. I put the Old Drive back in to computer, and rebooted just fine.
  2. I connected the New drive via a USB adaptor
  3. On the Start Menu, right-clicked on Computer, then clicked Manage to get me to computer management
  4. In Disk Management, I see the Recovery and System Reserved partitions look Ok a. Difference in System Reserved partition label: i. Old Drive: Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition) ii. New Drive: Healthy (Active, Primary Partition)
  5. The main partition on the New Drive is labled “G” for the 1st and 3rd attempts; “B” for the 2nd attempt
  6. It looks like all the files from the recovery are in G as they should be
  7. Besides the drive letter, the difference in main partition label on each drive is: a. Old Drive: Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition) b. New Drive: Healthy (Primary Partition)

4th Attempt

  1. Using MiniTool, copy Recovery partition from Old Drive to New Drive
  2. Using MiniTool, copy System Reserved partition from Old Drive to New Drive
  3. Using MiniTool, copy C partition from Old Drive to New Drive
  4. The machine reboots to complete the C partition copy onto New Drive
  5. Under Disk Management, I see the copy of the C partition on the New Drive is labeled “G”
  6. Besides the drive letter, the difference in main partition label on each drive is: a. Old Drive: Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition) b. New Drive: Healthy (Primary Partition)
  7. All filed copied correctly from C onto G
  8. In Disk Management, I see the Recovery and System Reserved partitions look Ok a. Difference in System Reserved partition label: i. Old Drive: Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition) ii. New Drive: Healthy (Active, Primary Partition)
  9. Shut off machine, and replaced Old Drive with New Drive (i.e. Old Drive no longer connected to machine in any way)
  10. On boot up, the machine is stuck at the black screen with the blinking white cursor. It looks like it can’t find the new main partition.

What am I missing? Does the main partition on New Drive need to be named C? Do I need to change something in BIOS?

Update 11/17/2014

Thanks for your answers. In the end, I did what user tbenz9 advised. After creating an image of my old HDD on my new SSD, I installed my new SSD and it booted fine. This only copied the C partition and the system reserved partition, but not the recovery partition. I then did a system recovery using the recovery DVDs. This gave me a fresh install and created the recovery partition.

Follow up questions:

  1. What was different about using the Samsung data migration tool that allowed a successfully boot on the new SSD, where as copying each partition using MiniTool I could not boot? Does using MiniTool somehow not create a new MBR, but the Samsung software does?
  2. My recovery partition is the original recovery partition from almost 5 years ago. After recovering, it took almost a day to do all the necessary updates for Windows 7, Google Chrome; and I removed junkware that came with the machine such as a Bestbuy installer (I bough the machine from them) and unnecessary VAIO software. I have my machine currently configured in the way I would want it after a recovery in the future; so, how do I create a new recovery partition using the current state of my system?
  3. The only currently installed item I wouldn't want on my new recovery partition is Kaspersky Internet Security. Do I need to uninstall it before creating the new recovery partition?
  4. Once I have created the new recovery partition, how do I delete my old recovery partition?
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Excellent write up. Thank you for being thorough. With that said it looks like something is up with your master boot record. If your asking what I would do... I would use the Samsung Drive migration software that should have come with your new SSD.

Another option would be to use a tool like dd to make an exact copy of the original drive.

Here's the link to learn about the data migration tool. http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/global/html/about/whitepaper11.html

  • Thanks for your help. I've added a update with some additional questions above. – Hans Nov 18 '14 at 22:00
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All you have to do is:

  1. Copy every partition from old disk to new disk (any tool that can copy partitions).

  2. In case of MBR disk - write new MBR and boot sectors with bootsect.exe utility.

  3. Adjust BCD (Boot Configuration Data).

Point 3. is not easy if done manually - in principle you have to fix all device elements for every "loader object" and "device object". For fixing you can use bcdedit.exe utility or Visual BCD Editor for example.

Eventually running Windows "Start-Up Repair" ("Automatic Repair") 3 times with rebooting after each run would fix boot issues automatically. You should have a Windows installation DVD/USB ready.

Alternative:

Exact copy of disks would also do the trick - you can use a Linux LiveCD/USB and use dd utiity as user tbenz9 suggested. This is the fastest method. After copying you have to remove old disk and attach new disk on its place.

  • Thanks for your help. I've added a update with some additional questions above. – Hans Nov 18 '14 at 22:00

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