10130: Use Acronis to Clone Win7 to SSD

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Steen Mikkelsen
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I'm looking after a guide to tell me how I can use Acronis 10 to Clone my Win7 HD to an SSD, and how I make the SSD to be bootable .

Scott Hieber
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I think you'd be better off making a full disk backup and then restoring the backup to the new disk. If something, heaven forbid, goes wrong, you still have the backup and the original disk both.

If you put the image a bootable drive onto another, then that drdive should be bootable provided yo don't do anyting to muck that up after you put theimage on. One way to muck it is to have two bootable drives on a pc when you boot up -- windows will then mark one as not bootable.

The easiest way to find out if it will work with your specific hardware is to do it. Anyting else can only give less assurance.

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Oleg
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Hello all,

Thank you for posting, I will be happy to help. Steen, I agree with Scott, it will be more safely to perform backup/restore operations, or to create a backup image of your system prior executing Clone operation. Anyway, backup/restore or clone should make the transfered system bootable.  There is another problem. Acronis True Image will restore (or clone) the system as it is, I mean that the partition alignment will be the same one as it was at the source system.  If the provided information is not clear or if you have any other questions do not hesitate to post them and we will be glad to answer. Thank you.

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zrtom
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If you feel you have to clone it rather than using backup/restore, I have a trick to make the cloned partition(s) aligned.
Depending on whether you have the 100MB System Reserved partition or not, its a one-step or a two-step process. From another computer running W7 or from the W7 install disc, create an 8MB partition (the smallest available) on the SSD and leave the rest of the SSD as unallocated space. Then clone the System Reserved partition to the unallocated space (it will be aligned by W7 creating the 8MB "dummy" partition in front of it). The remaining unallocated space after the 100MB clone may or may not be aligned after a partition is created. You could first try cloning the OS to this unallocated space and check alignment. If it is aligned, set the System Reserved partition active in Disk Management and you're done. If it isn't aligned, delete the OS partition on the SSD, create another "dummy" 8MB partition and clone the OS to the remaining unallocated space. Then go back and simply delete the one (or two) 8MB partitions. In most cases that should do it.

If you want to get rid of the 100MB System Reserved partition altogether (it's not necessary unless you use Bitlocker), there is a way to put the boot files on the C:\OS partition. Let me know and I can help with that.
Tom

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Tom

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Steen Mikkelsen
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My HD drives with SATA disks.

If I do the backup / restore operations, how do I get my new disk drives to be the Win7 as bootable? and how do I do the old SATA disk sow it not bootable ?

How does it work, if I use the Clone disk direct from win7 ?

can I there enable the new SSD and disable the old HD, so Acronis do it right away?

zrtom
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If you backup and restore your whole disk, Acronis will take care of making the restored system bootable. After the restoration, both hard drives will be bootable, actually. Your motherboard will poll each SATA port and will boot the active partition on the first port (Port 0). If your present Operating System hard drive is connected to Port 0 and you restore it to a hard drive on Port 1, you'll want to switch them after the restoration so the newly restored OS on the SSD is connected to the first port (Port 0) of the motherboard.

The same goes for cloning. After the clone, either disconnect the old hard drive or switch ports so the SSD is connected to the first port.

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Scott Hieber
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There are things that can go wrong and so one should test that the clone is indeed bootable. Right after cloning, both drives will, as far as teh OS can see be identical. However, as soon as you boot up, Windows will change that if it sees both drives. Immediately after cloning, shut down and remove one of the drives if you wish it to remain a boot drive. If you boot up with two drives marked as system/boot drives, Win will mark one of them as not a system drive and one not a boot drive. It doesn't politely ask, "which system drive do you want to boot from"; it just goes ahead and makes a guess and decides permanently for you. And the drive marked nonboot will remain nonbooting thereafter, at least until you put a fresh bootable image on it.

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Ken
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I'm heading down the SSD path also. I would like to do a backup/restore using TI 2010 Build 7046 of the W7 Home Premium 64-bit system to a 60 GB SSD boot drive. Will I get the correct alignment with the TI restore or do I have to force the issue? Dumb question - How do I check the SSD boundry alignment?

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zrtom
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Ken,
When you originally installed W7, if you let Windows create the partitions, they are aligned on your original hard drive. My experience is that backup and restore of aligned partitions with Acronis TI 2010 Build 7046 will also result in aligned partitions on the SSD.

There are several ways to check partition alignment.
Considerable discussion can be found here:
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?57599-RAID-Non-RA...

One of the easiest is to download and run AS SSD Benchmark. When the application starts it shows whether alignment is OK or not. Here's the link to it:
http://alex-is.de/PHP/fusion/downloads.php?cat_id=4
It's just an executable application and doesn't need to be "installed." The author is German but it includes English language support.

You could also try the online alignment calculator here:
http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/other/157

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Tom

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Ken
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Thanks for the information. I probably will have issues since I originally installed W7 on a 500GB drive and then used TI to Clone the system to a 750GB drive. But I will let TI do it's thing on the SSD and see what happens - it hasn't failed me yet! The German program looks good. I am leaning towards the Mushkin 60GB drive with the new controller - got any suggestions on what drive might be a better choice for a boot drive? Thanks again for the links.

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zrtom
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Any luck with the alignment, Ken? Here's a relatively new tool to align misaligned partitions after the fact. Offer expires 7/31/10.

www.paragon-software.com/landing-pages/WhitePapers/paragon_alignment_tool.html

As for the Mushkin, it uses a Sandforce controller and right now, those controllers are superior.

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Tom

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Ken
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Looked like a great tool. I tried it on one of my systems with 2 WD Black 750GB drives. It said the one with the W7 partition on it was misaligned (Thanks Acronis TI) and the other drive with just data partitions was aligned OK. I let it do it's thing on the W7 drive and it came back with the W7 partition still misaligned! It said it corrected the other two partitions on the drive but... it failed on the most important partition. Yes, I tried it several times. Hopefully Paragon offers good support - I sure would like to be able to run the program on all my systems and feel that everything is as it should be. I'll post what happens.

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zrtom
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Ken,
I feel bad if I steered you to a product that doesn't work. I've used it but in my case all partitions were aligned OK so I've never used it to actually re-align anything.
There are some posts over at the OCZ Forums on how to get Acronis to restore to an aligned partition. One trick I have used is to create a "dummy" 8MB (the smallest allowed) partition using Windows 7. That partition will be aligned and the starting boundary of the unallocated space following it should also be aligned. If you restore to the unallocated space, then delete the dummy partition, the restored partition "SHOULD" be aligned.

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Tom

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Ken
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It looks like Paragon Alignment Tool (PAT) needs some free space after the W7 boot partition in order for it to align it properly (Thank you Perfect Disk Support for the instructions). After much trial and tribulation and several attempts with the W7 version of PAT and the CD bootable version of PAT I finally got the W7 version of PAT to complete and say the W7 boot partition was aligned. I'm still waiting for Paragon Support to confirm that what I did makes sense. So... I got two positives out of this exercise a reduced W7 boot partition (150GB to 80GB) ready for an SSD drive and aligned partitions on all the current hard drives.

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Ken
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I have confirmed on a second Windows system - PAT needs free space at the end of the boot partition so that it can align it successfully. I suppose it could be at the beginning but Windows Shrink puts the free space at the end of the partition. For some reason PAT does not seem to need free space to align the non-boot data partitions since it handled all of mine on the first try. Still waiting for a rational response from Paragon Support! All in all a very good tool once you figure out what it wants. As Murphy would have it, the aligned harddrives show a very slight decrease in performance as reported by HD Tune. Probably needle quiver. Hope this was helpful to someone. Now on to the SSD stuff.

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Ken
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More information on PAT. I thought I was home free but I had a problem with one of the W7 boot partitions. PAT would not align it. Paragon acknowledged the problem and came up with a revised Partition Alignment Tool that worked. Very responsive, considering it is a free tool!

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MARK ENRIQUEZ
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Hi guys...found this thread thru google thought i would jump in..

so i recently installed a PQI 128G SSD into my new computer and decided, after not receiving the windows CDs with the computer, to try to use Acronis to clone my C drive to the SSD and see if it would work...

well it has, but WITH SOME IMPORTANT ISSUES...the main problem ive run into, is that Windows 7 apparently creates two "hidden" partitions with each install, one called "PQSERVICE" which is 19GB. and another called "SYSTEM RESERVED" which is 100MB..

so apparently, CLONE disk did not actually CLONE the disk, it tried to be "smart" and adjusted the size of the partitions to fit the existing data, and nothing else...

so after the clone, i went into my BIOS and changed the boot order to boot from my SSD instead of HDD, and BINGO it worked, and talk about FAST....jesus my system is booting in like 5 seconds instead of 20 or so...

BUT...im getting this (so far only) annoying message saying "your running out of room on the "SYSTEM RESERVED" disk..."...so i go to disk manager thinking i can manually allocate more room, but for whatever reason DISK MANAGER SOFTWARE IS NOT ALLOWING ME TO GROW THE PARTITION, ONLY SHRINK IT...so i try to create some free "unallocated" space on the drive, thinking once it sees that, it will let me "grow" into it...nope!! i created a 5G partition and tried everything i could to move the SYSTEM RESERVED stuff into it, but nogo...disk manager still wont let me move or grow the SYSTEM RESERVED space.

but, for now, the system is working fine...im hoping to stumble across a resource that will someday address and fix this "problem", but for now i am enjoying the HECK outta my blazing fast computer, with my large image and video processing work shredding...

if anyone has an idea or has run into this issue and knows how to fix it, PLS drop a line or reply to this post...it would be nice to figure how what the problem is...

regards
- mark

GroverH
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Mark,
Welcome to the forum.

You do have several options.

1. You could redo the clone and use the manul mode so you control the size of the partitions.
2. If you have a Acronis backup of your disk and the backup includes all partitions, you could do a partition restore and resize each partitiion to ite desired or proper size during the restore.
3. Any adjustments to your partition sizes should be done when booted from some type of bootable CD. Most likely, Acronis Disk Director 11 could do this resizing of partitions. Or, you may be able to do it with the free Partition Wizard which offers a bootable CD.

I believe the PQService was put there by the manufacturer of the computer rather than Win7.

Is this a Gateway computer?

klpoh
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Hi guys,

Just found this forum. Exactly what I am looking for.

I am a new user of ATIH 2011. So far I have been backing up my system files & data files without any problems although I have as yet no reason or time to test whether these backups are good or not. Trust ATIH 2011 is reliable...

Now I wish to clone my notebook dive to a SSD. I have just read up the ATIH 2011 User Guide Chapter 7.4 on cloning. It does not say whether the cloning will cupport SSD or not. In fact the entire User Guide does not even mention SSD anywhere!

Would appreciate the following advice from someone who has actually tried cloning to SSD using ATIH 2011:
1. Whether I can actually clone to a SSD which has a smaller capacity than the current hard disk I have in my notebook.
2. Whether I can simply pull out my current hard disk and plug in the cloned SSD and boot from it.

FYI, I am using a Lenovo IdeaPad U350 running Windows 7 Home Premium 32 Bit OS.

Thank you all in advance for your kind advice!

Cheers!

klpoh

Pat L
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Yes, you can move your data to a smaller disk it fits on it!
For better control, choose the manual backup and restore :

- make an all-partition disk and partition backup of your current disk on an external USB disk
- take your current disk out of the laptop,
- put the SSD in place in the laptop,
- boot the computer on the recovery CD,
- restore the first partition from the backup to the SSD (this is probably the system reserved partition). The new location is the SSD, leave 1MB before the partition, do not resize the partition, don't change the drive letter, mark the new partition primary and active,
- then, without rebooting, restore the C:\system partition.
- reboot.

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DocDJ
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I currently have DISK 0: (EFI system partition), (unallocated-802 MB), (C: - system, boot, primary 200GB), (unallocated - 200GB), (remainder-unallocated)

I am planning to install an Apricorn adapter+ SSD (256GB) (already bought). I have Acronis and have PARTITION backups of C: and E:. Can someone tell me if the following plan is good or needs adjustment? Can the restore in step 4 create the 4K alignment or do I have to do that separately (Paragon Alignment Tool)?
1. move E: off DRIVE 0 to another drive (HDD) (DONE)
2. create a DRIVE backup of DISK 0
3. insert the SSD adapter+SSD & reboot
4. Restore the backup to the SSD, shutdown, unplug the old DISK 0
5.reboot & set the SSD as 1st in boot sequence (after CD, USB)
6.shutdown again, re-insert old DISK 0, make sure it is not in boot sequence, re-boot