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Change boot partition from HD to SSD, leave data on HD?

Beginner
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My 1TB hard drive has been producing more and more errors, so I thought it would be good to change to a new drive.

It is currently partitioned into the C:\ boot partition ~500GB, a data partition I:\ ~500GB, and a small recovery partition, which is completely useless since the system was originally windows 7, and is now windows 10.

What I want to do is move the boot partition to a 480GB SSD, and initially leave the data on the HD, but eventually move the data to another new drive.

I'm not finding any way to do this using my Acronis tools.

Any suggestions?

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mvp

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Dave, if your 1TB HDD drive "has been producing more and more errors" - are you sure that you want to trust your data to be stored on that drive?  Personally, if the drive is failing, get the data backed up ASAP and get yourself a replacement drive to store your data.

To do what you are asking:

  1. Make a full disk & partitions backup of your current 1TB HDD to an external drive.  
    Note: ensure that you include all hidden / system partitions.
  2. Create the Acronis bootable Rescue Media and check that you can boot correctly from that media and see both your internal HDD and your external backup drive.  
    The Rescue Media should be booted in the same way as used by your Windows 10 OS.  
    See webpage: Check if your PC uses UEFI or BIOS to find the boot mode.
  3. Use Windows Disk Management and make a note of the size and positions of your partitions.
    Note: Ideally, it would be best to delete the Data partition from the failing HDD and make an Acronis backup of just the remaining OS partitions.  Obviously, this would need to be done after either restoring or copying the Data to another drive.
  4. Remove the 1TB HDD drive and replace this by your new 480GB SSD drive connected to the same cables.
  5. Restore either the smaller OS backup as a Disk restore, or the full backup by restoring the individual partitions, setting their placement and size to match the notes from step 3 but omitting the Data partition.
  6. Shutdown, remove the external drive, Acronis media and try to boot into Windows with just the SSD connected.
  7. If all looks good with just the SSD, then connect the HDD for the Data as a second drive and either restore the backup for the data to this drive or copy from the old drive as preferred.
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mvp

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I'd add two things to what Steve said:

Stop using the drive until you are ready to make a backup. The more you run a failing drive, the more likely it is to suffer further or complete loss.

To perform a full disk backup, boot from the Acronis bootable Rescue Media. That will put less of a strain on the failing drive than would booting into Windows OS on that drive.

Beginner
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Thanks guys for the replies.

I've been using DiskCheckup to monitor the error rates. The rot is the slowest that I have ever seen a disk do. It seems to do quite well for several days, then locks up, or spontaneously reboots. Sometimes the lock up is in response to an ESD spark after I sit down again and touch the case. Yes, it is grounded.

Is it necessary to back up all the *.sys files? I have not been doing that. I've taken the default setting and excluded files shown in the default exclude list. My backups are taken daily to a USB HDD, which is turned off until I do the backup. 

Is there an issue with my c:\user\<name> files which have been relocated to the data partition?

Would this be any easier to do if I used Acronis Disk Director 12?

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mvp

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Dave, you do not need to backup the .sys files named on the Exclusions page by default, i.e. pagefile, hiberfil, swapfile - these will be rebuilt as needed.

If you maintain your c:\user\<name> files on the data partition, then assuming that this includes your user profile files too, you will have a problem if you don't have the data partition allocated to its normal drive letter.  If your user profile itself has been moved, then you may need to either move it back, or perhaps, create another Administrator user with the default c:\user\ location so that you can log in with that profile and then do any manipulation of drive letters without being in a catch22 situation.

I would not recommend doing this activity using ADD 12 as that is much older now than your ATIH 2017 - the latest build update for DD 12 was back in December 2015.

Regular Poster
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Steve, I'd like to follow up on your comment about the c:\users\<name> being on the data partition.

On my system, I've used the Location tab on the folder properties to change the location of some of the subfolders to the data (D:) drive, specifically Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures and Videos. I am assuming that in the case of needing a system (C:) drive recovery I could still recover without trouble. Nothing in those folders should be required to boot the system and get operational.

What are your thoughts on that?

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mvp

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Bruno, you should be fine provided that your C:\Users\<name>\root folder still holds your NTUSER.DAT profile data and it is just the subfolders from this location that have been moved.

The AppData folder probably should be in its original location to as there may be items there that are linked to your Windows startup actions.

Having suffered from a corrupt Windows user profile in the past, I tend to have a redundant spare user 'just in case' that I can use for recovery if needed.

Beginner
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Now I have another problem. My ATI 2017 has stopped working. 

The last 4 errors in the email report are:

| error 0x70021: Unable to create volume snapshot...

| error 0x10c477: All attempts to create a snapshot have failed....

| error 0x10c442: Failed to start creating the volume snapshot....

| error 0x9: The shadow copy provider had an error. Check the System and Application event logs for more information.

These errors seem to be repetitive from the top. The software has now restarted with another attempt. Where do I find the "System and Application event logs"? And, which logs? Should this thread be interrupted at this point?

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mvp

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Dave, it sounds as if your drive is getting worse and you are now hitting bad sectors on the drive for the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS).

You could try running the Acronis VSS Doctor tool (link in my signature) and see if that offers to fix any issues found, but in reality, you should be using the Acronis bootable Rescue Media and doing the backup fully outside of Windows (as suggested by tuttle above) to minimise the impact on the drive.  The rescue media does not use VSS for the backup so will avoid the snapshot errors being reported above.

Beginner
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I'll try the boot to the Acronis bootable Rescue Media. Report later. Thanks.

Beginner
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A lot of mileage under the belt at this point, but I'll summarize where I'm at now.

Successfully made a full backup of my failing HDD. Successfully made a bootable media, which works, and booted to it. Removed the old failing HDD, replaced with a new one of the same size, in the same place, connected the same.

Booted to the recovery media, restored the full backup to the new HDD.

Now, I get the message "BOOTMGR Missing" at boot. It says do ctrl-alt-del to reboot, which of course does nothing to solve the problem.

What is going on here? Even when I remove all other bootable storage, the message is the same.

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mvp

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Dave, when you made the backup of the HDD, did you include all partitions, including any hidden / system partitions such as the Microsoft System Reserved (Legacy systems) or EFI partition (UEFI / Secure Boot systems).

When booting from the Acronis Rescue Media, this needs to be done in the same way as your Windows OS boots, i.e. Legacy or UEFI.

If the OS was Legacy, then you also need to restore the MBR and Track 0 to the new drive.  You should also recover the disk signature if you have any installed applications that uses this for the purpose of activation.

Beginner
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I know I backed up everything in the full backup. There aren't a lot of choices for the complete.

And, when I restored, yes, I restored everything that it found to restore, including track 0, and the MBR. There was a small fat16 partition, and a recovery partition, all restored. I also checked the disk signature box at the lower left of one of the panels, as the instructions recommended. 

However, I'm wondering if there is a way to check to see what was actually restored. Any ideas?

At one point, I restored the c:/ boot partition to the new SSD drive, but when I plug it in,  it gives the same response, even when it's the only bootable drive in the system, and on the same port as the original HDD. I thought duplication for the first pass had the greatest chance of success.

Beginner
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OK. I have fixed the new HDD restore. I used the method shown here. "Method 3: Run System Restore from Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE)". I've booted successfully once.  So far I have to reinstall my AV, and re-arrange my desktop icons. Currently waiting for an incremental backup. Not done though until I successfully bring up my SSD.

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mvp

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Dave, glad to hear that you were able to fix the new HDD - sounds like the boot sector on the old HDD may have had a problem (as far as being backed up & restored).  Hope the rest of your recovery actions go smoothly for you.

Beginner
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Thanks Steve for the good wishes and the help. I'll keep reporting until I get this all resolved to my satisfaction.

Beginner
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Mission accomplished. SSD installed, containing the OS and programs, with new HDD containing only the data. Performance is awesome as expected.

The secret was to do a complete restore, using ATI 2017 with all hardware installed, and the realization that the active partition was not c:, but rather the recovery partition, and it was necessary to put it on the new SSD with the c: partition.

There were no issues with the location of the c:\user\<name> data, although I did use ADD 12 to correct the partition names before booting. That was actually because I had already restored the whole data set to the HDD as a first pass, so it was not empty at first.

A suggestion: During the restore setup, the partitions are presented as numbered objects, 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, etc. It is only after selection that it becomes apparent which partition is which. This is confusing, and on a first pass to a new user, (me), may have led to errors when I tried it the first time.

Thanks again for the patience, and the suggestions, and the encouragement.

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mvp

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"During the restore setup, the partitions are presented as numbered objects, 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, etc. It is only after selection that it becomes apparent which partition is which. This is confusing, and on a first pass to a new user, (me), may have led to errors when I tried it the first time."

You should add a recognizable label to every disk/partition, so you can uniquely identify it without the drive letter. When recovering a disk or partition image, it's recommended to do so from the ATI bootable Rescue Media. As the Rescue Media is based on Linux, disks will enumerate differently so that E: in Windows may not be E: in the Rescue Media. That's why you need to be able to identify each partition by name, not by letter.

Beginner
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When recovering a disk or partition image, it's recommended to do so from the ATI bootable Rescue Media.

It's kind of late to do that when you are booting in recovery mode, isn't it?

Thanks for the comment.

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mvp

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Dave, you are correct that if you are at the booting in recovery mode, it may be too late for you, but our hope is that others reading these posts in the forum will get the message and default to using the bootable Rescue Media - this mainly because of the issues we deal with here for those who have done otherwise.

Beginner
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Good point Steve. And, to underline this, what we are talking about here is to label all partitions with something that is recognizable when restoring. And, to do this before disaster strikes.

I started to describe how to do this, but for my own FAT16 partitions, which have no name or drive letter, it seems impossible to do using the windows tool "Disk Management". I had to use ADD 12. It might be doable using the open source tool gparted, but I haven't checked.

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mvp

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Dave, naming the partitions where possible is one precaution you can take, I also put a simple text file in the root of each partition where the file name tells me which drive / partition it is found on.

In reply to by Steve Smith

Beginner
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How does that help during recovery? You can't see it. Or, is there some way you can?

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mvp

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Dave, it depends on what you are doing and how. For example, I use the MVP WinPE USB Rescue media which includes a file manager, or I could simply select a Files & Folders backup which will show me the files in the root of the drive before then doing a restore action. 

Beginner
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So, a way to explore the content before committing. A good trick to remember if I get into a complicated situation. 

If I was involved with the range of systems you guys are, looks like the MVP WinPE tool would be nice. As it is though, I'm going to adhere to the KISS principle for myself.

Thanks for all the help.

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mvp

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Dave, if you have around 30 minutes spare then I would recommend creating the MVP WinPE tool as it is much more useful than just being used for either backups or recovery.  You do need to have installed the Windows ADK (preferably the Windows 10 version) but after that it is pretty simple to create.

I use it to be able to boot up any computer and take a look at what is on the disk drive via the included file explorer, I can also run an offline CHKDSK using the tool (did so just the other day on a computer I was repairing for a friend where all the user profiles had become corrupted).  I also use it to capture screen shots using the Irfanview program that is included.