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Migrate Win7+soft from one SSD to brand new SSD

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Beginner
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Good day,
I need to migrate Win7 64bit+soft from SSD Crucial M4 120gb(there's only one partition) to a brand new SSD 525gb (which needs to be partitioned into 2 partitions of equal size).
I have Acronis True Image HD.
Is it better to first initialize and partition new SSD using standard tools from Win7, and than migrate OS+soft with Acronis True Image HD?
Or shall I use Acronis True Image HD for new SSD without partitioning?
If 2nd option is better, will I be able to choose partition size for new SSD?

I am sorry if I'm asking in wrong forum, I couldn't find a branch for HD version.

Thank you!

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Forum Hero
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Use your offline bootable Acronis recovery media to start...

Backup the original drive and store the image to a third party location (like a network share or eternal USB hard drive if you can).  Restore the image to the new SSD.  Remove the original drive and put the newly restored image on your new SSD where you just removed the original from.  Boot the machine with the new drive.  

Once booted into Windows, then go into control panel >>> administrative tools >>> computer management >>> disk management.   Find the C: drive, right click and "shrink volume".  It will calculate how much you can shink (give it some time) and let you know how much space is available to shrink. Once it is shrunk, you can right-click on the unallocated space and create a new parition on it and your done.  

Most of the time, that's all you need to do.  However, Windows doesn't always let you shrink to the full potential because data may be written towards the end of the disk already (SSD's do this with caching).  If, for some reason, you can't shrink the volume as much as you'd like, then a fee tool like minitool parition wizard free can handle this easily and with minimal risk.  I use this paritcular tool for this exact purpose. 

Beginner
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Bobbo_3C0X1 wrote:

Use your offline bootable Acronis recovery media to start...

 Restore the image to the new SSD.  Remove the original drive and put the newly restored image on your new SSD where you just removed the original from.  

Thank you for your reply!

The old SSD is mSata interface and new SSD is SATA. So there is no way I can plug new SSD to the same interface. Will this be an issue?

I forgot to mention that I need to leave some space in the beggining of the new SSD for linux bootloader (currently not sure if it has to be at the beginning or after windows partition is also fine). Can I shrink windows partition so that there is some free space in the beginning? 

Forum Hero
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You should be OK as long as you remove the original drive before booting into the new one.  If both drives are SATA, but one is just m.2 format, won't matter - you typically don't want to try and boot two drives that have the same hardware ID in the bios as that can cause trouble.

What are you trying to do with the additional bootloader - dual boot Linux, or put Acronis there?  I have been avoiding dual boot systems with Windows 10 because of the change to paritions that the Windows 10 "upgrades" create each time.  If you are going to try and dual boot though and are starting with Windows, I would put teh Linux parition at the end of the drive - it's easier to do this and should work the same.  If things go badly, well, you'll have that same image you can always deploy again and try again. 

You will not be able to shrink free space at teh front of the disk in Windows.  You would need to use a third party tool like minitool parition wizard free.  If you do go this route, srhink the space and see if Windows boots before applying a Linux install - I'm not sure why this would need to be at the front of the drive though. 

 

Beginner
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Bobbo_3C0X1 wrote:

What are you trying to do with the additional bootloader - dual boot Linux, or put Acronis there?  

Yes I will need to dual boot Linux sometimes. Not going to use Windows 10 in any near future.

Bobbo_3C0X1 wrote:

 I'm not sure why this would need to be at the front of the drive though. 

I don't really know if linux boot loader needs to be at the front of the drive. Trying to figure it out on linux forums. If not, it would be much easier:)

Does acronis replicates whole partition table while cloning?

Or can I just clone a single partition with Win7?

The old SSD have MBR and I would like to have GPT on new drive if possible since its more flexible.

Forum Hero
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It shouldn't matter which end of the partition you create your second boot - personally, I'd leave it at the end since the bootloader for the main Windows OS is already established.

When cloning, you get an exact clone of the original drive.

As a result, you cannot clone from MBR to GPT.

If you do a backup and restore it is possible to convert from MBR to GPT.  Not everyone is successful in this though, but I've done it a few times without issue.  I would backup and restore what you currently have to teh new SSD and leave it as MBR first.  If that works, then redo the restore and try the GPT conversion (you accomplish this by boothin your recovery media in UEFI mode - assuming your bios allows you to use UEFI).  

If that is successful, then try your Linux dual boot setup and see how it goes.  Worse case, you restore your image that you already know can be recvered in MBR and/or UEFI mode.

If you have a desktop, you can avoid OS issues and bootloader problems with a quick swap internal hardware dock like this one.  Makes life very simple when you want to switch between OS, just by popping out one drive and inserting the other - these tie directly to the mainboard SATA connectors. 

Beginner
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Bobbo_3C0X1 wrote:

It shouldn't matter which end of the partition you create your second boot - personally, I'd leave it at the end since the bootloader for the main Windows OS is already established.

Yes, people on linux forum say linux doesn't even need a seperate boot partition besides some special cases. 

Bobbo_3C0X1 wrote:

If that works, then redo the restore and try the GPT conversion (you accomplish this by boothin your recovery media in UEFI mode - assuming your bios allows you to use UEFI).  

Yes, I believe its UEFI. Should I choose UEFI boot only in bios settings?

If I remember correctly, there are 3 boot settings in bios: UEFI only, automatic UEFI/bios choice and bios only.

Bobbo_3C0X1 wrote:

If you have a desktop, you can avoid OS issues and bootloader problems with a quick swap internal hardware dock like this one.  

Its a notebook. Thats why current SSD is mSata

When I make do a backup from a drive, it will create a file, right? Just want to make sure that it will not destroy other data on the drive, which I will choose for backup.

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Yes the backup is a file, with *.tib name. It will only overwrite existing files if you clone a disk to a disk that already has data.

Ian

Forum Hero
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Yes, I believe its UEFI. Should I choose UEFI boot only in bios settings?​ If I remember correctly, there are 3 boot settings in bios: UEFI only, automatic UEFI/bios choice and bios only.

By setting it to UEFI only, if the second OS supports UEFI installation, that should force a UEFI install.  If you have legacy/CSM mode enabled, it might try to install in legacy mode, depedning on if you boot the installer in legacy mode or UEFI mode (same as Windows) so you can avoid that possibility by forcing UEFI mode - at least during the install.   Once installed, you can go back and turn on legacy/csm mode in the bios (in addition to UEFI) again.  Some motherboards require CSM be  enabled for dual boot OS installs - really depends on the bios/firmware though. 

Beginner
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Thank you!

I just found that exact version is Acronis True Image HD 2015 (the key comes with crucial SSD, http://www.acronis.com/en-us/promo/tihd2015-download/). Since its a bit old, does all what you said still apply to this version?

May be I could try to use the key with newer version if it matters?

Beginner
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sorry posted same thing twice:)

Forum Hero
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It most likely does.  However, the versions of Acronis that come with manufacturer products are modified by the vendor and only supported by them (and not Acronis).  Most of the vendor provided versions only work for restoring to their particular hardware as well (for instance if yours came from crucial, there's a good chance it will only allow you to restore an image to a crucial hard drive and will prevent you from being able to do so on other drives - not always, but often).

I don't see why you couldn't safetly put it to the test though.  Take a full disk image of your existing hard drive and save that image to a third location.  Push the image to the new msata drive.  Remove the original SATA drive and hold onto it for posterity and/or as a failsafe to return to.  See if it boots. If it does, you're in good shape.  Then you can work on trying to get Linux installed and if things go badly, just restore the image you have and try again. 

 

Beginner
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Hey,

I just found that some functionality is locked in this acronis from crucial: Acronis universal restore option is locked.

"Rescue media builder" function is open and I was able to create a DVD. Clone disk is also available, but you said its wan't work for MBR->GPT conversion.

Does "Rescue media" dvd allow to do such conversion, or do I need "Acronis universal restore"? I am only replacing SSD, no other hardware.

Function "Backup" of entire PC/Partions/Files&Folders also open (from windows without bootable media).

Sorry for so many questions:)

Forum Hero
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If you are just replacing the SSD - you won't need universal restore. Universal restore is if you are changing computers (different motherboards and/or different processors).  If you're puting the SSD in the same system, you should be fine without universal restore. 

If the vendor version you have has the same capability for imaging, then you should be able to convert from MBR to GPT by booting to the media in UEFI mode - that is the key for the conversion.  Worse case, if not, you end up with the same MBR OS, but on a much faster SSD so you're still in better shape.  You're not losing too much if you have stick with MBR unless you plan on having more than 4 logical partitions, then you need GPT to keep things simple.  

I have a feeling it will convert to GPT as long as you boot the media in UEFI mode though.  

 

Beginner
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Thank you! Can one backup a drive/partition when booting from "Rescue media" dvd? I believe such backup should be more stable than from windows, since the drive is not used during backup. or I can do this only from windows?

When I choose backup from windows I can choose to backup only a specific partition or the whole drive. Which option would you advise?

Forum Hero
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Yes. This is my preferred method, too. Backing up with rescue media does so when the OS is idle and reduces interference from 3rd party apps, malware, etc. 

I would back up the entire disk and get everything to make sure your restored image is bootable. You can always restore a particular partition from it too. Better have everything to work with and pick and choose what to recover than to limit what you have in the backup in the first place.

Beginner
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This approach doesn't seem to work at least with my version of acronis.

I initialized new SSD as GPT, than restored windows partition. But it doesn't allow to choose new SSD for restoring "MBR and record 0" on it, which is logical since there is GPT on new SSD. I booted acronis in UEFI mode, I am sure its UEFI cause the starting screen looks very different.

Seems that its not so easy to convert from MBR to GPT.

 

Forum Hero
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Yeah, it may be a limitation of the manufacturer version of the product as modified by the hardware reseller of the drive.  Using the full Acronis version, I've always been able to pick any drive to restore to usinga recovery (as long as it could fit the restored image), whether using legacy (MBR) or UEFI (GPT) mode of the bootable media.  Whether or not it boots (depending on which one is used) is usually the issue.  Are you at least able to use the WD version to restore your image to the MBR disk?  

Grab the trial version of ACronis 2017 and create a rescue media with it and see if it lets you.  The offline media will allow you to restore during the trial.