Question How difficult is it to clone a harddrive with Acronis?

Jul 23, 2020
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I'm wanting to upgrade the HDD in my Windows 7 laptop with an SSD and clone the HDD to the SSD. HDD has two partitions: Main partition and recovery partition.
 
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Jul 23, 2020
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I much prefer Macrium Reflect.

It can be done, with certain conditions.

What size/make/mode is the new SSD?
How much consumed space is on the existing HDD?
What SO?
How old is this install?
-Crucial MX500 500GB 3D NAND SATA 2.5
-About 40 GB used on 512GB HDD
-Don't know what "SO" is
-Just did a factory install a week ago
 

USAFRet

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-Crucial MX500 500GB 3D NAND SATA 2.5
-About 40 GB used on 512GB HDD
-Don't know what "SO" is
-Just did a factory install a week ago
Sorry..I meant "OS" (typo)

Given that, yes, you can clone it easily
However...it seems to be a brand new install, so I'd probably just do it again on the SSD.



But, here ya go, both ways:
--------------------------------------------------

or


-----------------------------
Specific steps for a successful clone operation:
-----------------------------
Verify the actual used space on the current drive is significantly below the size of the new SSD
Download and install Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration, if a Samsung SSD)
Power off
Disconnect ALL drives except the current C and the new SSD
Power up
Run the Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration)
Select ALL the partitions on the existing C drive

If you are going from a smaller drive to a larger, by default, the target partition size will be the same as the Source. You probably don't want that
You can manipulate the size of the partitions on the target (larger)drive
Click on "Cloned Partition Properties", and you can specifiy the resulting partition size, to even include the whole thing

Click the 'Clone' button
Wait until it is done
When it finishes, power off
Disconnect ALL drives except for the new SSD
This is to allow the system to try to boot from ONLY the SSD
Swap the SATA cables around so that the new drive is connected to the same SATA port as the old drive
Power up, and verify the BIOS boot order
If good, continue the power up

It should boot from the new drive, just like the old drive.
Maybe reboot a time or two, just to make sure.

If it works, and it should, all is good.

Later, reconnect the old drive and wipe all partitions on it.
This will probably require the commandline diskpart function, and the clean command.

Ask questions if anything is unclear.
-----------------------------
 
Reactions: martykinn
Jul 23, 2020
44
1
35
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Sorry..I meant "OS" (typo)

Given that, yes, you can clone it easily
However...it seems to be a brand new install, so I'd probably just do it again on the SSD.



But, here ya go, both ways:
--------------------------------------------------

or


-----------------------------
Specific steps for a successful clone operation:
-----------------------------
Verify the actual used space on the current drive is significantly below the size of the new SSD
Download and install Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration, if a Samsung SSD)
Power off
Disconnect ALL drives except the current C and the new SSD
Power up
Run the Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration)
Select ALL the partitions on the existing C drive

If you are going from a smaller drive to a larger, by default, the target partition size will be the same as the Source. You probably don't want that
You can manipulate the size of the partitions on the target (larger)drive
Click on "Cloned Partition Properties", and you can specifiy the resulting partition size, to even include the whole thing

Click the 'Clone' button
Wait until it is done
When it finishes, power off
Disconnect ALL drives except for the new SSD
This is to allow the system to try to boot from ONLY the SSD
Swap the SATA cables around so that the new drive is connected to the same SATA port as the old drive
Power up, and verify the BIOS boot order
If good, continue the power up

It should boot from the new drive, just like the old drive.
Maybe reboot a time or two, just to make sure.

If it works, and it should, all is good.

Later, reconnect the old drive and wipe all partitions on it.
This will probably require the commandline diskpart function, and the clean command.

Ask questions if anything is unclear.
-----------------------------
OS is Windows 7 Home Premium
The OS install software is a recovery image on a separate partition of the HDD. There are two partitions on the original HDD: Main and recovery.
 
Jul 23, 2020
44
1
35
0
Sorry..I meant "OS" (typo)

Given that, yes, you can clone it easily
However...it seems to be a brand new install, so I'd probably just do it again on the SSD.



But, here ya go, both ways:
--------------------------------------------------

or


-----------------------------
Specific steps for a successful clone operation:
-----------------------------
Verify the actual used space on the current drive is significantly below the size of the new SSD
Download and install Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration, if a Samsung SSD)
Power off
Disconnect ALL drives except the current C and the new SSD
Power up
Run the Macrium Reflect (or Samsung Data Migration)
Select ALL the partitions on the existing C drive

If you are going from a smaller drive to a larger, by default, the target partition size will be the same as the Source. You probably don't want that
You can manipulate the size of the partitions on the target (larger)drive
Click on "Cloned Partition Properties", and you can specifiy the resulting partition size, to even include the whole thing

Click the 'Clone' button
Wait until it is done
When it finishes, power off
Disconnect ALL drives except for the new SSD
This is to allow the system to try to boot from ONLY the SSD
Swap the SATA cables around so that the new drive is connected to the same SATA port as the old drive
Power up, and verify the BIOS boot order
If good, continue the power up

It should boot from the new drive, just like the old drive.
Maybe reboot a time or two, just to make sure.

If it works, and it should, all is good.

Later, reconnect the old drive and wipe all partitions on it.
This will probably require the commandline diskpart function, and the clean command.

Ask questions if anything is unclear.
-----------------------------
By the way, I will be trying to clone the HDD via the SSD connected to a USB port.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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OS is Windows 7 Home Premium
The OS install software is a recovery image on a separate partition of the HDD. There are two partitions on the original HDD: Main and recovery.
You should be able to invoke that 'recovery' thing, and create your own USB or DVD to install from.
Then you won't need that partition anymore.

But...either way as above.
And you really really need to get off Win 7.
 
Jul 23, 2020
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You should be able to invoke that 'recovery' thing, and create your own USB or DVD to install from.
Then you won't need that partition anymore.

But...either way as above.
And you really really need to get off Win 7.
I considered doing Windows 10, but the drivers for Windows 10 are difficult to find and gather together. HP...the laptop brand...doesn't seem to have Windows 10 drivers for this particular...11-year old...laptop.
 
Jul 23, 2020
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I considered doing Windows 10, but the drivers for Windows 10 are difficult to find and gather together. HP...the laptop brand...doesn't seem to have Windows 10 drivers for this particular...11-year old...laptop.
I'm wondering if the recovery file can be copied to a thumbdrive and used that way to reinstall the OS?
 

USAFRet

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I'm wondering if the recovery file can be copied to a thumbdrive and used that way to reinstall the OS?
Look in the user manual.
There WILL be some function to invoke, and cause that recovery thing to write itself out to a bootable USB or DVD.
This is was required. The manufacturer have to give you some way to reinstall. Long ago, they would actually include the DVD stack in the box.
Now, it is just that partition.
But....if that drive dies and you need to recover...you are out of luck if that partition is on the now dead drive. So there is the function for that to write itself out to USB or DVD.

And often, you only get one chance at this...it deletes that partition at the end of the process. I had an HP that did exactly that.


For your cloning, either run that function, or clone that partition as well.

For Win 10...it will almost certainly work. I have systems much older running Win 10 just fine.
 
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USAFRet

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And, cloning into the drive via USB....mostly the same.
Resist the urge to poke around inside the MX500 when the process is done.

People want to "see if everything is there". Unless it coughed up an error, it is. And out of the 139,518(*) files in a relatively new OS install...you can't tell anyway.

(*) - Not an actual number, but in the range.
 
Reactions: martykinn
Jul 23, 2020
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Look in the user manual.
There WILL be some function to invoke, and cause that recovery thing to write itself out to a bootable USB or DVD.
This is was required. The manufacturer have to give you some way to reinstall. Long ago, they would actually include the DVD stack in the box.
Now, it is just that partition.
But....if that drive dies and you need to recover...you are out of luck if that partition is on the now dead drive. So there is the function for that to write itself out to USB or DVD.

And often, you only get one chance at this...it deletes that partition at the end of the process. I had an HP that did exactly that.


For your cloning, either run that function, or clone that partition as well.

For Win 10...it will almost certainly work. I have systems much older running Win 10 just fine.
I'm gonna use Windows 7's built-in "backup" function and create a system image on a USB thumbdrive. But I'm going to try to do a clone first so I can get both partitions onto the new SSD. Acronis comes free with a Crucial SSD purchase, so I'll use it.

If it occurs that the clone doesn't work out, I'll resort to the thumbdrive backup. It won't give me the original OS install files that are accessible from the recovery partition of the HDD, but at least I can get the OS up and going again on the new SSD.
 
Jul 23, 2020
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Multiple ways forward.
Good luck!
Unfortunately the thumbdrive backup isn't working. The "create system image" function says the drive I'm trying to use isn't a valid location. I Binged a way to resolve this...followed the instructions precisely...and it didn't resolve it. THAT is what I absolutely abhor about doing ANYTHING with a computer. The instructions rarely work to resolve problems.

It's why I'm so apprehensive about trying to do a drive clone. What SEEMS so simple and straightforward can be a complete nightmare for some people.
 

USAFRet

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Cloning is relatively safe, because it does NOT affect the source drive.
What is on the existing drive stays there, as a fallback in case the clone operation fails.

You can always try again.


I've done that exact procedure above many many times, and talked hundreds here through that.
 
Reactions: martykinn
Jul 23, 2020
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Cloning is relatively safe, because it does NOT affect the source drive.
What is on the existing drive stays there, as a fallback in case the clone operation fails.

You can always try again.


I've done that exact procedure above many many times, and talked hundreds here through that.
Rather than buy DVD-RW discs,...nickle and dime'ing me...I'd just try to do a clone. If it doesn't work out, like you say, I have the HDD to fallback onto. :). I can just use the expensive SSD as an external storage device.
 

USAFRet

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Not really. I don't have a copy of Windows 7 on any kind of usable drive or disc. All of the OS I have is located on the recovery partition of the original HDD.
And as said, that recovery partition almost certainly gives you the functionality to create its own USB or DVD.
That partition wouldn't be much good if that physical drive died, and you had to replace it.

Look in the user manual. It will tell you how to create that.

I've never had much luck with, or faith in, the built in Windows 'system image' thing.
 
Jul 23, 2020
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And as said, that recovery partition almost certainly gives you the functionality to create its own USB or DVD.
That partition wouldn't be much good if that physical drive died, and you had to replace it.

Look in the user manual. It will tell you how to create that.

I've never had much luck with, or faith in, the built in Windows 'system image' thing.
I used that recovery partition a week ago to do factory restore of Windows 7 on my laptop. It actually isn't an image. It has a file size of 29.9KB. What it did do during the "recovery" process was download the software rather than access any software in the partition.

This is why I tried to do a "system image" backup to a thumbdrive.
 

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