Question How to move windows from hdd to ssd?

teamrw

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Dec 2, 2013
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I bought a 512GB SSD on which to install windows and some other programs as my 1TB hard drive is too slow. I want to use both drives but I would like to have windows installed on the SSD. I read some threads and watched some videos saying your new drive has to have more space than the old one to move the files but I only want to move windows. My HDD has 960GB worth of files on it so it is significantly larger than the capacity of the SSD. What should I do?
 

teamrw

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What are the full specs of your system?
What is actually on the HDD?
What do you use the system for?
My system specs are as follow:
i5 4690K
Asus Maximus VII Ranger
8GB DDR3
MSI GTX770 2GB
1TB WD Green
512GB Kingston KC600 SATA
Corsair 750W PSU

My HDD is very messy. It contains everything I have been doing on my computer from the past 7 odd years. I have a fair bit of games installed as well as videos and Sony Vegas projects, school work. Over the years due to poor understanding of directories and storage my file directories have gotten very messy and as a result I don't exactly know where the bulk of the data is stored.

I use this system as a home computer mainly for playing games and browsing the internet.

A clean install of Windows sounds easy but I fear even if I spend some time looking through my files there will be some irreplaceable files lost. I figure this is a last resort type of option.In order to clone the files on the existing HDD is it absolutely required to bring the 960GB down to less than 512GB?
 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator
My system specs are as follow:
i5 4690K
Asus Maximus VII Ranger
8GB DDR3
MSI GTX770 2GB
1TB WD Green
512GB Kingston KC600 SATA
Corsair 750W PSU

My HDD is very messy. It contains everything I have been doing on my computer from the past 7 odd years. I have a fair bit of games installed as well as videos and Sony Vegas projects, school work. Over the years due to poor understanding of directories and storage my file directories have gotten very messy and as a result I don't exactly know where the bulk of the data is stored.

I use this system as a home computer mainly for playing games and browsing the internet.

A clean install of Windows sounds easy but I fear even if I spend some time looking through my files there will be some irreplaceable files lost. I figure this is a last resort type of option.In order to clone the files on the existing HDD is it absolutely required to bring the 960GB down to less than 512GB?
Yes. You can't store two gallons of water in a one gallon container, no matter how much you would want to.

You also have a much, much bigger problem than getting an OS onto your SSD. A clean install should never cause any irreplaceable files to to be lost, because irreplaceable files should be stored in at least three different places, at a minimum, in at least two different systems/formats, and at least one off-site.

If you only have your irreplaceable files in one location, the question is when, not if, you lose your irreplaceable files forever.

I wouldn't even worry about the SSD right now. You have a much bigger mess to deal with, due to what appears to be poor PC upkeep on multiple levels (lack of backups, messy hard drive). Find your important files, back them up in multiple places properly, and then do a clean sweep of this mess and a fresh install. When the dog goes to the bathroom on the kitchen floor, you don't clean it up by putting newspaper over it, would you?
 

teamrw

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Dec 2, 2013
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Yes. You can't store two gallons of water in a one gallon container, no matter how much you would want to.

You also have a much, much bigger problem than getting an OS onto your SSD. A clean install should never cause any irreplaceable files to to be lost, because irreplaceable files should be stored in at least three different places, at a minimum, in at least two different systems/formats, and at least one off-site.

If you only have your irreplaceable files in one location, the question is when, not if, you lose your irreplaceable files forever.

I wouldn't even worry about the SSD right now. You have a much bigger mess to deal with, due to what appears to be poor PC upkeep on multiple levels (lack of backups, messy hard drive). Find your important files, back them up in multiple places properly, and then do a clean sweep of this mess and a fresh install. When the dog goes to the bathroom on the kitchen floor, you don't clean it up by putting newspaper over it, would you?
No you're absolutely right, my computer is a mess and I have been negligent in the way I stored my data. For so long I have just dusted everything under the carpet with a sort of out of sight out of mind mentality and as you say I should definitely organize everything before doing anything else. After all, a few hours of work is nothing when compared to losing something that you will never get back.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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A clean install of Windows sounds easy but I fear even if I spend some time looking through my files there will be some irreplaceable files lost. I figure this is a last resort type of option.In order to clone the files on the existing HDD is it absolutely required to bring the 960GB down to less than 512GB?
For that target drive, it is required to bring to under 400GB.

But from your description, you are nowhere near ready for moving to a different drive.
Fix your data organization.
Backups. You are one head crash or misclick away from losing it all.
 

teamrw

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Dec 2, 2013
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So I've just spent a fair few hours going through my main drive and I found so much unnecessary files which I then deleted and I'm now sitting on 126GB of total used storage. I transferred my most important files to a USB stick and also uploaded a chunk of it to a cloud service. I think I would be ready to continue in transferring all of the remaining data to my new SSD. Thanks to everyone who told me to sort my HDD out. I think I always knew I had to do it but it took some outside motivation to get me to actually do it, so I'm very thankful.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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-----------------------------
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
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.
-----------------------------
 

teamrw

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Dec 2, 2013
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-----------------------------
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
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.
-----------------------------
When doing this procedure should the new SSD be completely empty or will it work if I have some programs already installed onto the SSD?
 

teamrw

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Whatever is on there will be completely wiped out.
After I have successfully cloned the disk, powered off and have only the new SSD plugged in via SATA, do I boot up or do I swap the SATA cables before booting up so that the new SSD is in the number 1 SATA port (previously for HDD) and the HDD is in the number 5 SATA port (Where my SSD is plugged in now).
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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After I have successfully cloned the disk, powered off and have only the new SSD plugged in via SATA, do I boot up or do I swap the SATA cables before booting up so that the new SSD is in the number 1 SATA port (previously for HDD) and the HDD is in the number 5 SATA port (Where my SSD is plugged in now).
After the clone operation finishes:
Power OFF.
Disconnect the old drive.
Connect the NEW drive to the same SATA port the old one was in.
Power UP.

That is not always 100% needed, but in some rare cases it makes a difference. So just to be sure, plug the new drive into the same port the old one was.
Then boot up for the first time.
 

teamrw

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After the clone operation finishes:
Power OFF.
Disconnect the old drive.
Connect the NEW drive to the same SATA port the old one was in.
Power UP.

That is not always 100% needed, but in some rare cases it makes a difference. So just to be sure, plug the new drive into the same port the old one was.
Then boot up for the first time.
Everything is working as should and already my computer feels snappier. One last question however, can I use the Macrium Reflect program now and just delete all partitions from the old HDD without worry? Even the system reserved one, essentially giving me a completely empty HDD without losing any data? The main partition on the HDD is 129GB while the SSD is only 120GB even though they should have all the same data correct?
 

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