Question I can't clone Windows (ONLY Windows, not data) from half-full 1TB HDD to 120GB SSD because the SSD isn't large enough.

Feb 25, 2021
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Hello all,

I have been using a 1TB hard drive with my self-built PC for a while now, but because of the slow speeds, I decided to get a 120GB SSD which I could migrate the Windows operating system onto and boot from. However, I still wanted to keep all the data on my HDD and still be able to access it like before.

So here's my problem: With all the software (AOMEI, EaseUS) that clones the OS from your HDD to an SSD, the size of the data stored on your old HDD needs to be smaller than the size of your new SSD, otherwise it won't work. But my 1TB HDD is around half-full, which means I can't use the software to clone the OS to the new SSD and then use it as my new boot drive.

Why????

I only want to use my SSD as the boot drive, but still keep all the data on my HDD. Windows 10 does fit on the SSD, so I don't understand why the SSD needs to be larger or as large as the data stored on the HDD. As I said, I don't want to migrate the data, only the OS.

Many people have made videos on how to have a HDD + SSD setup, but all of them have completely empty HDD's and SSD's. My problem is that my HDD is already half-full, and I don't want to lose the data on it.

How do I fix this problem?!

Thanks in advance!

Camembert
 

Andrewbandrew05

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Maybe try creating an Ubuntu installation USB stick. Once you have that you can transfer whatever files you can fit to your SSD from your HDD in Windows. Then reformat your HDD (Will delete ALL Data) and boot into Ubuntu on the stick. Transfer files from SSd back to HDD and then install windows on SSD. Do not do this before making sure it will work tho, as I am not sure Ubunut can write files to a hard drive or SSD formatted for Windows

Or maybe you can move everything to one folder on the ssd then use the windows 10 installation media to get cmd operb and transfer folder to HDD. (You'd have to google command for this)
 

USAFRet

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Maybe try creating an Ubuntu installation USB stick. Once you have that you can transfer whatever files you can fit to your SSD from your HDD in Windows. Then reformat your HDD (Will delete ALL Data) and boot into Ubuntu on the stick. Transfer files from SSd back to HDD and then install windows on SSD. Do not do this before making sure it will work tho, as I am not sure Ubunut can write files to a hard drive or SSD formatted for Windows
??

How does using Linux solve this?
There is a 1TB HDD (~1/2 full) and a 120GB SSD.

"and then install windows on SSD" is simply doing a fresh install on the SSD. Not 'cloning' as the user desires to do.
Given a clean install on the SSD, the "files" (not applications) that live on the HDD would still be accessible anyway.
 
You cannot clone "only windows". There is no application or function to do that.

Solution?
Return the 120GB drive, and buy a 1TB.
Headache?! Cut off head!

The solution is to turn the free space to a partition on the 1Tb disk and move all the data he can to that, if the first partition can have less than 120Gb (whatever actual free space it has) on it then it can be cloned to the new ssd, best with the migration option to handle all the boot stuff.
 
Feb 25, 2021
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Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the answers.

I was wondering, couldn't you back up the HDD and then completely wipe it, then set up the SSD/HDD configuration and then somehow migrate the data back onto the HDD?

I don't really know how that could work, it was just an idea.

Thanks,

Camembert
 

USAFRet

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Headache?! Cut off head!

The solution is to turn the free space to a partition on the 1Tb disk and move all the data he can to that, if the first partition can have less than 120Gb (whatever actual free space it has) on it then it can be cloned to the new ssd, best with the migration option to handle all the boot stuff.
Yes. That would solve the "files" issue.
Won't solve the applications that go along with this OS. Which will also probably be too large to squeeze into a 120GB.

Additionally, a 120GB is TooSmall these days. A poor starting point.
 
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USAFRet

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if the first partition can have less than 120Gb (whatever actual free space it has) on it then it can be cloned to the new ssd, best with the migration option to handle all the boot stuff.
And to clone into a 120GB drive, the actual consumed space you're cloning must be below 80GB.
The operation needs some free space to work with.
 
Feb 25, 2021
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Depends on what you mean by "the data".

Files like music text, video...that is no problem.
Applications, however...that will not work.

So, we need a clearer picture of what exactly is on this 1TB, and what space is consumed.
Yeah, by now I think I might just backup only the files such as Documents, Downloads, Photos etc. and migrate them back onto the SSD and I'll just install the applications manually... :[

Thanks guys
 

USAFRet

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Yeah, by now I think I might just backup only the files such as Documents, Downloads, Photos etc. and migrate them back onto the SSD and I'll just install the applications manually... :[

Thanks guys
Yep.

And when you do this, copy only the actual files.
Not the whole 'Library'.

The Doc/Photo/Downloads folders carry the permissions of the original user.
The files with do not.
 

Andrewbandrew05

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??

How does using Linux solve this?
There is a 1TB HDD (~1/2 full) and a 120GB SSD.

"and then install windows on SSD" is simply doing a fresh install on the SSD. Not 'cloning' as the user desires to do.
Given a clean install on the SSD, the "files" (not applications) that live on the HDD would still be accessible anyway.
This is basically just a way to shuffle stuff around without a drive to back up to. Ubuntu/Windows Installer provide a tool suite to facilitate the file transfer to the wiped HDD, before installing windows on the SSD.
 
Feb 25, 2021
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So for the SSD, are you still thinking clone, or is this a clean install?
I think I'll clean install onto the SSD, because the amount of files on the HDD is just too big for the SSD and it'll take ages to try and reduce it. I will then back up and wipe the HDD and use it as my storage location for e.g. Documents, Program Files, etc. Then I can copy the backed up files back into the HDD. Sounds like a plan to me :D.

But from what I've seen in tutorials you have to create pretty much all the folders manually, and I'm not sure about the folders like AppData or Windows for example, would I also have to create a folder on the HDD with the same name and then somehow redirect the data to those folders? Like, there are so many folders and I don't know which ones belong on my SSD and which ones I should rather put on my HDD. I would prefer to have only the bare OS and its config files and maybe a few small apps on the SSD, but other than that, everything else on the HDD.

Jeez. This is all too much to handle haha.

Thanks for your support, though.

Camembert
 

hang-the-9

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I think I'll clean install onto the SSD, because the amount of files on the HDD is just too big for the SSD and it'll take ages to try and reduce it. I will then back up and wipe the HDD and use it as my storage location for e.g. Documents, Program Files, etc. Then I can copy the backed up files back into the HDD. Sounds like a plan to me :D.

But from what I've seen in tutorials you have to create pretty much all the folders manually, and I'm not sure about the folders like AppData or Windows for example, would I also have to create a folder on the HDD with the same name and then somehow redirect the data to those folders? Like, there are so many folders and I don't know which ones belong on my SSD and which ones I should rather put on my HDD. I would prefer to have only the bare OS and its config files and maybe a few small apps on the SSD, but other than that, everything else on the HDD.

Jeez. This is all too much to handle haha.

Thanks for your support, though.

Camembert
The only files you should carry over from the old setup is My Documents, Desktop, your browser bookmarks and maybe Downloads if you need files from there. Everything else is created as you install programs and configure options on the computer once it's in use.

I would get a larger SSD so you can keep programs installed on it, just loading Windows faster is only half the use of the computer, you want programs to open quickly as well. What's the point of waiting an extra 15 seconds for the PC to start when you wait just as long for programs to load.
 

USAFRet

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I think I'll clean install onto the SSD, because the amount of files on the HDD is just too big for the SSD and it'll take ages to try and reduce it. I will then back up and wipe the HDD and use it as my storage location for e.g. Documents, Program Files, etc. Then I can copy the backed up files back into the HDD. Sounds like a plan to me :D.

But from what I've seen in tutorials you have to create pretty much all the folders manually, and I'm not sure about the folders like AppData or Windows for example, would I also have to create a folder on the HDD with the same name and then somehow redirect the data to those folders? Like, there are so many folders and I don't know which ones belong on my SSD and which ones I should rather put on my HDD. I would prefer to have only the bare OS and its config files and maybe a few small apps on the SSD, but other than that, everything else on the HDD.

Jeez. This is all too much to handle haha.

Thanks for your support, though.

Camembert
You can't move the contents of "Program Files" manually.

That is where your original applications were.
Applications (Programs) can't be moved between OS isntalls.

When an application is installed, it makes dozens, sometimes thousands of entries in the Registry and elsewhere. The new OS knows nothing about these.
They need to be reinstalled with the new OS. Either on the SSD, or on whatever drive you choose.
But that very act of installing them is what creates all those registry entries.

With the new OS install, you don't need to "create" any special folders for AppData/Doc/etc.


 

USAFRet

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I would get a larger SSD so you can keep programs installed on it, just loading Windows faster is only half the use of the computer, you want programs to open quickly as well. What's the point of waiting an extra 15 seconds for the PC to start when you wait just as long for programs to load.
Yep.

Having a tiny SSD with "only windows" on it is a waste of having an SSD.
You want the applications to be fast as well.
 
Feb 25, 2021
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Yep.

Having a tiny SSD with "only windows" on it is a waste of having an SSD.
You want the applications to be fast as well.
yeah, you might have convinced me. What would you say is suitable? 250gb? I only really need apps like Firefox, Steam, Spotify, Discord and MS Office to open quickly.
 
Feb 25, 2021
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I'm located in Germany, and the best PC parts website is mindfactory.de, they have good prices. I don't really want to cross the 50$ mark. Maybe 30 or 40 would be preferable.
 

USAFRet

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I'm located in Germany, and the best PC parts website is mindfactory.de, they have good prices. I don't really want to cross the 50$ mark. Maybe 30 or 40 would be preferable.
500GB Crucial MX500 = 56EUR
https://www.mindfactory.de/product_info.php/500GB-Crucial-MX500-2-5Zoll--6-4cm--SATA-6Gb-s-3D-NAND-TLC--CT500MX500S_1222727.html

250GB for 38
https://www.mindfactory.de/product_info.php/250GB-Crucial-MX500-2-5Zoll--6-4cm--SATA-6Gb-s-3D-NAND-TLC--CT250MX500S_1222726.html
 

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