11-28-2010 09:09 AM
I have a computer with a regular hdd with a system partition (windows7) on that is 150GB in size (the drive have several other partitions). With Windows and all installed programs on it, only 35GB is in use. I want to replace the drive with an 60GB SSD.
Everybody tells me that I should use Norton Ghost to do this, but I can't really understand how to do it. Can someone either point me to a recipe for success or tell me how?
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11-28-2010 01:12 PM
Basically you would either make an image of the system partition and restore it onto the new drive, or use the "copy disk" feature to copy the system partition. Personally I like the first option but either will work.
One thing you would have to do first is either resize the existing partition or make sure that no data extends beyond the 60GB point of the drive. Even though you only have 35GB of data on that drive you will need to make sure nothing extends beyond 60GB because Ghost does a sector by sector copy.
Windows 7 has a limited ability to resize partitions but it can only do so until it hits a system file or a file in use.
Would you by chance have or be familiar with any third party partition tools?
Do you currently use a third party defragmenting tool?
11-28-2010 02:14 PM
I do not have any third party partition tools, as of yet. I do not use any defrag tool other than the built in with win7, but I do have Contig Defrag from my win xp time, but I don't know/have not yet tested how well that fares on win7. The built in partition resizer in diskmgmt.msc only manages to get down to about 75GB. Maybe a defrag can help on that.
11-28-2010 02:27 PM
Yes, you can try a defrag. If windows says it doesn't need it, force it to defrag anyway.
Then if you check again in disk management and still can't get below 60GB, chances are it's the page file in the way.
If you have at least 1GB of RAM, you can make a note of the settings and then temporarily disable the page file and reboot.
Or you could temporarily move the page file to another drive, reboot, and attempt to resize the partition below 60GB.
If you still can't get it below that point, we'll need to use a third party tool that can make the changes "outside" of windows where none of the files will be in use.
The tool I reccomended in the past doesn't do a good job with 2048 sector aligned partitions and it will be important to preserve that alignment since your going to a SSD drive. The performance will be much better and since you spent a lot of money for a SSD you might as well get all the benifits you can from it.
I'm sure we can get Brian to suggest something at that point, he's the expert.
11-28-2010 02:33 PM
I would not know how to use bootitNG to resize a partition, it looks easy enough but I never actually done it.
I would also be unsure about when it comes time to add the old drive back into the system, since it has extra data partitions on it, it's going to need to be reinstalled.
I don't know if it can just be added back after a couple boots like with XP, or if you would get a "disk collision" error because of the duplicate disk signatures.
11-28-2010 02:48 PM
Sorry, I keep forgetting about the system reserved partition because I never use one.
Next time your in disk management, look to see if you have a hidden partition before the C drive that is marked active.
It's usually around 100MB in size.
11-28-2010 04:18 PM
I think he could get by using Defraggler portable version while running the Ghost SRD. That is, put Defraggler on a flash or other drive, boot the SRD, then start Defraggler using the command prompt. Then after Defraggler does it's job, you should be able to see if the data will fit onto the new drive (the data should all be grouped together). Now run Ghost from the SRD to make a cold backup. Switch out the drives and restore the image to the SSD. (Upon first boot leave the old HDD disconnected.)
11-28-2010 04:25 PM
I managed to get way below 60GB, I got all the way down to 35GB (and of that only 25GB used) by using Contig for defrag and killing off the services that was non-movable (indexing, system restore, a metric ton of temp files etc).
Now to the copying part; I'll think I will manage that :)
11-28-2010 05:14 PM
You did good work on that!
Just make sure you re-enabled anything necessary, when you boot the new drive for the first time it must be by it'self and you don't want windows to be looking for a swap file on another drive that is not present.
If you do the copy drive, do not partition the new drive. It must not have a drive letter assigned.
Copy the SRP partition if present and make it the active partition. Then copy the C drive partition.
Then shutdown the system and remove the old drive and boot with just the new drive. You cannot let the 2 copies of windows "see" each other at any time during the process until after the new drive has booted by it'self a few times.
Best of luck
11-29-2010 12:18 PM
Had to do a complete reinstall as my computer suddenly found itself to be missing hal.dll and some other files (failing hdd anyone?). Oh well, Now I know how to shrink partitions at least.