Migrating Windows to an SSD

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Old 08-05-20, 09:27 AM
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Migrating Windows to an SSD

I installed a 500 GB internal SSD (M.2 SATA) directly to the motherboard of my desktop (Acer Aspire TC-780). That went smooth - disk is formatted and recognized by Windows.



I am trying to migrate Windows OS to this drive so I can boot and run Windows from the SSD instead of the HDD. From my limited research, Windows needs about 15 GB to install and run. I have tried "migrate OS to a new drive both on Mini-Partition Wizard and Disk Genius. Both report "destination disk not big enough". I have attached screenshots.



Any ideas?



Thanks all.

 
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Old 08-05-20, 11:23 AM
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Don’t know d-squat about that tool , but do you have the wrong partition selected? Looks like you are selecting that 16MB partition – whatever that is. Or are you just supposed to point to a disk - and that's it?

Ohhh - you are trying for the 16MB then? I'm confused - lol!

16 is too small for W10 !!!
 
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Old 08-05-20, 12:09 PM
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i've never used that SW to migrate (clone) an operating system disk to another (SSD). I've always used Macrium Reflect Free to do that. However, it appears that the SSD has been partitioned and formatted. I would suggest that you try deleting the partitions on the new SSD so that it's a single unpartitioned space. Then try migrating the OS from the HD to the SSD. If that doesn't work, I would suggest that you try downloading/installing Macrium Reflect Free and try cloning the HD to the SSD.
 
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Old 08-05-20, 01:08 PM
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Well I just found this out, news to me:

16 MB partition is the Microsoft Reserved Partition. It is supposed to be present on all GPT disks.
So that explains where that came from. Maybe the current tool will work if the other(465) partition is selected.
 
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Old 08-06-20, 06:04 AM
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Zoesdad and Bob - thanks. I selected the big free part of the SSD to use and kept getting "Insufficient disk space". In the research I did, these aren't really "OS Migration" tools at all, but simply clone the entire disk. I wish that had been more clear. Obviously I can't fit 3.7 TB of files into 465GB.

I'm still stuck - do either of you know if there is a way to just copy the OS?

Thank you for the replies.
 
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Old 08-06-20, 07:34 AM
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Unfortunately, I don't know of any reliable way to move just the OS from one drive to another. That's one reason why I partition my system drives into 3 partitions: OS, Apps, Data. Then, if I want to move the OS to an SSD, it's easy since it's on a separate partition. The other reason I do it is for backup purposes. I like to do somewhat frequent backups of the Windows partition, especially before upgrading to a new version. By having OS, Apps, & Data on separate partitions, backup of either the OS or Data partitions is relatively fast and small. Since the Apps rarely changes, it saves time & file size since it's not backing up the apps every time I backup the OS or data.
 
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Old 08-06-20, 08:22 AM
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Years go by before I play with partitions, so I’m no expert. But could you shrink down the OS volume like this:

(1) Copy a set of personal files from your OS partition to the SSD.

(2) Remove the set of files in (1) from the OS partition.

(3) Shrink the OS partition down to a size = [to current size – size of files removed in (1)].

(4) Copy the files in (1) from the SSD back to a new partition on the OS disk.

(5) Remove the files from the SSD.

(6) Repeat steps 1-5 until the OS partition is small enough to fit onto the SSD.

Might be a flaw in that logic , but it seems like it would work (warning I am over 75 yrs and the brain malfunctions quite a lot – lol!!)

ahh shucks!!! I think the above will not work. I think those new multiple partitions on the HDD will not be available to the copy procedure - I think that's the case.
 

Last edited by zoesdad; 08-06-20 at 09:21 AM. Reason: added "ahh ....
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Old 08-06-20, 10:16 AM
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zoesdad: Maybe that would work. Once done, would I be able to combine all of the new partitions on the HDD back into one partition without losing anything?
 
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Old 08-06-20, 10:46 AM
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What zoesdad said may work if you have a reasonable amount of free space left on your current HD. However, an easier way to achieve the same result would be to defrag the HD setting the parameters for maximum free space. You'll probably going to have to use a third party defrag utility (I don't think the MS defrag utility will let you select max free space). Once you have moved everything together, you can then create a new partition from the empty space. Move all your data files (everything but the OS & Apps) to the new partition. If there's not enough room on the new partition for all your data, move as much over as you can and then defrag the OS partition again. Add the remaining free space from the OS partition to the new partition and move the rest of the data. Keep repeating this process until all you have moved everything except the OS & Apps to the new partition.

Once you have just the OS & Apps on the "old" HD partition, you can clone that to the SSD. Set your computer to boot off the SSD and you will then have your OS & Apps on the SSD and your data on the HD You can then delete the OS & Apps partition from the HD and combine it with the existing data partition so you have the full capacity of the HD.
 
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Old 08-06-20, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by tspence
-Zoesdad and Bob - thanks. I selected the big free part of the SSD to use and kept getting "Insufficient disk space". In the research I did, these aren't really "OS Migration" tools at all, but simply clone the entire disk. I wish that had been more clear. Obviously I can't fit 3.7 TB of files into 465GB.
-I'm still stuck - do either of you know if there is a way to just copy the OS?
-Thank you for the replies.
Here is what I have done in a similar situation (Returning a flip-book because the touch-screen stopped working.
1) make a Macrium Disk-Image of all the user accounts on the drive (recent laptop, so only 1 drive.
2) reset the computer to "factory" to wipe all personal data and then update OS to Aug-2020. Restart a few times and go through "devices" to make sure that ONLY the essential devices and drives are loaded.
3) make a Macrium Disk-Image of the minimal Win10 OS and drivers.
4) out of habit, I try to setup my laptops have at least 2 bootable partitions.
The first is the "normal" computer with all apps and logins.
The second is a safety-net, a Macrium copy of the bare-bones bootable HD if/when I reset them.


 

Last edited by Hal_S; 08-06-20 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 08-06-20, 11:51 AM
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Bob/tspence –

NEVER MIND !! I see the problem you do need an amount of free space on the HDD . In my previous post that procedure would require extra space to do the shuffle, you would get stuck and would need some free space !!!

If you had it or could make it - yes it would work otherwise no! My bad!
 
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Old 08-06-20, 12:45 PM
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Hal - are you saying there is a way copy only the user accounts? If so, how exactly?

zoesdad - I have an old 1 TB HDD and an enclosure case that I can devote to a temp drive to transfer data. Will your method work?

Thanks all-
 
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Old 08-06-20, 03:31 PM
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It was a long time ago when I used Shrink Volume and it seemed to be very useful at that time. Now it seems because apparently there are some OS files that canít be relocated, the amount you may be able to shrink is very disappointing. (Maybe it was always that way and I just didnít notice back then.)

For example:

My system partition (OS bootable) is the C: drive and the size is 465 GB. It has 312 GB free space.

You can use Disk Management to query the volume to find out how much the volume can be shrunk. You donít have to start the shrink Ė it will just give you some numbers and you can cancel. This is what I get for the C: drive when I query:

Total size before shrink in MB : 476938
Size of Available shrink space in MB: 28970
Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB: 28970
Total size after shrink in MB: 447968


So even though I have 312 GB of free space on that drive, I can only shrink it by 29 GB. I think thatís because there are some system files that may be located at the end of the volume that canít be moved. Supposedly some third party tools can rearrange things and allow the volume to shrink more. But then you are in to other tools so why bother.

(in Disk Management your right click the volume and select Shrink Volume , it will give you the information and it wonít automatically do anything. If you are interested).

Bummer! So I think I led you astray as to the value of shrink volume. My bad!! But maybe you would get some interesting numbers if you do the shrink query.


 
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Old 08-07-20, 07:38 AM
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My drive is 3.8 TB and 178 GB can be shrunk. So I guess that's a start. Thanks for the info. What does it do exactly when it shrinks a volume? Does it compress data? If so, I probably won't do as that may slow the system down more than it already is.
 
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Old 08-07-20, 08:44 AM
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When you shrink a volume, it moves files around (much like defragmentation) so that they are all mostly contiguous and all the free space is at the end of the partition. This allows you to create a new partition from the free space. It's likely going to take a number of shrinking actions to move all your data to the new partition that you create.

Once you shrink the current partition, create a new partition from the resulting free space. After the new partition is created and formatted, move as much of your data to the new partition as will fit. Keep repeating this procedure until all of your data is moved to the new partition.

Note that if most or all of your current data is in your Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc. folders, you can recreate these same folders on the new partition, so the new partition will have the same structure as your current partition.
 
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Old 08-07-20, 09:08 AM
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My drive is 3.8 TB and 178 GB can be shrunk.
Bob explained it - but I think you would have to eventually shrink down from the 3.8 to 0.5 TB to fit it on the SSD. That's where I think was overly optimistic. I thought you could delete files, free up space, shrink, and keep going in that loop until you got down to 0.5 TB - and that would fit on the SSD.

But right now the shrink is only offering you that 178 GB - and I bet you have a lot more free space than that on the 3.8 TB drive, proving that deleting files and freeing up space won't get you to the shrinkage you need.

What is the current free space on that 3.8 TB drive?
 
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Old 08-07-20, 09:31 AM
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Right now I am using 1.9 TB. Photos and videos take up approx 1 TB. So I could move those to a temp drive and get down to approx 1 TB. That still leaves me 500 GB of "stuff" to move or delete. I looked through my programs and I have no idea how to go about getting rid of that much data. My big programs are Lightroom and Photoshop but they don't take up nearly that much space.

 
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Old 08-07-20, 10:42 AM
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If you have another drive that you can temporarily move a large amount of your data to, that would be extremely helpful. That would greatly reduce the number of shrink/move operations you would have to do.

Without moving files to an external drive, you would start with 178GB free space from which you would create a new (second) partition. Once you move ~178GB of files to the new partition, you'll have another ~178GB free, which you can add to the new partition (now ~356GB in size). Basically, you keep shrinking the first partition, moving data to the second partition, expanding the second partition, moving files, etc., over an over again.

The more free space you have initially, the fewer iterations it will take. That's why it's so important to free up as much space on your HD as you can before beginning the process.
 
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Old 08-07-20, 10:49 AM
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It looks like your entire volume is full then (you didnít say what the used/free space was). Looks like no matter how you look at it, you would have to remove enough files from that volume to get the used space down to the size of the SSD. There are third party tools out there like this:

https://www.easeus.com/partition-mas...aller-ssd.html

which can do the migration, but as you can see in their outline, you have to ensure that the used space on the volume has to be less than the SSD capacity. So in effect they will shrink the volume down but obviously they canít shrink it down to a point less than used space in the volume.

I donít see any way around it, you would have to remove enough files from that 3.8 TB volume to get the used space down below the 0.5 TB SSD size, and then use a third party tool, like the above, and migrate the volume to the SSD. If you get the used space on the 3.8 TB volume down to the SSD size or much smaller, then maybe Windows shrink-volume would work and you wouldnít need a third party tool.

But unfortunately I think in any case you are stuck with selecting and moving out enough files to get down to the proper size, and that seems to be much more than the 1.9 TB Photos and 1.0 TB Videos.

Maybe someone else will see something better.



 
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Old 08-07-20, 11:07 AM
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I am using approx 1.9 TB and have approx 1.9 TB free. All remaining photos, video, docs and downloads are approx 1 TB. I can move those to a temp drive. That will leave approx 900 GB to move/shrink. The problem at that point is move what? Once I remove all of my personal files - there will still be 900 GB of system files, program files, etc. I don't see any way to get down to under 500 GB.
 
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Old 08-07-20, 11:54 AM
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Just to be sure that I'm clear on this. Are you saying that your Windows, Users, Program Files, and Program Files x86 folders add up to 900GB? The sum of all of my mentioned folders is 54GB, that's why I find it hard to believe that yours add up to 900GB. I have Photoshop installed as well, no Lightroom though.

Select the 4 folders mentioned above and do a Properties on them. What is the total of the space used by them?
 
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Old 08-07-20, 12:38 PM
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For those 4 folders, I show 1.73 TB of data. That includes the 1 TB of videos and photos that I can move to a temp drive - so that leaves about 730 GB.

I have the Windows installation media on a USB stick. I could install Windows on the SSD. But would that wipe out all data on my existing HDD?
 

Last edited by tspence; 08-07-20 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 08-07-20, 01:18 PM
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All I can say is WOW! I don't know how you could be using so much space. If you haven't already done so, try running Disk Cleanup (Windows\Administrative Tools\Disk Cleanup). Select the C: drive and once it finishes launching, select "Cleanup System Files". The dialog that comes up will show you how much space you can delete for each of the checkbox items. Check the boxes for the items you want to delete and click the OK button. Hopefully, it will get rid of a lot of useless "junk" (you must have a lot of it). See what that gets it down to.
 
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Old 08-07-20, 02:06 PM
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785 MB deleted. So not much.
 
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Old 08-07-20, 03:21 PM
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Sorry, I've just about run out of ideas. You must have data files in your User folder. If you do a Properties on your User folder (one with your logon name), what size do you get? Of course, your Desktop, Downloads, Documents, Downloads, Dropbox, Music, OneDrive, Pictures, Videos, and Virtual Machines are included, so you may have data files in any of the mentioned folders.

FWIW, my User folder is 3.85GB. I would expect yours to be under 10GB after you subtract the size of the previously mentioned folders.
 
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Old 08-07-20, 06:04 PM
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Mine is 140 GB after subtracting the photos and video. My sons have a separate user account that takes about 500 MB. So not sure where all the other files are.

In any event, does not look like this will work - appreciate your tips. If I do a clean install of Windows on the SSD, will that wipe files on the existing HDD?
 
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Old 08-08-20, 04:23 AM
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No, a clean install of Windows won't affect what's on the HD, as long as you specify that you want to install it on the SSD. I would suggest that you temporarily disable the HD while installing Windows on the SSD by pulling the data cable (smaller of the two cables) off the drive before installing. Then there's no possibility of it disturbing anything on the HD.
 
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Old 08-08-20, 06:03 AM
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My 2 cents: I think what Bob says is a good idea and I would temporarily disable the HDD. When you install on the SSD there should be an option: ďI am Reinstalling Windows 10 on this PCĒ which you should choose, and you should be OK.
 
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Old 08-08-20, 06:51 AM
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Bob and zoesdad - thank you for all of the info and tips!
 
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Old 08-08-20, 07:44 AM
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Sure thing. Good luck with the install!
 
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