Disk to disk copy to SSD with Clonezilla of a Windows 7 disk with multiple partitions

Disk to disk copy to SSD with Clonezilla of a Windows 7 disk with multiple partitions

This howto is also valid for a copy from a larger HDD to a smaller SSD.

It worked fine with me but do this steps at your own risk.

What you need:

  1. GParted live
  2. Clonezilla live
  3. Windows 7 disk

Part 1: Plug SSD to SATA

  1. Leave the old HDD where it is
  2. Place the SSD to a free SATA port (e.g. SATA 2 plug)
  3. Plug the PSU power connector into the SSD

Part 2: Shrink partitions with GParted

  1. Do not trust the claimed capacity of the SSD: calculate the real capacity of your new SSD disk manually or with a tool like this
  2. Boot with the GParted disk
  3. Shrink the last partition on the disk to leave enough unallocated space to fit the SSD real disk capacity: the sum of all the partitions must be less than the real capacity new disk. Keep some margin, you’ll resize the partition later (Part 5).
  4. Remove the Gparted disk and reboot

Part 3: Clone with Clonezilla

  1. Boot from the Clonezilla disk
  2. Select Disk to disk clone: the HDD as source, the SSD as target
  3. Select Expert mode
  4. In the advanced parameters list, look for -icds option (Skip checking destination disk size before creating partition table) and check it with the space bar: without this, you cannot copy a larger disk into a smaller one
  5. Tip: Someone suggests to check the -k1 option to recreate new partitions to fit the disk: in an early Clonezilla version it leads to a segmentation fault error so I has to fix partitions later. With a more recent version (year 2020) it works very well and no further Fix boot step is needed.
  6. You will get a command like this:
    /usr/sbin/ocs-onthefly -g auto -e1 auto -e2 -j2 -r -icds -f sda -t sdb
  7. Let Clonezilla clone partitions from HDD to SSD
  8. Shutdown when asked
  9. Power down the computer then connect the SSD to SATA 1 in place of the old HDD
  10. Power up the computer
  11. If you get a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) after boot do the steps on Part 4, if not skip to Part 5

Part 4: Fix boot (without -k1 option)

  1. Insert the Windows 7 disk and boot (a comprehensive howto here)
  2. Select the Repair computer system recovery (do not do automatically repair)
  3. Select Command prompt from System recovery options
  4. Type these commands:
    1. bootreg.exe /fixmbr
    2. bootreg.exe /fixboot
    3. bootreg.exe /rebuildbcd
  5. Reboot
  6. Wait for the disk scans
  7. Log in to Windows: a new driver for the SSD will be installed
  8. Reboot when asked
  9. Log in again: your system is ready and running on SSD


Part 5: Occupy all available space

  1. Now you can do the reverse of Part 2: insert GParted disk and boot from it
  2. Reclaim the unallocated space expanding the last partition to occupy all the unallocated space
  3. Reboot and enjoy your new fast disk


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