cloning C: System Drive to SSD questions Solved

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  1.    #1

    cloning C: System Drive to SSD questions


    I seek clarification for three groups of questions I have about cloning my C: Drive to SSD

    1) On my C: HDD (Windows 10) there was still a 60 GB Recovery Partition with the original W8. I have deleted this and extended the main partition with the 60 GB (I did this mainly because I did not want to somehow accidentally do a recovery back to W8, but it also made the clone too large for my SSD)

    I downloaded Free Macrium Reflect to do the cloning , but also have Samsung Data Migration = it is a Samsung SSD, and AOMEI Backupper Pro as cloning tool options!

    1) Not sure which is the best tool to use! I read somewhere that MR was better because it also got the SSD ready to be used as main C: drive (BIOS), but? = I actually prefer/feel safer using Samsung Migration software, but I want the easiest and safest option (including any needed settings for later SSD use as C:)?

    I also have 2 options to do the cloning to SSD: installed inside computer, or with the SSD in external drive = is one way better than other? (but this might already be answered in question 2)

    2) My motherboard has only three SATA connecting points (SATA 1, SATA 2 and SATA 4 = don't not know why there is no 3?). All three are in use. 1 = C: Drive, 2 = E: Drive, 4 = DVD Drive (I think). If I do an internal installed Cloning to SSD, I will have to disconnect SATA 4 (DVD) and use this = which suggests external USB drive cloning is best option = but (any reasons against or for)?

    (I intend to leave the old HDD C Drive inside, after clone moved/connected to SATA 4, and SSD moved/connected to SATA 1 = I have an external DVD Drive I can use = are there any faults/mistakes in this plan?)

    3) After deleting 60 GB Recovery Partition Macrium Reflect no longer automatically selected the final partition (5) = PRC_RC (FAT32) 1 GB with 256.94 MB used= but don't know why? Could this partition originally be intended for the deleted Recovery Partition, and is no longer needed? Best to just leave it? I do not yet know what Samsung Migration Software selects.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (Samsung SSD is 500 GB = used space on present C: HDD is about 415 GB*)

    *Future Software downloads will be installed on one of the other drives
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    #2

    I would probably use Macrium and use imaging, not cloning.

    Make one image file with Macrium, saving it to E. The file would contain "all partitions necessary to restore Windows". Or just select ALL of those partitions shown in your screen capture. Looks like maybe 420 GB occupied on all of them combined.

    Disconnect the old drive and connect the SSD to those same cables.

    Boot from Macrium rescue media that you previously made in Macrium.

    Navigate to the image file on E and tell Macrium to restore that image to the SSD.

    Something like that. As opposed to cloning.

    I assume all of your personal data is on C?

    How much free space do you have on E? Hopefully, at least 250 GB?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    #3

    Thanks ignatzatsonic,

    E has 527 GB free

    I also have a completely empty 4 TB external drive (but don't know if being external is a problem?)

    I will be honest and say I have never quite understood the image file option compared to clone. (Although I have just this minute read an article on partitionwizard to try and better understandClone VS Image: What's the Difference? Get the Answer Now! = can't say it made clear to me why you think image is better than cloning! It said clone is the easiest option if you are just cloning for better performance = which I am, but image offers more flexibility. However, it did also say an external drive is usually used for image = so external 4TB is possibly a good option!)

    Yes, there is some private data on C: but I will probably move some (or all?) of this to E: before

    However, if you are asking why am I wanting to clone whole C: Drive, then it is because I have a great deal of very important software on C: = software I don't not want to, or cannot, re-install (Corel Painter, music/video/photo editing software and others). That is why I selected to clone the whole drive (and not just do a system clone).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    #4

    see comments in line

    xyz said: View Post
    Thanks ignatzatsonic,

    E has 527 GB free. I also have a completely empty 4 TB external drive (but don't know if being external is a problem?)

    527 is plenty enough space to store the image. I assume E is an internal and a totally different drive than whatever C is on. Or you can use the external 4 TB. The image file will have an .mrimg extension. You can store it wherever you want and copy it around if you want, like an ordinary jpg.

    Guessing---the mrimg file will be circa 250 gb, although it could be 200 or 300. That's using default "medium compression". Macrium has a "high compression" setting, but in my experience it won't shrink the mrimg file by much.


    I will be honest and say I have never quite understood the image file option compared to clone. (Although I have just this minute read an article on partitionwizard to try and better understandClone VS Image: What's the Difference? Get the Answer Now! = can't say it made clear to me why you think image is better than cloning! It said clone is the easiest option if you are just cloning for better performance = which I am, but image offers more flexibility. However, it did also say an external drive is usually used for image = so external 4TB is possibly a good option!)

    Imaging creates a mrimg file. Cloning does not. Cloning is a "real time" transfer of all partitions to a new typically larger drive. If all goes well the clone is immediately bootable. The mrimg file from imaging is NOT very useful in its mrimg state. You can look inside it and copy any files you see if you want, but you may never need to do that. The mrimg file needs to be formally "restored" to make the recipient drive bootable. Making and restoring an mrimg file might take an hour or two, mostly depending on the size of the mrimg file and the speed of your CPU.

    Cloning and imaging would have the same final result if both succeed. All partitions, programs, configurations, and data end up on the new drive. No difference in performance.

    Anecdotally, cloning may be more fussy. Imaging is more of a true ongoing repetitive "backup" procedure, whereas cloning is typically just a one-time deal of moving a system to a new drive. You might make an image every week or month for backup purposes, whereas you might do a clone only when you bought a new drive.



    Yes, there is some private data on C: but I will probably move some (or all?) of this to E: before

    You could copy personal data to E or the external if you want and that's probably a good idea. I wouldn't MOVE, I'd copy.

    The mrimg file will contain ALL data that happens to be on C at the moment you made the image. So, your data would be part of the image file and would be restored when you restored the image, but yeah, it's a good idea to have an ordinary data backup elsewhere in case things go haywire.


    However, if you are asking why am I wanting to clone whole C: Drive, then it is because I have a great deal of very important software on C: = software I don't not want to, or cannot, re-install (Corel Painter, music/video/photo editing software and others). That is why I selected to clone the whole drive (and not just do a system clone).

    Cloning and imaging are normally on a full partition basis. Everything in a partition or none of it. A clone would transfer all partitions--your data, Windows, and applications. In the case of imaging, you COULD exclude a data only partition if you wanted to, BUT you have no such partition. Your data is on C, the same partition as Windows and applications. So, in your case, you would just make sure to have a check mark under ALL of the partitions when you make the mrimg file to ensure that ALL of those partitions are part of that file. Any restoration of that file would therefore include ALL partitions on your original drive.

    If you had a data partition D and no data on C, then C would presumably be a lot smaller. You could then exclude D from the image file and it would presumably be smaller. But you aren't in that situation and you don't currently have drive space issues, so that's something to consider later.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    #5

    That is an extremely informative and constructive answer, which I can only offer my deepest thanks to you for. Thanks ignatzatsonic

    E is internal drive (I think the name for it is = hot swappable hard drive) and separate.

    Yes, good idea to copy the image (mrimg file) to both E and external 4 TB

    I have a backup of C (if that is what you meant) on another external drive.

    “...whereas cloning is typically just a one-time deal of moving a system to a new drive…”

    = but isn’t that all I need, just the one time move? Or do you mean that once I have the image mrimg file then I also have a form of reserve or backup?

    “…I wouldn't MOVE, I'd copy…”

    = The reason to say “move” was to create more space on the SSD. There are things on C now, which I am sure do not need to be on C and removing these from C would create more free space on SSD later. (or do you mean copy and then delete?)

    Thanks, good to know that it is going to take some hours (and I probably should not be using computer at same time?)

    So I should also select that last partition 5 which MR is not automatically selecting after deleting of Recovery?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    #6

    see comments in line

    xyz said: View Post

    Yes, good idea to copy the image (mrimg file) to both E and external 4 TB

    Yeah, consider the mrimg file as another valuable data file. Always good to have a copy of it.


    I have a backup of C (if that is what you meant) on another external drive.

    In what form is this backup? Made by what application? Is it C and absolutely nothing else, no other partitions?

    “...whereas cloning is typically just a one-time deal of moving a system to a new drive…”

    = but isn’t that all I need, just the one time move? Or do you mean that once I have the image mrimg file then I also have a form of reserve or backup?

    The latter. Yes, the mrimg file is a legit best practices way of "backing up" whatever partitions you choose. I make a new one every month. I keep the 2 most recent. Some people here make a new one weekly or even more often. You can choose to make "incremental" backups if you want, but I use "full backups" only to keep things simple with the fewest points of failure.

    “…I wouldn't MOVE, I'd copy…”

    = The reason to say “move” was to create more space on the SSD. There are things on C now, which I am sure do not need to be on C and removing these from C would create more free space on SSD later. (or do you mean copy and then delete?)

    No problem with actually moving stuff off C if you want, but what would be the point if you would just put it back on C after a restoration? If data is in the image file, you've got another highly reliable (not perfect) form of backup.

    But I would certainly want to have a manual backup of all data in ordinary form on some other drive regardless. Irrespective of Macrium, imaging, cloning, whatever.

    I keep my data on a completely different drive and so image only all partitions on the OS drive. If you kept data on a D partition on the OS drive, you wouldn't have to include it in the "system" image file, but you could. Or you could image the D partition separately. Or not at all. Personally, I don't image my data files at all because they are much more important to me than the OS and applications and I don't want to complicate their backup with a fallible imaging setup.

    Thanks, good to know that it is going to take some hours (and I probably should not be using computer at same time?)

    No, you can keep using it. My images take only 5 minutes to make, but my OS drive has only about 40 GB occupied. You have over 400. My restoration might take only 20 minutes and yours might take an hour or more. Time-saving is one reason to keep C to a minimum size if that's important to you.


    So I should also select that last partition 5 which MR is not automatically selecting after deleting of Recovery?

    I'm not sure what that 5th partition is. I'm guessing you took that picture after poking "create an image of the partitions necessary to backup and restore Windows" on the left side of Macrium. It isn't checked, so apparently it's not required to "backup and restore Windows".

    No harm in including it with a manual checkmark. If you know what it is and know you don't need it, then exclude it from the image file and/or delete it prior to making the image.

    I have 4 partitions on my OS drive and always make sure all are checked. I never use that button on the left side.

      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7.    #7

    Thanks, so very much ignatzatsonic.

    You have given me tons of information and in a way even my Asperger’s brain can understand. I have a great deal of trouble reading=understanding abstract or poorly explained (or parts missing) instructions and guides, and in the tech world there are loads of these around. Your explanation is one of the best I have had regarding understanding and being helpful. I know it took time and effort (which not everyone is prepared to give) and I am extremely deeply grateful.

    Yes, I became aware that I was not saving correctly. I allowed MS to automatically save things = like documents (or photos) to the documents (to pictures) folder which is on C. Download is another example. I started changing this (that is what E is used for, and when the old C HDD drive is free it will also be used for this).

    I am aware that my brains way of working is not entirely suited to the digital structure needed, however this is also often due to the extremely bad way (for my brain) things are explained or presented or setup (MS is so bad at this).

    However, I now have a far better understanding of backup/clone/imaging. Thanks to you!

    The documents and pictures that I am talking about moving will not be put back on C drive.

    I used Ashampoo Backup Pro 12 and the backup was of the complete drive, backed-up to an external drive once a month. The same for drive E. (Although I admit I do not know exactly what was saved in detail.)

    However, once again I must admit, that I have a great deal of difficulty with the understanding of backup software.

    Sadly, Macrium Reflect (the one most recommend) is for my brain the worst.

    Others can be simple = for example AOMEI = but are then too simple, so that I have no idea exactly what they are doing (=what I should do).

    Often, they simply miss out (for me) vital (=making understandable) information.

    With Asperger’s I not only have language/word/formulation issues, but even worse is the numerical issue.

    The digestion of information can work differently in Asperger’s. In some areas my brain is very powerful and fast, in others, it struggles and is slow (particularly language and even worse with numbers). Visual is extremely important.

    I find that (most) nerds or those who work in digital do not fully understand how to give information (understandable to everyone). We all suffer from tunnel vision and in the digital world this creates the situation that explanations and guides and instructions are more inclined for those within the tunnel, not outside it, and especially those far outside the tunnel (or in another tunnel).

    MS is so very bad, despite being the maker and seller of such!

    Explanations and instructions are things that should not just be done by nerds or people who work with digital but should be reworked by someone who has experiences like me (who understands the need and way of/for clarity), or by someone like you.

    PLAN of ACTION:

    I will first make the MR rescue disk.

    I will clean up C a little (move things not needed to be stored in C, or old software not needed, or that can be re-installed on other drive)

    Create imaging (2 copies on 2 separate places) (= will also continue to do this once a month along with normal backup = not sure with which software yet)

    Disconnect SATA/electric cables from old C HDD and connect these to new SSD

    Use MR rescue disk (not sure how that works yet) to find imaging copy and restore this (only this time to SSD)

    And that should be it (done = I think = I hope!)

    I will do this over several days, maybe even several weeks = avoid making mistakes and only when my mind is fully concentrated.


    (no, I did not take the screen shot after pressing any left button in MR = this is what is shown automatically after I start MR - and no, I do not know what partition 5 is for = I will select it for safety when I do the imaging)
    Last edited by xyz; 16 Jul 2019 at 02:41.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    #8

    see comments in line;

    xyz said: View Post

    PLAN of ACTION:

    I will first make the MR rescue disk.

    Don't make a "disk". Use an ordinary USB flash drive. 4 GB is plenty big enough. Confirm that it will in fact boot your PC. If it won't it's useless. The rescue media should lead you directly to the Macrium interface, NOT your normal desktop. You make the rescue media through menus in Macrium.

    I will clean up C a little (move things not needed to be stored in C, or old software not needed, or that can be re-installed on other drive).

    OK. Store "original copies" of all data on just 1 partition if possible and then back up that partition one way or another. Your image files should be part of this data that you back up. Strive for simplicity. If you have data stored in several different partitions, it will just complicate your backup scheme.

    Create imaging (2 copies on 2 separate places) (= will also continue to do this once a month along with normal backup = not sure with which software yet)

    What is "normal backup"? Data only?

    You can make a Macrium image in about a dozen mouse clicks. No harm in making a bunch of them as practice just to familiarize yourself with the procedure. All you'd need to worry about is having enough free space to store them.



    Use MR rescue disk (not sure how that works yet) to find imaging copy and restore this (only this time to SSD)

    It's all done with menus in Macrium. Restoration is a bit more complex than making an image. There's some menu choices that you may find a bit cryptic, so you'll need to ask questions and familiarize yourself with them. Keep your old hard drive in it's working state temporarily as a fallback in case you have difficulty with the restoration.

    You can certainly try cloning rather than imaging if you would find it less intimidating for this one-time task. But cloning isn't a backup as normally understood.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    #9

    Ah, yes = order, structure, simple (and things like that) = they are like chasing after the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to me. Sorry! My structure and order are woven deeply inside chaos. I just have to manage with it, and mostly do in my way (luckily I can make some sense from my own creative chaos), and do progress in the right direction (getting ever so slightly nearer to that pot of gold), but it is a very slow process, and unfortunately, I am just not going to have that many lives!

    I know! People like me should not be let loose near a computer or digital things, but there you go!

    Cryptic = yes that is the right word for Macrium Reflect. When you start the software, it looks so beautifully well designed and easy, very professional. The opening window looks so simple and easy! Your drives are shown, and below two icons options: Clone this Disk or Image this Disk! Choose one and Click! What could be easier? = the settings!

    After first walking into the Garden of Eden in joyous rapture, I suddenly find myself landed in Hell!

    A whole load of options = almost none of which I understand or understand what they do or which I should select = and life will probably run out before I do. I shouldn’t have bitten into the apple!

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    What is "normal backup"? Data only?

    Sorry I was being cryptic / abstract with this expression = I meant my usual monthly full Drive backup

    You can certainly try cloning rather than imaging if you would find it less intimidating for this one-time task. But cloning isn't a backup as normally understood


    Clone: I am leaning towards using Samsung Data Migration at the moment (or other software) to do clone


    However, I also have an idea:

    I have a very old computer (with W10 installed) gathering dust on a shelve. I could download MR onto that and practice making an image and creating and reinstalling with Rescue media. I don't want to use my SSD for this, but maybe I could just image my C: Drive and then using the Rescue Media reinstall this to the same old C Drive. ( I would first need to make a backup of C drive to an external Drive as I don't have one. Just in case things go wrong = possible with me)

    The right screen shot above is that number 5 partition of C drive = I have no idea what it is for, but think it might have been connected to the Recovery Partition which I have deleted. My reasoning is formed by the order of partitions = partition 1 to 4 all show the Windows icon = they are important to the system. Then originally came as number 5 the recovery partition (old W8 = now deleted) followed lastly by partition 6 (Now number 5). Because the order followed Recovery this suggest to me that it had to do with Recovery.

    However, to be sure I will include it = if I do an imaging.

    Total of C. with all partitions is 421.25 GB = at the moment (I will reduce this slightly with clean up)

    Okay if I use Rescue Media = I will put it on USB stick of minimal 4 GB (= do I need to change BIOS for this = for the computer to start from USB drive?)

    Yes, I would most certainly keep my old C Drive intact as it is, until I know everything is okay, and have made a full disk backup

    Once again great help and advice full of careful thoughtful and useful information. I am truly and deeply grateful for the care, effort, and time you put into this help.

    I will most certainly practice on my old computer (just reinstalling old C to old drive = if this is the same practice as if installing to SSD) and see how it goes.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    #10

    xyz said: View Post

    Okay if I use Rescue Media = I will put it on USB stick of minimal 4 GB (= do I need to change BIOS for this = for the computer to start from USB drive?)
    No. You could, but you don't have to.

    You instead would use a "boot menu" to choose the USB drive as the boot device when you want to boot from it.

    You would access the boot menu by pressing a certain key or keys during your normal boot process. You would then see several choices on a menu and you would manually select the USB drive by using your arrow keys. The PC would then restart and attempt to boot from that menu choice.

    A quick look at Google says Lenovos use the F12 key OR the "Novo" button, whatever that is.

    You can try it right now to confirm. If you see a menu, choose your C drive and it should reboot normally.

    The boot menu is just a "this time only" thing, unlike changing something in the BIOS.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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