Clone Windows partition without losing other partitions on clone drive

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  1. Posts : 1,152
    Windows 10
       #1

    Clone Windows partition without losing other partitions on clone drive


    Long ago I acquired a 2TB SSD to replace a 2 TB HDD but with the intent for the HDD to replace the optical drive for extra space for gaming and how these became 100s of gigs lately .

    So back then I tried to look up a solution for just cloning the system partitions as I had no plans to move all data but just have the OS run from SSD while continuing to access older data from HDD , the only software that seemed to manage that trick was Minitool Partition Wizard where it cloned the HDD's OS partition along with all other hidden system partitions but kept the rest of the drive as free space .

    Now that it had been a while I was considering re-cloning of system partition over to the HDD to keep it up to date in case of emergencies . I could not confirm from any source that Minitool Partition Wizard can do that without affecting the rest of the data on the drive .

    So yes the cloned system partitions are identical in size allocations but the rest of both driver have different partition sizes and data .

    My experience with Minitool Partition Wizard isn't that pleasant as I have had it that several times it destroyed data without confirmation on certain requests hence why I need confirmation on this one , weather it would copy the OS partitions just or would rather delete the whole drive in the process .

    P.S If you believe you do know of a better software to handle that then please share your thoughts .
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  2. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,697
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.928
       #2

    If you believe you do know of a better software to handle that then please share your thoughts .
    An alternative, that I think gives you more flexibility, is to make an image of your chosen source drive/partition and restore it to the target drive/partition of your choice.

    Macrium Reflect Free is often recommended in this forum and there is plenty of help available here for it.
    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect - TenForumsTutorials
    Macrium Software Macrium Reflect Free
    Macrium USB - TenForums
    Macrium Reflect KnowledgeBase - user guide [version-independent link]
    I use Acronis TI not Macrium Reflect so I cannot provide any help for it.

    Denis
    Last edited by Try3; 21 Jan 2020 at 07:21.
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  3. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,586
    Windows 10 Pro
       #3

    Both MiniTool Tool Partition Wizard and Macrium Reflect will copy single partitions as well as just about any third party partitioning program. Minitool and Macrium have proved to be the best depending on what you want to do.

    Any partitioning program can erase.data depending on what you tell it to do.
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  4. Posts : 1,152
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #4

    i'm sorry i am strictly trying to clone the system partitions so i have a bootable second hard drive for emergencies this is not a backup thing . so @NavyLCDR you ever tried it ? should i just use copy c > f partition just after formatting c or what exactly ?
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  5. f14tomcat's Avatar
    Posts : 53,629
    Multi-boot Windows 10 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #5

    If it's strictly for an emergency drive that you can boot up, then Macrium cloning is the simplest way. Long as both drives are not connected at the same time, you will not have any issues. A clone, being a bit-by-bit copy, is identical to the original, at the time of cloning. Swap it in and power on. It will boot right up.
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  6. Posts : 1,152
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    f14tomcat said:
    If it's strictly for an emergency drive that you can boot up, then Macrium cloning is the simplest way. Long as both drives are not connected at the same time, you will not have any issues. A clone, being a bit-by-bit copy, is identical to the original, at the time of cloning. Swap it in and power on. It will boot right up.
    What's the method called in Macrium Reflect to just copy the system partitions without risking the integrity of the rest of the partitions ?
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  7. f14tomcat's Avatar
    Posts : 53,629
    Multi-boot Windows 10 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #7

    nIGHTmAYOR said:
    What's the method called in Macrium Reflect to just copy the system partitions without risking the integrity of the rest of the partitions ?
    I think this is what you're asking. Selective partition cloning. Take a look, and if it's not, I'll poke further.

    Cloning a disk - KnowledgeBase v7.2 - Macrium Reflect Knowledgebase - KnowledgeBase v7.2 - Macrium Reflect Knowledgebase
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  8. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,586
    Windows 10 Pro
       #8

    You need to start with 2 drives that will boot independently of each other. For example:
    HDD1 has a system partition followed by a boot (OS) partition.
    HDD2 has a system partition followed by a boot (OS) partition.

    HDD1 will boot by itself without HDD2 and HDD2 will boot by itself without HDD1.

    In that case, you should be able to copy the boot (OS) partition from HDD1 to HDD2, replacing the old boot (OS) partition on HDD2, and HDD2 should still be able to boot by itself.

    When someone has two drives and they want to upgrade the Windows installation from an MBR drive booting in legacy BIOS mode to a GPT drive booting in UEFI mode the above is one way to do it. HDD1 is their original installation on an MBR drive. HDD2 is a clean, temporary install of Windows on a GPT drive booting in UEFI mode. Then copy the boot (OS) partition from the MBR drive 1 to the GPT drive 2, replacing the temporary boot (OS) partition and drive 2 will not boot in UEFI mode into their original OS.
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  9. Posts : 1,152
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #9

    NavyLCDR said:
    You need to start with 2 drives that will boot independently of each other. For example:
    HDD1 has a system partition followed by a boot (OS) partition.
    HDD2 has a system partition followed by a boot (OS) partition.

    HDD1 will boot by itself without HDD2 and HDD2 will boot by itself without HDD1.

    In that case, you should be able to copy the boot (OS) partition from HDD1 to HDD2, replacing the old boot (OS) partition on HDD2, and HDD2 should still be able to boot by itself.

    When someone has two drives and they want to upgrade the Windows installation from an MBR drive booting in legacy BIOS mode to a GPT drive booting in UEFI mode the above is one way to do it. HDD1 is their original installation on an MBR drive. HDD2 is a clean, temporary install of Windows on a GPT drive booting in UEFI mode. Then copy the boot (OS) partition from the MBR drive 1 to the GPT drive 2, replacing the temporary boot (OS) partition and drive 2 will not boot in UEFI mode into their original OS.
    While i believe i may use Macrium since the link posted by f14tomcat acknowledge exactly what i am trying to do , but you mention something interesting , my system has 3 extra partitions with properties : Recovery (not by oem but small partition created by windows) , then EFI (another small partition) , and some Empty space windows like to leave after c drive for me upon any setup for mysterious reasons .
    So I do not need to copy those too ?
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  10. Posts : 32
    XP64 Professional, Windows 7 Ult. Windows 10 Ult
       #10

    Give this a try like I did.
    Acronis True Image WD Edition 2016.33 Download - TechSpot
    My Acer Aspire One netbook had a 250gb 5400rpm spinner and it also had a recovery partition on it as well including my Win7 Starter Edition OS with all my files AND to complicate matters a partition of Ubuntu including the boot loader controlling all. I purchased a WD 1tb SSD drive and using their software made a perfect clone of my original drive and installed the new drive and it functioned like nothing changed and like original. My only major situation is being a netbook with only one drive, I removed it and placed it and my replacement in my desktop and installed the cloning software. I set the original drive aside and if things went south which they didn't I would still have my original to fall back on.
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