Windows 10: rebuilding win 10 onto a smaller ssd from faulty hdd

  1. Posts : 87
    windows xp, vista, 7, 8.1, 10 multiboot
       17 May 2017 #1

    rebuilding win 10 onto a smaller ssd from faulty hdd

    Hi, I would appreciate some advice please. In the past I have been happy cloning previous Windows OS with old style Bios and the coa for reactivating. I am uncomfortable about cloning the system onto a smaller drive, Do the recovery partitions functionality get lost in the process? I would normally backup all personal data first, then restore system to factory settings, then clone over to the new drive, finally restore programs and data.

    I don't have much experience of Using DISM, in the above scenario do I need it? Further, I am concerned about loosing the COA link which I believe is held in EUFI.

    The 18 month old Pavilion 17-g036sa win 10 home failed with ntfs errors - I was able to get it back via use of chkdsk & sfc - CHKdsk reported 12 bad sectors and actually reported that it had run out of spare sectors. SFC also reported that it was unable to recover all files. Subsequently I did manage to reboot the system. But as a precaution we plan to replace the 1tb hdd with a 250gbSSD ( we were only using 100gb on the hdd).

    Would appreciate yr views on the process on Win 10 - not had many occasions yet with WIn 10 to do this.

    thank you.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    17 May 2017 #2

    I am concerned about loosing the COA link which I believe is held in EUFI.
    In a UEFI Bios, the product key is held on the Bios ROM chip, so you do not need to retype it in if you change HDD's and or Reinstall Windows.
    Most Cloning programs allow you to clone a larger HDD to a smaller one as long as the Used space does not exceed the smaller drives capacity. However, if the larger HDD has bad sectors, the files that reside on these bad sectors will have corrupted files, and the cloned drive may not boot correctly or have other issues.
    I would normally backup all personal data first, then restore system to factory settings
    This is a good strategy, but a new HDD or SSD will not have access to the recovery partition to install. It is best to do a clean install of Windows.
    You can download an ISO image of Windows 10 from Microsoft and create a bootable DVD or USB Flash drive. Download Windows 10
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    17 May 2017 #3

    On no account clone the drive if you do it will write the bad blocks to the new drive
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    17 May 2017 #4

    I would do a clean install from a freshly created Windows 10 installation USB flash drive. Your Windows 10 activation is either from a product key stored in UEFI/BIOS or from a digital license stored on MS activation servers. Re-install the same version of Windows 10 to the same computer (motherboard), and it will re-active itself without needing you to enter a product key.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    18 May 2017 #5

    As you're installing a SSD, remember to configure AHCI in the BIOS if not already set so you can get best performance from your SSD.

    You will need to do what you can to extract any data you need from your failing HDD, assuming you don't have backups. (I hope you do).

    If you now install Win 10 afresh, it will be the Creator's Build, a major upgrade I guess you've not yet used. So make sure that's ok on your system before proceeding.

    Download Windows 10 ISO File Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials
    Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10 Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials
    Clean Install Windows 10 Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials

    Note- a DVD is a really easy way to do this is you have a DVD drive- burn the ISO to a DVD.

    When you have Win 10 running happily, take the time to create your first disk image.

    (E.g. Macrium Reflect (free) + its boot medium + an external drive large enough for, say 2x your imaged data).

    (If you had had a disk image, you could probably have avoided doing a clean install, and you would have had a full backup).

    Here's my write-up on the value of disk imaging.

    Everyone who contributes regularly here uses and recommends disk imaging.

    Creating disk images lets you restore Windows and all your imaged disks and partitions to a previous working state from compressed copies you have created and kept updated on external storage media, quickly and probably without technical help.

    You can recover from:
    - a failed disk drive (restore to a new one)
    - ransomware (which encrypts your disk)
    - user error
    - unrecoverable problems from failed updates to problem programs
    - unbootable PC (hardware faults aside)

    Images also act as a full backup- you can extract files too.

    You can even use images to help you move more easily and quickly to a new PC.
    Can be used with Laplink software to transfer your build automatically to another PC

    Imaging can even help you sleep at night knowing you have a second chance.

    Many here recommend Macrium Reflect (free) as a good robust solution and more reliable than some others. It’s
    - more feature rich
    - more flexible
    - more reliable
    than Windows Backup and Restore system images.

    It's well supported with videos, help and a responsive forum.

    There are other such programs, free/commercial, some with simpler interfaces, but Macrium R is one of the most robust and reliable.

    How long does it take?
    SSD+ USB3 - maybe 15 mins for the first system image, less thereafter
    HDD + USB2 - maybe 40-50 mins
    That’s with little personal data, few programs installed.
    - of course, depends how much you have on C:
    (You can and should image all your partitions and disks)

    Once you've created your first image, keep it updated with e.g. differential imaging- which images just changes from the first image, more quickly, and creates a smaller image file.

    You need a backup medium - say- twice as large as the total amount of data you are imaging to keep a reasonable number of differential images. This will vary dependent on the number of images you keep, so is only a rough practical guide.

    Some comment that system restore isn't always reliable; if it works and solves the problem, great. But sometimes restores won't work or fail. And of course a restore point only covers a limited number of aspects of the system. That’s where disk imaging comes in.

    (There's a tutorial on Macrium in the Tutorials section, and a couple of videos in the user videos section on this forum)
    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect Windows 10 Backup Restore Tutorials
    Windows 10 instructional videos by Ten Forums members
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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