Cloning an Operating System?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

  1. Posts : 15
    Windows 10 64 Bit
       #1

    Cloning an Operating System?


    I am looking to upgrade a few old laptops to SSD's, and for a multitude of reasons it would be easier just to clone the OS with all of the existing files, than to reinstall it on the SSD. I am upgrading some laptops for a few co workers of mine, and they are at the bottom end of the totem pole in terms of technical knowledge. So not having to deal with the hassle of reinstalling all the programs and setting everything up how they like it, would be a great bonus.

    I am currently looking at easeus.com to do this for me, and its the only one i have found after a quick google search that would fit my needs. Does anyone have experience with it and could provide some information? Like how long it would take etc. Thanks!
      My Computer

  2. Samuria's Avatar
    Posts : 6,071
    windows 10
       #2

    Welcome to the forum. What version of windows are you going to clone? Are you going from a big drive to a small ssd? Time depends on disk size and CPU and if you using usb3 or 2.
    One of the problems doing it is some extra setting are needed for SSD which need to be done and you cant defrag ssd so you need a good defraged source drive. As ssd boot so fast you dont want to hibernate as it reduces the drive life so a few things to consider
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 15
    Windows 10 64 Bit
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Samuria said:
    Welcome to the forum. What version of windows are you going to clone? Are you going from a big drive to a small ssd? Time depends on disk size and CPU and if you using usb3 or 2.
    One of the problems doing it is some extra setting are needed for SSD which need to be done and you cant defrag ssd so you need a good defraged source drive. As ssd boot so fast you dont want to hibernate as it reduces the drive life so a few things to consider
    Either 7 or 10, cant remember off the top of my head. Would likely be doing a small upgrade disk size as well, or stay within about 60gb up or down. Its USB 2.0 so i guess its going to take a while.

    So should i defrag the HDD a couple times before i do this?`
      My Computer

  4. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,528
    Windows 10 Pro
       #4

    Defragging is completely not needed. SSDs are not affected by fragmentation.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 15
    Windows 10 64 Bit
    Thread Starter
       #5

    NavyLCDR said:
    Defragging is completely not needed. SSDs are not affected by fragmentation.
    OK thanks for the help. A couple more questions.

    Is it OK if i clone the hard drive to an SSD with smaller storage capacity (but still enough to hold everything)? I was reading an article (albeit old) saying that it has to be the same size or bigger, because it will create a new partition on that new SSD with exactly the same amount of space as the HDD.

    Do cloning tools copy every single bit on the hard drive? So would it be faster to completely wipe all my empty space before copying? Or am i mislead?

    Do i have to **** around with boot sectors or anything? Or would this tool make a readily available boot drive for me to use?
      My Computer

  6. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,593
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #6

    SparkyLite said:
    they are at the bottom end of the totem pole
    Ah, but the one on the bottom is the most important, is holding up the others on his shoulders.
      My Computers

  7. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,528
    Windows 10 Pro
       #7

    SparkyLite said:
    OK thanks for the help. A couple more questions.

    Is it OK if i clone the hard drive to an SSD with smaller storage capacity (but still enough to hold everything)? I was reading an article (albeit old) saying that it has to be the same size or bigger, because it will create a new partition on that new SSD with exactly the same amount of space as the HDD.

    Do cloning tools copy every single bit on the hard drive? So would it be faster to completely wipe all my empty space before copying? Or am i mislead?

    Do i have to **** around with boot sectors or anything? Or would this tool make a readily available boot drive for me to use?
    Macrium Reflect Free and MiniTool Partition Wizard Free will also do cloning. All of the cloning tools that I know of will resize while cloning, so moving to a different size drive is no issue. Also every cloning tool that I know of will only copy the files. They do have modes for "forensic cloning" which is a bit by bit clone - an exact copy - which would not allow for resizing the partition, but that is not the default. The default is "smart" cloning, which only copies data.

    The two partitions that are required to be copied are the system partition the computer is booting from and the "boot" partition which is the partition containing the operating system. Of course if there are data partitions, they must be copied as well in order to keep the data. Recovery partitions are usually not required to be copied, but it will limit the recovery options available after the upgrade.

    One more consideration is the mode the SATA controller is set for in BIOS/UEFI. For optimal SSD performance (and HDD performance as well), the SATA controller mode should be AHCI. Some older computers set the default to IDE mode. In Windows 10 to make the switch all you need to do is delete the IDE controller entry in Device Manager then reboot the computer into BIOS/UEFI setup. Change the mode from IDE to AHCI and on the next boot Windows 10 will detect the change and install the AHCI driver. If you don't delete the IDE controller first in Device Manager you will get a BSOD when booting into Windows. Just change the SATA mode back again in BIOS/UEFI setup.
      My Computer

  8. Steve C's Avatar
    Posts : 6,301
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       #8

    See my guide here based on using Macrium Reflect Free.

    Attachment 217781
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 668
    Win 10 pro
       #9

    SparkyLite said:
    O
    Is it OK if i clone the hard drive to an SSD with smaller storage capacity (but still enough to hold everything)?
    You can use smaller capacity (i.e. macrium will resize the partition to fit the destination drive) but it is important to have room, if you original partition is 240 gb it is not wise to use a 250 gb SSD; personally I would assure to have at least 100 gb free.
      My Computer

  10. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 10,501
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #10

    Hi folks

    In addition to all the excellent advice offered here I'd just like to add

    1) Before cloning move everything off the OS that isn't programs or program data -- move any user data such as multi-media, email, office type files etc to another drive, cloud or wherever and then start the cloning operation.

    2) Cloning to different hardware is usually possible with even the Free version of Macrium -- Windows will invariably boot and any specific drivers can be then after first boot be got from Internet or WU or a combination of both. I've cloned an Intel Laptop OS to an AMD based miniserver and WU got all the correct drives.

    If your target system already has a digital license you won't get activation issues -- otherwise just simply go to change product key and enter your license key for the target system.

    Not to VM users - when using VBOX or VMWare and moving / copying a Windows VM at first boot chose the I MOVED it option rather than the I COPIED it one -- otherwise Windows will think it's a new machine and you won't get it activated !!!!.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

  Related Discussions
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 16:03.
Find Us




Windows 10 Forums