1.    25 Mar 2017 #1
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 4
    Windows 8

    [Solved] Recover Windows onto new SSD


    Quote Originally Posted by Error
    Unable to recover your PC. The system drive is too small."
    Quote Originally Posted by Solution
    On the recovery drive there are 2 xml files which contain variables related to the system restore process.

    The file causing the issue described is called "$PBR_ResetConfig.xml", located in \sources\. Open the file in an editor like notepad. Modify the variable 'Reset>SystemDisk>MinSize' so that it is smaller than the size of the new HDD. The units are in MB. My new SDD is 256GiB, so I changed the number to 200000.

    Problem solved. System restore competed without a hitch.

    MinSize was originally set to the full size of the original HDD which was 1TB. I'm assuming this is so if you are recovering an image, you don't have issues down the line if your HDD was actually close to full.
    Quote Originally Posted by Other stuff I tried that didn't help
    Anyway, the other file in the root of the recovery drive is called "reagent.xml" and contains variables related to recovery partitions. There were 2 key partions, the second last being 450MB, and the last being 20GB. The second last is referred to as "WinreLocation" (which I assume is the partition from which the recovery environment loads) and "PBRImageLocation" (which I assume is where the image files for a factory reset are stored).

    The key parameter for both partitions is the "offset", specified in KB. In the file they were set to the exact offsets of their respective partitions on the original HDD. Since the original HDD was 1TB, the offsets of 975GB or thereabouts, could not exist on the 275GB SSD. Hence I thought this may have been the issue. It wasn't.

    I changed these values such that they would provide partitions of their original sizes on the new HDD (450MB and 20GB). My offsets were about 253,106,000,000 for WinreLocation and 253,578,000,000 for PBRImageLocation.

    The recovery process was unaffected by the values in these files. The final configuration was identical regardless of whether I used the original or updated offsets. In fact, the 450MB recovery partition was at the start of the disk instead of near the end. The other recovery partition was also only 9 GB.

    In other words, I have no idea what this file is for.
    Original post:

    Got an SSD for my ASUS G750 laptop.

    I probably could do a clean install from from an ISO, but being a laptop I want to do what would be a factory reset to preserve all the drivers.

    I'm not interested in cloning because I want a clean install.

    I have a 16 GB USB recovery drive created with the laptop.

    I boot into recovery options and choose to reset PC. I get an error that the drive is too small. The only drives connected are the SSD and USB.

    It's a 275 GB HDD. I formatted it with DISKPART to NTFS while in the recovery mode. There was a small 100 MB partition 0 that I don't want to touch (doesn't show in disk management so it's probably hidden for a reason). Edit: formatted a new primary partition to NTFS (partition 1) which filed remaining drive, leaving partition 0 intact. /Edit

    This windows 10 recovery media does not give me an option to select the drive to install Windows on.

    So, if any kind soul could give me some advice or directions on how to perform the recovery onto the SSD, that would be great.

    Cheers.

    Edit: I just remembered that I had to initialise the drive at first (I did this from disk management in Windows when I had both the original HDD and SSD connected (laptop has 2 HHD bays). I initialised it to GPT. I think this process is responsible for the small hidden partition 0.

    Could it be possible that I need to change some flags or re-initialise the HDD (or something else) to be able to recover Windows onto it?
    Last edited by DSMB; 27 Mar 2017 at 06:55. Reason: additional info
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    25 Mar 2017 #2
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 10,992
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    Hi, the way you're going about that doesn't really make a lot of sense and certainly isn't doable as such, unless I've completely misunderstood, which is quite possible.

    If you want to transfer your OS onto a new SSD, do what you want with your HDD, and then:

    a. Image your C: partition (Macrium Reflect (free) to external disk
    b. Configure AHCI in your BIOS and clean install onto your unformatted or blank SSD having removed your HDD
    c. Replace your new C: with that from the image you created
    d. Run startup repair.

    Your concern about drivers may be overdone unless your laptop is old- given that your disk is relatively small, that may be so. I have a laptop, bought with no O/S, and clean installed win 10 onto it. No driver issues.

    Anyway, the above procedure would tell you that- and even give you a choice as to which way to go (whether to simply stay with the clean installation).
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    25 Mar 2017 #3
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,381
    Windows 10 Pro

    Do you still have the original OS installation on the HDD and can you boot back into it? Your post is very confusing. If you have a recovery drive made, you should be restoring to a completely blank SSD with no partitions on it. There is no need to initialize it first.

    If you want a clean install, then you should boot back into the OS on the hard drive, export the drivers using the dism /export-driver command to something like a USB flash drive. Then do the clean install and re-install the drivers for any missing hardware from the exported drivers.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    25 Mar 2017 #4
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 10,992
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    See this on driver backup and restoration if you have special needs:
    Backup and Restore Device Drivers in Windows 10
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    25 Mar 2017 #5
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 4
    Windows 8
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by dalchina View Post
    Hi, the way you're going about that doesn't really make a lot of sense and certainly isn't doable as such, unless I've completely misunderstood, which is quite possible.

    If you want to transfer your OS onto a new SSD, do what you want with your HDD, and then:

    a. Image your C: partition (Macrium Reflect (free) to external disk
    b. Configure AHCI in your BIOS and clean install onto your unformatted or blank SSD having removed your HDD
    c. Replace your new C: with that from the image you created
    d. Run startup repair.

    Your concern about drivers may be overdone unless your laptop is old- given that your disk is relatively small, that may be so. I have a laptop, bought with no O/S, and clean installed win 10 onto it. No driver issues.

    Anyway, the above procedure would tell you that- and even give you a choice as to which way to go (whether to simply stay with the clean installation).
    With my old Windows 7 laptop I'm sure I could use the recovery DVDs I created to reinstall windows from scratch. Part of the options involved in the set-up included selecting the HDD and partitions and other related options. This windows 10 recovery includes no such options.

    My laptop is about 2 years old. And yeah, older laptops have had driver hassles, hence my desire to factory reset.

    What I can do is the a 'reset', and create an image from that. I just thought I wouldn't have to bother with that if the windows 10 recovery was at least as capable as what I've used before.

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    Do you still have the original OS installation on the HDD and can you boot back into it? Your post is very confusing. If you have a recovery drive made, you should be restoring to a completely blank SSD with no partitions on it. There is no need to initialize it first.

    If you want a clean install, then you should boot back into the OS on the hard drive, export the drivers using the dism /export-driver command to something like a USB flash drive. Then do the clean install and re-install the drivers for any missing hardware from the exported drivers.
    When the SSD is first installed, it does not show in My Computer. It shows in disk management as simply unallocated. When I try to do anything with it in disk management, it MUST be initialised first. This involved selecting whether it will be GPT or MBR.

    Quote Originally Posted by dalchina View Post
    See this on driver backup and restoration if you have special needs:
    Backup and Restore Device Drivers in Windows 10
    Thanks everyone for your replies. I'll still look further into it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    25 Mar 2017 #6
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,381
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by DSMB View Post
    When the SSD is first installed, it does not show in My Computer. It shows in disk management as simply unallocated. When I try to do anything with it in disk management, it MUST be initialised first. This involved selecting whether it will be GPT or MBR.
    If you want to do a clean install, you don't do that from within Windows. You do that by booting from a Windows 10 installation USB flash drive or DVD.

    If you want to do a factory restore from a Recovery drive, you don't do that from within Windows either. You do that by booting from your Recovery drive (USB flash drive or DVD).

    Thus, to do either of those, you only need the SSD to show up in disk management as a physical drive, you do not need to initialize it or partition it. The clean install process or the factory restore process started by booting from a USB flash drive or DVD will do that for you. Setting the wrong partitioning type (MBR v. GPT) and setting up incorrect partitions on the drive may interfere with a clean install - although a factory restore should just wipe the drive at the beginning of the process anyway.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    26 Mar 2017 #7
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 4
    Windows 8
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    If you want to do a clean install, you don't do that from within Windows. You do that by booting from a Windows 10 installation USB flash drive or DVD.

    If you want to do a factory restore from a Recovery drive, you don't do that from within Windows either. You do that by booting from your Recovery drive (USB flash drive or DVD).
    I know, that's what I'm doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    Thus, to do either of those, you only need the SSD to show up in disk management as a physical drive, you do not need to initialize it or partition it. The clean install process or the factory restore process started by booting from a USB flash drive or DVD will do that for you. Setting the wrong partitioning type (MBR v. GPT) and setting up incorrect partitions on the drive may interfere with a clean install - although a factory restore should just wipe the drive at the beginning of the process anyway.
    This is also what I thought. Either way, the recovery drive is not allowing me to install Windows. The lack options doesn't make it easy to troubleshoot either.

    I thought you should be able to use a recovery drive to install Windows onto a new HDD, afterall, HDD failure is one reason you would create a recovery drive.

    Or am I supposed to also create a system image? Pretty sure with Windows 7 recovery USB/DVDs just stored a copy of the hidden recovery partition, which was everything needed to install Windows.

    Wouldn't a system image include all the stuff I've installed which I don't want?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    26 Mar 2017 #8
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,381
    Windows 10 Pro

    A system image would contain all of the previous installed programs, user accounts, and user data stored on the same drive. So, yes, you are correct it would include all the stuff you do not want.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    27 Mar 2017 #9
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 4
    Windows 8
    Thread Starter

    Worked it out. Updated original post with solution.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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