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ignarus 05-22-2011 09:10 AM

how to copy hd to smaller ssd
I ordered a new laptop which has a conventional hd with the pre-intalled os on it. I would like to make an image of all the software that is installed on this conventional hd and move it to an ssd which I will use to replace the hd. Problem is that the conventional hd is 320GB and the ssd is only 240GB. All solutions I've found require the target partition to be at least as large as the source.

Is there any way of doing this using linux?

SalmonEater 05-22-2011 09:15 AM

Why use just linux, when you are most likely speaking of and using Win7? Just shrink the C:\ the required amount using built-in utility and then use clonezilla to create image to be transferred (after first making a Win7 restore disk, of course).

What brand laptop, BTW?

ignarus 05-22-2011 09:23 AM

Thanks for the reply.

That's a possibility, but I would rather not alter the original partition before I know the copy is successful. Also I would like to use a linux live cd to do the job and I'm not sure if there are any with clonezilla included.

Laptop is a lenovo t520.

bathory 05-22-2011 09:31 AM


You can use SystemRescueCd and its FSArchiver utility

TobiSGD 05-22-2011 09:34 AM

It is not possible to copy a large disk onto a small disk directly. You have either to shrink the source partitions, or you do a file-based copy and repair the bootloader after that.
If you want a live-CD with Clonezilla I would recommend to use the one delivered by Clonezilla.

SalmonEater 05-22-2011 11:33 AM

Thanks, bathory -- I did not know about FSArchiver

it's a flexible system tool that allows you to save the contents of a file-system to a compressed archive file. The file-system can be restored on a partition which has a different size and it can be restored on a different file-system.

jefro 05-22-2011 01:05 PM

Seems to me most of the data would tar over. You'd have to copy mbr by dd.

ignarus 05-22-2011 01:19 PM

Ok thanks a lot guys for the suggestions. I think I'll first try to tar and copy the mbr afterwards. If that doesn't work, I'll try shrinking the partition and make an image.

jschiwal 05-22-2011 01:29 PM

If the laptop has Win7 or Vista, you could use Windows own partition editor MCC to resize the largest partition. On a new laptop, you will be able to reduce the filesystem by up to 50%. Reducing it from 300 to 240 should present no problems. Afterwards, you could use dd to copy the image to the new drive.

Using an SSD in windows, you need to disable the page file. Windows uses the page file heavily, and that will quickly reduce the life of the drive.

Also disable read filestamp updates. Some updates to the registry (such as auditing) may be unnecessary.

An image copy of a hard drive copied to an SSD drive may cause some inefficiencies due to the geometry of the drives. To write to an SSD device, an entire section is read, then updated in normal memory, and the entire section is written back. If there is a geometry mismatch, this could result in the need read/modify/write two sections when writing to certain sectors. You may want to perform a Google search for SSD geometry for details.

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