I'd also be interested to know if re-validation of Windows is necessary after cloning. I've got 16GB/6% free on my boot drive so I'm going to need to migrate soon, and previous good experiences with Clonezilla mean that's the route I'll probably take.
edit to add:
Clonezilla will not allow you to clone to a partition smaller than the current partition, eg, moving from a 200GB boot drive to a 120GB SSD. I believe Win7 can resize active partitions, but if it can't, I'd use gparted, another freeware bootable ISO, to resize to the destination size first.
did you ever find a way to get that SSD installed without having to resort to a reload ????
In regards to Windows 7 and backup solution...
Yes, you can do it...
what you need to do is use the Backup and Restore Center that is built into the OS. It will work as I have done this with Vista (same program between the two).
1. Backup all the important data.
2. take all data off the current hdd leaving only the OS and application.
3. Reduce the used space down to where it will fit on the new SSD and space for expansion
4. Reduce the size of the primary partition down to below the size of the SSD... or get a SSD that is going to be bigger than the current space needed for the OS/Apps + growth...
5. Once the primay partition is reduced....
6. Run Backup and Restore Center and do the back up whole computer i.e. "image" to a spare drive either attached interally or from usb
7. Once that is done..... install the SSD
8. boot up from Win 7 cd/dvd
9. Do not click on install button at the center of screen BUT instead click on the button located at the bottom left corner (this will put you in a maintainence mode)
10. Click on restore whole computer option and locate the image
11. once that happens, you should be able to reimage the new SSD with the backup system image.