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  Win7 System Image won't transfer to SSD Hard Drive 
 Date Written 
binar May 11, 2013, 10:09pm EDT Report Abuse
I have a Windows 7 System Image backup up onto a 250GB hard drive.

My objective now is to transfer this system image over to an Intel SSD hard drive with a capacity of 240GB.

So I put my Windows 7 backup restore CD on my DVD drive and it boots up okay from the CD. Then when I start the restore proces it gives me a message that the RESTORE process failed.

Is the reason because my Intel SSD hard drive is 10 GB smaller in size compared to the 250GB hard drive housing the system image? If yes, is there any application that can take my Windows7 System image and resize it so that it fits into the 240GB SSD hard drive? Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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kOrny May 11, 2013, 11:04pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Win7 System Image won't transfer to SSD Hard Drive

G. G. May 12, 2013, 12:04am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Win7 System Image won't transfer to SSD Hard Drive

Go into Disc Management, select drive C, right click and select shrink volume. See what is the smallest Windows can shrink drive C. If it is smaller than the total amount of space available than the new drive, then you can re-image. But you'll have to shrink the original drive.

Windows reimage can only reimage back to the same exact size of the original drive or larger. So if your new drive is smaller than the original, you'll have to shrink the original drive/volume below the new drive.

It is the difference in size of the drive that is hanging you up and not the size of the space currently used.


binar May 12, 2013, 12:47am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Win7 System Image won't transfer to SSD Hard Drive
Thanks for your post. I'm going to provide some more details on the arrangement of the hard drives. My 250 GB System Image is mounted on an external USB cradel. It was created a year ago. My current C: drive is infected with malware that highjacked my Windows Firewall. So this drive has been removed and it's place I inserted a 240GB SSD hard drive.The hard drive infected with Malware is going to be formatted and wiped clean.

So to clarify, I really shouldn't be selecting the C: drive.and try to shrink this volume since it's the one that is ruined with malware. The way I see it, I need to point to the 250GB hard drive located on the USB cradel that contains the System Image. Am I understanding this correctly? My concern is if I try to shrink my System Image located on my USB cradel, is there a chance I can ruin it? Would it be a good idea to make a copy of my System Image disk and try shrinking the copy of System Image instead? Just want to understand if the SHRINK operation is going to work on a System Image that was created a year ago? Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

john albrich May 12, 2013, 02:15am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Win7 System Image won't transfer to SSD Hard Drive
(In these directions, I assumed the "system image backup" you described is a backup image FILE (or collection of files) and not a functional "backup" clone of the original OS on that second HDD. Suggestions would be very different if the "backup image" is a functional OS)

If the infected "C" drive is large enough to restore the USB image file to it, then format/wipe the "C" drive (preferably using a self-booting linux-based drive utility) and restore the image to the now clean "C" drive.

Then transfer the restored image to the SSD using a "standard" ghosting utility.

(Note: if you are dealing with Advanced Format drives, then you can run into major problems if you use older ghosting, cloning, and backup/restore utilities. Check to make sure any utilities you use support AF drives.)

If for some reason you don't have a ghosting tool (freeware and manufacturer ghosting utilities abound) and you have to go thru the process of making another backup of the now restored (and clean) C drive, then as previously discussed you'll likely need to shrink it before making the new backup image and then restoring the new (and now smaller) backup image to the SSD. If "shrinking" the partition doesn't sufficiently reduce the size of the partition, some things you can do to further reduce the size of the system partion before shrinking are to temporarily eliminate the paging file (or locate it to another drive), cleanup the partition by deleting temp files, temporarily move large non-system data folders (like photos and videos) to another drive and then copy them back to the SSD after the system partition has been restored, etc.

In all cases, if your current backup image is the only backup you have, then do NOT tamper with it without first making another copy. Even then for maximum safety, I'd advise not working with the original backup image but instead work with this new copy of it.

clarified that I assumed the described "system image backup" is a backup image file(s) and not a functional clone of the original OS

G. G. May 12, 2013, 11:57am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Win7 System Image won't transfer to SSD Hard Drive

ok hear is what I understand......

Image to be restored "from" = external USB drive
Current Drive C = infected
Current installed Drive = 240GB SSD

This is what you do.......

1. Remove 240GB SSD
2. Reinstall original 250GB infected drive
3. Reformat (twice for good measures)
4. Boot up from Windows 7 disc and go into the restore image utility
5. Restore image from external USB to reformated 250GB
6. Verify system is functioning normal
7. Make any adjustments to the build, i.e. install software, updates, customization, etc.
8. Shrink the Volume (reduce below the size of 240GB SSD)
9. Make a "NEW" image onto a totally different external/internal HDD. Do not overwrite your original Image as you want to keep this in tact.
10. Remove 250GB hdd and reinstall 240GB SSD.
11. Make sure that Bios is set for SSD drive (i.e. ACHI, type...... my ASROCK had an option to set drive as either HDD or SSD along with enabling ACHI)
12. Boot up on the Win7 disc and get into the restore image utility.
13. You should now be able to restore image.
14. Any extra space available, then you can do extend volume to consume the rest.

I know there is an extra step in there where you have to restore the image and then create a new image.... this is because of the size difference between the two drives. The restored image needs to come back onto a drive that is the same or larger.

Hope this works.

by the way, you cant shrink the volume on the exteral drive..... That particular image has information embeded in it about the original drive size "Volume" for which it was created from.

The original 250GB drive was most likely a 241GB "Volume"..... whereas the 240GB SSD will end up being a 232GB "Volume". So hence the need to shrink the original drive down that will be below the volume size of the SSD.


binar May 12, 2013, 11:54pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Win7 System Image won't transfer to SSD Hard Drive
Thanks a million for your awesome post. With your instructions I don't see how I can go wrong. I'm sure everyone in the world is going to refer to your post as the defacto standard to follow when one needs to downsize an OS image down to a smaller sized SSD drive.

I'm using an app called KillDisk to wipe the infected drive clean. Once I get this done I will proceed with the rest of your instructions later on this week. After I am all done, I will be posting once again to provide everyone following this thread a summary of how things turned out for me. Once again, thanks to you and everyone for their post in this thread.

G. G. May 13, 2013, 09:15pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Win7 System Image won't transfer to SSD Hard Drive
Oh you are so kind :blush:

I just hope it works.. :D

Yes, do let us know how it went and if you had to deviate from the steps.


G. G. Jun 06, 2013, 08:53am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Win7 System Image won't transfer to SSD Hard Drive
Any Updates on how it went ????


binar Jun 11, 2013, 10:42pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: Win7 System Image won't transfer to SSD Hard Drive
I apologize to you and everyone in this thread for taking so long to reply back with an update. My job hit me with a lot of work related travel and I just recently got back home to take on this task.

I hit a brick wall on Step 8. I was not aware that using the Windows7 Shrink Command first require I know that a gigabyte is equal to 1024 Megabytes. Since my math did not include using the 1024 Megabytes equal to 1 Gigabyte conversion value I ended up with results that were not good. In short, I found using Windows7 Shrink Command confusing to use because of this. In addition, when I tried to undo the Shrink it ended up messing up my boot files and Windows7 was not booting up correctly anymore. Fortunately, I had a backup image to start over again.

For my second attempt I decided to use a free app called "EaseUS Todo Backup Free 5.8" This app made this task a breeze. I installed it to my 500GB hard drive, then I launched it and it made a perfect clone of my 500GB hard drive shrunk down to fit on my SSD 256GB hard drive. I made sure to check off the "Optimize for SSD" option which ensures that your partition is correctly "aligned" for SSDs, and is important for getting the best performance out of your SSD. The whole cloning process took about 20 minutes and at the end of the operation I had a 256GB SSD hard drive that booted flawlessly. In addition, EaseUS made two partitions out of my 256GB hard drive. My OS is on a 175GB partition and then I have a second partition that is around 63GB. I think the reason EaseUS automatically created two partitions on my SSD hard drive is because I checked off the "Optimize for SSD" and the two partitions was the only way to keep the partiion correctly aligned.

After I got my OS migrated to my SSD hard drive, I performed a bunch of Windows updates and updates for several apps I use. I also checked my BIOS to make sure that it's set for a SSD drive and I couldn't find anything for that on my ASUS mother board.

After I finished doing all updates I made an OS image backup using Windows7 Backup/Restore feature. So now I have a perfect OS image that is safely stored incase I ever get another malware problem in the future.

Lastly, the performance boost from my new SSD hard drive is incredible! Compared to my old hard drive I have noticed a considerable speed increase on how my apps respond. Best of all my Windows 7 boot time is a lot quicker now. I got the OCZ Vertex4 256GB SSD hard drive and I recommend it over what Intel offers.

Again, thanks to everyone on this thread for helping me in my SSD migration.



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