Moving the Windows partition from one SSD to another SSD that has System Reserved Partition


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SwannyVA
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My system has 2 SSDs - please see attached PDF.  One is 32GB and includes the Windows Primary partition (C: ), while the other 240GB drive (G: ) has a System Reserved partition.  As I'm constantly struggling with keeping the C: drive clean enough for Windows updates, I'd like to move the Primary (C: ) to the larger drive.  Currently, both drives must be present for Windows to boot.
Does anyone have any recommendations on how to accomplish this?  I have spare drives that I can clone to, but have no clue how to get there, even though I have tried.
Thanks in advance!
John
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Disk Manager Partitions.pdf (1 view, 64.00 KB)
jphughan
jphughan
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Just as a quick note upfront, that System Reserved partition shouldn't have a drive letter assigned.  I would recommend using Disk Management to remove that G: assignment, which should persist across reboots.

On that same disk, I'm also curious what Partition 3 is doing.  Judging by the space actually in use, it seems like it might be a Windows Recovery partition, but 26 GB is an awfully large partition for that purpose.  That's a size I'd expect to see for a "factory image restore" partition, but then much more of it would be in use.  The Windows Recovery partition is also typically either at the beginning of the disk containing your C partition or just after your C partition.  You have a partition in the latter location that seems to be the right size and to have a plausible amount of space consumed, but Reflect isn't showing a Windows logo on that partition (or the 26 GB partition), which it does for properly configured Windows Recovery partitions.  That partition might have WinRE files but not be properly "registered" as a Recovery partition.  But if you're a frequent Reflect user, you might never need it anyway.

Would backing up the contents of your H partition somewhere else, wiping it out during a clone, and then copying data back to a new partition be an option?  If so, I would recommend the following:
  • Make an image backup of the disks involved before proceeding.
  • Boot into your Rescue Media environment, ideally from an external disc or flash drive, NOT the recovery boot menu option.
  • Select the disk containing your C partition, click "Clone this disk", and select your target disk as the destination.
  • Select the H partition and click "Delete existing partition", then repeat that for the 26 GB partition so that your destination now only has your System Reserved partition followed by empty space.
  • Drag your C partition down to the destination disk just after your System Reserved partition.  Select it in the destination, click "Cloned Partition Properties" and change its size as desired.  You can specify the new size either in actual size or in how much space to leave free at the end of the partition for any additional partitions you may want to create.
  • Optionally drag and drop that other partition after your C partition to the destination as well.  Any additional partitions you might want to have (e.g. your H partition) should exist AFTER that partition
  • When the clone completes, shut down your PC and remove the 32 GB SSD, at least temporarily.  Or if your BIOS allows you to simply disable the interface it's using, you can do that instead to achieve the same end result.
  • Boot back into Rescue Media and run Fix Boot Problems, which you will need to because you will have just moved your Windows environment to a completely different disk, so your Windows Boot Manager will need to be updated to point to it.  Doing this when there's only one actual Windows partition present on the system tends to make this easier.
  • If needed, restore your H partition from the backup you made at the beginning of this process into free space you will hopefully have left on your disk for this purpose.
At that point, your system should boot normally.

Edited 5 June 2020 2:02 AM by jphughan
jphughan
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One other option would be the following:
  • Create regular Windows installation media for whatever version of Windows you're running.  You can download this from Microsoft.
  • Remove/disable the 32GB SSD
  • Boot your system from your Windows installation media.  When you get to the point asking where to install Windows, delete ALL partitions on your Intel SSD, then choose to install Windows there.  This way you'll get a proper partition layout, including a properly set up Recovery partition, and everything will be on that one disk.
  • After the install completes, reconnect/re-enable your 32GB SSD, boot your system from your Reflect Rescue Media, and clone the C partition from that SSD on top of the new C partition that was created on the Intel SSD.  Or to avoid having to re-enable it, if you captured an image backup of that 32GB SSD beforehand, just restore from that image rather than cloning from the SSD.


SwannyVA
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Thanks for your quick and thoughtful reply jp!  I'll go over your recommendations carefully tomorrow, but I'm already leaning toward the second recommendation.  I'll try one of them and report my progress.
Stay safe.
John​​
SwannyVA
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jphughan - 5 June 2020 2:10 AM
One other option would be the following:
  • Create regular Windows installation media for whatever version of Windows you're running.  You can download this from Microsoft.
  • Remove/disable the 32GB SSD
  • Boot your system from your Windows installation media.  When you get to the point asking where to install Windows, delete ALL partitions on your Intel SSD, then choose to install Windows there.  This way you'll get a proper partition layout, including a properly set up Recovery partition, and everything will be on that one disk.
  • After the install completes, reconnect/re-enable your 32GB SSD, boot your system from your Reflect Rescue Media, and clone the C partition from that SSD on top of the new C partition that was created on the Intel SSD.  Or to avoid having to re-enable it, if you captured an image backup of that 32GB SSD beforehand, just restore from that image rather than cloning from the SSD.

JP, I have a Windows Recovery disk created, and have created the recommended Windows Installation media disk.  Is there a recommended preference?
Thanks again!​

jphughan
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The clean install route is probably simpler.  But you need Reflect Rescue Media, not a Windows Recovery disc.

SwannyVA
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I was able to eliminate the problem partitions on the SSD and reinstall Windows 10.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to reinstall the C drive partition successfully due to my superficial knowledge of the outstanding Macrium product, but I'm very satisfied with my overall results.  Thanks for the excellent help.
Stay safe.
John​​
jphughan
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Great, and happy to help!  But if you do want to restore your previous C partition rather than starting from scratch, all you have to do is boot to Rescue Media, choose the backup you want to restore, and then in the first step of the restore wizard, just drag and drop the C partition from the backup (in the Source area) on top of the Windows partition on your actual SSD (in the Destination area).  The Windows partition on the destination may or may not be shown as C in Rescue, but that won't matter.  That will tell Reflect to restore ONLY the C partition out of your selected backup, and to do it by overwriting the existing Windows partition on disk.  But either way, glad you're happy!

Edited 6 June 2020 3:19 AM by jphughan
spilly80
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jphughan - 5 June 2020 2:10 AM
One other option would be the following:
  • Create regular Windows installation media for whatever version of Windows you're running.  You can download this from Microsoft.
  • Remove/disable the 32GB SSD
  • Boot your system from your Windows installation media.  When you get to the point asking where to install Windows, delete ALL partitions on your Intel SSD, then choose to install Windows there.  This way you'll get a proper partition layout, including a properly set up Recovery partition, and everything will be on that one disk.
  • After the install completes, reconnect/re-enable your 32GB SSD, boot your system from your Reflect Rescue Media, and clone the C partition from that SSD on top of the new C partition that was created on the Intel SSD.  Or to avoid having to re-enable it, if you captured an image backup of that 32GB SSD beforehand, just restore from that image rather than cloning from the SSD.


JP
I think you describe here very closely just what I tried to do today but could not boot as hoped at the end
I hope it's close enough to the OP that it will help others in similar situations

PLAN:  Speed up system startup and Windows maintenance by Moving ONLY C: drive from slow HDD  1TB
to new smaller SSD (120GB - big enough for my windows, but not for any user DATA)
User data all in new D: drive, located on HDD

Starting System is a single disk GPT UEFI system, running Win 10 Home
OBJECTIVE is a 2 disk system; C: on SSD with all OS and software;  all Userdata in new D: drive located on HDD

PREPARATION: Create new D: drive on HDD and move Location of all user data to D:\Users\Name\Docs, Pics etc
Shrink C: to 100 GB, so it will fit on 120GB SSD
Take full macrium backup of HDD

Disconnect HDD and install New Win 10 on SSD;
a 100% default Win 10 install; Small size (no data); 2 system partitions + C: about 110GB
It booted OK of course
The HDD was disconnected during this install and reboot

Power off: reconnected HDD; both SSD & HDD to have power on next reboot
Enabled legacy boot to permit Boot to CD

Booted to Macrium Rescue and restored HDD C: partition (100GB) into SDD C: partition just created
(I definitely got the source and target correct)
At this point C: drive on SSD is a clone of C: drive on HDD)
The resulting C: on SSD now expects an available D: drive in another partition, (of which one instance is located on HDD.
 
I think this may be where I now go wrong...

Before exiting the Rescue environment, I used Macrium to fix the boot partitions.
choosing both EFI and Windows on SSD. Fix Boot had detected two installations as expected
Shutdown reboot...
The system booted OK, but it booted into Windows on HDD, not SSD
and I couldn't make it boot into the SSD copy of Windows

I've an idea maybe I should have installed Win 10 on the empty SSD with the HDD still connected

Where did I go wrong???  
I never did fully understand UEFI boot & the use of GPT disks.
Perhaps I will now?
Thank you in anticipation

Spilly


jphughan
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Hey Spilly,

I can see two places where you may have gone wrong that probably didn't help matters.

First, switching to Legacy Boot in order to boot Rescue.  That should not have been necessary.  If your Rescue Media was built on WinPE/RE 4 later (this is indicated in the title bar at the very top of the Rescue interface), then it supports UEFI booting, and if you have a CD containing a bootable environment that supports UEFI mode, then you should be able to boot it in UEFI mode.  The reason this can matter is that the fixes attempted by Fix Boot Problems depend on how the Rescue Media itself was booted.  So you essentially attempted Legacy BIOS fixes on a UEFI installation of Windows.

The other change I'd make to your setup is to run Fix Boot Problems and perform your first test boot without the source HDD connected.  This might mean that you need to perform the clone, then shut down, then disconnect the HDD, then boot into Rescue AGAIN specifically to run Fix Boot Problems so that Reflect will only see a single Windows environment.  And then your system will only see a single bootable disk when you reboot after that.

And as a last note, if you moved from a SATA HDD to an NVMe SSD rather than a SATA SSD, then you may also have to run ReDeploy in the Rescue environment so that Reflect updates the Windows environment as needed to load the NVMe class driver at startup.  Make sure you're using Rescue Media created by a reasonably recent version of Reflect since Macrium made some ReDeploy enhancements recently.

Good luck!

GO

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