Clone to replace SSD with larger one - is this correct?


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RandySea
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Reflect 7.1.2801. Windows10 Pro 64 bit on Panasonic SX2 toughbook

The Help function in my Reflect is not working at all so I can't check on how Clone works in general. Before posting, I have read a bunch of other threads. I'd like some feedback on whether I understand the process correctly.

My laptop came with a 500 gb SSD drive installed. I am running out of space. I'd like to replace it with a 1 TB drive in the same form factor. I've tentatively picked out a Samsung 850 EVO.

My current drive is formatted with C: and D: partitions, plus two very small ones called Recovery and System, as I see in Reflect. I have one folder tree on D: that is EFS encrypted. I also have (not inside the EFS tree) a file that is VeraCrypted..

What I plan to do is attach the new drive via a USB cable. Then run Reflect to clone my existing drive to the new drive.

Next I will remove the old drive from the laptop and replace it with the new drive containing the clone.

Finally, I will reboot. Does this seem likely to get me up and running or am I missing some vital step?

Assuming the above works, I will then run disk manager to enlarge both C: and D: partitions, though that is not a Reflect question.

One final question that does involve Reflect: I normally boot as a User. When Reflect starts, it asks me for an admin pw and then runs normally. Is there any reason to boot as an admin before doing the clone?

Thanks in advance.



jphughan
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Hey again Randy,

Actually if you intend to resize two different partitions after the clone, you'll want to do that as part of the Reflect operation, not afterward.  Also, since you're on Windows 10, you may want to relocate your Recovery partition since that will avoid Windows creating a new one in its preferred location later and leaving your current one there as dead weight afterward.  What I'm about to explain will probably make more sense when you actually have the new SSD attached and can tinker with the wizard.  You can click all the way through the clone wizard to the activity summary page without actually running it, fyi.

Basically, when you set up the clone, choose your current SSD as your source and then choose your new SSD as the destination.  Then since you want to resize multiple partitions, instead of clicking the "Copy selected partitions" link, drag each partition from the source down to the destination, working left to right in general, but keeping in mind the following:

1. Place your Recovery partition immediately after the C drive if it isn't there already, even if you have a separate D drive after it -- so rather than working directly left to right on dragging source partitions down, you would skip dragging the Recovery partition down to the destination until you'd dragged the C partition down (and resized it if desired; see note below) and then drag your Recovery partition down next to C on the destination.

2. After you drag down a partition that you wish to resize, before dragging down anything else, select that partition in the Destination section and click "Cloned partition properties" to change the size as desired.  Then proceed.  If you don't do this, then after the clone completes, it will not be possible to resize any partition on the destination disk that had a partition after it; you'd only be able to resize the last partition on the disk into the block of free space there.

In terms of your other questions, EFS and VeraCrypt are irrelevant in cloning operations, so no worries there.  There's also no reason to be logged in as an admin to perform a clone operation.  If you've been happy using Reflect as a standard user by supplying admin credentials to launch it, then that will be just fine here.

Other than that, your understanding of the process is correct.  It is very likely that you can just install your new SSD internally and boot from it, but if not, boot into Rescue Media (make sure you've got a current Rescue Media disc/flash drive!!) and run "Fix Boot Problems".  If it still doesn't work, check your BIOS to make sure it sees the new SSD as a boot device.

If you want to make sure you've got this all correct, feel feel free to post a screenshot of the Source and Destination page of the cloning wizard after you've dragged partitions down and I can make sure that what you've done is correct. Smile

Edited 29 December 2017 7:53 PM by jphughan
jphughan
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I decided to do you one better.  I staged a clone similar to what you were describing on my own system so I could post a screenshot of what you're looking for.  Here it is:



The partition sizes may be different on your system of course, but note the following:

- The Recovery partition (labeled WinRETools on my system) is in a different location on my destination, which I achieved by dragging down source partitions 2 through 4, then resizing 4 (the OS partition) and THEN grabbing the Recovery partition.  My current source disk has the Recovery partition in its default first position, which is how it's been since Vista, but since Windows 10 introduced the need to expand the Recovery partition periodically, Microsoft's new recommended practice is to place it immediately after C so that Windows can shrink your C drive by the additional amount necessary for larger Recovery partitions going forward -- even though the Windows 10 installer by default still creates it as the first partition.  That's Microsoft for you....

- I've set both the OS and Data partitions to be larger on the destination than they are on the source, which I achieved by resizing the OS partition on the destination after dragging it down but BEFORE dragging down the subsequent partitions.

Edited 29 December 2017 8:10 PM by jphughan
RandySea
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That is great info. Thank you so much. I hadn't realized how much I could accomplish during the cloning process in terms of resizing.

I expect to receive the new drive after the holiday weekend. Depending on the snow conditions, I'll test all this out soon afterwards. I appreciate your offer to look at a screen shot when I get there.

The snow is only an indirect issue. I live in a major cross-country ski area. That comes first, computer updates second. And if the snow is too good, I won't have the energy to do computer stuff at night.

On your point about resizing, I have actually done this many times using various 3rd party software. Partition Magic was one program that could resize multiple partitions in a multi-phased operation, with data being moved in the process.  II think the current day equivalent that works with Windows 10 is EaseUS Partition Master. Having said that, I like your approach better.

Randy

RandySea
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jphughan - 29 December 2017 8:07 PM
I decided to do you one better.  I staged a clone similar to what you were describing on my own system so I could post a screenshot of what you're looking for.  Here it is:



The partition sizes may be different on your system of course, but note the following:

- The Recovery partition (labeled WinRETools on my system) is in a different location on my destination, which I achieved by dragging down source partitions 2 through 4, then resizing 4 (the OS partition) and THEN grabbing the Recovery partition.  My current source disk has the Recovery partition in its default first position, which is how it's been since Vista, but since Windows 10 introduced the need to expand the Recovery partition periodically, Microsoft's new recommended practice is to place it immediately after C so that Windows can shrink your C drive by the additional amount necessary for larger Recovery partitions going forward -- even though the Windows 10 installer by default still creates it as the first partition.  That's Microsoft for you....

- I've set both the OS and Data partitions to be larger on the destination than they are on the source, which I achieved by resizing the OS partition on the destination after dragging it down but BEFORE dragging down the subsequent partitions.

Very neat.


RandySea
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Here's what my clone setup looks like. This is just a trial run. That is, I will not swap drives until after I get my warranty fix on my keyboard.


jphughan
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Hmm, the fact that your Recovery partition is 15 GB isn't typical.  I'm guessing that your PC manufacturer has a factory reset image parked on that partition, in addition to the standard Windows Recovery environment.  In that case, it's possible that relocating that partition will cause the factory restore application/function not to start (e.g. if it's hard coded to say, "Boot from Partition 1 of the disk") and/or not to be able to restore properly if it's got free space on either side of it rather than being the first partition on disk with a large block of contiguous free space after it.  Granted, given that you're a Reflect user, maybe you don't really expect to ever need to roll back to the factory image, but based on that, the safest choice is probably to perform a regular clone, i.e. just drag the source partitions down left to right to maintain their current sequence, pausing after dragging down C to increase the clone target's size if desired before dragging down the Data partition.  That may mean that after some future Windows 10 upgrade you'll see another Recovery partition created immediately after the C drive, or it's possible Windows will be happy continuing to use that 15 GB partition for a while, since it still has several GB free.  But now that I can see that your Recovery partition isn't just the regular Windows setup, I don't really see any benefit in rearranging them, and again doing so may be worse overall.  If I were in your position I would maintain the current partition sequence, unless I opted for a clean install to get rid of that factory image and reclaim that 15 GB of storage, but that's obviously more work.



Edited 3 January 2018 5:53 AM by jphughan
RandySea
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I have no need for the original factory setup. It was Windows 7 and so far back in history of old drivers, etc., that I can't see it being useful now.

At the same time, there really is no need to save 15gb on a 1-TB drive. I think I'll just do what you suggested in your latest post That is, duplicate the order of partitions, just increasing the C: and D: drives.

Meanwhile, I did try to boot from the test clone without actually installing it. In my bios, I chose USB hard drive as the first boot option. I got an error from Windows that it was an unbootable drive.

I'm not sure if this means anything. My machine has some external boot oddities since it went from Windows 7 to Windows 10. For example, it's really hard to make Rescue Media that will boot. I once tried three different USB sticks before I found one that worked. Just now I made a cdrom Rescue using the internal CD/DVD drive. It did not boot. I also tried making a new Rescue USB stick. I used a brand new Lexar 32gb stick. Reflect put the Rescue on it, but it wouldn't boot.

Unfortunately, I can't find that one USB that did work before. So right now I have no rescue media. I know I put it somewhere safe . . .



jphughan
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You won't be able to boot your clone target while it's attached via USB.  Full Windows (as opposed to WinPE, which Rescue Media uses) does not support booting from a USB drive, except when it was built as a "Windows To Go" environment, but that's only available to enterprises and has to be specially configured, so it wouldn't apply to a clone of a regular Windows environment.  This is a restriction imposed by Microsoft.

That said, your system not being able to boot most USB-based Rescue Media created through Reflect's wizard, and especially not being able to boot even disc-based media, is quite odd, arguably even disconcerting.  Are you running the latest BIOS release for your system/motherboard?

Edited 3 January 2018 6:52 AM by jphughan
RandySea
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"Are you running the latest BIOS release for your system/motherboard?"

Thank you for giving me a laugh for tonight. Panasonic doesn't do updates. It basically put my machine on the market with big fanfare, then secretly dropped it a few months later with many still in the supply chain. So, no drivers for Windows 10, no bios upgrades, no nothing. At least, when MS upgraded me from Wi 7 to Windows 10 without asking first, I had no problems.

When I contacted tech support last year about the USB boot problem, I was still able to boot from a CDROM. Tech support said as long as I can boot from a cdrom, it shouldn't matter if I can't boot from USB.

I'll get back to this tomorrow when I can test the cdrom issue.


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