Cloning Large Hard Drive to Smaller Hard Drive


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mylanta3
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I would think there is a post here about this as actually today cloning a large hard drive pc to a smaller Ssd drive is quite common but other than changing the size of the partition to be cloned utilizing Disk Management or other 3rd party software I do not see any way to do this in Macrium Reflect. I find this surprising. I also find it surprising the the rescue disk does not contain a way to clone a drive also, only the installed program in Windows can do that.
If I have missed a post here or an option, sorry I did try to find a solution before posting this.


Richard V.
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Cloning, including how to modify the order and/or sizes of partitions, is covered by this KB article.  The same cloning options are available in Reflect's rescue media environment as in the regular Windows working environment.  In either case, "Clone this disk..." shows up only below the selected drive and could possibly be missed if one isn't looking for it there.  Let us know if there is anything in particular that requires further clarification.

Regards, Richard V. ("Arvy")
https://forum.macrium.com/uploads/images/afc5d4fe-5d25-4e25-be94-185e.png

Edited 7 February 2016 10:54 PM by Arvy
Weevie45
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I tried cloning from a larger disk to a smaller SSD today with Macrium. It didn't work correctly. Most cloning software will adjust the partitions automatically and "sense" that you are cloning from a larger drive to a smaller one. I read the KB article. I tried clicking on "Maximum size" and it just didn't work correctly. I was cloning from a 1 TB to a 500GB. There were around 43 GB used on the 1 TB drive and I was going to a new 500 GB SSD. I clicked maximum size and what it should have done is show an almost 500GB partition with 43 GB used. However it didn't do this, It showed less than a few MB used. If I clicked on "Minimum size" it showed 43GB partition size and the rest unformated raw space. What a waste of my time. Especially when I paid for the 4 pack of this software. Stop trying to make things unnecessarily complicated and fix your software. It works great for imaging but it's about as intuitive as a bag of rocks when using the cloning function. I'm currently using a free cloning application to install my new SSD. Think about that, something that I got for free works and does what it's suppose to and a software application I paid over $100 to purchase doesn't have the same capability.....
Weevie45
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Samsung Data Migration software worked flawlessly for what I wanted to do. You see, it's intuitive and you clone any size to any other size without a problem or changing settings, and guess what?. It was free. Seriously make this function work better. I have faith in your programmers. I know you can do this. 
jphughan
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The free version of Reflect can perform this type of clone operation as well, minus the ability to use Rapid Delta Clone, but that doesn't work in partition shrink scenarios anyway.  It might have been helpful to post screenshots of your existing disk's partition layout and how Reflect adjusted the destination disk's staged layout after clicking those buttons, but basically, if the partition you wanted to shrink in order to make everything fit onto the larger disk was NOT the last partition on the disk, then you have to drag the source partitions down to target one at a time, working left to right, and when you get to the partition you want to shrink on the destination, adjust its properties as desired before dragging down subsequent partitions.  It would be nice, and make the wizard more intuitive, if it were possible to initially copy everything down to the destination as-is (creating an "overrun" scenario on the target disk), then shrink "intermediate" partitions such that everything would fit, and THEN for the wizard to allow dragging subsequent partitions to the left on the disk to "snap" them to the end of the newly shrunk preceding partitions, but for some reason that isn't possible.  Instead, once a partition has been brought down to the destination, it is fixed at that point on disk, hence the need to work left to right one at a time when you will be adjusting intermediate partitions. Anyhow, it sounds like you already accomplished what you needed, but I figured I'd post this just in case this information proves useful in the future

Edited 4 March 2018 10:41 PM by jphughan
Weevie45
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jphughan - 4 March 2018 10:39 PM
The free version of Reflect can perform this type of clone operation as well, minus the ability to use Rapid Delta Clone, but that doesn't work in partition shrink scenarios anyway.  It might have been helpful to post screenshots of your existing disk's partition layout and how Reflect adjusted the destination disk's staged layout after clicking those buttons, but basically, if the partition you wanted to shrink in order to make everything fit onto the larger disk was NOT the last partition on the disk, then you have to drag the source partitions down to target one at a time, working left to right, and when you get to the partition you want to shrink on the destination, adjust its properties as desired before dragging down subsequent partitions.  It would be nice, and make the wizard more intuitive, if it were possible to initially copy everything down to the destination as-is (creating an "overrun" scenario on the target disk), then shrink "intermediate" partitions such that everything would fit, and THEN for the wizard to allow dragging subsequent partitions to the left on the disk to "snap" them to the end of the newly shrunk preceding partitions, but for some reason that isn't possible.  Instead, once a partition has been brought down to the destination, it is fixed at that point on disk, hence the need to work left to right one at a time when you will be adjusting intermediate partitions. Anyhow, it sounds like you already accomplished what you needed, but I figured I'd post this just in case this information proves useful in the future

That's just silly. All that work resizing partitions before you perform the clone. My point is you shouldn't have to go through all that. It was a smaller destination drive. "Intermediate" partitions, that's funny. Most other software products can do this easily and automatically, including Acronis true image and I'm sure dozens of others, going back years and years. Re-sizing them on your own is ok if you want that option but senseless when you are cloning a drive, it's just extra work. The point is that most software does this automatically. It's not up to the user!. That's the whole point of the software!. The cloning just doesn't work correctly in Macrium Reflect if the destination drive is smaller than the source drive. I know people used to run separate partitioning software before cloning or after cloning to make it work. Thanks to applications that have been around 15-20 years people don't have to do that anymore. Macrium obviously isn't up to date with this and makes things way more complicated then they need to be. Don't tell me it's not possible. I did it today, in a single click with a free program and it took me less than 10 minutes. 
jphughan
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I didn't say it wasn't possible, in fact I even suggested being able to drag and snap partitions within the destination disk layout as a way the current implementation could be made more intuitive and convenient.  But I also don't feel it could be completely automatic in all cases.  If you're cloning onto a smaller disk, how should the software know which partition (or partitions) you want to downsize in order to make it work?  Sure, on a disk that has only the default Windows partitions, the only sensible option would be the C drive, so that particular scenario could certainly be handled automatically with a default recommended destination layout, but on disks that have the standard Windows partitions plus other user-created data partitions, or disks set up for multi-OS boot, or disks that contain only multiple data partitions rather than any OS installations at all, then I would argue it makes sense for the user to choose which partition(s) they wish to shrink.

Anyhow, if this is something you want to see, you might consider creating a thread in the Wish List section, specifically the V7 Wish List section since this thread is in the V6 section of the forum, and V6 is no longer supported because it's been more than a year since the release of V7.

Edited 5 March 2018 2:19 AM by jphughan
Weevie45
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jphughan - 5 March 2018 1:47 AM
I didn't say it wasn't possible, in fact I even suggested being able to drag and snap partitions within the destination disk layout as a way the current implementation could be made more intuitive and convenient.  But I also don't feel it could be completely automatic in all cases.  If you're cloning onto a smaller disk, how should the software know which partition (or partitions) you want to downsize in order to make it work?  Sure, on a disk that has only the default Windows partitions, the only sensible option would be the C drive, so that particular scenario could certainly be handled automatically with a default recommended destination layout, but on disks that have the standard Windows partitions plus other user-created data partitions, or disks set up for multi-OS boot, or disks that contain only multiple data partitions rather than any OS installations at all, then I would argue it makes sense for the user to choose which partition(s) they wish to shrink.

Anyhow, if this is something you want to see, you might consider creating a thread in the Wish List section, specifically the V7 Wish List section since this thread is in the V6 section of the forum, and V6 is no longer supported because it's been more than a year since the release of V7.

Lmao, How would the software know?. You select the source and target drives!. The part that's automatic is the resizing of the partitions. Like I said this ability has been available for years, Macrium is the first software product I've used that doesn't really do it right. Sorry I put this in the wrong section. A clone is an exact copy of the drive so the software copies the partitions of the larger drive onto the smaller drive and readjusts the partitions as necessary. It's up to the programmers to figure out how to get this done, again I've done it over and over again and never had a problem with other software besides macrium. You're making this out to be way more complicated than it is. I'm not a programmer so I could care less how it gets done. It's really a pretty simple concept though. I'll probably just switch to a different application once my license runs out. Or just use Macrium for imaging. For that it's a pretty good application.
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Weevie45 - 5 March 2018 3:27 AM
Lmao, How would the software know?. You select the source and target drives!. The part that's automatic is the resizing of the partitions.

You've misunderstood the scenario I'm posing.  I asked how the software is supposed to know which of the potentially several partitions on the source disk you're willing to shrink on the destination to make everything fit, and by how much.  As a simple example, suppose I have a 1TB data disk that contains two partitions.  Partition 1 is 400GB with 100GB in use, and Partition 2 is 600GB with 150GB in use.  Now I want to clone that disk onto a 500GB drive.  Obviously the clone will fit since I'm only using 250GB total on the source, but I could want any of the following layouts for my new disk:

- Partition 1 200GB, Partition 2 300GB
- Partition 1 250GB, Partition 2 250GB
- Partition 1 300GB, Partition 2 200GB
- Any other combination where Partition 1 was at least 100GB and Partition 2 was at least 150GB, and the total size of all partitions was no more than 500GB.

How is any software supposed to know what the user wants?  Yes, it COULD just pick some option arbitrarily, maybe trimming all partitions by the same percentage, but even ignoring cases where that might not be possible because some partitions may not have enough free space to allow this, I question how often any arbitrary decision the software made for an operation like this would happen to be what the user wanted.

Also, your license never runs out.  Reflect isn't a subscription; it's a perpetual license unless you want extra support.

Edited 5 March 2018 3:54 AM by jphughan
Weevie45
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jphughan - 5 March 2018 3:41 AM
Weevie45 - 5 March 2018 3:27 AM
Lmao, How would the software know?. You select the source and target drives!. The part that's automatic is the resizing of the partitions.

Again, how is the software supposed to know which of potentially several partitions on the source disk you're willing to shrink on the destination, and by how much?  Suppose I have a 1TB disk that contains two partitions.  Partition 1 is 400GB with 100GB in use, and Partition 2 is 600GB with 150GB in use.  Now I want to clone that disk onto a 500GB drive.  Obviously the clone will fit since I'm only using 250GB total on the source, but I could want any of the following layouts for my new disk:

Partition 1 200GB, Partition 2 300GB
Partition 1 250GB, Partition 2 250GB
Partition 1 300GB, Partition 2 200GB
Any other combination where Partition 1 was at least 100GB and Partition 2 was at least 150GB, and the total size of all partitions was no more than 500GB.

How is any software supposed to make that decision completely automatic?

Also, your license never runs out.  Reflect isn't a subscription; it's a perpetual license unless you want extra support.

It doesn't matter if you want different partition sizes for your new drive. You're missing the point. A clone is an exact copy and that includes every partition. The only problem happens when you are cloning from a larger disk to a smaller one and in that case the partitions  that need it will be resized automatically. If want to resize the partitions to a different size when you are done that's fine and you should be able to do that with good partitioning software. The problem with the smaller drive is there will be less unused space leftover. That's it. You are cloning or "copying" one drive to another. Forget about the partitions. The destination disk is always blank if you're doing a clone. That's the whole point. It's there where for when you're replacing a drive or upgrading to a new or better drive.  
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Weevie45 - 5 March 2018 4:00 AM
It doesn't matter if you want different partition sizes for your new drive. You're missing the point. A clone is an exact copy and that includes every partition. The only problem happens when you are cloning from a larger disk to a smaller one and in that case the partitions  that need it will be resized automatically. If want to resize the partitions to a different size when you are done that's fine and you should be able to do that with good partitioning software. The problem with the smaller drive is there will be less unused space leftover. That's it. You are cloning or "copying" one drive to another. Forget about the partitions. The destination disk is always blank if you're doing a clone. That's the whole point. It's there where for when you're replacing a drive or upgrading to a new or better drive.  

Ok, so if you had the 1TB disk I described above that contained two partitions, and you were migrating onto a 500GB disk, how would you want the software to automatically set up the destination disk?  Yes, the source partitions will need to be resized when cloned to the destination, but there are multiple ways to achieve that in order to make everything fit on the destination -- but you might prefer certain options over others.  That's my point.

Edited 5 March 2018 4:18 AM by jphughan
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jphughan - 5 March 2018 4:16 AM
Weevie45 - 5 March 2018 4:00 AM
It doesn't matter if you want different partition sizes for your new drive. You're missing the point. A clone is an exact copy and that includes every partition. The only problem happens when you are cloning from a larger disk to a smaller one and in that case the partitions  that need it will be resized automatically. If want to resize the partitions to a different size when you are done that's fine and you should be able to do that with good partitioning software. The problem with the smaller drive is there will be less unused space leftover. That's it. You are cloning or "copying" one drive to another. Forget about the partitions. The destination disk is always blank if you're doing a clone. That's the whole point. It's there where for when you're replacing a drive or upgrading to a new or better drive.  

Ok, so if you had the 1TB disk I described above that contained two partitions, and you were migrating onto a 500GB disk, how would you want the software to automatically set up the destination disk?  Yes, the source partitions will need to be resized when cloned to the destination, but there are multiple ways to achieve that in order to make everything fit on the destination -- but you might prefer certain options over others.  That's my point.


The software would set it up exactly the same as the source disk because a clone is an exact copy. If you want other options on the destination drive you'll have to change that after your clone with different software.
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The software can't replicate the source disk exactly when the destination is smaller -- that's the whole point.  The source disk has a 400GB partition and a 600GB partition.  You can't create both of those on a 500GB disk.  You could make an exact copy of the first 400GB partition, but then you only have 100GB left for the partition that used to be 600GB on the source.  That may not be what the user wants, and in fact in my example the second partition had 150GB in use, so it wouldn't fit at all if the first partition was an identical copy of the source.  A clone onto a smaller disk by definition cannot be an identical copy.  It can potentially contain contain an identical copy of all of the useful data on the source as long as the total data doesn't exceed the destination's capacity, but it cannot be an exact copy from a disk layout perspective.  And in the 1TB to 500GB disk example I gave above, there are multiple possible destination partition sizing strategies that would fit all of the source disk's data, but the user might prefer one strategy over the others rather than just wanting the software to arbitrarily choose one that will work

Yes, you could use separate partitioning software after the clone in order to resize/move partitions as desired -- but you started this discussion advocating making things simpler, and that method would be harder, and more time-consuming. It also wouldn't work well for recurring clone jobs.  Why do that when you can specify your desired partition sizes on the destination as part of the clone staging process so that the clone operation gives you the disk layout you want on the destination right upfront?

Edited 5 March 2018 4:55 AM by jphughan
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jphughan - 5 March 2018 4:30 AM
The software can't replicate the source disk exactly when the destination is smaller -- that's the whole point.  The source disk has a 400GB partition and a 600GB partition.  You can't create both of those on a 500GB disk.  You could create the 400GB partition, but then you only have 100GB left for the partition that used to be 600GB on the source.  That may not be what the user wants, in fact in my example the second partition had 125GB in use, so it wouldn't fit at all.  A clone onto a smaller disk by definition cannot be an identical copy.  It can potentially contain all of the useful data from the source as long as the total data consumption doesn't exceed the destination's size, but it cannot be an exact copy.

Well in an extremely unlikely case like that you'd have to do some work before cloning the drive. Just use common sense. A clone is an exact copy, if you had that issue, then the source disk couldn't be cloned without doing some work beforehand. The software wouldn't let you and I'd be ok with that. Most people would understand this and if you are the kind of guy that still partitions out his hard drive in this day and age, then you are smart enough to know that in that situation you would not be able to clone it, without first doing some work, like merging those partitions into one and maybe shrinking it down first with some other third party tool.

My whole point was that if you want to simply clone a larger drive to a smaller one it shouldn't cause any trouble. You are going out of your way to make up certain very unlikely situations and configurations that wouldn't work, but it'd be obvious to someone who actually had those configurations that it wouldn't work. The majority of home users don't really do any partitioning of their hard drives these days. In fact most guys don't. The guys that do, like I said would know better that certain things wouldn't work. Not all software is gonna work in every situation for every single person or circumstance, and I'm not asking for that. 

I simply wanted to clone my current 1TB HDD to a SSD and I was able to with different software. Macrium Reflect had a difficult time with it though and doesn't work correctly in that situation. That's it. I'm exhausted from arguing over this. I respect your opinion and it's interesting to hear your side of things. Thanks for you time and help. It's appreciated.

Cloning is just meant for copying a HDD or SSD, or an upgrade. If that's all you want to do is copy or upgrade a HDD than you clone. Anything else you want to do that's more complicated will require something else. You wouldn't set up a reoccurring cloning jobs. That's just not what it's used for. It's a tool for copying or changing, or replacing you HDD. You're just coming up with these extremely rare and unlikely situations that really don't apply. 
Edited 5 March 2018 5:03 AM by Weevie45
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I do take your point that for simple use cases like yours, Reflect could be better, and to that end I've added two ideas to the Cloning/Imaging section of my "Aggregated quick win requests" Wish List thread (here) based on this discussion. They would make Reflect easier for simple use cases like yours without removing existing functionality/flexibility that is important to others, including yours truly.  Reflect is definitely not the easiest backup/cloning application on the market, but part of that is because it's one of the more powerful options on the market -- and that is precisely why some people use it.  Making Reflect as rigid as you're suggesting would be a step backwards for at least some of the customer base, but smart design can often make an application easier without making it less capable.  Still, although multi-partition scenarios cases may be uncommon, they are not "extremely rare".  Placing personal data on a separate partition allows OS restores to occur more quickly and without rolling back your personal data.  And even if that scenario WERE rare, there's a place in the market for software that can accommodate rare use cases more conveniently than forcing users to find extra software and do manual work beforehand.  You say you'd be ok with cloning software simply not allowing the scenario I described earlier without the user doing extra work with some other software beforehand.  I personally appreciate that Reflect allows me to perform that type of clone without having to find a separate application and go through extra time and effort beforehand, especially since I might not want to reconfigure my entire source disk just to get its contents copied -- maybe I want to continue using my current disk as-is after the clone.  There's also risk to your suggestion -- what if I broke something on my source disk while trying to modify it?  Then I'd potentially be left with an unbootable system and/or corrupted data before I ever made a copy.  With Reflect, I can perform the clone I want without having to modify the source first at all.

All that said, I'm sorry Reflect didn't behave as you expected or believed it should.  It's never pleasant to use software that isn't accomplishing what in the user's mind seems a simple task, especially when that user's scenario IS in fact a simple task, or at least should be.

One thing to note that might help you understand Reflect's design though is that Reflect does not insist that a clone always be an exact copy of a source disk as you've been saying.  Clones in Reflect are technically exact partition copies, and a "disk clone" is just a series of partition clone operations (plus the Master Boot Record), in fact the activity log even describes disk clones this way.  That's why Reflect allows you to configure clones that (for example):

- Deliberately do not clone certain partitions from the source to the destination if you don't need/want them, perhaps a manufacturer's factory image restore partition when you'd rather reclaim the space
- Reorder partitions when cloning from source to destination, perhaps to avoid having a second Recovery partition being created later on by a Windows 10 release upgrade
- Clone partitions from multiple source disks all onto a single destination, such as an OS disk and two separate data disks all being consolidated onto a single larger destination disk for convenience or emergency fallback use cases.

All of those scenarios are possible in Reflect, and I have personally helped people who needed to accomplish each of those tasks do so with Reflect.  In fact, because of Windows 10 and how it handles its Recovery partition when upgrading to new releases, the first two scenarios are actually somewhat common desires when cloning as part of a permanent migration from one disk to another.  But note that in all of those cases, users get exact copies of any partitions being cloned, but Reflect does not force the entire destination disk to be an exact copy of any particular entire source disk, and I would argue that it is a better product for offering that flexibility.  The users who wanted to do those things certainly thought so.

Also consider that if Reflect were as rigid as you're suggesting it should be, suppose you wanted to restore an image captured from a multi-partition 1TB disk onto a smaller 500GB disk. Reflect allows you to do that (assuming the data fits, of course), and I would argue that's a good thing, especially because in that case there wouldn't be a way to modify the source's partition layout with some third-party tool beforehand, since all you have is a read-only image file. And if the original source disk is dead/gone, capturing a modified image may not be an option, even ignoring the extra time, effort, and risk it would involve. I think Reflect would be a worse product if it simply prevented this type of restore and instead forced the user to buy a bigger disk even though it wasn't needed in order to store the amount of data in the image. That same flexibility that's available for image restores has simply also been made available for clones.

Edited 5 March 2018 4:10 PM by jphughan
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Like I said before your just going out of your way to describe some insanely complicated situation. If you've helped users in these certain situations that you've described than you've just proved that Macrium isn't very user friendly. Like you said it can be a powerful product and be user friendly at the same time. You're going off on un-needed tangents. Something so simple you turn into a complicated mess. Cloning isn't the same thing as imaging and they are used for different purposes. You are splitting hairs. I'm done replying to this topic. Macrium Reflect isn't the only imaging and "cloning" software out there and it's certainly not the best. Maybe you should give other products a try. 
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Weevie45 - 5 March 2018 8:53 PM
Like I said before your just going out of your way to describe some insanely complicated situation. If you've helped users in these certain situations that you've described than you've just proved that Macrium isn't very user friendly. Like you said it can be a powerful product and be user friendly at the same time. You're going off on un-needed tangents. Something so simple you turn into a complicated mess. Cloning isn't the same thing as imaging and they are used for different purposes. You are splitting hairs. I'm done replying to this topic. Macrium Reflect isn't the only imaging and "cloning" software out there and it's certainly not the best. Maybe you should give other products a try. 

Seems like a  lot of nonsense going on in this thread, you were linked to the KB article that explains how to do it. Cloning a larger hard drive to a smaller SSD which is exactly the reason I got Macrium Reflect is very simple. The only hard disk prep needed is to remove enough data to shrink your C:\ partition. The C partition is adjusted in the clone set up. after the clone is completed no disk operation are required you just to work.If you in a UEFI system you'll need to remove your old hard drive after to prevent it from booting rather than your SSD The whole thing took me about 20 minutes which included reading the KB on how to do this back in 2012 There are several YouTube Videos on youtube using MR  if you have a hard time reading the KB  
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