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  • FIRST POST
    • fwor
    • By fwor 4th Jan 18, 2:24 AM
    • 5,923Posts
    • 3,972Thanks
    fwor
    Cloning a Hard Disk to a smaller one
    • #1
    • 4th Jan 18, 2:24 AM
    Cloning a Hard Disk to a smaller one 4th Jan 18 at 2:24 AM
    I've just bought a new HP laptop with a 500GB conventional drive, with the intention of replacing that with a smaller (250GB) SSD that I had in a previous laptop.

    The plan was to retain Win10 (which comes pre-installed on the 500GB HDD) and install my preferred OS (Linux Mint) alongside it to dual-boot.

    Problem is that HP/Microsoft do something ghastly with the formatting of their HDD's - so it has five primary partitions and some weird flags set on some of them, which means that I can't just use something like Clonezilla to copy the individual partitions across.

    Ideally I'd like to clone the HDD to the smaller SSD - which would obviously mean re-sizing one of the partitions in the process. Anyone know of any tools that will allow this (Clonezilla won't)?

    Or can anyone suggest another way to solve the problem? Naturally I don't have any installation media for Win10, or I would just stick that in and do an install from scratch...
Page 1
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 4th Jan 18, 2:50 AM
    • 26,445 Posts
    • 10,585 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    • #2
    • 4th Jan 18, 2:50 AM
    • #2
    • 4th Jan 18, 2:50 AM
    I would have thought Clonezilla would, it can resize partitions.

    Acronis can if that cannot.

    Or create a partition larger than the excess, ie your 500GB drive onto a 200GB SSD. Create a 300GB blank/empty partition and when cloning untick that partition.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • fwor
    • By fwor 4th Jan 18, 3:10 AM
    • 5,923 Posts
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    fwor
    • #3
    • 4th Jan 18, 3:10 AM
    • #3
    • 4th Jan 18, 3:10 AM
    The problem is not resizing partitions - I can do that easily with GPARTED. The problem is that Clonezilla (by default, anyway) simply won't allow you to clone a drive to one that's a different size.

    Are you saying that Acronis will allow you to clone a whole drive (including MBR and all the EFI stuff that gets put in the partition at the front) when the drives are a different size?
    • John Gray
    • By John Gray 4th Jan 18, 8:49 AM
    • 5,100 Posts
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    John Gray
    • #4
    • 4th Jan 18, 8:49 AM
    • #4
    • 4th Jan 18, 8:49 AM
    Your hard drive has been formatted as UEFI rather than MBR, hence the plethora of partitions.
    Either Macrium Reflect Free or Acronis TrueImage should be able to do the 'clone' operation, and no doubt other programs also.

    I am going to have to do something similar soon, transferring from a 750 GB hard drive to a Crucial 240 GB SSD. Have a look at their website - you get a free cut-down copy of Acronis with SSD purchase for this very purpose.
    • toshi
    • By toshi 4th Jan 18, 10:45 AM
    • 151 Posts
    • 108 Thanks
    toshi
    • #5
    • 4th Jan 18, 10:45 AM
    • #5
    • 4th Jan 18, 10:45 AM
    As John said, clone utilities (Macrium Reflect, Acronis TrueImage) do the job on this purpose, I can add AOMEI Backupper, (I just tested this as well, works very well too)

    https://www.backup-utility.com/free-backup-software.html

    UEFI /Win10 is quite messy, I have removed a recovery partition (final part of the disk around 20GB) - this is used for Windows 10 automatic recovery programme, but you can create a recovery disk /usb instead.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=create+windows+10+recovery+flashdrive&t=ffab&ia =web

    Once you can manage a disclone, then as you said, you can use Gparted which is included in Linuxmint installer.

    Happy SSD computing
    • fwor
    • By fwor 4th Jan 18, 1:08 PM
    • 5,923 Posts
    • 3,972 Thanks
    fwor
    • #6
    • 4th Jan 18, 1:08 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Jan 18, 1:08 PM
    Thanks very much for the suggestions - I will try one of those suggested.

    UEFI seems to me a real mess, and it's almost as though Microsoft's disk setup is designed to make life difficult for people who want to dual-boot, but perhaps that's just me being paranoid...
    • johndough
    • By johndough 4th Jan 18, 1:13 PM
    • 653 Posts
    • 252 Thanks
    johndough
    • #7
    • 4th Jan 18, 1:13 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Jan 18, 1:13 PM
    Hi

    The usual is 4 partitions, a boot and then a C: with 2 areas for recovery.

    You can make recovery USB from the W10 install as it stands.
    You can use the standard W10 OS made from the Creators tool and then goto the HP page and download all the software for your PC (or do it first).

    clonezilla cloned my recovery area onto a 16 gb USB, and it is worth noting that the F11 function does a Factory Fresh install wiping everything and then spends a coupla days undergoing MS updates to current 1709.

    So make your own.

    The W10 key can be found by this CLI from Mint etc.
    sudo cat /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM | strings | tail -n 1

    Obviously using the MS OS made with Creator Tool and navigating to the X: or C: in Advanced Option : Command Prompt

    and typing something like:- xcopy C:\* G:\ /e /i /h

    or just c:\users\* G:\ /e /i /h

    Copies a lot of stuff, almost as good as a clone.

    Bear in mind the Activation key may throw a wobbler because of the HD replacement.
    • fwor
    • By fwor 4th Jan 18, 3:35 PM
    • 5,923 Posts
    • 3,972 Thanks
    fwor
    • #8
    • 4th Jan 18, 3:35 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Jan 18, 3:35 PM
    The usual is 4 partitions, a boot and then a C: with 2 areas for recovery.
    Originally posted by johndough
    In this case it's 5 - the EFI part, then a 16M partition that is completely empty and unformatted but has a MSFTRES flag on it, then the main Win partition, then two recovery partitions.

    It still looks suspiciously like the second (empty) partition is there just to make life difficult for people who want to do something other than the "standard" install...

    What I'm now thinking of doing is running up Win10 on the original HDD, getting it to make me a set of installation media on CD/DVD using the Windows Media Creation tool - but I've got a bit of internet searching to do to find out if that's possible. If so, it may be best to do an install from scratch on the SSD.
    Last edited by fwor; 04-01-2018 at 3:40 PM.
    • emptybox
    • By emptybox 4th Jan 18, 3:53 PM
    • 329 Posts
    • 152 Thanks
    emptybox
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 18, 3:53 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 18, 3:53 PM
    You can surely clone any number of partitions to your SSD, as long as the collective size doesn't exceed that of the SSD.
    You'd just have to resize the Windows partition to make it fit.

    You can make a recovery drive from within Windows 10, you don't need the Media Creation Tool to do it.
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/4026852/windows-create-a-recovery-drive
    That way you could dispense with the need to clone the recovery partition to the new drive.
    • fwor
    • By fwor 4th Jan 18, 4:23 PM
    • 5,923 Posts
    • 3,972 Thanks
    fwor
    You can surely clone any number of partitions to your SSD, as long as the collective size doesn't exceed that of the SSD.
    You'd just have to resize the Windows partition to make it fit.
    Originally posted by emptybox
    It's not quite that simple. For a start, there is ~supposed~ to be a rule that you cannot have more than 4 primary partitions on a HDD - but perhaps UEFI has removed that rule. If so, nobody seems to have told the people that write the Linux Mint installer.

    [Edit: having just checked, UEFI ~does~ remove the 4 partition limit, and removes the whole primary/extended partition concept, so I'm not sure why my Linux Mint 18.3 installer is refusing to install alongside Win10].

    I think there may also be a problem that UEFI includes absolute sector addresses for partition boundaries - so if you change the size the boot data no longer makes sense. I may be wrong about that - but at the moment it looks like it's true, because if I just do a re-size but stay on the original HDD, it won't boot any more.
    Last edited by fwor; 04-01-2018 at 4:29 PM.
    • grumpycrab
    • By grumpycrab 4th Jan 18, 4:33 PM
    • 3,339 Posts
    • 1,506 Thanks
    grumpycrab
    I'd go for a clean install of Windows 10 and Linux. Nothing like the New Year for a Spring-clean of your partitions!
    If you put your general location in your Profile, somebody here may be able to come and help you.
    • Neil Jones
    • By Neil Jones 4th Jan 18, 7:23 PM
    • 1,083 Posts
    • 602 Thanks
    Neil Jones
    Clonezilla will not clone a big drive to a smaller drive, so you can't copy that 500Gb to the 250Gb even if you are using less than 250Gb. Norton Ghost will do it no questions asked.

    Clonezilla may be able to do it if you shink the partition to less than 250Gb but I haven't tried this.
    • fwor
    • By fwor 4th Jan 18, 7:49 PM
    • 5,923 Posts
    • 3,972 Thanks
    fwor
    Clonezilla may be able to do it if you shink the partition to less than 250Gb but I haven't tried this.
    Originally posted by Neil Jones
    As said earlier, it won't - it seems to go by the volume size, not the sum of all partitions, so having unpartitioned space does not seem to help.

    I'm starting to despair of getting anything useful out of Win10. At present it is just unusable - just seems to sit there all the time with the rotating circle instead of the mouse arrow pointer. It's not a fault with the laptop, as I've installed Mint on it and it works fine (off the SSD). I have a suspicion it's downloading loads of updates from MS, but if that's right it's shockingly bad implementation by MS - they should not let background tasks like that slow the machine down so much as to make it unusable.

    I'm going to have another go at booting up Win10 (on the HDD, exactly as it came from the factory) and leaving it for an hour or so to see if it ever becomes responsive again. I was prepared to be impressed by Win10, so to say I'm disappointed is an understatement...
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 4th Jan 18, 7:55 PM
    • 26,445 Posts
    • 10,585 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    Oh yes, had the fun of trying to restore a faulty windows 10 install.

    Even though its wrong it knows best and kept trying to repair itself.

    I formatted the stupid thing in the end.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • debitcardmayhem
    • By debitcardmayhem 4th Jan 18, 9:37 PM
    • 8,352 Posts
    • 6,298 Thanks
    debitcardmayhem
    I ahd problems similar to yours and gave up and reinstalled W10, but then on a new m/c with uefi I followed this (well it was fedora) https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Unified_Extensible_Firmware_Interface#UEFI-native_and_BIOS-native_installations but also there is this for Mint(Ubuntu flavour) https://www.linux.com/learn/how-install-linux-windows-machine-uefi-secure-boot

    Unfortunately I cannot find the instructions for the cloning I also followed, but I did it with Macrium, and I remember I had to disable the original HDD in the bios, but that was a desktop with both in place. If I can find it will report back , but my memory is unreliable these days
    • flashg67
    • By flashg67 4th Jan 18, 10:08 PM
    • 2,352 Posts
    • 1,542 Thanks
    flashg67
    I had the same issue. EaseUS is free let me clone all of the partitions from my HP 1tb drive to a 250gb SSD in one go and booted up first go
    • spud17
    • By spud17 4th Jan 18, 10:33 PM
    • 4,250 Posts
    • 1,952 Thanks
    spud17
    It's not quite that simple. For a start, there is ~supposed~ to be a rule that you cannot have more than 4 primary partitions on a HDD - but perhaps UEFI has removed that rule. If so, nobody seems to have told the people that write the Linux Mint installer.

    [Edit: having just checked, UEFI ~does~ remove the 4 partition limit, and removes the whole primary/extended partition concept, so I'm not sure why my Linux Mint 18.3 installer is refusing to install alongside Win10].
    Originally posted by fwor
    Doesn't the 4 primary partition rule only apply to MBR disks?
    GPT disks allow many more primary partitions.
    Also, I believe one of those blank partitions is to do with the Bitlocker function.
    cba to check, but the Win 10 install creates the blank partition by default and it can be safely incorporated into an existing partition.
    From Windows disk management, mine shows a 450 MB Recovery and 100 MB EFI System partition and I'm sure there's one more hidden from Windows.
    (I could have had a drink).
    Move along, nothing to see.
    • debitcardmayhem
    • By debitcardmayhem 4th Jan 18, 11:12 PM
    • 8,352 Posts
    • 6,298 Thanks
    debitcardmayhem
    My newish laptop , which had W10 installed only originally
    now looks like this (using fdisk -l in linux)
    Disk /dev/sdb: 238.5 GiB, 256060514304 bytes, 500118192 sectors
    Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
    Disklabel type: gpt
    Disk identifier: 6FE2DDE1-18EC-45B6-BCB8-3A21603F7CBD


    Device Start End Sectors Size Type
    /dev/sdb1 2048 923647 921600 450M Windows recovery environment
    /dev/sdb2 923648 1128447 204800 100M EFI System
    /dev/sdb3 1128448 1161215 32768 16M Microsoft reserved
    /dev/sdb4 1161216 385431551 384270336 183.2G Microsoft basic data
    /dev/sdb5 385431552 481900543 96468992 46G Linux filesystem
    /dev/sdb6 481900544 490289151 8388608 4G Linux filesystem
    /dev/sdb7 490289152 498677759 8388608 4G Linux filesystem

    Not sure if it helps much though
    sdb1 is NTFS hidden.diag
    sdb2 is fat32 boot, esp
    sdb3 is ??unknown?? msftres
    sdb4 is ntfs windows msftdata
    sdb5,6,7 are linux ext4
    • were
    • By were 4th Jan 18, 11:26 PM
    • 607 Posts
    • 359 Thanks
    were
    Personaly I would defrag. Then make the sum partitions sizes to be smaller that the total amount of space on the new drive, as you may probably need a little bit free space due to cluster size.

    Once it is all working and tested, would use acronis to copy the partitions and restore them.
    • toshi
    • By toshi 5th Jan 18, 12:09 AM
    • 151 Posts
    • 108 Thanks
    toshi
    Well, this is what I would do but it seems too late as you have modified original hard disk: ..


    1) Install a disk clone utility (Macrium Reflect, Acronis TrueImage, AOMEI Backupper to the original hard disk

    2) Connect to external SSD USB, and perform diskclone. (I used AOMEI this time) you just select disk clone, (you don't have to worry about each partition size too much at this point) they would copy and resize all of them, let the application do it.

    3) Swap the SSD with the hard disk (The original hard disk remains as it is, you have no worry to mess around your SSD partition here, you can do anything you want. )

    4) Boot LinuxMint installer , use GPARTED, REZISE OR DELETE PARTITIONS, What I would do is to delete last two recovery partitions., I guess, one is system recovery partition, and another one is Windows recovery partition, (I am not absolutely sure here as I don't have a brand new HP computer with me)

    5) Then I will use this free space for LinuxMint installation. (Yes, with UEFI environment, you may need to install LinuxMint manually. You just need to create 2 partitions, if you have 40GB, I would create 32GB as root (/) and 8GB as Linux Swap.

    Swapfile size - people often suggest the same size as your system memory, as swapfile can be used for hibernation. (But some don't create any swapfile with an SSD for extending lifespan - but I think that it is rather old story.)

    The difference between UEFI and Legacy in terms of multi-boot system.

    Legacy(Bios) has one single MASTER BOOT RECORD (MBR) - So you have to choose Windows boot manager OR GRUB2.

    UEFI doesn't use MBR but GPT, I don't talk detail here. See the below.

    https://www.howtogeek.com/193669/whats-the-difference-between-gpt-and-mbr-when-partitioning-a-drive/

    Practically you install GRUB2 as before, but this time, LinuxMint will install UEFI compatible GRUB2

    (Add: You need to hit F9 when HP logo appears,) then HP computer should let you select UEFI sources, then you should be able to select UEFI Ready Windows boot manager or UEFI ready GRUB2 menu.

    (Please note unlike Legacy MBR, each boot manager can co-exist) Well, I prefer old MBR (lol) as simply I am so familiar with it. But UEFI has clear advantages for multiboot as well, as both can co-exist!

    But until recently, the hardware UEFI support was not really good, so many confusion, but as far as I know, HP hardeware UEFI support has been really good.)

    Hope it helps.
    Last edited by toshi; 06-01-2018 at 12:08 AM. Reason: F9 info added, minor correction
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