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  • FIRST POST
    • fwor
    • By fwor 4th Jan 18, 2:24 AM
    • 5,921Posts
    • 3,970Thanks
    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 2
    • fwor
    • By fwor 5th Jan 18, 2:43 PM
    • 5,921 Posts
    • 3,970 Thanks
    fwor
    Thanks for some useful and interesting advice. In the end I went with Grumpycrab's recommendation (especially as I'm not ~certain~ that a Win install on an HDD will deal with an SSD properly if just cloned across).

    Here are the steps:

    1. Get Win10 running on the new HDD, install Windows Media Creation Tool, get it to download Win10 installation media and burn it to a DVD.

    2. Use the MS Powershell utility to get the Windows licence key (I didn't need it for the re-install but I have it now for future use, just in case.)

    3. Reformat the SSD and create 3 partitions at the far end as placeholders for Linux (one for /, one for /home and one for swap).

    4. Go into the BIOS and enable legacy boot (which turns of Secure Boot, thank God).

    5. Install Win10 from the DVD into the unpartitioned space at the start of the SSD.

    6. Install Linux Mint using the "something else" option to use the partitions created earlier, leaving all of the Win10 stuff unchanged (sadly I could not get it to mount the Windows directory as /windows while Linux is running).

    7. Go into the BIOS and change the UEFI boot order so that I get Mint first - so I only get to see Windows when I need to, and not every time it boots!

    I should add that as it's a laptop for carrying around for diagnostic work, I chose the Linux "encrypt my Home folder" option, as that's the only place where I expect to keep sensitive info - hopefully that will be a good enough security measure in case it gets lost/nicked...

    Thanks again for all the pointers.
    Last edited by fwor; 05-01-2018 at 2:49 PM.
    • emptybox
    • By emptybox 5th Jan 18, 4:33 PM
    • 325 Posts
    • 151 Thanks
    emptybox
    Point 6. You should be able to add the Windows partition to /etc/fstab to get Mint to mount it at boot up.

    It's usual to mount it in /media/<username>/Windows rather than just /Windows, but I guess it wouldn't make much difference.

    You probably know all this already, but if not I can give more detailed instructions.
    Last edited by emptybox; 05-01-2018 at 4:41 PM.
    • fwor
    • By fwor 5th Jan 18, 4:43 PM
    • 5,921 Posts
    • 3,970 Thanks
    fwor
    Thanks, yes - it would just have been handy to get the installer to do it. For some reason it won't - maybe because only basic NTFS support is included in the installer's kernel? I don't know for sure, but as you say, I should try putting it in fstab later.
    • debitcardmayhem
    • By debitcardmayhem 5th Jan 18, 6:37 PM
    • 8,348 Posts
    • 6,297 Thanks
    debitcardmayhem
    fwor 6 is possibly because W10 is set to boot quicker, i.e. it starts from an image of the running system. That may be stopping you from mounting from Linux, I don't auto mount mine but it works fine as needed. W10 does not clearset the clean bit on the "disk" unless it is cold shutdown. Maybe read this https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/4189-turn-off-fast-startup-windows-10-a.html
    • fwor
    • By fwor 5th Jan 18, 9:57 PM
    • 5,921 Posts
    • 3,970 Thanks
    fwor
    Ah right - that could explain it - if the filesystem is detected as "dirty" then it won't mount - I saw some hints of that during my cloning attempts, where Clonezilla would not continue because the Win10 NTFS partition was not clean.

    Then again it might be something else as DMESG returns a "mount options do not match the existing superblock" error. It's not a big issue - I can always just save any stuff I want to transfer between Mint and Windows on a pendrive!
    • debitcardmayhem
    • By debitcardmayhem 5th Jan 18, 10:09 PM
    • 8,348 Posts
    • 6,297 Thanks
    debitcardmayhem
    Hope that helps , why try to speed up startup if your Windows is on an SSD saves about 0.5 secs
    • fwor
    • By fwor 5th Jan 18, 11:41 PM
    • 5,921 Posts
    • 3,970 Thanks
    fwor
    Credit where it's due - now it's sorted itself out it does run quickly enough. It spent about an hour being pretty much unusable (i.e. you could click on an icon and the first sign that anything was happening was 2 minutes later!) but it's Ok now. So it runs about the same speed as Mint does.

    I wish I didn't have to use Windows at all, but I have just one piece of software (a vehicle diagnostic tool) that will only run under Windows, and it runs too slowly in a virtual machine.
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