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What's the best way to transfer just windows and settings from an HDD-only setup to an SSD+HDD setup, if the new SSD is smalle

A family member's 1TB Seagate SSHD is failing so I will be upgrading him to a setup consisting of a 256GB SSD and a 2TB HDD.

The SSHD currently has 800GB of data on it, some of which are games of ~50GB each.

Is there a way I can easily migrate the windows install, settings, certain programs (like Chrome and Office) onto the SSD, and put the rest on the HDD?

Has anyone had experience of doing this? In the past I've either started with a fresh install, or was lucky enough to have an SSD larger than the C:\ volume so I was able to migrate the whole system partition with one of the many free partitioning tools that do this - but since that's not an option here, I was wondering whether there's a quicker/easier way to do this.

The best strategy I could think of is to mount both the 1TB and 2TB drives, cut-and-paste as much data (like films and downloads) as possible from the SSHD to the 2TB HDD, and hope that what remains is <250GB so I can migrate the entire windows partition to the SSD.
Reply to LMF5000
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  1. 800GB is a lot space and probably is mostly video/music (or trash). I would suggest backing up all important data and then going on a cleaning spree to free up 600GB of space. Once you get that low you can take an image of the SSHD and then image the new SSD with it. You may want to install the SSD first to make sure it doesn't need any drivers installed to work (probably will not). Once the SSD is imaged restore the back up to the HDD.

    As a side not I would suggest just installing windows fresh on your SSD and reinstalling programs. This will really speed up the system and get rid of all the collected trash. If you are looking to keep user specific settings you can just copy the user folder over to the new install. The user names will need to match to make the migration easy.
    Reply to DrakeFS
  2. Plug in the new hard drive and start transferring user docs. If you are using steam create a backup directory on the new HDD. Keep moving stuff over till the old drive has less than 200GB (lower is better) Run a windows backup to the new HDD.

    Uninstall the SSHD, install the new SSD, use the windows backup/restore function to restore from the new HDD to the SSD.

    I suggest this route as it is nearly impossible to copy the image of a 1TB drive to a drive of half the size or smaller because the page file is permanently locked in the middle of the drive. A space that doesn't exist on the new drive (you can try to delete it and move it but it's more effort than the process above.)
    Reply to grimfox
  3. DrakeFS said:
    800GB is a lot space and probably is mostly video/music (or trash). I would suggest backing up all important data and then going on a cleaning spree to free up 600GB of space. Once you get that low you can take an image of the SSHD and then image the new SSD with it. You may want to install the SSD first to make sure it doesn't need any drivers installed to work (probably will not). Once the SSD is imaged restore the back up to the HDD.

    As a side not I would suggest just installing windows fresh on your SSD and reinstalling programs. This will really speed up the system and get rid of all the collected trash. If you are looking to keep user specific settings you can just copy the user folder over to the new install. The user names will need to match to make the migration easy.


    Yep, that was my plan. Have to check with him what the data is, I think much of it is game installers, steam and the like. Interesting that I can migrate settings by copying over the user folder.

    I also thought of maybe booting on a live linux and copying the "Windows," "Users," and most of the "Program Files" folders from the SSHD to the SSD, then putting in the windows install disk and letting it repair the boot. Would that work?
    Reply to LMF5000
  4. 1. Your "best strategy" approach that you've contemplated is ordinarily a sensible one in this kind situation provided the PRESENT boot drive is functioning problem-free so that the contents of its boot partition can be effectively cloned to the smaller drive that's intended to serve as the new boot drive. The problem here is that you're dealing with a great deal of data that would need to be moved to the 2 TB HDD - about 600 GB or so. It would seem like a quite onerous task to accomplish that.

    2. On the other hand I would presume a great deal of unnecessary data could be presently deleted from the current 1 TB boot drive. We invariably find that's the case in so many systems. Then you mentioned a portion of that data are games of ~50 GB. So perhaps it's not out of the question re your attempt the transfer of data as a feasible approach. (Note that since the actual disk-space capacity of the proposed 256 GB boot drive is about 238 GB you would really have to reduce the present remaining data to about 225 GB.)

    3. Assuming you could accomplish the above, the next step would be to clone the remaining contents (again, not more than about 225 GB of data) of the current boot drive to the new 256 GB SSD. After booting to the newly-cloned SSD to determine it's a completely functional boot drive it will be necessary to reinstall all, or virtually all, the programs that had been transferred to the 2 TB secondary HDD. Naturally the identical process would be also necessary if you fresh-installed the OS onto the 256 GB SSD.
    Reply to ArtPog
  5. Quote:
    Is there a way I can easily migrate the windows install, settings, certain programs (like Chrome and Office) onto the SSD, and put the rest on the HDD?


    No.
    You can't transfer "only" windows, or 'certain programs'.

    As you mention...pare down the current data to below 200GB, and then you can clone what is left.
    Most cloning tools require significant space, so 'below 200GB'. The Samsung Data Migration won't even start if over 200GB and a 250GB drive.
    Reply to USAFRet
  6. ArtPog said:
    1. Your "best strategy" approach that you've contemplated is ordinarily a sensible one in this kind situation provided the PRESENT boot drive is functioning problem-free so that the contents of its boot partition can be effectively cloned to the smaller drive that's intended to serve as the new boot drive. The problem here is that you're dealing with a great deal of data that would need to be moved to the 2 TB HDD - about 600 GB or so. It would seem like a quite onerous task to accomplish that.

    2. On the other hand I would presume a great deal of unnecessary data could be presently deleted from the current 1 TB boot drive. We invariably find that's the case in so many systems. Then you mentioned a portion of that data are games of ~50 GB. So perhaps it's not out of the question re your attempt the transfer of data as a feasible approach. (Note that since the actual disk-space capacity of the proposed 256 GB boot drive is about 238 GB you would really have to reduce the present remaining data to about 225 GB.)

    3. Assuming you could accomplish the above, the next step would be to clone the remaining contents (again, not more than about 225 GB of data) of the current boot drive to the new 256 GB SSD. After booting to the newly-cloned SSD to determine it's a completely functional boot drive it will be necessary to reinstall all, or virtually all, the programs that had been transferred to the 2 TB secondary HDD. Naturally the identical process would be also necessary if you fresh-installed the OS onto the 256 GB SSD.


    Indeed, that's the strategy I will try. I had a look with windirstat, most of the data is downloaded game installers, but there's still a 250GB "program files" folder. I'm hoping that I can cut and paste several game folders to the D drive and they would still work. A bit iffy, I know, because the original install location was the C drive, but worth a shot to prevent re-installing everything.
    Reply to LMF5000
  7. Best answer
    LMF5000 said:


    Indeed, that's the strategy I will try. I had a look with windirstat, most of the data is downloaded game installers, but there's still a 250GB "program files" folder. I'm hoping that I can cut and paste several game folders to the D drive and they would still work. A bit iffy, I know, because the original install location was the C drive, but worth a shot to prevent re-installing everything.


    For games, what is in your SteamApps folder can be copied to a different drive.
    NOT cut/paste. Copy, and delete after verification.
    Reply to USAFRet
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