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Retore Vista to new (smaller) hard drive


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#1 Yoji

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 11:39 PM

Hi

My wifes PC is getting old and the hard drives (raid 0) are starting to make some funny/unhealthy noises.
Before they die. I thought I would replace. 600GB in raid0 is much more than she needs so I just went for a 500gb
single drive, still 350GB more than she needs - but it was a good price.

Machine is Vista ultimate 64bit (it was my old machine... why ult and Raid0 etc). I have the SP1 install disk - so has the improved recovery features.

Anyway... should be simple... do a complete backup... replace drives... and restore to the new hard drive, no such luck :(
The restore objects as the new drive is smaller than the original.
After some serious cussing at MS for such a crap solution - I thought I would be cunning, so shrunk the partition to below 500gb....
redid a complete backup and tried again.
Unfortunatley - MS stupidity exceeds my cunning.... it still fails for same reason :(

The error mesasge mentions the Disk as reported in BIOS - so I suspect it records that info - so my reduction in the C partition
was destined to fail :(

Anyway - is there a simple solution? I really dont want to do a reinstall (wife moans/gets confused if I miss ANYTHING!! )

If I really need another tool, any advice? cheap/free but reliable please ;)

Thanks in advance for any help.

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#2 Lefty3120

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 12:28 AM

Greetings,

Ok a few things here.. first the solution your looking for is called Disk Imaging Software. Macrium Reflect is a good free piece of software. This will create an exact snapshot of the drive as is. Once it's time to restore you simply copy the image onto the new drive. If your interested in something a bit more flexible I recommend Acronis True Image.

Personally I think its better to just reinstall Windows on the new drive, make backups of data only and copy over the data on a fresh install. It would be more time consuming but in the end save you from some uncertainties.

Edited by Lefty3120, 03 December 2011 - 12:48 AM.


#3 hamluis

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 08:53 AM

FWIW: Microsoft...doesn't prepare restore/reccovery disks. The system manufacturer has that responsibility, which is why the restore/recovery mechanisms...vary depending on the manufacturer, system model, and date purchased.

Some restore disks work in conjunction with partitions that the manufacturer installed on the drive...some work without such. To find out the exact manner in which your restore mechanism works...you would have to either read the system documentation and/or visit the manufacturer's website documentation.

Louis

#4 Yoji

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 10:00 AM

Greetings,

Ok a few things here.. first the solution your looking for is called Disk Imaging Software. Macrium Reflect is a good free piece of software. This will create an exact snapshot of the drive as is. Once it's time to restore you simply copy the image onto the new drive. If your interested in something a bit more flexible I recommend Acronis True Image.

Personally I think its better to just reinstall Windows on the new drive, make backups of data only and copy over the data on a fresh install. It would be more time consuming but in the end save you from some uncertainties.


Thanks I used the reflect tool you suggested and it worked a treat. A nice tool - so thanks for that :)

Re your comment about reinstall Vs restore, in general I am with you - but since I replaced motherboard/CPU/Memory only 4 months ago - I did a clean install then (and took opportunity to go 64 bit due to the extra mem), so the current install is in pretty good shape.

Thanks again for your help.
All the best.

#5 Yoji

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 10:22 AM

FWIW: Microsoft...doesn't prepare restore/reccovery disks. The system manufacturer has that responsibility, which is why the restore/recovery mechanisms...vary depending on the manufacturer, system model, and date purchased.

Some restore disks work in conjunction with partitions that the manufacturer installed on the drive...some work without such. To find out the exact manner in which your restore mechanism works...you would have to either read the system documentation and/or visit the manufacturer's website documentation.

Louis


FWIW - this is a not a Dell/Acer etc with all their recovery partiations and bloatware... mine are built by local co and i tell them not to bother imaging... just give me the Windows disk and I will do it myself.

So Microsoft Does provide the recovery disk with Vista ... its incorporated on the installation disk. But of course, it does need a backup to work from. I dont think it is unreasonable to expect such a backup image, created by the microsoft inbuilt backup software to be able to be recovered to a diferent hard drive, which can quite legitimatley be larger or smaller than the original. After all - a common reason for needing a recovery is due to hard drive failure.

The issue is made worse by the lack of Info from Microsoft... on the face of it the tools look great/easy with the help info suggesting you can just take an image and rest easy - safe in knowlege you can recover it later in case of hardware failure. Finding these "features" only when you are in a hole and need to recover is not great at all.

Apparently the Vista SP1 installation disk (incorporating their recovery software) is better at recovering to different hardware... but even so - they still say "◦Startup hard disk capacity should be larger or same size. Even if it is smaller by a single byte, BMR will be blocked."... thanks.... NOW you tell me :(
Link to Microsoft for quote

Cheers




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