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Cloning trouble with Windows 7 Ultimate

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#1 tankcth79


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Posted 15 August 2015 - 11:22 PM

I recently bought a Dell XPS M1730 off craigslist to use exclusively for music production/sound engineering. Initially it seemed to work fine. That was until I took it home and realized why he was so hasty to give it to me, I tried downloading programs I needed on there and it immediately started telling me I didn't have enough storage space. Upon further investigation, I realized there were 2 hard drives, a 500 gb hhd with no formatting and a 15 gb SSD which was the primary that was running Windows 7 Ultimate. So being inexperienced, I tried switching the hard drives, hoping I could switch which one was the primary, change the settings, and run windows through it, which most of you in this community will know, does not work. Then I tried cloning Windows 7 onto the 500 gb hhd, but more issues arose, I tried using Macrium to clone the Windows already on the small hard drive, but apparently it needs more space, because according to Macrium it needs 3 gb to function, but I can't do that without erasing crucial files on the ssd running windows. I also tried doing it through an external hard drive but Macrium would not cooperate with that either; it would not allow me to clone onto the hhd. 

So in a nutshell I want to clone Windows 7 onto the 500 GB hard drive and make it my primary and wipe the 15 GB. 

Also I have a 500 GB Toshiba external hard drive which could assist in this endeavor. 

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated!


Also note: I'm broke, so any answers along the lines of buy this or buy that will not help me in the least. 

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#2 LFos42


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Posted 16 August 2015 - 12:45 AM

Ok, you have options.


I'm amazed he got Windows 7 ultimate to fit on the 15 GB drive, but the 500 GB drive was probably his data drive and he just wiped it to clear the data.  Here's what you can do -->


Keep windows 7 on the SSD, at least for now.  You just need to format the 500 GB drive (preferably NTFS) and either move your user directory over to that drive from the SSD drive, or chose that as your installation directory whenever you download.  The long term easier way is to move the windows user directory over. that way all your user files - music, video, downloads, documents, etc will automatically go to that drive and you'll have all the space you need. just keep the SSD for the operating system only.


There's a link on here somewhere about how to format a drive (or also you can Google it, it's not really hard), and you can also google how to move your User directory over.  If you have trouble I can check for the links later and help (just don't have time right now).  You can clone your Win 7 over to the 500 GB, since Win 7 locks it's activation key to the motherboard (and processor) you won't lose your key. (you should have a sticker with it on the bottom of the laptop anyway for backup - so keep that if you see it).


the easiest way if you really want Win 7 on the 500 GB may be to just reinstall it on that drive and type in your good activation key - there is a download site but depending on how your laptop was made, it may not take your key (if the key was OEM vs personal disk purchase originally). so to do it that way, you could download the software and burn it to a disk (or usb drive if your computer will boot off usb - easiest is probably cd though (or get somebody's disk to use temporarily), then remove the SSD drive and boot off the 500 GB drive and load win 7 onto the 500GB drive and type in the activation key. if it works, you're good to use that as your main operating system drive. then you can do whatever you want with the SSD. of course, you lose the additional software that was loaded onto the laptop but you may not care.


I'm not familiar with your cloning software but you might have trouble cloning a drive you booted from usually (hard to access and copy system files currently in use). so, i don't know if you have access to another computer, but that would make cloning easier.


so basically you can keep the win 7 ssd and just make the 500 GB your data drive, or load a fresh copy of windows 7 ultimate on the new drive and use the key (hopefully on the bottom of the laptop) to activate it.  let me know, and I'll help how I can.


good luck.


oh - and question, did you typo on the size of teh SSD drive? what size it?

Edited by LFos42, 16 August 2015 - 12:47 AM.

#3 Havachat


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Posted 16 August 2015 - 04:52 AM

What are the crucial files on the small drive , i would copy them to an external drive and then delete from the ssd to give you more space.

I dont think i have heard of a SSD being 15 gig in size and windows 7 would struggle anyway on that size as my C:/ with just windows operating system and no personal files shows 38.7gig.


I personally use MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition   to do my cloning     http://www.partitionwizard.com/free-partition-manager.html


Its free and will clone any drive to drive regardless of size.


Set the SSD as the Primary drive and slave the 500gig.

Using windows - formatt the 500drive and then start the Cloning with mini tool.

Or just start mini tool and do everything from there , formatt 500g and clone.

#4 Queen-Evie


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Posted 16 August 2015 - 09:49 AM

Hello tankcth79. Welcome to Bleeping Computer.

You posted the exact same thing in 4 different forums. One of them had a reply by LFos42 which I merged into this topic.
The other 3 topics were deleted.

Please do not start multiple topics about the same issue. It is very confusing to you and those helping you when things are not kept in one place.

Good luck on getting your issue resolved.

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