How to Properly Clone a Windows 7 System Partition with Clonezilla
After reading an article about hard disk cloning with Clonezilla on Lifehacker, I decided to take care of my laptop’s dire need of free space by buying a new, larger internal hard disk – instead of buying an external one – to replace its current one. I figure I can shave about IDR 150,000 in the process while learning one or two tricks on hard disk cloning – an area I’ve never touch in my entire life before.
Little that I know that the experience was anything but smooth. The fact that the article described a different condition with the one I was facing hit me hard. You see, I’m trying to replace a smaller (160 GB) hard disk with two partitions (system and data) with a larger (500 GB) hard disk (which I was intending to be partitioned into two as well). Apparently this complicates matters quite a bit. So, in case you have the same predicament as mine, I’ve documented the right way to do it below.
Before we get started, here are the things you’ll need and should prepare beforehand.
- A zipped copy of Clonezilla.
- A USB flash disk with enough space to house the Clonezilla – 128 MB ought to do it.
- Windows 7 original installation DVD.
- A SATA-to-USB external hard disk enclosure.
- Small screwdriver.
- Patience. A lot of it.
After that, here is the right step to move your Windows 7 partitions from a smaller hard disk into a larger one.
- Prepare your Clonezilla-on-a-stick. Follow the instructions carefully.
- Using the SATA-to-USB external hard disk enclosure, create a primary (system) partition on your new, larger hard disk. Follow the instructions here.
- Format the new primary (system) partition with NTFS. Leave the second partition unallocated.
- Switch your larger hard disk with the one installed on your laptop. Come on, use your elbow grease once in a while, people! Put the larger disk in the laptop and the smaller one on the SATA-to-USB interface.
- If the SATA-to-USB is still plugged-in, unplug it.
- Plug the Clonezilla-on-a-stick and boot from that location.
From the boot menu, choose
Clonezilla live (Default settings, VGA 1024x768).
Just press the
Enterkey when prompted for default language.
Press the Enter key again when prompted for keyboard layout.
When prompted, choose
- You can plug the SATA-to-USB back in. Clonezilla will automatically detect the old drive.
At this prompt, select the
- Choose the source and target disk carefully.
Make some changes to the default extra options to Clonezilla expert mode.
Make some changes regarding the partition table to use the
After a while (depending on the size of your disk) the cloning process will be done.
- Turn your machine off and unplug the Clonezilla-on-a-stick and SATA-to-USB interface.
- Insert your Windows 7 original installation DVD to your DVD-ROM drive and boot from the DVD.
- Run the Windows 7 System Recovery Options. Follow the instructions here.
- Run the Startup Repair options of the Windows 7 System Recovery Options. Before doing this, you have to make sure that the partition is marked as “active” [Thanks to Jesse van Oort]. Afterward, follow the instructions here.
- Reboot. You should be having your old Windows 7 installation running normally on the larger hard disk by now.
- Create your second partition and format it now.
- Connect your old hard disk through the SATA to USB interface and copy your old second partition’s files to your new one.
That’s it. If you do the steps carefully, all will be well. Hopefully.