Restoring exact image of Windows and Installed Programs from current HDD to SSD

Hi Guys

I've ordered one of the plextor SSD from MSY - want to use this as my desktop's primary disc.

Now I want to get the exact image of my current Windows from my HDD's C drive to the SSD including all installed programs (i.e. excat image of my C drive).

Whats the best (easies and safest) way to perform this? Just usual Windows backup/restore or its better to use a thrid party app like norton ghost?

I'm bit worried about the installed softwares and their current settings which I want to keep… don't want to manually install and re-configure them again…

I'm using Windows 7 64bit

Thanks for your help


  • +2 votes

    Get a copy of Acronis TrueImage it will do a 1:1 copy of your HDD

  • +2 votes

    Resize the current HDD to match the size of the SSD in Windows Disk Manager
    Download Clonezilla and install onto a usb/cd and boot from it.
    Do a disk-to-disk copy from HDD to SSD.
    Remove hdd and boot into windows on the ssd.

    Takes 30 mins total, worked fine for me.

  • +1 vote

    These are the step-by-step instructions to clone your Windows 7 disk to the SSD from

    1. Download and install Macrium Reflect Free Edition (
    2. Shut-down Windows
    3. Install SSD. You'll have both the original hard disk and the new blank SSD installed.
    4. Start Windows
    5. Launch Macrium Reflect v5.0 Free Edition
    6. Clone partitions from hard disk to the SSD (this works even if the SSD is smaller than the original hard disk). In my case, this took about an hour. Note: Cloning the hard disk to the SSD with Macrium is simply dragging the Windows partitions to the SSD. Partitions are automatically resized if necessary.
    7. Restart to complete software installation
    8. You're done.
  • +1 vote

    You can do this without any third party programs, using Windows backup and restore. You can even do it in windows 8! I've tried a number of programs - the macrium one and a paragon one, but didn't have much luck. The built-in windows one worked. I can't swear that it will work if you have raided ssd's, but from what you have said, I think you're only going to use one ssd.


    What method to use if I am replacing the sata HDD with the SSD on a laptop? I cannot connect both disks at the same time.


      Use the clonezilla method and use disk>image to a portable hdd, swap the hdd/ssd, then image>disk to the new SSD.

  • +1 vote

    I may be wrong, but I thought that cloning a moving drive to a solid state was a no no due to the way windows sets up on ssd when installing (certain features disabled or not needed when using a solid drive).
    I've always fresh installed, as painful as it is, ssd is quicker to install to anyway.

  • +1 vote

    No cloning from HDD to SSD is fine, you just need to make sure your partition alignment is correct otherwise you will have performance issue in the future :

    You can also get a 30-day trial of Acronis which will do the job via a nice simple GUI (if you find the clonezilla method to technical)

  • +1 vote

    I followed this the instructions that the following link recently. It uses "EaseUS Todo Backup Free". It's a pretty clear guide.

  • +1 vote

    download UBCD, has lots of simple cloning software on it, easy to use.


    Hi Guys,

    Do the SSDs (Sandisk Extreme or Samsung ones) come with USB cable to attach them to the Laptop. I was also thinking to get one for my laptop and if I can attach a SSD to laptop using USB cable, it will be easier.. Also my current HDD is 500 GB, but I will be getting 128 GB SSD.

  • +1 vote

    I realise this is an old thread but I thought I should pass on some general feedback for anyone that stumbles upon this thread in future.

    With my Lenovo E351 I tried the following:
    - Clonezilla 2.2.0-16 - The media would boot then after selecting to run Clonezilla from the main menu it would stall during initialisation (looks like command prompt)
    - GParted - Tried running this from a VM but apparently VMware player can't mount USB3 devices. The work around I found (plug them in to USB2 ports) didn't work either. I then tried booting from USB (Linux Mint Maya 13) and CD (Ubuntu Desktop 9.04)and my SSD was never recognised
    - Macrium Reflect - The images copied across find, but on startup I got this error.
    - Win 8 Pro OEM CD - Same issue as with Reflect.
    - Finally, the free copy of Arconis worked for me first time.