Keeping data but removing o/s

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Keeping data but removing o/s
Mindblower
Montreal, Canada
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May 24, 2020 - 1:54 pm

I will be cloning a hdd to a ssd. Afterwards would like to remove the operating system from the hdd. This way the hdd becomes the data storage drive with more data space. Most searches supply the opposite information, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

Jim Hillier
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May 24, 2020 - 7:36 pm

Hey MB,

I am assuming it's a desktop and not a laptop? If it's a desktop, are you comfortable with opening up the tower and connecting an additional drive?

Also, is the existing HDD partitioned with the operating system on one partition and personal data on a second partition or is it all together on a single partition?

There are several methods to achieve what you want to do but I'll need that information first to narrow it down.

https://davescomputertips.com/how-to-clone-to-new-ssd/

Mindblower
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May 25, 2020 - 8:39 am

Yes, Jim. A desktop, no problem with the insides, everything on one partition. The only information I would like to keep on the hdd is data as mentioned. I will test the ssd first to make sure it can boot properly prior to removing anything from the hdd. Then I was thinking of connecting the hdd as an external drive and deleting the system files, but not sure if I would create any problems do the line. Thank you for any assistance, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

dandl
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May 25, 2020 - 12:23 pm

Might be smart to put your data on a usb drive, or a external drive before cloning.

Mindblower
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May 25, 2020 - 5:57 pm

Thanks dandl. Already gone (on external drive).

Jim. I will be cloning using Macium Reflect (free home version), Mindblower

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

Jim Hillier
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May 25, 2020 - 8:32 pm

MB, how familiar are you with Macrium Reflect Free?

I haven't checked out Macrium Reflect Free for quite some time but, while Macrium Free will easily clone to a disk of equal or greater size than the original disk, I believe it can be problematic when cloning from a larger HDD to a smaller SSD. From what I have read, it is possible but involves resizing (shrinking) existing partitions on the original HDD, specifically the system (C) partition. Suggest you check this out thoroughly before proceeding.

https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW/Cloning+a+disk
https://www.windowscentral.com/how-clone-your-pcs-hard-drive-macrium-reflect#clone
https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/clone-hdd-to-smaller-ssd-with-macrium-reflect/

As an alternative, you could create a system image of the original HDD and then restore that image to the new SSD. Please read the article I linked to in an earlier comment: https://davescomputertips.com/how-to-clone-to-new-ssd/

Also, what is the current total used space on the existing HDD and the capacity of the new SSD?

dandl
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May 26, 2020 - 12:24 am

I'm with Jim on this one. Macrium is not the best for the job. The free version of Aomei or Easeus is what I use.

Mindblower
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May 26, 2020 - 1:37 pm

Yes Jim and dandl. I trust Macrium Reflect Free as I have cloned from hdd to sdd in the past. All were same size, 1 Tera gig as are the current drives. Yet since there is so much concern I will switch to another.

Maybe I should approach my questions in a different way. Right now everything is on one partition on the hdd.

Believe just cloning the o/s, will not add the registry of installed files and is doing an system image not the same not the same as cloning?

This is why a complete clone makes sense. I can remove the data from the ssd later.

Concern is to remove the o/s and everything else from the hdd except the data, after the sdd is installed and verified.

So I will boot from the sdd, and all data (meaning music, photos and videos) remain on the hdd.

It is the approach that might sound confusing, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

Jim Hillier
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May 26, 2020 - 7:02 pm

Hey MB,

If you've used Macrium before and both drives are the same size I would say stick with it mate. You know what you are doing with Macrium and it would be silly to swap. Just so long as both drives are of equal capacity.

With the old HDD, once the clone had been completed and tested okay. You can't just delete the OS and leave other stuff on the drive, it's an all or nothing situation. You'll need to move all personal data (you want to keep) off the old HDD and onto something else, an external drive if you have one. Then wipe the old HDD. Once the old drive is blank you can move all that personal data back onto it if you want to. So:

1) Transfer any personal data you want to keep off the HDD an onto a different drive
2) Wipe the HDD
3) Transfer the personal data back onto the blank HDD if you want to.

Mindblower
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May 27, 2020 - 12:04 am

Thank you Jim. I hoped there was a different way, as it will take hours to restore all that data back, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

Mindblower
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June 5, 2020 - 2:40 pm

Update. Found a different work around. Used Macrium Reflect to clone disks. since the free version has that feature unlike others. That simple. But I did run into a tiny snag when I cloned the first time (HDD to SSD). Was given the message that the cloning process was successful, but when I installed the SSD, and rebooted, a no operating system found stared me in the face.

Look all over thinking it was a problem with my computer and after hours (days really) of searching for solutions (on the web), decided to give the cloning process another try.

Nothing better than success and wondering what glitch caused the error in the first place. Now the computer boots much faster due to the SSD.

Decided not to use that HDD just for data, but keep as a spare in case I need to clone again. Opted for a newer 2TG HDD, to hold my data. So thanks for all the assist. Trying to save a few bucks caused more headaches. What is silly, the cost in drives is going down all the time.

Should give Amazon some credit for having the necessary items on hand, and as always, the delivery is quick, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

dandl
Lexa, AR
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June 5, 2020 - 4:21 pm

When I clone a disk I will always shut the PC down after the clone and unplug the cloned from source disk and make the PC boot from the cloned drive. I can then, after another shutdown, plug the source disk back in and do whatever I wish. Good to hear you have it cloned.

Jim Hillier
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June 5, 2020 - 7:35 pm

Sometimes the system reserved (boot) partition on the cloned drive just needs to be marked as active. For some reason, cloning doesn't always do this and you then need to do it manually.

Anyway, all's well that ends well. Good on you MB. Job well done.

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