Moving your OS to another drive

I got myself a new 120GB SSD drive this week – the 64GB drive I have works fine, but given that I have VS2010, SQL, PES2011 and Starcraft 2 all installed – well, I was down to about 5GB left. I think that a 120GB drive should give me ample space for my OS and Programs.

Anyway – moving from one drive to another turned out to be relatively painless in Windows 7:

  1. Do a full system backup onto another hard disk
  2. Remove the OS disk and replace with the new OS disk
  3. Unplug any other hard disks aside from the new OS disk and your backup drive
  4. Boot off your Windows 7 DVD and choose Repair. It will find the backup that you just made.
  5. Hit Next through the wizard – it should (at least, for me it did) select the new OS disk as the destination for the restore, although you get no visual feedback that this is the case
  6. Wait around 20 minutes
  7. Shut down, plug back in your other hard disks and turn on

Off you go!

The only other thing to do is resize the partition to the full size of the disk – in Computer Management, select the OS disk and choose “Extend Partition”, then hit OK.

The whole process took under an hour to do – excellent.

SSD Drive

So, I’ve installed the drive. Installation was fairly painless – it’s a small drive (2.5”) but came with a mounting bracket to fit into a 3.5” bay – easy. The drive itself is very quiet and is indeed quick – boots from cold in about 25 seconds, although this is a clean Win7 install which is always fast. The main difference is once you’ve booted in, you don’t have the hard disk chugging away for ages doing other stuff. Opening and installing applications is also very quick in general.

In order to minimise wastage of disk space, I’ve turned off hibernation to clear the hiberfil.sys file, plus moved the swap file to another drive. However, I’ve kept the Windows index file on the drive – it’s not that big and is used often for finding stuff.

One other thing that I tried was ReadyBoost with my 2GB stick – I got the following: –



Overall – still early days but I’m going to install VS2010 and a few other bits and bobs on here to see how it performs.

SSD drive on the way

I ordered an SSD drive today (64gb); I plan on reinstalling my install of Windows 7 on the disk, along with Office and Visual Studio – plus maybe Starcraft 2 Smile. Hopefully this should give me a nice bump in performance – I’ll report on how I get on with it…