How to clone your Notebook / MacBook Hard Disk to an SSD

Resizing your existing partition

Resize PartitionResizing your existing partition
 
Now here's the tricky part. In order to perform a direct disk-to-disk image of your existing data CloneZilla requires the source disk (the one with all of your data on it) to be smaller than or equal to the size of the destination disk (your new SSD). As you will have undoubtedly already found out by the large hole in your wallet, the difference in cost between a 250GB conventional hard disk and a 250GB SSD is astronomical and therefore the chances are that your SSD will be smaller than your existing hard disk. If this is not the case, move on to the next page. Otherwise stick with me right here and we'll go through the stages of resizing your existing hard disk to match the SSD.
 
However, before we go any further YOU MUST MAKE A BACKUP OF ALL IMPORTANT DATA. Resizing a partition does not have a 100% success rate and there is a small chance that you could loose data. Neither myself or Overclock3D can be held responsible for this, so BACKUP, BACK UP, BACK-UP!!!
 
The first step is of course to insert the SystemRescueCD that you burned back on Page 2. You will need to do this with your Notebook switched off, so that we can boot directly from the CD when you power it back on. The chances are that your Notebook / Macbook won't automatically boot directly from the CD and will instead try to boot from the hard disk. To force your system to boot from the CD you will more than likely need to press a 'Function' key while the manufacturer logo is on the screen. Below is a list of known boot menu keys which may work with your Notebook:
 
Dell: F12
Apple: ALT
Acer: F2
Toshiba: c
HP: ESC
 
This is obviously by no means a comprehensive list and you may need to refer to your notebook Instruction Manual if your manufacturer isn't listed above, or the listed key does not work. However, once you've managed to get your system to boot from the CD you will be presented with the SystemRescueCD screen shown below:
 
Boot Menu SystemRescueCD Main Screen
 
After a few seconds the CD will begin to boot and detect your hardware. You may be asked to select your language and keyboard layout, but providing you are happy to use a US based setup (also fine for UK) the CD will automatically select these as the default settings should you not attempt to select any alternative.
 
BASH Desktop Selection
 
Things will appear to grind to a halt when the CD has finished booting and you are left with a root@systemrescuecd /root % command prompt. To get things moving again all you need to do is enter the word 'wizard' and press enter to display the desktop environment list shown in the image above-right. Most Notebooks should work fine with the default Xorg-run option, whereas users of MacBooks may find that they need to use Xvesa-run option in order to boot into the desktop environment. Of course, if neither of these work, feel free to try the other options. There really is no right or wrong selection on this screen.
 
Desktop Environment GParted
 
Once inside the Gnome-like desktop you will want to head straight for the utility called GParted. This is located under System menu which can be displayed by clicking on the CD-like icon at the bottom-left of the screen. Users of MacBook's may find that their mouse does not work at this stage and therefore the only option is to use the keyboard. To navigate using only the keyboard you will need to use CTRL+ESC to bring up the main menu, the arrows to navigate to GParted and ENTER to select it.
 
Windows/NTFS Partitions
 
Wundows NTFS Part Windows NTFS Part
 
 
OS X/HFS+ Partitions
 
OSX Parition Parition Menu
 
Providing your hard disk contains only one partition it should be displayed in a similar way to the images above. Some Notebooks may have several small partitions also on the disk (used for manufacturer system tools) so be sure to select the largest partition in the list. Once again, if you're using a MacBook with a non-functional Mouse, using the TAB key will allow you to select the desired partition and pressing ALT+P will display the 'Partition' menu where you can select the Resize/Move option.
 
Resize Partition Resizing Partition
 
The final step is to set the size of your partition. This is entirely dependent on the size of the SSD drive you've purchased and for the sake of not overcomplicating things in this review we're going to forfeit 1GB of space on our SSD drive to ensure that the disk clone works perfectly first time. In the 'New Size' box enter the size of your SSD drive in megabytes minus 1000. So if your SSD drive is the 64GB variety enter the number 63000, 120GB enter 1190000, 250GB enter 2490000...etc.
 
It is important to note that you cannot shrink the size of your hard disk to any smaller than the size of the files contained within it. So for example if your existing hard disk is 200GB and you have 190GB of files contained within it, you WILL NOT be able to shrink the size of the disk to 120GB. If you run into this problem, the only way to progress is to delete some of the files from your hard disk or move them elsewhere (to a USB stick / NAS drive...etc).
 
Success
 
After pressing the Resize/Restore button it may take some time for your disk to be resized. Once the process is complete you will be presented with the "All Operations Successfully Completed" box above, at which point you can safely shut down your Notebook and move on to the next page. 
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Most Recent Comments

11-08-2009, 17:58:54

JN
"Swapping your Hard Disk for an SSD is one thing. But transferring all of your data and OS? Well that's something else. Join us as we walk you through the process step-by-step."

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...215437125l.jpg

Read MoreQuote

11-08-2009, 18:18:45

zak4994
Quite an interesting read.

I like the graph readings at the end.

Truly powerful stuff SSDs are.Quote

11-08-2009, 18:35:46

Bungral
Nice one there Jimbo.... Very nice write up and not even a single typo that I could see ..

Tis good to see something a little different in an article on occasion.

*wants an SSD*

SSD I said!!!Quote

11-08-2009, 18:45:34

PeterStoba
Very well written and concise article Jim

I agree, it is nice to see something other than a review or news Quote

12-08-2009, 03:54:24

JN
Cheers for the feedback guys. Hope it wasn't too dumbed down for the intellectuals that frequent the forum

Truth be told it took about 1.5 weeks to put this article together because finding 'free' software that didn't trash my Windows install or completely knacker my Mac was hard to come across lol.Quote

12-08-2009, 04:06:26

tinytomlogan
Intellectual? Hmmmm.

Great little article though, its something Ive never done so found it a really good read.Quote

12-08-2009, 04:38:36

FarFarAway
Nice article Jimbo, will be very useful mefinksQuote

12-08-2009, 07:43:22

montydog
Thanks for the article, it's always nice when people go through death defying procedures to assist others.

Years ago I once trashed a system using Norton Ghost not realising it didn't support SATA. The really stupid thing was a few years later I repeated my mistake. The Norton CD was very quickly destoyed.Quote

12-08-2009, 10:00:26

BloomerzUK
Nice Article Jim. I'm sure this will be read alot in the future by lots of people upgrading to SSD's.Quote

12-08-2009, 15:55:34

Judderman
Hi Jim

Thanks for the ace article which is actually very relevant to me as I am going to buy a OCZ Aguility 60gb SSD next week for my system.

Quick question thou can you clone a RAID0 array and then put the image onto an SSD.

Just wondering as I currently have 2 x 36gb Raptor drives in RAID0 and was wondering if I could tranfer this onto the SSD.

Many thanks for any help Quote

12-08-2009, 16:14:54

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Judderman'
Hi Jim

Thanks for the ace article which is actually very relevant to me as I am going to buy a OCZ Aguility 60gb SSD next week for my system.

Quick question thou can you clone a RAID0 array and then put the image onto an SSD.

Just wondering as I currently have 2 x 36gb Raptor drives in RAID0 and was wondering if I could tranfer this onto the SSD.

Many thanks for any help
Glad to be of some assistance

The cloning of a RAID array is definitely possible, but it does depend on what RAID controller you are using (ICH10/Jmicron/Marvell/Adaptec...etc) and whether the software I mentioned supports it.

As your Raptor array is smaller than the SSD you wont need to do any resizing, so the only thing you need to worry about is support for the array in CloneZilla.

I did notice that it supported a LOT of adapters so you might be lucky.Quote

13-08-2009, 13:50:12

Rastalovich
Yeah, ur issues start when u want to clone from a single drive to a raid array, other way around works fine. Generally cos when people install their OS they don't have ACHI enabled, or set to IDE, which means that the OS install inherently doesn't install the controllers drivers. Setting it to atleast ACHI and installing ur OS (setting it to IDE afterwards) is the correct way. But u'll not find a dozen people who do it. I don't myself, but I know the issues it causes when u don't.

Great guide Jim. Just to variate the theme, the Mac OS stuff can be done completely from DiskUtility - this is ofc if u have ur OS cd/dvds. Personally I prefer to make a TimeMachine entry, install the OS fresh, and migrate from the entry.Quote

13-08-2009, 14:50:39

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'

Great guide Jim. Just to variate the theme, the Mac OS stuff can be done completely from DiskUtility - this is ofc if u have ur OS cd/dvds. Personally I prefer to make a TimeMachine entry, install the OS fresh, and migrate from the entry.
Yeah funnily enough I Did give DiskUtility a go as you can make images of the drive and then restore them on to another drive. Unfortunately it didnt work from me downsizing from a 300GB to a 120GB. Mebe I missed sommitQuote

13-08-2009, 14:54:39

Rastalovich
2 options I can think of off the top of my head, is that u could have either resized the 300g to 120g, which is a simple grab of the partition outline and move it. Or when doing a backup image, do a file version. Not tried the latter tho.Quote

14-08-2009, 03:51:10

Judderman
Many thanks again Jim

The RAID controller is just the onboard RAID controller on the AMD chipset. I only really put the 2 x 36gb raptors in RAID as I wanted to have a play with RAID and the drives were sat on a shelf.

My overall plan is to buy 2 x 60gb OCZ Aguilty and put them in RAID0 for o/s and installed programs, then have 4 x 1.5tb WD Green drives in RAID5 for storage. Problem is I only have the money to buy 1 x SSD drive a month.

Many thanks also to Rastalovich as I didnt know about AHCI, least now I should hopefully be able to transfer everything from RAID0 to single SSD then back to RAID0 on 2 SSD's

Happy days Quote

16-09-2009, 04:20:42

Johnbear
Tis good to see something a little different in an article on occasion.

-Quote

27-09-2009, 15:19:32

Juicy6
Just cloned my 500G WD to Intel 80G SSD using the clone option of Acronis True Image Home 2009. Worked like a charm. 25 minutes to clone 45G of data and then 5 minutes to switch the disks in this Dell E6400. Shorter boot time, about 50% quicker program starts. I'm a happy camper now...

ChristerQuote

27-09-2009, 17:21:39

Diablo
Yeah I was going to say Acronis is pretty decent for a simple clone operation, plus its free trial for 30 days.Quote

28-09-2009, 01:16:42

Juicy6
Yup and if you choose Manual Settings it can shrink the partition to fit the new (often) smaller SSD disk. So no changes at all are made to the original disk!

ChristerQuote

25-12-2009, 09:05:54

Pyr0
nice guide, but there's no mention of partition alignment...

does clonezilla keep partition alignment or break it like acronis, ghost, et al. ?Quote
Reply
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