Windows 10 clone hard drive to SSD

I had Dell Inspiron laptop that came with a 5400 RPM. I know before hand its going to be slow. I thought that if it is too slow then I can migrate to an SSD.

In the beginning, it was not bad, but all that changed Microsoft released the Windows 10 Anniversary feature update and every thing slowed and it became unbearable.

In the past I did migrate many laptops from spinning hard drives to Samsung EVO 840/850 SSDs and used the accompanied Acronis imaging software.

This time, I went to Best Buy got the one on sale, which is Sandisk Ultra Plus 240 GB SSD. My laptop had 1TB disk.

So following is what worked for me. For this you need the following

1. USB flash drive with atleast 2 GB capacity. We will use this for creating bootable USB drive to boot Ubuntu.

2. USB flash drive with atleast 8 GB capacity. We will use this for creating bootable USB drive to boot Windows 10 by following this tutorial. It is best to download the windows ISO from Microsoft Windows Media Creator and then use Rufus to take the iso and create bootable USB. Rufus allows you create a UEFI bootable USB. For Rufus, Under “Partition scheme and target system type,” select the GPT partition scheme for UEFI option from the drop-down menu and rest take all the default options.

3. Download Ubuntu Desktop ISO. You can download it from Ubuntu Desktop ISO 

4. Download Bootable USB creator from PendriveLinux or Rufus.

5. On the Windows HDD, use Disk Cleanup and System Cleanup.

Step 1 : Backup your contents from your current laptop hard drive.

Step 2 : Run the Bootable USB creator and create the USB flash drive bootable with Ubuntu ISO with the 2GB usb flash drive, by following the wizard when you launch it.

Step 3 : Boot the laptop with USB into Ubuntu Linux. You may have to change the boot order by pressing F12. Sometimes you may have to go into BIOS and enable legacy boot or UEFI boot. You may have to turn off Secure Boot. You may have to play with the options to make it boot from USB.

Step 4 : When Ubuntu boots up, choose option “Try Ubuntu without any change to your computer” like in this tutorial

Step 5 : When the Ubuntu desktop is ready, Click on the start button and open a terminal/console.

Step 6 : switch to root with the below command

$ sudo su –

Step 7 : Started gparted program from the prompt

# gparted &

Step 8 : From the GUI window, select the hard drive and find the partition that holds Windows usually bigger partition. Select that partition and right click and select resize/move option and get the current size of the partition. Note down on a piece of paper.

Step 9 : If you SSD is smaller than the current hard drive, then resize it to shrink it to the size of the SSD (note: specify 100MB smaller than SSD size) and then note down the final size of the partition. Click on Apply or tick mark to commit the changes.

Step 10 : Exit this window and shutdown the laptop.

Step 11 : Replace the hard drive with SSD.

Step 12 : Insert USB flash that has bootable windows 1o disc. We run Windows setup, to format the SSD and create boot image etc and all things related to the boot process.

Step 13 : proceed installing windows into the new SSD,

Step 14 : use custom install and create a partition to match the size of the partition that you noted down and install windows into that partition.

Step 15 : After the install is finished, shutdown the laptop, connect the old hard drive with a USB to SATA cable like this one

Step 16 : Now boot the latop with Ubuntu USB flash drive

Step 17 : Open the terminal and sudo to root

sudo su –

Step 18 : Open gparted program

# gparted &

Step 19 : On the top right you will see /dev/sda as the first hard drive

on the bottom pane, you will see all the partitions that windows created during the windows install.  note down the partition mount point, like ex : /dev/sda3

Step 20 : On the top right change the device to /dev/sdb which would the second hard drive(old one) and you will see windows partition, note down the partition mount point, like /dev/sdb3

Step 21 : now copy the contents of the old hard drive windows partition to the new SSD partition like below

dd if=/dev/sdb3 of=/dev/sda3 bs=10M

Step 22 : After the dd command finishes, exit and shutdown Ubuntu and remove all the cables and remove the USB boot flash drives and boot the laptop, so that it boots from the SSD.

Step 23 : if it boots you are golden !!!

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