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Need advice on how to clone a SSD

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tanstaafl
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Post Posted December 5th, 2018, 9:09 pm

I have a Dell Inspiron 5675 PC with a 256GB SSD and a 1TB hard disk that is configured to dual boot Windows 10 and Manjaro (Linux). Windows is on the SSD, Manjaro on a hard disk partition. Its using grub and UEFI with secure boot disabled. The SSD is getting full and there are issues in some cases if I try to install an application on anything but the boot drive. So I bought a 500GB Samsung 970 EVO SSD while it was on sale. I want to clone the existing image of the smaller SSD onto the larger SSD, and then use the UEFI BIOS settings to make the larger SSD the boot drive.

The existing SSD includes a factory image partition.

Samsung has some data migration software that can clone a drive onto the SSD but states its not meant for drives that have multiple operating systems. Its not clear whether that means it will remove grub and boot Windows (in which case I just need to use SystemRescueCD to reinstall grub) or something worse happens.

The documentation for Clonezilla and EaseUS Partition Master don't seem to have that restriction. Some of the documentation for CloneZilla states the image size is limited by the boot media's size (CD/DVD in my case), other implies it can store the SSD image on the hard disk. I thought both would do block by block cloning, but its not clear the free version of EaseUS Partition Manager does that. Some of their articles state you should use EaseUS Todo Backup to clone a small SSD to a larger SSD.

(1) What cloning software do you suggest I use?

(2) I was originally thinking of deleting everything on the smaller SSD and using it for just more fast storage (after being able to boot off of the larger SSD). But now I'd like to dual boot windows 10 from the larger SSD and Manjaro from the smaller SSD.

I primarily use Windows 10 and have not spent much time customizing Manjaro yet. I had no luck installing any Linux distro via a flash drive. I tried using both Rufus and the Universal USB Installer for Linux Mint, Ubuntu and Manjaro multiple times. The symptoms ranged from the BIOS not recognizing the flash drive when booting, crashing, to not being able to see the desktop (just random noise) after finishing installing Linux. I wound up burning a CD for Manjaro and installing from it, which worked first time.

I suspect my first step would be to remove the Manjaro partition (since I might need the space for the SSD image, and will need to re-install it anyways) and backup my Windows data files and the factory partition to a external hard disk drive (that I connect via USB).

I've never cloned a drive. Based on my problems trying to install Linux from a flash drive (which I had expected to be as easy as installing it from a CD) I thought I better ask for advice. Suggestions?

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Post Posted December 6th, 2018, 8:02 am

@tanstaafl - ran into some similar copy issues for LiveCDs to USB with several Linux distros. I have an Inspirion Notebook without an accessible CD drive, only 2 usb ports and not enough. I got a 4 port extension, changed the boot order for the notebook in the bios to the recognized usb. Used a desktop to make the copy to the usb
Note: You have to use a LiveCD (proper ISO) as other discs probably won't work. I was able to open all three distros on the copied disc but the install failed on one and the other went right to boot (Slax) probably as it was designed to be a USB operating system.
I used the following instructions from a multi distro disc from Linux format Magazine and another from Linux Pro so it may be specific to the disc unless you create the grub ISO. The way you write the ISO to a device is relational if you copy it as a file, the device will not boot. Don't know if you can actually clone a Windows setup unless you can relocate the ISO and all the files using dd or something similar. Hope this helps a bit.

Linux Format wrote:Copying the DVD to a bootable USB stick

We have changed the way the Linux Format DVDs boot, by switching from ISOLINUX to GRUB. This has a number of advantages, one of which is that the ISO image created for GRUB works with USB sticks as well as DVD. That means there is no need for the dvd2usb.sh script we have been using for the last couple of years. Instead, you can simply copy the contents of the DVD to your USB stick using the dd terminal command. For example, if your DVD is at /dev/sr0 and your USB stick at /dev/sdb, you can copy with

sudo dd if=/dev/sr0 of=/dev/sdb bs=4k
No need for scripts, intermediate files or extra bits of code wedged in. You must get the devices right in this command. Whatever you select for the of argument will be overwritten, no "Are you sure?" questions, no option to change your mind, whatever was there is no more. so make sure you get the right devices. The example above is usually correct if you have one DVD drive and one hard drive, and no other USB storage devices connected, but it is up to you to check. If you run mount in a terminal, you will see a list of all mounted devices, including your DVD. If your USB stick is mounted, you will see it there too, but unmount it before doing this. The USB stick would appear as, say, /dev/sdb1, because that is the partition that is mounted. Drop the number when copying the DVD, you need to copy to the whole device to make it bootable.

We cannot guarantee that this will work for every distro, not all distros play nicely when booting from anything but an optical disc.

A side benefit of the current boot process is that we are able to include most distros as the original ISO image, modified for USB booting if necessary, so these can be copied directly to a CD, DVD or USB stick. Use your preferred CD/DVD writing software to write it to an optical disc, or dd to copy to a USB drive, for example:

sudo dd if=/media/LXFDVD211/SomeDistro/somedistro.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=4k
If the ISO image is not present, use MakeISO or WinmkIso.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted December 6th, 2018, 10:50 am

There are a lot of subtleties in making an ISO boot from a flash drive rather than a CD. For example, when Manjaro created a ISO they chose not to add FAT32 module support in their grub EFI bootloader. That causes you to install software that just gives you a grub prompt. With Rufus you workaround that using DD-mode rather than ISO-mode.

My desktop problems seem to be due to using a Radeon RX580 card. I've read several threads that claim Ubuntu based distros have similar problems with that card, while Arch Linux and Fedora based distros don't. The distro that I wound up with, Manjaro, is based on Arch Linux.

Thanks for the information from the magazines. I don't want to try to use dd to clone my SSD, I'd prefer to use Windows based software to do that to minimize my risk. Suggestions? I'm going to stick with installing Manjaro again via CD afterwards since that works fine on my system.

lasardo
 
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Post Posted December 6th, 2018, 9:39 pm

For a simple one partition Windows clone I have used Macrium Reflect which has a free version successfully, but I don't know about a more complex case. It worked within Windows using the shadow copy service.

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Post Posted December 7th, 2018, 6:56 am

In all honesty I opt for the easiest way, save personal files and add the new OS to a single drive wiping everything else.
I try to maintain a grub (inactive unless bios boot order changed) for recovery on each drive in case something goes wrong and it has on occasion.
During Grub updates or new OS installs the grub location can change if the Grub software gets an update so Grub is somewhat fluid in that respect but update do not effect the Grubs on each disc allowing a change in boot order in the Bios..
I did have success with the transfers of five operating systems and the only issue seems to be with the Bios on the Notebook allowing some actions.
Had some real issues with the Arch Linux live cd, seems to want to go back to the beginnings and ignore any simple install, no GUI help, terminal until you figure it out.
Maybe, as Mangaro is Arch Linux based you could get some hints from the Arch Wiki, I'd look for similarities or maybe some more info on the Radeon card..
As far as Ubuntu and Radeon there appears to be plenty of software support in the repositories so I don't know unless it's specific to your card alone.
If the CD works and it allows some degree of success it's probably better, without an accessible cd I'm stuck with the stick on the notebook.
Tried several USB CD R/W, noted earlier posts in this Tech forum with little to no results due to CDR/W OS support.
Currently 4 systems on this box and only one on the Notebook. Notebook is condensed version of one of the systems on this box and all are Debian based, Ubuntu or Mint.
Lastly, there were a lot of specific answered questions on one of the Live CDs from the magazines, I looked for a cloning of any system without success.

Brummelchen
 
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Post Posted December 7th, 2018, 9:22 am

reset performance
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/window ... est-scores

"winsat formal" or "winsat prepop" in command console (admin rights)
wait some time until system32 is available again.
powershell -> Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_WinSAT will show results.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted December 7th, 2018, 9:41 am

What does configuring windows system assessment test scores have to do with cloning a SSD to another SSD?

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Post Posted December 8th, 2018, 3:11 am

each hardware drive has different scores - using old ssd values will slow your new ssd down, there exist no auto-calibrate. the gap is even more when switching from hdd to ssd.

btw changing drive will force you to re-activate your windows!
when installing windows you have 35 points, point of re-activating is 26, hdd/sdd drive change needs 11 poiints, make 24 so you have to re-activate it.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted December 8th, 2018, 5:42 am

Okay. So after getting things running I need to run WinSat on the new SSD to optimize performance. Good to know.

https://www.windowscentral.com/how-re-a ... are-change describes using a Activation Troubleshooter to re-activate Windows after a major hardware change. It talks about linking your Microsoft account with the windows 10 digital license beforehand. I'm already linked to a digital license but I didn't associate my Microsoft account with it (I have a local login). Looking at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/hel ... are-change it appears I need to associate my Microsoft account with that digital license (before making the hardware change) in order to use the activation troubleshooter.

Any other steps I need to worry about?

https://forum.macrium.com/Topic20394.aspx talks about using Macrium Reflect to clone a small ssd to a large ssd. It discusses resizing the partition while cloning and changing the location of the recovery partition to avoid Windows creating a new one in its preferred location later. It also mentions creating a Reflect rescue disk in case you have boot problems. I suspect I'll go with Macrium Reflect because that thread deals with so many potential issues.

https://forum.macrium.com/Topic5266.aspx talks about being careful to clone the entire drive because:

"Cloning only the "C:" partition will not produce an independently bootable result on the new drive. UEFI-GPT booting requires an EFI System Partition (ESP) and a Microsoft System Reserved (MSR) partition containing the EFI boot manager and related BCD support, etc., to be present on the physical drive that you want to use for booting the system.

Those required system partitions are likely to have no "drive letter" assigned to them, but they must be there and "active" to make the drive independently bootable using EFI. Otherwise, your UEFI setup will only be able to boot the operating system on the new drive from another physical drive that does have ESP and MSR partitions and that also has the new OS loader option added to its boot configuration data (BCD) store."

lasardo
 
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Post Posted December 8th, 2018, 8:05 am

If you link your license to a Microsoft account that is supposed to make it easier to re-activate Windows.
Seeing what you posted about the boot partitions, I realize that what I said was incorrect about copying a single partition. I had only C visible, but I did in fact clone the whole drive.

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