Hard Drive Migration

Here is my situation, I have a 2-120 GB hard drives and the primary one is filling up. I have a 800 GB one I want to replace it with. My problem is that I don't want to reinstall Windows. I was reading this guide here, and was wondering if anyone had ever tried it.

This is what I was planing on doing.
Make a "System Image" and save it to my second 120 GB hard drive.
Then remove my 120 GB drive, replacing it with the 800 GB one.
Install Windows 7 on that drive.
Boot into recovery mode, and then restore my computer on to the 800 GB drive using the image on the 2nd 120 GB drive.

Would this work? I would like it to appear as if my install is the same, programs and settings, just on a bigger drive.

Thanks for any input.


The link to the guide below:



Noob Whisperer
While I have done exactly the same thing using Acronis True Image, I have not used the Windows 7 Backup and restore utility to do this so I cannot say for sure if it will work as advertised. I would certainly be interested in hearing your results upon completion of the task.
I would say go for it, I don't see any jeopardy if you follow the steps that you've outlined above, your original 120 gig will be safely set aside for emergency purposes.
I think you have one extra step, step 3 Install Windows 7 on the 800 gig drive, I think is unnecessary, since you can create a "System Repair Disc" also from within the backup and restore utility, which should allow you to boot from that and restore your image from there.
I am very interested in whether or not you can do anything during the restore process, about resizing on the fly when you do the restore from the 120 to the 800, or if you will end up with a 120 gig partition with some 600 plus gigs of unallocated space. Not that, that's a deal breaker since I would suspect you could subsequently use disk management to adjust the size to your preferences. Good luck and keep us posted.


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Restoring an image works well. I have done it twice to replace drives.

I do not believe, however, it will let you put the backup on the original drive. It would be best to have an external drive for this purpose.

If your Win 7 install has the System Reserved partition, make sure that is backed up.

The restored partitions will be exactly as imaged. You will have to wait until after the restore before you can change their sizes.

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