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Upgrade Win 8.1 from 500gb HD to 128gb SSD asstd questions

  1. #1

    Upgrade Win 8.1 from 500gb HD to 128gb SSD asstd questions

    Hi all - have done some searching but am getting different answers to some of my questions so figured I would start a new thread.

    Have an HP x360 13.3 (no optical drive) with a 500gb hd and am upgrading to an 128gb Crucial MX100 SSD. (Need almost no space for user files, so this size is more enough for us.) I made a copy of the 8.1 installation media on my USB drive already. Questions:

    1. Can I use this USB to put a new 8.1 install on my 128gb ssd? I see a few mentions that the size is too small. If not, is there any way to get a fresh install on (short of using discs with an external drive.)

    2. I understand cloning makes more sense, to avoid reinstalling everything and going from a 500gb to a 128gb ssd. My used space in C drive is 50gb, used in user folder is 5.5gb. Will this work and copy everything over including the recovery partition? And will I need to "shrink" anything? (Couldn't quite get if the used space being 50gb meant I didn't have to, or if the actual drive being 500gb even if not full meant I DID have to.)

    3. When all is up and running on the ssd, how can do a system recovery if necessary? (Via usb files that I made, or will this still not work?)

    Thanks all!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    A 128GB SSD is plenty large enough for a Win 8.1 installation -- although you should plan on migrating large files and data directories to a HDD.

    The term "cloning" means an "exact copy" -- which if the target is 128GB and the source is 500GB, can NOT be true. If you want to "migrate" (as in copy) from the HDD to the SSD, you need to shrink down the OS partition on the HDD to well less than 128GB -- by moving large files and data directories somewhere else (e.g., external drive, large USB sticks).

    Once you get the OS partition on the HDD down smaller, then you can "clone" it to the SSD.

    I would seriously doubt that copying over the Recovery partition will work, as built-in factory restore services generally expect the disk partitioning to be unchanged -- which will not be the case when you migrate to the SSD.

    What I'd recommend as an alternative is to do the following:
    1) move large files and data directories from the HDD to something else
    2) Use the Disk Management tool to then shrink down the OS partition to well under 128GB
    3) Download and install the free version of Macrium Reflect (MR)
    4) Use MR to create an image backup of the OS partition to an external drive

    Now, you have a restorable image of your OS installation -- and do not need the Recovery partition.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Thanks for the reply. Makes sense. So - considering the laptop is brand new, do I still need to move files/directories off? How exactly do you determine what and how much should be moved off before shrinking?

    When you say this will be a restorable image, after the above is done - how exactly would the restore be done if there's no recovery partition anymore? Would I then be able to use the 8.1 installation files on the usb that I just made? (I am guessing from what I heard before that you can't install 8.1 onto an empty SSD with the usb files, but it's be possible to just restore a corrupt OS that's installed?)

    Appreciate the help!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Posts : 2,614
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10

    Since this is a brand new HP - create a recovery usb.. HP has their own program to do this usually.. If not then > control panel > recovery > create a recovery drive... That will create a Bare Metal Reset, bootable USB with the factory Image..

    Once you create the recovery usb - you will need to find the file name - *resetconfig.xml - it is usually in the sources folder on the recovery usb.. Open that file with notepad and edit as such the "min size>32000<min size"..

    Remove the 500GB hard drive and then boot from the recovery usb - this will write the factory out of box image to the bare 128 SSD

    It will create the partitions and rewrite the factory image and copy the image to the recovery partition..

    But since you are going from 500GB to 128GB drives you must edit the resetconfig.xml file to compensate for the HD size differance
    Last edited by KYHI; 20 Dec 2014 at 18:51.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Thanks KYHI, this sounds easy enough. Question - does the usb have to be empty, and what minimum size? I have one with the Win 8.1 installation files from Microsoft but assume that won't be needed if I have the recovery usb from HP as you described above which includes the drivers etc - correct?

    By any chance could you use a large capacity SD card used in a USB to SD adapter? I have an empty 16gb one lying around.
    Last edited by puppylove; 20 Dec 2014 at 17:52.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    Posts : 2,614
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10

    the recovery program will erase and format the usb stick or sd card

    The size needed depends on the factory image size 8GB-16Gb should do

    The recovery drive will re-write your laptop drive - just like the day you got it and first turned it on (it will re-write everything)!!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    Ok great. That's fine - if its easier to do it this way than to start with migrating/cloning etc - I'm ok doing my settings over, its not much. I will try it with my 16gb card. After I remove the 500gb, do I have to change boot order prior so that it loads from USB before I install the 128gb?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    Posts : 2,614
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10

    if you remove the hard drive - the PC should look for the next bootable drive.. Or you may have to hit F12 to get to the boot menu

    usually with the HD missing or Blank - it will just look to boot from USB or CD/DVD
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9

    Ok got it, so since the SSD is empty its not bootable, and it will just go to the recovery card right. Thanks for all your help, will try it as soon as I get my Newegg delivery
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10

    Ok, a little bit of an update. Any help would be much appreciated - tearing my hair out here!

    Ended up getting a 256 ssd after all that. However, had to work on the laptop and set it up with lots of random stuff I really really don't want to re do. So - I will have to go back to the migrate option.

    It came with Acronis which I installed, but am stuck now. 50gb still used in C drive. Already shrunk C and this is what DM looks like:

    Click image for larger version

    Now I'm stuck. Read the pdf instructions and am more confused with the drive renaming and 1 partition at a time in order etc..

    At this point, what is the simplest way to get an exact copy of everything over to the ssd? I can use Macrium or Acronis and have a USB enclosure if that helps. From the first response - step #4 - "Use MR to create an image backup of the OS partition to an external drive" what exactly am I backing it up to - the actual SSD I am using, or something else that I then need to restore to the SSD once installed?

    Thanks all!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Upgrade Win 8.1 from 500gb HD to 128gb SSD asstd questions

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