How to Upgrade an SSD Boot Drive and Keep My Setup?
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Thread: How to Upgrade an SSD Boot Drive and Keep My Setup?

  1. #1
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    How to Upgrade an SSD Boot Drive and Keep My Setup?

    I am planning to replace my 256GB SSD in my new Windows 11 Home Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15IAU7, type 82RK, specifically Product # 82RK001CUS.

    The slot is M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0x4 (accepts 2242 as well, which is the current drive's size).

    I plan to use a 1TB Renegade PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD (SFYRS/1000G).

    I have copied an image of the current drive to an external USB drive, and I have a recovery Windows flash drive for the Laptop already created.

    The laptop also has a 1TB spinning HDD, so I could put a copy of the image there as well, if that would work better.

    I have recovered images to the same hard drive before, but never to a new and different one.

    Can I just swap the drives, and do this, as outlined below?

    1. Start up the laptop attached to the USB flash drive
    2. Use that to access the windows recovery options screen
    3. Put the image from the external USB drive or internal storage HDD onto the new hard drive?



    Can it actually be that simple (hopefully)?
    Last edited by newbynow; December 6th, 2022 at 04:09 AM.

  2. #2
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    When you swap the drive, which I assume is the boot drive, there will be no operating system to boot the laptop from. You will need some bootable media that you can run the recovery software from.

    What image creation software are you using to make the backup image?

  3. #3
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    I used Windows to make the backup image.
    It is my understanding that I can boot from the recovery USB I also created with Windows.

    As an experiment, I just tried accessing a similarly created backup image for my *desktop PC* using the Windows repair USB I created for that PC, but after I got the Windows Repair Tool up and selected 'System Image Recovery', it could not even see the big external USB drive I put the backup image on. Hmmm...

  4. #4
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    I also have a Windows 10 USB Installation drive handy, although I have already used it at some point in the past.

  5. #5
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    I would have used Acronis True Image or Macrium Reflect instead. If I remember correctly, Windows Backup will only restore the partitions to the same exact size. If you are moving to a larger drive, you'd have to resize the partitions after you do a restore.

    There is a free version of Macrium Reflect:
    https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree
    https://dellwindowsreinstallationgui...criumreflect7/
    https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/...m-reflect.html

  6. #6
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    Thank you, that sounds good.

    Does Macrium work with Windows 11?

  7. #7
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    I just received the product! It came with an email including a link to download Acronis True Image OEM, which I installed (unnecessarily complicated registration and activation process, too). The Acronis software wants to clone the current SSD to the newer SSD in one set of steps, but I obviously can't have both of them in the laptop at the same time.

    Also, the Acronis True Image OEM says it includes compatibility with Windows 10 but does not mention Windows 11.

    ???
    Last edited by newbynow; December 6th, 2022 at 10:16 PM.

  8. #8
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    Macrium Reflect works with Windows 11.

    I'm not sure what version of Acronis you have. If it works on Win10, it will probably with Win11.
    https://kb.acronis.com/content/69259
    Acronis True Image 2021 and the earlier versions are not going to have official support of Windows 11, even though we have not heard of any significant compatibility issue. You may use Acronis True Image of any version on Windows 11 at your own risk.

  9. #9
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    This guide is a little old, but the steps should be similar:
    https://dellwindowsreinstallationgui...dition-basics/

  10. #10
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    Thanks!

    This is all really great info. If the Acronis is a pain, I'll try the free Macrium Reflect.

    I'll try to get the preparation all done, but I'll have to delay the actual swap just a little bit. I showed my 12-year-old granddaughter some pics I took of the laptop guts when I upgraded the memory. She found it interesting and made me promise I'd let her 'help' on the next project.

    I have to figure out just what I am doing so it goes smoothly when she is involved!

    When I upgraded the memory, I did take the time to noodle around inside, and remove the factory SSD and put it back again, just for familiarization. So that will help.
    Last edited by newbynow; December 7th, 2022 at 12:12 AM.

  11. #11
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    Acronis and Macrium are similar. If you already have Acronis TI installed, you might as well try that. You'll still need to make a boot drive, so that you can restore the image backup to the new SSD.

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  13. #13
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    Okay, got it done.

    I booted off a Windows repair flash drive, used the repair tools to install Windows backup image, and wound up with all the new space in a partition non-adjacent to the 'C' drive partition. The machine's factory backup partition was between them! Oops!

    I downloaded EaseUS Partition Master Pro and merged the 'C' drive partition with the non-allocated space. It was very easy and worked fine. It cost me $39.95 as a one-time expense for one month of access to the software, but well worth it. This may not have been the cheapest way, but it was really easy and I wasn't so worried about messing it up.

    The laptop upgrades are all done now. RAM increased from 8GB to 24GB and the SSD increased from 256GB to 1-TB. The spinning HDD is already 1-TB, and that is the max the system will allow.

    Thanks to everyone who replied!

    Thank you.

  14. #14
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    The machine's factory backup partition was between them! Oops!
    That was expected. As I mentioned, Windows Image restore will restore the partitions exactly as they were. That's why I recommended Acronis True Image or Macrium Reflect instead. Either one of those can resize partitions during the restore.

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