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Randy The Tech Professor

March 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm

How I Cloned A Large Hard Drive To A Smaller Hard Drive







Hello everyone,

The other day I picked up a computer from a client that had a bad hard drive. The 500GB hard drive was failing fast and I wanted to clone it to another drive as soon as possible. I noticed that the client was only using about 60GB of the 500GB capacity (and I knew that he would never use much more).

When I got back to my repair shop I saw that I had a brand new 160GB drive that had never been used. I wanted to clone the clients larger 500GB HD to the smaller 160GB HD. Was this possible? I didn’t want to use any pay products (Norton Ghost, Acronis True Image) to do this because I like to use free software whenever I can.

Cloning a larger HD to a smaller HD for free is indeed possible and today in this post I will tell you how I did it. You will need an external hard drive to temporarily store the compressed image. Enjoy, and happy cloning in the future!

1) I first had to resize (make smaller) the partition of the larger 500GB Hard Drive.

2) I downloaded the free GParted Live CD and reduced the size of the larger drive to 120GB (click on Resize/Move).

3) After resizing the original Hard Drive (before 500GB, now 120GB), I allowed the computer to reboot.

4) I downloaded the free Clonezilla Live CD and booted the computer from this CD.

5) I followed these steps when using Clonezilla (click OK after each > step).

Start_Clonezilla>Device-Image>local-dev>select your external hard drive from the list that Clonzilla shows you>top_directory_in_the_local_device>saveparts>name the image and start the clone!

6) To restore the image to the new drive, repeat the above steps but when you get to the “saveparts” selection, choose “restoreparts”, select the HD image (partition) that you want to restore and begin the restoration process!

Professor Randy says: Cloning a Hard Drive is awesome! Copy the contents of any HD to another, regardless of size, and for free, by using the method and great software described above!



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