Transferring a dual-boot hard drive to an SSD (Samsung Evo 840)

First published on February 28, 2015

When I upgraded my standard “spinning disk” hard drive to an SSD, I didn’t want to have to re-install the operating systems and all of the applications. The particular SSD I bought (Samsung Evo 840) came with a specific application aptly called “Samsung Data Migration” for transferring all of the data. It has very straightforward steps, enabling you to size the partitions on the new drive based on the existing partitions on the old drive and of course copy the data. In my case, I had a dual-boot setup with Windows 7 and Ubuntu but Samsung Data Migration did not recognize the Ubuntu partition. It only recognized the Windows 7 partitions.

I had previously used a program called DriveImage XML to migrate data from an old to a new hard drive with good success. However, it had the same problem in that it did not show the Ubuntu partition.

I ended up successfully using another program called Clonezilla. It is a free and open source program that runs a bit differently than Samsung Data Migration or DriveImage XML. With Clonezilla, you have to burn it onto a bootable CD/DVD or make a bootable USB drive. Then, you reboot your computer and the Clonezilla distribution / operating system will do a live boot on the CD/DVD or USB drive. (There is another option: you can also put Clonezilla on the new hard drive so that you don’t need a separate disk or USB device.) Clonezilla recognized all of my hard drive partitions and successfully copied both the Windows 7 and Ubuntu operating systems to my new hard drive (which I’d plugged in to the computer via a USB hard drive enclosure). Once the copy is complete, you can turn off your computer, physically install the new drive in place of the old drive, and you’re done!

Clonezilla is much more powerful than the Samsung Data Migration program but definitely less user-friendly. However, Clonezilla is very well documented on its website, and not just for the setup process. For example, there is step-by-step documentation for the disk-to-disk clone, complete with screenshots.


2 Responses to “Transferring a dual-boot hard drive to an SSD (Samsung Evo 840)”

  1. Tim says:

    I was quite impressed by the Samsung application for doing what you described (minus the Ubuntu). I don’t know why they don’t bundle the application for non-ssd drives as well.

  2. hoppinjohnz says:

    Thanks for the posting. It made my upgrading a success. Clonezilla is an outstanding software with great documentations.

    I used this method to move my Lenovo E530’s original 500G HDD with a dual boot of Windows 7 and Ubuntu 14.04 to a 1TB Samsung SSD 850 EVO. It was such a noticeable improvement that not only I got faster loading (booting up/shutting down went from 55/25s to 13/17) but also the memory usage lowered to about 1/4 of before. In addition, the machine now runs much faster, I mean every program runs much crispier. The 4 CPUs seem to be used much efficiently. I would expect the power consumption goes gown as well.

    I ran into the error "extfsclone.c: bitmap free count err, partclone get free xxxx but extfs get yyyy" and "Failed to clone /dev/xxxx to /dev/yyyy" many times before I used the option "Interactively check and repair source file system before cloning" instead of "Skip checking/repairing source file system". This option allowed me to let Clonezilla fix two free count errors hinted by the above error messages.

    Good luck on your upgrading!

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