Cloning C: Drive to new Hybrid SSD/HDD- Delete existing Partition?

mefster

Standard Member
I’m just wondering if it’s safe to delete the partition on my new hybrid drive?
I have a relatively old PC running windows 10. The main 1TB C:Drive is pretty full, so I decided to install a secondary, larger internal hard drive.
I decided on buying a Seagate Firecuda 2TB Hybrid SSD hard drive as it seemed good value and got favourable reviews, and in the hope that the SSD will speed up the computer boot-up and use a little.
I’ve successfully installed the new hybrid drive and it’s showing on my computer. On researching I decided to use Macrium Reflect to clone the disk, including the OS on the understanding I’ll then be able to make the New Hybrid disk the primary disk for the computer without reinstalling windows (as I can’t recall where my original key is for Windows 10).
I’ve created a recovery disc as advised.
Following instructions, I’ve selected the disc to be cloned (checking the box to ensure all partitions are selected) and selected the new Disk to clone to.
The new Hybrid Disk appears to have an existing partition (16.0mb unformatted primary and 1.82TB NTFS Primary). The guide for Macrium says ‘delete existing partitions on destination disk’ but I was concerned this partition may be related to the SSD/HDD combination of the disk.
Is it safe to ‘delete existing partition’?
 

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EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Hybrid drives are hard drives with much larger caches so they can offer a couple of the advantages of an SSD such as faster boot times, but they lack the big advantage of instant responsiveness across all files that is the big selling point of an SSD.

They're best thought of as faster hard drives rather than SSDs or some combination of the two.

As far as I'm aware the caching is all done by the disk controller and doesn't require any partitions or similar. You don't say which model it is exactly but I had a scan though a couple of manuals for seagate firecuda 2TB hybrid drives and neither made any mention of preserving formatting.

So you're good to wipe the drive.
 

mefster

Standard Member
That’s really helpful, thanks.
Cloning now completed. I’ve not tried to boot the system yet from the new disk. I’m just trying to expand one of the partitions as the remaining (nearly 1TB) of capacity is ‘unallocated’ and do not appearing on my computer.
In Disk Management, the 3 existing partitions have cloned: System Reserved (which I’m assuming is OS and boot data), Healthy (Primary Partition) and healthy (recovery partition). I’d intended to extend the primary partition (as this is the large partition which I assume has all existing photo files etc. Which filled my old c drive)
As I’ve gone through the process, a message saying:
“The operation you selected will convert the selected basic disk(s) to dynamic disk(s). If you convert the disk(s) to dynamic, you will not be able to start installed operating systems from any volume on the disk(s) (except the current boot volume). Are you sure you want to continue?”
Am I correct in assuming the ‘system reserved’ Partition is the current boot volume, in which case I’m ok to continue?
My only worry is that on the Macrium dashboard, both the ‘system reserved’ and ‘C:’ primary active partitions have a windows logo next to them. Is there a chance the OS or boot data could be shared between these two partitions?
 

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DavidG1

Active Member
You need to move the 3rd Partition (537MB) on the cloned drive to the end of the drive leaving the unallocated space directly next to the F: NTFS primary. You will then be able to extend the primary partition to use the rest of the unallocated space. You should be able to do this with Macrium if not AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition should do it (its free)
 
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EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Yeah, you want to move the partition rather than setting the volume up as a dynamic disk.

I don't think disk management has an explicit move option. IIRC you'd extend the recovery partition and then shrink it, ensuring the free space is all before the partition.

If you do end up downloading a third party partition utility I'd also suggest converting it from MBR to GPT.
 

mefster

Standard Member
Thank you both again for the help and advice. I'm beginning to wonder if I've bitten off more than I can chew! I hope my lack of knowledge (and likely asking of daft or obvious questions) isn't frustrating!
Regarding converting to GPT from MBR, if I recall their was a choice during the disk cloning on Macrium. If I recall the guide I was following suggested MBR for disks 2TB or less. As the new Hybrid Disk is 2TB I selected MBR. Should I change it? If so, would it be better to re-clone the original CDrive selecting GPT? Is it likely to cause problems if I try to boot from the new Hybrid drive if the old CDrive was MBR? If I do make a mess of it, will it only effect the new disk and leave the original C Drive (with OS and boot files) uneffected and useable? I want to make sure I'm not 1 click away from disaster!
When you say "Move the partition", do you mean so that the 3rd partition appears on the far right hand side of the partitions on disk manager, with the unallocated partition between it and the large primary partition?
I've not found a way to do this on Macrium. If I install another utility will it be straightforward (or is there an online step by step guide) for someone with limited IT Knowledge like myself?
 

DavidG1

Active Member
Yes you can only extend a partition if the unallocated space is immediately to the right of it. So The small partition needs to be right at the end of the drive . With macrium I believe that you can manually move the partition before you complete the clone I’m not sure it can be done after. Otherwise use the third party app I have suggested. You can always redo the clone if you want to try with macrium
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Regarding converting to GPT from MBR, if I recall their was a choice during the disk cloning on Macrium. If I recall the guide I was following suggested MBR for disks 2TB or less. As the new Hybrid Disk is 2TB I selected MBR. Should I change it?

It just allows a bit more flexibility in future. MBR has various limitations and GPT was designed to replace it. The only reason you'd go MBR is for compatibility with older systems.

It was around 2014 that most systems could boot GPT drives and I've just re-checked your opening post and see you have a 'relatively old' computer so if you mean something more than 4-5 years old it might be best leaving it as MBR for now.
 

mefster

Standard Member
It just allows a bit more flexibility in future. MBR has various limitations and GPT was designed to replace it. The only reason you'd go MBR is for compatibility with older systems.

It was around 2014 that most systems could boot GPT drives and I've just re-checked your opening post and see you have a 'relatively old' computer so if you mean something more than 4-5 years old it might be best leaving it as MBR for now.
When I said ‘relatively old’ I should have said ‘very old’- it’s probably 7 or 8 years old! Thanks for the advice.
 

mefster

Standard Member
Yes you can only extend a partition if the unallocated space is immediately to the right of it. So The small partition needs to be right at the end of the drive . With macrium I believe that you can manually move the partition before you complete the clone I’m not sure it can be done after. Otherwise use the third party app I have suggested. You can always redo the clone if you want to try with macrium
Thanks for the tip re: AOMEI Partition Assistant SE. I managed to move the partition and then extend the partition to use the unallocated space. I’ve enclosed an image of the Macrium dashboard as it looks now:
(apologies for the image being upside down- it posts this way no matter which orientation the picture is uploaded!)
 

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mefster

Standard Member
I was hoping I’d now be able to boot from the cloned disk.

I went opened the BIOS menu to change the order of the hard disks in the Boot sequence. Swapped the Hard Disk Drives so that the new Drive was the first drive (image below)
When the computer tried to boot the message “Reboot and select proper Boot device or insert Boot media in selected Boot device and press a key_” (image below)
when I swapped the order back it booted ok (I assume on the original C Drive)

As you’ll be aware from my earlier replies, I’m already beyond my limited knowledge. Does this mean?
1. There is an issue with my cloning/partition?
2. I’ve made an error in my BIOS tweaking?
3. I need to insert the recovery disk I made? (is this done from the black error screen?)
 

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EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Something wrong with the cloning process. The BIOS is seeing and attempting to boot from the hard drive fine but isn't recognising a valid operating system on it.

I see the partition on the cloned disk is not showing up as active which may be the issue. Try setting the same partition to active on the second disk as is active on the first.

It is likely failing at one of the earlier steps in the boot process as you get a different error message related to BOOTMGR if it gets further.
 

DavidG1

Active Member
I would try and attempt a repair using your windows 10 media creation tool recovery USB. Change the boot order to the USB and disconnect the old 1TB HDD. Boot off the USB and choose the repair option rather than the installation option, let us know what happens, if that fails you would need a partition manager tool to make the partition active as Endless says.
The other way would be to redo the clone and choose the option to allow Macrium to resize the partitions automatically
 
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mefster

Standard Member
You should be able to mark the partition active in disk management, you don't need a third party tool.
Managed to mark the partition on the cloned disk as active, change the boot order, restarted the computer and it booted problem-free (I'm assuming from the cloned disk).
I've not disconnected the old C Drive just yet- making the most whilst everything is working!
Thanks to everyone again for your guidance. Who knows what I'd have done without it!
 

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