How to move Windows 7 from a larger Hard Drive to a smaller SSD drive using Acronis True Image.
For this article I will move Windows 7 Home Premium 32Bit from a 500GB hard drive to a 32GB SSD drive using Acronis True Image Home 2012 (trial version) image backups. Acronis includes a means of cloning the hard drive to the SSD unit, but unfortunately cloning is not supported in the trial version.
The SSD drive is only 32GB in size, normally way too small for practical use of Windows 7 but the concept is the same when moving to a larger 60GB, 128GB or 256GB SSD drive, and if I can make the transition using only a 32GB SSD then you should have no problems using a larger SSD and 64Bit versions of Windows.
Baseline: Windows 7 Home Premium 32Bit 4GB Ram 500GB WD Blue External USB hard drive
Preparation overview: Note: This is just an overview and more detail for each of the steps listed below will be provided. Steps #2 and #3 are optional with larger SSD units.
1. Install Acronis True Image Home 2012 and create a baseline image backup. 2. Move users data files (Documents, Photo, Music, Etc.) to your USB drive. 3. Disable Hibernation. 4. Reduce the amount of space allowed for system restore points. 5. Run Disk Cleanup. 6. Check amount of used disk space on hard drive. 7. Defragment Windows 7 partition. 8. Create Image Backup of the System, Reserved and Windows 7 partitions. 9. Verification of ACHI Mode. 10. Power down the computer and install the SSD drive. 11a. Restoring the image to your SSD drive from within the Windows environment. 11b. Restore image to the SSD drive using the recovery media. 12. Create your first image backup of the SSD drive. 13. Use your old hard drive to store your data files. 14. Verify Windows 7 boots and both drives are listed in Disk Management. 15. Restore user’s documents from USB drive to newly created partition on hard drive. 16. Move the Windows 7 pagefile to the hard drive if used space on SSD drive is approaching 75 to 80% to total SSD capacity.