Best and free method to copy OS and recovery partitions from large HDD to smaller SSD?


Limp Gawd
Dec 8, 2011
Just got a laptop with a slow 1TB HDD, Want to use an SSD, tried this, installed fresh Windows 10 from legit media to the SSD, but soon found that my battery wouldnt charge even though it said it was plugged in, Then I removed the SSD and placed the HDD back into the laptop and all was working the way it was supposed to, as in the batter would charge.

I tried creating a recovery flash drive with Lenovo's recovery creator tool from their website, but that seemed to have killed 2 of my usb flash sticks... Not sure if it was uspposed to be done on the laptop or not as I was doing it on my desktop where I could work quicker...

So now I want to copy the exact contents of the HDD to the smaller SSD(250gb) with recovery partition. Any tips on how to do this for free would be helpful!

As it is currently, only about 50gb are being used on the HDD and I tried the demo of EaseUS Partition Master but it kept telling me the destination drive was too small.

The laptop has Windows 10 Home x64 on it btw.


Lord Stabington of [H]ard|Fortress
Jan 8, 2008
I prefer to to use gparted on a USB flash drive & just copy/resize to the new drive.


Fully [H]
Aug 3, 2004
CloneZilla, shrink your windows partition in windows to smaller than the destination drive / SSD and then clone and uncheck the option in clonezilla advance to verify dest size drive


Apr 29, 2005
Macrium Reflect free version will do it.

Just did that exact thing for a customer. Dell did not offer a large (500GB) SSD in the laptop he wanted
so he went ahead and ordered it and had me replace the OEM 1TB spinner with a Samsung 500GB SSD.

Reflect will not resize the partitions automatically (actually a good thing). You need to drag and drop each
partition from the source to the target drive to be copied. When you drag each partition, there is an "Options"
link that you need to click where you can specify the new partition size.

You can undo your choice and try again until you use up all of the available disk space. I actually chose to
use all but about 10MB to ensure it didn't get to the end of the copy and then fail for lack of a small amount
of space. I suppose I also could have left more space and then used Windows disk management to absorb
the rest of the space. That's another step though and 10MB is really nothing to leave unused.

I could have just selected Maximum, except I had the recovery partition to add after the main OS partition
and I had to leave space for that.

I really like Reflect, I use it all the time. Works much better than other imaging products I've used.

ETA: I didn't really do a direct clone, but I think you can do that. I created a backup image of the OEM
drive and then restored it to the SSD. It took like 8 minutes for the backup and same for the restore.

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Deleted member 245375

If you have a Seagate or Western Digital hard drive you're working with they provide a somewhat stripped down version of Acronis True Image that will do a drive to drive clone operation in the manner in which you need done. In fact most manufacturers have such software available, it might not be included in the box itself with an SSD or hard drive anymore but it can usually be downloaded from their website rather easily, can't hurt to check with the manufacturer's site of the SSD or your hard drive.

CloneZilla is an excellent tool overall but the "DOS" command line nature of the program makes it somewhat complicated for some folks to get a handle on it and because of that they can - it's been known to happen - totally wreck things and write data to the source drive of a clone operation which basically kills the whole thing. No it's not a DOS program really but when I say "DOS" command line nature I'm sure most folks realize that I mean the look and feel of it, it's not a mouse driven GUI application) so while I consider it a useful tool if you intend to just do this kind of operation once or twice I'd say get a GUI-based mouse driven application for the process.


Limp Gawd
Dec 8, 2011
I was able to get the Lenovo recovery usb creator tool to work, It did what I wanted it to do by placing a recovery partition on the ssd and installing the OS with the preloaded Lenovo software.


Limp Gawd
Apr 8, 2016
If Lenovo, I just call support for recovery discs for ThinkPad under warranty and tell them someone blew away the operating system or it had a virus (painful to remove).

Going to second Macrium.