Need to resize a Windows 7 image backup
November 5, 2011 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Windows 7, 80gb hard drive backup of a laptop - I need to get the machine back up and running, but the largest available hard drive is 40GB - There are files I can lose on the backup to get it down to 40GB, but how do I do it?

The support page claims that 'Startup hard disk capacity should be larger or same size. Even if it is smaller by a single byte, BMR will be blocked.'? Any ideas on how to get around that?

Hopefully, replies of 'Buy a bigger hard drive' should also provide some method to get a 80+GB PATA drive for an IBM T40 before 5pm tomorrow. the retail stores seem to all be SATA at this point.
posted by Orb2069 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Best answer: I tried doing this with Clonezilla when I got an SSD a few months ago. Turns out, it's a tricky proposition, and I couldn't find any imaging software that would do it.

I ended up just reinstalling Win7, which might be your most expedient solution.
posted by neckro23 at 11:54 AM on November 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'd put a craigslist wanted posting up on the off chance that someone has one sitting in a junk drawer.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 11:56 AM on November 5, 2011

One possibility could be to use GParted (through the Parted Magic LiveCD) to shrink the partition to 40GB, and then clone that onto another hard drive. I haven't tried this particular procedure out, though -- I've shrunk partitions with GParted and they work fine, though it takes a long while and there's all sorts of disclaimers with doing that -- so I can't vet for it that much.
posted by zer0render at 1:05 PM on November 5, 2011

A Knoppix Live cd is your friend when trying to see files that you may want to delete or keep.
More info here.
posted by Lynsey at 5:33 PM on November 5, 2011

Best answer: I don't think you can directly restore that backup to a smaller drive. You might be able to restore it to another machine with a larger drive, delete some files, use gparted to shrink the partition, and then make a new image that's under 40GB.

I would probably just try to get another 80GB drive. Have you tried calling all of the smaller computer hardware and repair shops in the area? Don't waste your time with places like bestbuy. There are still lots of pata drives out there. I know I could easily get a notebook pata drive tomorrow in my city.
posted by Zetetics at 5:42 PM on November 5, 2011

Why not do a Windows 7 Easy Transfer (after removing the stuff you can do without), install the new hard drive, install windows on the 40 gig, then Easy Transfer your files back onto the new hard drive? It's worked for me before.

It's a hassle to re-install your old programs again, but... so?

Is it an 80GB hard drive? or 80GB worth of files?
posted by Master Gunner at 6:31 PM on November 5, 2011

Don't delete files from your backup drive. That's heresy, is that.

My elderly Dell Inspiron 8200 has one of these 320GB WD PATA drives in it now and it works really well. I can see no reason why the same drive wouldn't work equally well in your T40. Having a specific model number to inquire about might help you track one down if you really can't wait for NewEgg to ship one.
posted by flabdablet at 8:17 AM on November 6, 2011

Response by poster: Postscript: I restored the image backup onto my girlfriend's VMWARE system, but every attempt to use clonezilla to shrink the emulated image down to where I could back it up and restore it onto the smaller drive rendered the system unusable. I wound up reinstalling the OS, and migrating the files off the virtual machine onto the new install.
posted by Orb2069 at 6:04 PM on November 20, 2011

Response by poster: I didn't use Clonezilla to resize the partition, I used GParted.
posted by Orb2069 at 6:06 PM on November 20, 2011

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