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I have a laptop with 320 Gb HDD running Win7/Fedora 16. This is what I wanna do. clone the 320 Gb HDD to a 500 Gb HDD, keep the windows partition as it is, wipe out fedora 16 and install ubuntu 12.04 with the remainder of the drive. I also have a desktop which has ubuntu 12.04 installed with plenty of empty SATA ports and cables. Elegant way to accomplish this?

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Use gparted to clone the MBR and Windows partition(s) to the 500GB drive. Then put it back in the "target" computer and install Ubuntu 12.04 on it, partitioning as desired. Don't forget the 100MB "boot" partition Windows 7 usually creates at the beginning of the drive.

This will work fine as long as Windows 7 is installed at the beginning of the drive, i.e. Fedora is installed after Windows as seen in gparted. If you want to give the power user way a try, even dd will do the job, i.e. dd if=/dev/sdSOURCE of=/dev/sdTARGET bs=1M, and then use gparted on the target (500GB) drive to remove the Fedora 16 partitions.

Also, if grub is your bootloader, as is normally the case when dual-booting wih Windows, removing Fedora may also remove your ability to boot Windows until Ubuntu 12.04 installs it's own copy of grub with the appropriate boot entries.

Whatever you do, be sure to keep your 320GB source drive safe until you verify everything is working on the 500GB drive, including Windows. You can then wipe it, re-use it, etc.

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I would recommend changing bs=64k to bs=1M in the dd command or copying 300GB will take a lot longer than it needs to. – adempewolff May 28 '12 at 11:23
@adempewolff: Thanks, 64k still in muscle memory after one too many raw 1GB througput tests. – izx May 28 '12 at 11:33
Wondderful izx, You are my hero today. Just an additional question. out of my 320 Gb HDD space, 100 GB is allocated to windows, can I copy 100 GB alone to a SSD (120GB) and then shrink and install ubuntu on top of it – ubuntufan May 28 '12 at 11:33
@ubuntufan, what is the SSD size? While resizing NTFS is possible with gparted, I highly recommend shrinking it with Disk Management in Windows instead; then you can clone with gparted and install Ubuntu in the remaining free space. Make a rescue cd from within Windows first, you may need it in case of bootloader problems. – izx May 28 '12 at 11:37
thanks mate, you are most helpful – ubuntufan May 28 '12 at 13:53

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