I have copied Windows from one hard drive to another with SUDO DD many times successfully. It was always from a smaller SSD (120 GB) to a at least same sized or bigger SSD. I could always copy the whole drive (sda to sdb).

Now I would like to copy Windows from a HDD to a SDD. My SSD ist only 120 GB while the HDD is 500 GB. Obviously I can't copy the whole HDD drive as it is too big. Therefore I have reduced the size of the Windows System Partition to 70 GB.

The problem is now, that I still can't copy the whole drive itself, as it has 105 MB System reserved partition, 70 GB Windows System partition and circa 420 GB on a free partition.

I would now need to copy sda1 (system reserved) and sda2 (Windows partition) at the same time (and disregard the rest) to sdb (unpartition SSD).

When I copy a whole SSD drive to another SSD Windows is starting perfectly, but how can I copy the proper image (MBR, system reserverd and Windows partition) from a much bigger HDD to a smaller SDD?

Thanks for helping Felix


See where the partition ends with sudo parted /dev/sda unit s print. Add one to the end sector, and tell dd to copy that many sectors: sudo dd=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb count=xxxx.


Since you have already resized the partition you should at first copy the partition table and if there exists MBR bootloader data by copying the first megabyte of the disc (if your partition layout is aligned). Then reconnect the disc so that Linux finds the new partition table. Now you can copy the individual partitions.

Since you are a german speaking user you will find the Ubuntu Users article on dd very helpful.

However, you never ever write with dd on SSDs. dd is already a mechanical a torture for HDDs, but on SSDs it's against all their wear out prevention mechanisms. You are writing to every data cell (no matter if free it's empty or not), while as a rule of thumb to maintain write performance, it's recommended to keep half of the drive space empty. You should install a fresh copy of Windows to the new disc. Rumor has it that the Windows installer detects SSDs and treats them differently than HDDs.

I recommend using Windows deployment tools like imagex in conjunction with bcdboot or bootrec.

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