Cannot restore system image to computer’s new SSD drive

Cannot restore system image to PC’s new SSD drive that was saved to an external hard disk drive when it had an SATA hard drive

Corsair SSD drive. Cannot restore system image to SSD

Corsair SSD drive. Cannot restore system image to SSD

Problem

I replaced a failed, unpartitioned SATA hard disk drive (100GB) on my laptop PC with an unpartitioned SSD drive with a larger capacity (128GB). Unfortunately, cannot restore system image I saved to an external hard disk drive to it. When I installed just Windows 7 on the SSD drive and created a system image of it using Norton Ghost 3, which I have used for a decade, and also used Norton 15, which is the latest version.

It also couldn’t be restored to the SSD drive after I wiped it. Strangely, Symantec’s support (the company that owns Norton Ghost) said that as SSD and hard drives use different technology, so it’s not possible to restore a system image on an internal or external hard drive back to an SSD.

Answer

Windows Vista, Windows 7 & 8/8.1/10 have been tested to find out if their built-in backup and imaging tools support restoring backups and system images to SSDs from standard internal or external hard disk drives. No problems were found. Those versions of Windows all have excellent backup tools that support SSD and standard hard drives.

Visit the following page on this website for information on all of the different methods of creating backups:

http://www.pcbuyerbeware.co.uk/backup-methods/

The problem is almost certainly caused by Norton Ghost. Version 3 is probably too old to support restoring system images to an SSD from a standard hard disk drive. Version 15 is the latest version, but Symantec is discontinuing sales of the consumer version of Norton Ghost. Support via chat and its knowledge base is to continue until June 30, 2014. So, from your experience, it looks as if even the latest version of Ghost doesn’t support SSDs.

Acronis, the developer of the True Image backup and imaging software, states on its knowledgebase which of its products support SSDs. It would not do that unless it was necessary to do so. That is, if their products are able to detect if a backup or image restore is to an electronic SSD or to a mechanical hard drive and are able to restore to SSDs from standard hard drives.

Solid State Drive Support in Acronis Products –

https://kb.acronis.com/content/2699

If you must have the data in the system image you created with Norton Ghost, the best way to rescue it is to buy an SATA hard drive with the same or bigger storage capacity as the one that failed, install it in the laptop, use Ghost 3 to restore the image to it and then create a system image using the Windows backup tool (called Backup and Restore in Win7, accessed from the Control Panel) and then install the SSD back into the laptop and then restore the image using Win7’s backup tool, which requires the use of a repair disc that can be created by Win7.

To create the repair disc just type that term in the Start => Search… box to be presented with a link that allows you to do so. Remember that to boot from a disc the PC’s BIOS setup program has to be set so that the CD/DVD drive is the first book device. You can use the new 2.5-inch SATA drive as an external drive by buying an external USB caddy/enclosure for it.

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