Restoring hard disk partitions on new SSD (using a bootable ShadowProtect USB stick)

Restoring hard disk partitions on new SSD (using a bootable ShadowProtect USB stick)


With the popularity of Solid State Drives (SSDs) it’s not uncommon nowadays to delay or even scrap the idea of upgrading ‘still relatively ok’ computers and save some money in the process. Instead, a popular approach has been to simply upgrade the old SATA drive (or low capacity SSD) on the computer and replace it with a new and higher capacity SSD.

The obvious challenge would be on how to get Windows and, if you’re like me, all those dozens of software re-installed on this new drive. The traditional approach has been to go through the whole process again, inserting that Windows DVD, looking for those license keys, re-downloading installation files, etc and effectively spending hours if not days building this computer.

I have had to do this a couple of times in the last year or so and thankfully the technology nowadays is so straightforward. Gone are the days I would lose time and sleep getting the PC back before the wife and kids wake up 🙂

What you need:

  • Bootable ShadowProtect USB
  • New SSD drive
  • External USB/flash drive containing the ShadowProtect partition backups of the old computer


Preparing the SSD drive

  1. Insert the new SSD, bootable ShadowProtect USB, and the External USB (with your backup images)  in the PC.
  2. Power on the PC and go to the BIOS to confirm presence of the new SSD then restart the PC.
  3. When the PC manufacturer logo shows up (eg Dell in my case) press F12 to trigger the one time boot menu.
  4. Select UEFI: <Your bootable USB drive>
  5. ShadowProtect will boot and ask if you want to start network support. Click No.   Restoring-Partitions-1
  6. Set correct Time Zone
  7. The Initialize Disks window will pop up detecting the new SSD. At the bottom, click Initialize as GPT diskRestoring-Partitions-2
  8. Click OK to write a signature to the SSD then close the Initialise Disks window
  9. Go to Disk Map and notice the SSD (Disk 0 in this case) has created two new partitions (96MB and 128MB).Restoring-Partitions-3
  10. Delete these two partitions. Note the idea is just to create a GPT initialized SSD is ready for restoring the ShadowProtect backup images.
  11. To confirm, that the SSD is set as GPT, go to Tools – Disk Partitioning and type the below command:
    list disk


Restoring Images

  1. In ShadowProtect, go to the Wizards tab and click Restore Wizard
  2. Select Restore, click Next
  3. Click Browse and select the EFI Partition backup. The EFI partition is tiny system partition in GPT used by computers adhering to the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
  4. Right click the Unallocated space (under Disk 0) and select Create exact primary partition at the beginning of free spaceRestoring-Partitions-5
  5. Set Partition Type to EFI System Partition then click Close
  6. Click Next three times then click Finish.

Restore the remaining partitions in similar way to Steps 1 to 6 but using the information in the table below

Partition Partition Type
C: or OS Windows Basic Data
WinRE Windows recovery

Finally, close ShadowProtect, restart the PC and unplug the USBs.

Windows should load on the new SSD with all the software and files in the old disk carried across.



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