Well, after many (scary) trial-and-error attempts here is my account of what worked and what didn't:
What Didn't Work (aka, Bad News First)
- The Windows Management Console will not let you "move" a partition, it can only resize contiguous partitions, but it does NOT have an option to copy the contents somewhere else.
- The diskpart
command doesn't include a feature to copy partitions either, so no dice.
: I know there is software out there that might do the trick (Acronis TrueImage, etc.) but I wanted to this for free.
1) I did a Windows Backup with the "Windows Backup & Restore" tool before anything.
2) In Windows 7, using the Console Management tool I repartitioned my drive as follows:
- a) First partition had the OS and files
- Second partition has the Recovery partition I want moved
- c) After that, I deleted all the remaining space, then created 2 partitions, 1 partition after the "Recovery partition" and the last partition on the drive just slightly bigger than the size of the partition I want moved (trust me here when I tell you that if you want to get the sizes exactly the same you will be doing this over and over).
You should really give your partitions VERY meaningful names so that you avoid guessing in later steps, so in my case I named the last one "Destination"
3) I found a really neat tool called Clonezilla
so I downloaded it and burned the ISO file to a DVD.
4) Leave the DVD you just burned inside the drive
5) Turn off the computer
6) Unplug the original hard drives and made sure only the SSD drive was available
7) Turned on computer, force it to go to Boot Options and select to boot from CD/DVD drive
8) Follow the prompts within Clonezilla to clone a partition using "sources", not images.
9) Select origin partition (the "Recovery" partition)
10) Select destination partition (the partition I named "Destination")
11) And now wait for the magic to happen...
Once done, Clonezilla will eject the disk, so
12) Remove the Clonezilla disk
13) Reboot your machine
14) Log into Windows 7
15) Open the Management Console, then go to Storage
16) You will now have your 2 identical partitions :-)
It doesn't hurt to compare contents, just in case.
But wait, you are not done yet!
17) Delete your original Recovery partition
18) Also delete the partition that was in between that partition and the "last" partition ("Destination").
19) Extend the first partition to use all available space.
20) Now you have 2 partitions, a BIG one, and the RECOVERY one.
21) You can probably now safely rename "Destination" to "Recovery"
Hiding the recovery partition
22) Still within the Management Console, right-click on the Recovery partition and select "Change Drive Letter"
23) Simply remove the drive letter. This will "hide it"