Cloning Windows drive on a Cheesegrater

This could actually fit in several different categories, but this one seems most appropriate.

I’ve got an old school cheesegrater Mac Pro (2010 vintage) that is holding up surprisingly well in modern times. But the Windows OS is on a 150GB WD Velociraptor. Even at 10,000 RPM it is painfully slow and stuffed so full of data its about to burst a seam. The obvious thing to do is get an SSD and install a fresh copy of Windows.

The problem with that is that installing a vanilla copy of Windows (Boot Camp Assistant is no longer supported on this old beast) is a PITA due to the need to download a bunch of Apple drivers via a back door. So the easy thing to do would be to clone the existing install to a new drive. I’m just not sure that’s possible if Apple has pulled any of its usual proprietary tricks. Will standard Windows cloning software Just Work™?

Yeah, it should work if you just clone it. That worked on my macbook 2014 at least.

Its not that bootcamp isn’t supported, its that the EFI in those things rae garbage.

Hi I’m a mac pro nerd what do you need to know I hack these things.

Just wanted to know if Apple plays any (non-standard) games with the either the partition types or layout. Can I just use dd to clone the Windows drive from MacOS, then ‘expand’ the last partition (with gparted or Windows Disk Manager) to fill the remaining space on the new drive?

EDIT: I just realized I’m thinking in MBR terms. Not sure how to do the equivalent with a GPT drive…

nope. They’re mostly locked down foxconn servers. you can install anything any way.

I personally copy over fw400

That’s cool. When I have time (next year maybe, lol) I’ll get a small SSD and try cloning with dd.

I made a deliberate effort to find an fw800 enclosure, then dropped a 1TB drive in it. Much better than USB 2.0 or fw400, and worth the effort. Cables are a bit of a pain to find though.

Recycle centers man. You need cables I can get you some.

My plan worked perfectly. I put the new SSD in the spare optical bay and then cloned the old drive with ‘dd’. I then shutdown, removed the old drive, booted back into MacOS and used Startup Disk to select the new SSD. It then booted up perfectly with zero issues.

Once I was in Windows, all I had to do was to go into Disk Management and expand the last partition to take up the whole drive. It was all surprisingly easy, though the cloning process took a while longer than I thought it would.

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Good job! Now if you want, practice a few times and go make a tutorial with some pictures!