Migrating and resizing a Boot Camp partition

Peter Glaskowsky explains how he solved his problem of migrating a 20GB Boot Camp partition to a 32GB partition on the new drive on his MacBook Pro.

Monday, I wrote about the process of upgrading the hard disk on my Apple MacBook Pro, and the as-yet unsolved problem of migrating the 20GB Boot Camp partition on the old hard disk--along with its Windows Vista installation--to a 32GB partition on the new drive. (See "Another new hard disk...and an unsolved problem.")

Well, it's all working now. As I've always said about the Mac, most things are either easy or impossible...and this one turned out to be easy.

My thanks to my friend EDN senior technical editor Brian Dipert who provided half of the solution, and also to CNET member rob66778, who apparently signed up for a CNET account just so he could tell me about the other half. That was very kind of him!

Rob66778's contribution, in the comments to my post Monday, was to tell me about a program called WinClone, which can copy Boot Camp partitions to a disk-image file and then copy from the image to a different Boot Camp partition.

Equipped with this tool, I was able to wipe out the Boot Camp partition I'd previously created, use Boot Camp to create another one of the same size, and copy the Boot Camp partition from the old disk to the new one.

But I wanted a larger Boot Camp partition. I think now I could have just created a larger partition to begin with and WinClone would have handled it correctly, but I had tried that before--using a different tool to copy the partition data--and it didn't work.

So to be safe, I had WinClone make the exact copy, and used the program Brian suggested-- Paragon's CampTune-- to expand the Boot Camp partition to the size I wanted.

CampTune comes as an .iso file that is used to create a bootable CD just for this purpose. I burned the disc, booted from it, and everything worked perfectly for me. CampTune is currently "pre-release" software, though, so make sure you make reliable backups first.

At that point I was able to boot Vista from the Boot Camp partition, and when I rebooted into Mac OS X, I was able to run Parallels Desktop to bring up the same copy of Vista in a virtual machine.

So all is well, and I'm documenting the process here for the next person who needs to get this done.

I'll also second the comment on my previous post from CNET user Mr. Dee , who said that Apple's Time Machine software ought to take care of backing up and restoring Boot Camp partitions, since Apple is responsible for creating those partitions in the first place.

Please leave a comment if you try this process yourself, especially if you can confirm that WinClone can do the whole thing in one step. Thanks!

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