Restore image backup to a smaller hard drive than original (such as SSD)
In NovaBACKUP it is not as easy to use the Image Restore function to restore an existing image backup (previously known as a DR image) taken of a larger physical hard drive to restore that same image backup to a smaller physical hard drive, but it can be done. In this example the original hard drive used to create the image backup (DR image) was a Western Digital 250GB hard drive (non-SSD) and you have now purchased a 120GB SSD hard drive to replace it but the SSD hard drive is half the size of your existing WD 250GB hard drive. In order to accomplish this you would have to manually create the partitions on the destination 120GB SSD hard drive yourself prior to attempting an Image Restore. The NovaBACKUP software has no function or method of manually creating those partitions for you properly so read on to find out how to do that.
NOTE: It is currently not possible to perform this procedure using NovaBACKUP version 19.2 or newer.
The smaller hard drive that you are replacing the WD 250GB with is a 120GB SSD drive, say for instance you are utilizing 60GB of your original larger 250GB hard drive that you took an image of and you now want to restore that entire image to a smaller physical hard drive which is an 120GB SSD. This is something that can be done as long as you are not using more than 119GB of used disk space on the WD 250GB hard drive. In order to restore an image that was created with a larger physical hard drive then what you are attempting to restore to you will have to do a bit of manual work on your end to get that to be able to restore to a smaller physical hard drive. You will have to manually create the same partition table on the new replacement smaller hard drive, there are a few ways to do that including the built in Disk Management tool in Windows by booting in to Windows from your current Western Digital 250GB hard drive to create the same partition structure that you have in place on WD 250GB to the 120GB SSD, or you can have the new SSD hard drive connected and perform a Windows 7 installation on to that drive, which will create the necessary partition table, or you can use a 3rd party boot-able partition manager tool. Create the partitions on the 120 GB SSD manually including the boot partition, this is usually about 100MB to 350MB in size and labeled as "System Reserved" and the C: drive partition manually using the built-in Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Disk Management application which exists in modern editions of Windows or a freeware 3rd party partition manager application. Create the boot partition first, as the same size or slightly larger than the current and existing boot partition that already exists on your WD 250GB hard drive, it would need to be the same size or larger than the one that already exists on the WD 250GB hard drive to work. You do not need to format the partitions, just create the partition table, I.E. two partitions, one boot partition first and then the C: drive to take all of the remainder of the free physical disk space (such as 119GB).
You will first probably want to disconnect the WD 250GB hard drive to not mistakenly overwrite or mess it up.
Connect the new 120GB SSD drive with all of the partitions created as you need them to be.
Then boot up the Image Restore Boot Disc. When you go to restore the image you will browse first to the storage location where the .NDF file exists, this is the Full image, and then when you get to the choice of what partition to restore select the individual boot partition that is stored inside the Full .NDF image as the small volume (usually around 100MB to 300MB in volume size and labeled as "System Reserved"), do not select the entire "Disk 0" or "Disk 1" but the one individual partition and then on the next screen you will have the chance to select the replacement hard drive to restore that one boot partition to. In your case that will be your 120GB SSD hard drive, select the small first partition that you already created manually in the earlier step and restore that partition individually.
Next you will, in a second operation without restarting the PC, be able to restore the C: drive volume in the Full image (.NDF) to then point to the second partition that you manually created on the new SSD hard drive by selecting that partition individually from the image and on the screen after that on where to restore to select the second partition that you manually created on the new SSD hard drive to restore to and restore that partition.
If the operation fails, make sure to double-check and try the following:
What tool did you utilize to manually partition the replacement SSD drive that you are attempting to restore the image to? All of the partitions that existed on the original hard drive have to be re-created exactly as they were on the original hard drive, on the replacement smaller hard drive. How far in to the restore operation does it fail, within a few seconds or what? Which partition are you attempting to restore, the C: drive or the small 100MB or so System Reserved partition or a Recovery Partition? You can attempt to install Windows on that new drive and that will create the partition table that you need. The C: partition contained in the image cannot contain more than 230GB or so of data in the original image, to restore to a 230GB or so sized C: partition on the replacement hard drive.
Using a Windows Installer disc/installation media, manually partition that replacement hard drive the same way that your original hard drive was partitioned (or use slightly larger partitions if you want to) and then install Windows to that drive. Once you verify it can be booted to, in that Windows loads on that new hard drive shut down the computer and insert the Image Restore Boot Disc (make sure the Boot Disc was created with the same version of NovaBACKUP that your image file .NDF file was created with, if not re-create the Image Restore Boot Disc with the proper version of NovaBACKUP software). Then boot the computer with the replacement SSD drive that was manually partitioned and now has Windows working on it, and utilize the Image Restore Boot Disc version that matches the version of NovaBACKUP that created the image backup with. Then using the guide attempt to restore just the C: partition in the image to the C: partition that you manually created on the replacement SSD drive. See if it gets further, if it fails on that then you can attempt to restore the other partition(s) that may exist in the image to the manually created partition that is on the replacement SSD drive, perhaps the small Recovery or System Reserved partitions. See if those work.
Do you know if that image backup file (.NDF) that you are attempting to restore is valid? You can test it out by mounting the partitions inside the image backup in Windows using NovaBACKUP software running in Windows: