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Migrating a Boot Camp Partition

This Article Covers

  1. Migration Overview
  2. What you will Need
  3. Prepare Boot Camp with CHKDSK
  4. Step 1: Run Sysprep In Windows
  5. Sysprep Options
  6. Sysprep Processing
  7. Step 2: Migrate Boot Camp over the Network
  8. Step 3: Install Boot Camp drivers
  9. Summary

Migration Overview back to top^

Migrating Boot Camp is easy with Winclone. In this tutorial we will review the process for migrating Boot Camp over a local network from one Mac to another.

Summary of steps in this tutorial:
1. Run Sysprep in Windows
2. Migrate Boot Camp over the Network
3. Install Boot Camp drivers

Note: Although Winclone supports imaging of Windows XP in NTFS format, Apple no longer provides Boot Camp drivers for Windows XP, so Windows 7 or above are supported as source operating systems for the Boot Camp migration.

Another Note: Use of third-party drivers that allow OS X to read to and write from Windows NTFS should be disabled and/or removed before starting this process.


What you will Need back to top^

  • HFS+ External USB or Firewire/Thunderbolt Storage drive - this drive should be larger than the used space on the source Boot Camp partition.  This is where you will save the Winclone image file when creating the image on the source Boot Camp.  If you don't have a storage drive, see the next option for migrating over the local network.
  • Local network - If the source Mac and destination Mac are both on the same wired LAN, then there is nothing further to prepare. If the machines are on a wireless network, the transfer speed will be significantly slower than on a wired network, but it should work. If the two Macs are in close proximity, a direct network cable connection between them is recommended
  • Sysprep - The migration process uses a built-in Windows utility called Sysprep. Sysprep removes device drivers in a process known as generalizing the operating system. Microsoft provides the Sysprep application in the Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems.
  • Note: Before attempting to run Sysprep, please be aware that Sysprep will reset product activation for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, so you will need to re-enter valid licensing information after the migration is complete. Please see the Microsoft Technet article How Sysprep Works for additional details.


Prepare Boot Campback to top^

Run CHKDSK in Windows before running Sysprep:

Run CHKDSK on Boot Camp

Step 1: Run Sysprep In Windows back to top^

IMPORTANT: To protect against potential data loss, always create a Winclone image of Boot Camp before running Sysprep.

Open Windows Explorer on Computer (C:) and enter "sysprep.exe" into the search field at the top right to locate the Sysprep application. You may also navigate to C:\WIndows\System32\sysprep. Double-click on Sysprep to start the program. The example below is from a Windows 7 system but should appear similar on Windows 8. 

If you can not find Sysprep.exe, please also try searching for: 



Sysprep options back to top^

The options for running Sysprep are very simple. Select the "Enter System Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE) and make sure to check the Generalize checkbox. Generalize is what removes the device drivers from Windows, so it's very important to ensure that this box is checked before continuing. In Shutdown Options, select Shutdown. Do not select Reboot.


Sysprep processing back to top^

Sysprep will begin removing driver registrations and generalizing the operating system. The display may flicker occasionally as display drivers are removed. Once Sysprep is complete, Windows will shut down. Do not restart into Windows. Restart into OS X.

Share Boot Camp on the Network back to top^

Launch Winclone on the Source Mac. In the Finder menu, select Winclone -> Preferences. Check the box next to "Share Winclone Images on the network" located at the bottom of the Preferences window. Close the Preferences window.

Step 2: Migrate Boot Camp over the Network back to top^

  • Launch Winclone. If both Macs are on the network, the Source Mac should appear in the Sources column. Click on the Source Mac to select. If you need to create a Boot Camp partition, please see the help document "Creating a Boot Camp Partition".
  • From the Source Mac: Click the confirmation dialog to accept the access request and authenticate with your OS X account credentials.
  • From the Destination Mac: The Source Mac's Boot Camp partition should now be accessible from the Sources column in Winclone. Click the remote Mac's Boot Camp to select as the migration Source. Click on the local Boot Camp partition to select as the migration Destination.

Click the button Restore to Volume...

Migration Completed back to top^

Once the migration is complete, click OK. Click Open Startup Disk and select the Boot Camp partition. Click Restart to restart into Boot Camp.

Step 3: Install Boot Camp drivers back to top^

Due to the Sysprep process run previously, Windows will present a prompt to create a new account. Simply create a new temporary account which will be removed later, then log out of this account. Windows will display your existing user account and the new temporary account. Once logged in to your existing account, you may remove the temporary user account.

Because Sysprep was run prior to creating the image, the new drivers will not be installed yet. Use Boot Camp Assistant to download the Boot Camp drivers and install after starting up into Windows. Please see the help document "Install Boot Camp drivers" for additional details.

Summary back to top^

At first glance, the process of moving Windows from one machine to another may appear to be a daunting task. However, using the process outlined above will save many hours otherwise spent installing the Windows operating system and programs, personalization settings and files from scratch. Using Winclone to migrate Boot Camp over the network is an easy and time-saving process. 


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