Replacing Hard Drive message "Your hard drive size is not supported for this process."

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Replacing Hard Drive message "Your hard drive size is not supported for this process."

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I have a XPS 9000 with a 1 TB Hard Drive & Win 7 64. I created my dell Recovery Disks when I first bought got my PC a year ago.
Recently, I bought a 256 GB SSD. My plan was to remove the slow 1TB HD, install the news SSD and use the recovery disk to re-install my Dell factory settings.

Simple right? Well, no because it gives me this error message when I insert the Recovery Disk "Your hard drive size is not supported for this process. Please use a hard drive at least 956 GB in size".

This makes no sense since Win 7 only take 20 gigs to install & I had less than 100GB of total data (mostly dell adware) when I made the recovery disk. For some reason,  the Recovery Disk is forcing me to only use a hard drive that is 1 TB or bigger. I called India support and they couldn't figure out whether this was a Hardware or Software issue....


The only thing I can think of is buying a stand alone copy of Win 7. But  that's like 200$ or more.
I can`t be the only one with this issue? Can anyone please help me. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

All Replies
  • Hi Camilos,

    What do you mean recovery disc? Are you trying a clean install using the Windows 7 reinstallation disc? Or are you using the recovery discs created by Dell Datasafe when you first got your computer. The latter might need a larger drive.

    EDIT: Do you have a Dell Windows 7-64 disc?

  • Hi osprey, thanks for the reply. I'm using Dell's Datasafe recovery discs that I created when I first got my computer.  

    I don't have a Windows 7 installation disc since Dell no longer includes those discs and instead forces us to create Datasafe recovery discs.  I don't understand why these recovery discs are asking me for a 1 TB hard drive. They only contain dell's version of win7 plus lots of dell adware.

    Now, I realize that if I had a full version of Windows 7 64 bit, this would be simple, just a clean install on my SSD and i'm done. But since dell never provided me a stand alone copy of Win 7 64, I'm stuck.

  • I believe that the DataSafe recovery discs will recreate the partitions that existed at the time you made these recovery discs. As such, it likely tries to create a 1TB partition on your new 256GB SSD, hence your problem.

    If your only option is to restore from these recovery discs and you still have the 1TB drive, then restore to this 1TB drive. You can then use the 'Disk Management' feature within 'Computer Manage' (open by right clicking 'Computer' & select 'Manage') to shrink the partition to as small as possible and then again recreate the recovery disks. Swap to the SSD and restore on this drive. Again you can use the 'Disk Management' feature to finally expand to the full size of your new SSD. It's a little convoluted but should work for you.

    Note there are some issues to consider when migrating to SSD and this SSD primer and SSD Optimization Guide may be useful.

  • Thanks for the reply. I still have the 1TB drive so I'll give it a try.

  • If you look on the main support page, you can order a Windows 7 disc for your system.

  • Hi Osprey.

    I imagine you mean this site?

    support.dell.com/.../backupcd_form

    I saw that earlier and placed an order. I got a confirmation that they will look into it, so I'm hoping they will ship the disk.  

    Hopefully it will actually be a full blown win7 64 stand alone disk and not some over bloated recovery disk that expects a 1 TB hard drive.

    Well, at least now I have several options to work with.

    Thanks both of you for your help.

  • Yes, it's a full blown Win 7-64 disc. No add-ons.

  • @skylarking: I've just run into this same issue with my new Dell laptop, and unfortunately shrinking the partitions has no effect - after reducing my system partition size to 64GB, newly recreated recovery disks still ask for a 1 TB hard disk.

    Just thought I'd mention it for other users - I'll be looking at the order form next :D

  • HI,

    I have just stumbled on this same problem, did you every find a work around?

  • Hi Jayworm,

    The solution is to use a Windows disc from Dell to reinstall the operating system manually. You may have to call to order one.

  • Hello Friends,

    I ran into some different problem. I have a dell ultrabook 14z 5423 with 32GB SSD and 500GB HDD. I created backup recovery disks initially. Suddently windows got corrupted and i this my SSD is dead. I am trying to recover through disks but it says "your hard drive size in not supported for this process it says Please use a hard drive at least GB in size". Can anyone tell me what is the resolution to it please?