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  • Hard drive transfer including OS

    It's been a while since I did this so I wanted to make sure that I was remembering correctly on how to do this.

    On a previous build I had decided to switch hard drives for a larger capacity primary drive. What I recall doing was simply copying the C: drive to the new drive, changing the drive letters between the two while running, then restarting the computer with the old drive unplugged. When I restarted with both drives it gave me the option to load from each machine, but when I formatted the old drive that just went away.

    Now, those drives were both IDE. I want to switch my wife's primary drive from an IDE to SATA drive (to increase single disk space as she doesn't understand how to use both) and I'm wondering if this would cause any kind of issues or if I am not remembering a step correctly. I do not have experience with making an image of the previous install but I'm good at using unfamiliar software and would be happy to give that a go if it would smooth out the process. I do not wish to do a complete reinstall from scratch due to her dislike of change :(
    |TG-6th|Snooggums

    Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

  • #2
    Re: Hard drive transfer including OS

    Use a disk cloning software. Norton Ghost works the best in my experience, but Acronis is easier to use. There are several others, and any of them should be able to handle what you need.

    Both programs allow you to do a disk-to-disk clone. You hook both drives up in the system, boot from a cd with the clone software on it, tell it to copy everything from old disk to new disk, then you can just boot from the new disk as normal.
    a.k.a. NinjaPirateAssassin
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    • #3
      Re: Hard drive transfer including OS

      Originally posted by Spyder View Post
      Use a disk cloning software. Norton Ghost works the best in my experience, but Acronis is easier to use. There are several others, and any of them should be able to handle what you need.

      Both programs allow you to do a disk-to-disk clone. You hook both drives up in the system, boot from a cd with the clone software on it, tell it to copy everything from old disk to new disk, then you can just boot from the new disk as normal.
      Is there anything that those programs copy from one disk to another that a simple copy all doesn't? I don't be plunking money down for this transfer (assuming both have a cost). I do know that Ghost does a good job of making the backup a bit smaller for archiving purposes but I don't see that feature as a need.

      If that is all they do I can easily use a LiveCD to copy while Windows is not running.
      |TG-6th|Snooggums

      Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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      • #4
        Re: Hard drive transfer including OS

        I've used this to perform the same sort of operation before, mine was a 160GB sata to a 640GB sata though

        http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp
        Reapator, overlord of ponies

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        • #5
          Re: Hard drive transfer including OS

          I use Acronis True Image, you clone your drive image to a new drive in less than 10 minutes. It has other tools like back up and recovery and disk cleaning. I have used this a lot with no problems.

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          • #6
            Re: Hard drive transfer including OS

            A "simple" copy is going to copy raw blocks. Unless you mean an OS command line copy, which copies high-level filesystem structure, and the target filesystem drops that structure where ever it wants on its disk.

            Raw blocks means boot sector(s) including partition info. That might not be appropriate for the target disk.

            How smart is the Windows boot system? Does the boot sector know how to read the NTFS filesystem to find the 2nd stage boot program, or does it need the block address of the 2nd stage recorded somewhere in the boot block?

            Watch out for Dell and Thinkpad media systems that have an "HPA" partition.

            http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/hpa-issues.htm
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            snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

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            • #7
              Re: Hard drive transfer including OS

              Clonezilla is worth looking at.


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              «That looks like a really nice house except for that horrible bathroom.» Donrhos

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              • #8
                Re: Hard drive transfer including OS

                The guys at the office use Ping. It's free.

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