Help setting up a new primary hard drive

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Pete_S, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. Pete_S

    Pete_S Stunt Coordinator

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    I've had my current computer for about two and a half years. I started with a 60gb hard drive, and about a year ago added an 80gb drive to the mix. Now, both drives are reaching full capacity, and I'm ready to swap the 60gb one with a new 160gb drive.

    My question is this: Is it possible to simply copy ALL of the files from my 60gb primary drive (using a USB enclosure to house the new 160gb drive temporarily) and then just swap the drives? Would Windows recognize the changes and run normally with the new drive in place? Also, would I need a special program to do this, or would the Backup utility in XP Pro do the trick?

    I'm trying to avoid reinstalling Windows and all of the programs I currently have from scratch on the new drive, if at all possible.
     
  2. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    It is certainly possible!

    However, I am not certain if Norton Ghost can do the job for you...it would certainly be annoying to have to create a ghost image that you have to place somewhere, and then reconstitute it on the new drive somehow. Tricky.

    Anyone know if a utility like Partition Magic will copy partitions to another drive? I know that you can resize a partition with that tool.

    There might be an issue with Windows XP activation as well.
     
  3. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    I think there is also an application called "Drive Image" (made by the same people as Partition Magic?) that can easily copy and expand a partition from one HD to another.
     
  4. Pete_S

    Pete_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Just to clarify, I hope to be copying directly from the original drive to the new drive by hooking the new drive up to the computer via an external USB2.0 enclosure. I don't want to deal with any kind of "middle man" like DVDs if I don't have to. I see that Norton Ghost supports making backups to CD/DVD media, but I'm not sure if it'll copy directly from drive to drive.

    I'll see what I can find out about Partition Magic and the other program you mentioned. Thanks for your help, Max!
     
  5. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    No problem. [​IMG]

    I vaguely recall using partition magic (back in 2000) to copy a primary bootable partition from one drive to another. I had to be careful to mark the new partition on the new drive as a Primary Bootable partition. Boy that was a long time ago.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Ghost 2003 (don't bother with earlier versions) can certainly do what you want but you'll need to provide it with the appropriate USB drivers for the device. There's a wizard that runs under Windows to set up the work but the actual copying takes place under DOS (it handles the reboots etc itself). It can also do the same thing across network drives.

    What you're referring to is a drive-to-drive clone and I don't believe DriveImage can do that. DriveImage is for creating an image file, not cloning (Ghost can do both). The company (Powerquest) released a seperate application called DriveCopy for that kind of work. I've only seen DI 5 so later versions may have added that feature, but it's all been bought up by Symantenc now anyway.

    btw, don't bother with Partion Magic. It doesn't do this kind of task.

    One thing though - Windows XP can get really arsey when you clone onto another physical drive and try to boot from it. It's not something I've ever got to work. Earlier versions of Windows are no problem but XP checks the ID of the hard drive and if it doesn't match you can end up with a non-rebooting system. That said, some people do get it to work OK, but I think to play it safe you need to familiarise yourself with the sysprep utility. You can find it on the Microsoft site.
     
  7. Jeff_Blanch

    Jeff_Blanch Agent

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    You can't do it by simply copying the files over, as the boot info won't be copied. The easiest way is to use a program like Norton's Ghost or PowerQuest's Drive Copy. There might be a freeware program available that will do this, but I can't think of any (nor have I searched - I use Ghost).

    Jeff

    Edit - Whoa! Get sidetracked for a couple of minutes while composing a post a look what happens!
     
  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Also, be sure to address the 160GB hard drive size issue on the current 60GB hard drive before migrating (i.e. make sure you have the Service Pack upgrades for the operating system to handle the larger than 137GB bootup hard drive.

    Or, to avoid the ghosting hassles, keep the 60GB boot drive in place, and simply replace the 80GB drive with the 160GB drive, and copy over the 80GB drive contents as you see fit (either by USB or IDE).
     
  9. DarrenHo

    DarrenHo Stunt Coordinator

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    most hard drives come with partition copying software or you may be able to download it from manufacturer's website.
     
  10. Pete_S

    Pete_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks to all for your suggestions. I tried Powerquest Drive Image 7 twice to no avail (got a lovely "Error loading OS" message after switching the drives), but lo and behold, Seagate's own partitioning software did the trick. It took an extraordinarily long time for it to copy the C drive compared to Drive Image, but when I finally got Windows to boot from the new drive the wait was worth it.

    By the way, everything you've heard about Seagate drives being whisper-quiet is true. The difference between this and my old Western Digital drive is night and day!
     

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