Best way to swap out hard drives pls

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Rev Darkwing

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Aug 9, 2003
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I have two PC's. Primary has 2 hard drives, the 80GB original plus I added a 160GB I have been using for extra storage. Secondary PC's hard drive just died so I want to move the 80GB original into it and copy all the programs currently on it onto the 160GB and make it the new C: Drive. I plan on reformatting the 80GB once moved to the new computer if it complains since it is a different motherboard.

I have never tried to move the entire contents including the OS and all the programs from one HD to another but am seeing the term "clone" and "copy" and am most nervous about attempting this for fear of screwing it up.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. The primary PC is
SYS Technologies
AMD Athelon XP 2600
2GB of DDR Ram
MB - Gigabyte K7 Triton
Original Hard Drive - WDC WD800JB-00ETA0 (ATA)
Secondary HD - WDC WD1600BB-55RDA0 (ATA)
File System NTFS on both
Windows XP w Service Pack 2

Thanks in advance
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
137
I have had great success with cloning my hard drive with Acronis. It's an easy program and I wouldn't be able to function without it.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
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A cloning program is the only way you're going to be able to copy your programs/applications since they're tied to the Registry, unless, of course, you're lucky enough to have all the application disks for them.

Good Luck.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2004
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If the drives are pata then there is a work around for swapping motherboards without reinstalling windows.

To swap boards without a repair or reinstall.
During this process DO NOT reboot; just tell it later.

1 With the old board still installed and running. Uninstall any software that is dependent on the old board. This would be things like onboard sound driver, onboard nic, monitoring software, etc.

2 Go to device manager and select ide / atapi controller. Select the primary and right click>properties select change driver. Have the wizard show all compatible drivers so you can choose. Select standard ide. Repeat this process for the secondary. Note this is VERY important if you want the system to boot. While in device manager, remove anything dependent on the old board ie floppy controller, usb controller, etc. If you miss one here, no big deal the important one is changing the ide driver.

3 Disable your anti-virus software so it does not load on startup. If you cannot disable it, uninstall it.

4 Now shutdown and do the board swap. From now on reboot when prompted. You will need to install your chipset / mb drivers, sound driver, nic driver, etc. In addition you will need to reinstall your video driver.

Note this will work on systems where the system drive is ide. If you have sata, it has not been tested and probably will not work.
 

Rev Darkwing

Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 9, 2003
Messages
218
I have no problem simply reformatting the original hard drive when i install in the other computer.. I will be selling it anyway and will need to get all the files off so.. reformatting will probably be advised anyway. It is the swapping over hard drives on the primary computer that concerns me..

When I clone the drive.. will the destination drive need to be empty or can it have non OS files on it?

PS.. the system is ATA.. not sure about ita
 

Rev Darkwing

Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 9, 2003
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218
REPEAT OF QUESTION

When I clone my original hard drive onto the new one, will I need to remove all existing files on the target hard drive first?
 

JohnWill

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Joined
Oct 19, 2002
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You want the target drive not to have any partitions on it, or your cloned copy may have trouble booting. Due to the way Windows remembers disk drive assignments, your cloned system may think it's booting from other than C:, and hang during the boot process.
 

Rev Darkwing

Thread Starter
Joined
Aug 9, 2003
Messages
218
OK. i have deleted everything from the target hard drive but notice that, despite being empty, it shows having 3.30 GB being used. When i originally plugged it in to use for storage, I don't recall adding partitions. Could this be the problem? Should I go ahead and use my Acronis True Image to copy my source disk onto it or should I do something to it first?

I have checked in Computer mangement under Admin tools and it shows the target drive as "Layout" Partition "Type" = Basic.. "File System" NTFS and healthy status with 149.05 GB of the 160 it is supposed to have as capacity and 145.75 as Free space. .

thanks in advance as usual.
 
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