reassigned drive letters retained?

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dbringer

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I have an older pc that uses the D: partition of the hard drive as the recovery partition, and don't have any recovery disks (they are long since lost in moves, etc.). the problem is the hard drive is starting to click randomly and freeze, which causes the need to manually restart the machine with the power button. My wonder is, if I put in a new hard drive, and then reassign the drive letters of the old drive, will I be able to fool the system to think the new C: drive, will be the old one, and use the originally named D: partition, to reinstall on the new C: drive?
basicly like this:
Installing the new hard drive will give it the C: drive letter.
The old drive will then get the D: (prior C: drive) and the E: (previously D: drive and recovery partition)
I install an O/S on the new C: drive, then reassign the drive letters so the old C: (now D:) becomes something like Z: so it's out of the way and frees up the D: letter, and the previously D: (now E:) back to D:, so the system still goes to that drive to reinstall the original O/S and recovery on the new C: drive.

will the reassigning of the drive letters be retained after a restart? or will this idea even work at all? does this make sense even?
 

Triple6

Rob
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Drive letters you assign in the OS have no meaning outside of the OS. I'm sure the recovery partition doesn't go by drive letters.

Why not just clone the old drive to the new drive? You may be able to clone the failing drive or at least the recovery partition and boot sector.
 

dbringer

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I did try to clone the original drive, but the bad sectors on it don't allow it to finish. The cloning gets to about 70-ish % and then an error that says something about bad sectors and not being able to complete the process. So any other ideas then how I can pull this off? or am I stuck with needing to get a hold of a new O/S entirely for the machine?
 

dbringer

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I do have XP laying around that I bought like 3 or 4 years ago that I never actually used, though am not sure xp will even be worth while on this machine, as it came with vista, and might be a TON of work to get drivers for everything that will be compatible with xp.
 

Triple6

Rob
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What cloning software did you try? Try a few different ones such as Clonezilla or the GParted cloning utility.
 

dbringer

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I think it was clonezilla, a friend tried it for me that worked at a comp shop, but he's since moved to another city last week, so I don't have his aid anymore.
 

dbringer

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it's an older HP media center m8125x, is like 5 or so years old.

other problem is I don't really have the resources anymore to try another cloning/ghosting at the moment. it's the only machine we have :(
 

Triple6

Rob
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You don't need another machine, you boot from GPARTED CD and use the cloning utility to the new drive: http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/gparted

HP doesn't list any XP drivers for that unit, not that some digging around wouldn't locate them from other sources though. Ideally you want to stay with Vista as its better supported then XP these days.

IF you can get it to run long enough, the system has an option to make Recovery Discs from within Windows.
 

dbringer

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Dec 24, 2012
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I had made the recovery disks long time ago, but they long since disappeared in moves and the likes sadly, and the system only allows them to be made once, even after various reinstalls it still knows they were already made. I definitely want to stay with vista if I can, particularly for the driver issues you mentioned.
I do very much want to thank you for all the help though, and taking this time, especially with it being the holidays, to try and aid me through this, i do extremely appreciate it!
I do have an external usb hard drive that I've been using to back up all my data constantly in the case that this turns catastrophic, will this gparted cloning scenario effect that data if I use the external drive to clone the existing one?
 

Triple6

Rob
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Cloning makes an exact working copy of the source drive, so yes it will have an effect on everything on the external drive - it will overwrite it all during the cloning process. You may instead want to make an image of the drive if you are going that route as that will create a single fail with the contents of the drive.

So you do not have the replacement drive yet?
 

dbringer

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Dec 24, 2012
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I contacted HP but they don't support the machine anymore due to it's age, so don't have recovery disks for it sadly. But... I may have found a fix for this (sort of), i actually found the exact same machine for sale locally. going to check it out tomorrow, if it works out, i'll just simply clone that drive and be good to go! I can't thank you enough though for the help and continued support, it was exceptional and definitly above and beyond! You are a prince among men Triple6! and also big thanks to the others that offered advise on this as well!
 
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