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Making Bootable hot swap hard drives?

By troyvann
Jun 2, 2005
  1. I have several computers that I would like to have backup hot swap hard drives for (as I've lost the original install disks for the programs). I've been able to copy all the files to the hot swap drive, but making them bootable seems to be the kicker. The only way I've been able to do this with the Win XP drive is to install the OS on the hot swap drive then replace all the files from the original drive. Is there an easier way? I'd like to save the original drive data on the network and copy it to the hot swap drive as needed. I also have Win 98 computers that I would like to do this for.
     
  2. Bobcat1132

    Bobcat1132 TS Rookie Posts: 79

    one thing that you may want to try doing is to make a fileserver computer what it amounts to is pretty much acting like another hard drive that you can store everything on. however there are a few things that you would need for that to work one being to nic cards (network interface cards) and a crossover cable. i haven't done this yet but plan on doing so very soon so that way you always have your info even if your hard drive crashes. another option is installing two hard drives at once having only one of them formatted and keeping your info on the unformated hard drive. you can back everything up those two ways or you can always burn the files onto cds.
     
  3. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    if you want to make the external drives bootable, the settings are in the bios. you need to enable boot to usb devices and probably disable all other boot sources, because usb devices usually get the lowest priority during regular bootup.
     
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You ought to use some drive imaging software instead of copying files to back up hard disks. This way the target disk is the identical copy of the original and just as bootable. Of course it is guaranteed to boot only in place of the original, not when conncted to USB.
     
  5. troyvann

    troyvann TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Nodsu, that's exactly what I want to do (bootable hot swap drive). I've tried Ghost, but making a bootable diskette for each machine in order to make the image is a %#%^@^$. Is there better software out there that does the same thing that doesn't require me spending hours searching the net for NIC drivers to make a customized boot disk for every machine I need an image for? Thanks everyone for your help! Software to do what Nodsu suggests is the answer I'm looking for.
     
  6. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Newer Ghost versions run from Windows as do most other commercial disk cloners. Acronis True Image is a good product too.
     
  7. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 856

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