Replacing Hard Drive w/Old Contents - quickest & easiest?

By cyrusjumpjet
Jan 9, 2009
  1. Apologies in advance if this question has been covered in a previous thread. I'm not great at searching for stuff like this.

    I would like to replace the hard drive on my parents' old Pentium 3 Dell desktop. The backstory is that it originally had a 40gb drive in it, but when they got it years and years ago, I realized that they didn't need that much space, so I jacked the drive from them and gave them an 8gb instead (teehee).

    Well, surprise surprise, now the hard drive is completely full. I would like to put the 40gb drive back into it, but reformatting and reinstalling Windows is not really an option because my parents would get mad that I "changed everything" (they get confused easily). What is the quickest, easiest, and cheapest (ie free) way to do this?
    I remember programs like Norton Ghost being able to do this but I'm pretty sure I'd have to buy the software. Any free solutions? Thanks!
  2. hrlow2

    hrlow2 TS Rookie Posts: 136

    Try xxClone. It's free and can make the drive bootable. Just remember to format that drive appropritely for the system.
    Also, does their machine have a connection for a second hard drive inside the case. That is pretty much essential.
  3. cyrusjumpjet

    cyrusjumpjet TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 87

    Thanks, I'll check out xxClone! And yes, both drives are IDE and I believe there is still the slave connector available in their PC.
  4. hrlow2

    hrlow2 TS Rookie Posts: 136

    What OS is running on the machine?
  5. cyrusjumpjet

    cyrusjumpjet TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 87

    Windows XP Home, at the moment. :(
  6. hrlow2

    hrlow2 TS Rookie Posts: 136

    Then you know to format as NTFS then. Older OSs would probably be FAT32. You'll be OK as long as they don't catch on. Good luck.
  7. =XHumed=

    =XHumed= TS Rookie

    Google and download Hiren's boot CD - there's more imaging tools on there than you can shake a stick at :)
  8. cyrusjumpjet

    cyrusjumpjet TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 87

    Thanks to both of you for your help! xxclone looked like a quick and easy way to go about it and I'll have to check out Hiren's boot CD. A friend of mine recently suggested Clonezilla to me so I'll probably check that out too. Unfortunately I ran out of time to replace the drive and now I'm 300 miles away from their computer, so the project will have to wait. Sorry to leave you guys hanging on the results, but thanks again for all the help!
  9. Coxis

    Coxis TS Rookie Posts: 21

    Bumping to not start a new topic.

    So, copying the entire contents of an un-partitioned, XP-Pro loaded HDD to a new, un-partitioned (and NTFS formatted) HDD won't let me boot "my old system" from the new HDD? I need to do the same as cyrus (on different circumstances, of course).
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