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Swapping hard drives

By BrianB
Mar 24, 2011
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  1. Can someone point me to a tutorial on the best and easiest way to swap hard drives by copying the whole build to an external drive then moving it all to the new drive once it's installed? I have a 1 TB external drive and would love to just move the contents of the whole failing drive to it so I can install a new drive and put everything back as it was. Don't want to reinstall all my apps and drivers basically.

    Thanks so much for your time in advance!
     
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    Its simpler to just get the replacement drive and copy the contents to it, rather than using the external as a stop-gap. That way you save a lot of time (esp if the external is USB 2) - I'm also unsure what software would do what you want.

    If its possible to get the replacement drive and hook it up internally (even if its a temporary hook up like not mounting it, or disconnecting an optical drive) then you can use EASEUS Disk Copy: http://www.easeus.com/disk-copy/ Its free and I know a lot of the members here use it.
     
  3. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    So are you saying I could hook up the new drive on the second hard drive connector, copy everything right to it, then remove the old one and rename the new one the "C" drive? That would be very good and yes would save time!
     
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    Pretty much.

    Except you don't just copy, you'd have to use the software (or similar, but the one I linked is incredibly simple to use) to do the copy. Then once that is done, your new drive is exactly like your old one, so you'd just remove your old one, and switch your new one to the same connector the old one was using. Then boot up as normal.
     
  5. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Thanks this is just what I'm looking for! I'll post how it goes.

    Have a great day.
     
  6. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    One more thing...Just reading up on it at work before I do this... Is what I'm doing called a sector by sector clone?
     
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    Yes, hopefully your dying drive lives long enough to get cloned.
     
  8. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    OK SNGX'y, I did it last night and it workied perfectly. Thanks! Just one thing. Why does windows not see the whole 500 GB I upgraded to? It still says 80GB. I was poking around and did see a screen that showed all the rest of the 320 gigs as it's own unallocated space. Now this morning I can't find where I saw that. I have Windows XP sp3 on a Dell Precision 490. How do I get it all in one giant space called C?
     
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,714   +397

    Use Easeus Partition Manager to expand the partition. You probably saw it in Disk Management inside of the Administrative Tools control panel.
     
  10. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Thanks. I actually have been battling another issue with freezing so I decided to reinstall XP and it's now all one drive. Thanks so much for your help with this! I'm good now.
     
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    just fyi as to your question

    The EASUS Disk Copy tool creates an exact copy of the old partition on the new drive. Old partition was 80GB so its "clone"/exact copy is also 80GB. The Partition Manager tool sngx recommended is great for resizing your 80GB to use all the new disk space
     
  12. BrianB

    BrianB TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Thanks Lookinaround!
     

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