best way to install a new hard disk in xp-sp2?

By alidabiri ยท 20 replies
May 10, 2006
  1. hi folks.
    i have a pent-4 xp-sp2 machine that has 2 hard drives: drive c: and drive d:. the c: drive is 20gb and is the bootable one and is over 6 years old. it fails sometimes and i have run chkdsk etc. on it several times. the d: drive is 80gb and is for backup stuff only. i am trying to replace the c: drive with a new drive. but i don't want to lose my settings, all the programs, and my updates. I have xp-sp2 disk, but updates have been applied to it sine november, when i installed it. any suggestions on how to do this without any loss. thanks in advance.
  2. WinDoWsMoNoPoLy

    WinDoWsMoNoPoLy TS Rookie Posts: 252

    I guess if you really wanted to you could go out and buy one of those disk copy programs but they don't always work and are pricey. Best thing to do is: just make a folder on your D: drive and copy all your unreplacables to there. Like photos, txt documents, bookmarks from your browser, saved games, characters, ect. Then just take out your C: drive and throw it in the garbage, unless you want to keep it :p. Then just hook up your new HD, master pin. Boot with Windows CD. Format the unpartitioned space to NTFS(i dont think Windows allows FAT32 anymore because they suck like that). And install windows.

    Then you put your files you saved on D: wherever. You may run into some problems also. Say you installed AVG onto D: drive. AVG places .DLL files into the windows directory which run the processes you see in the task manager(avgupdscv.exe, avgamsvr.exe, avgemc.exe, avgcc.exe) So it will not run probably. I'm just using AVG as an example of course. So AVG won't run at all pretty much. Just try and run all the programs in your D: drive and the ones that dont work delete their folders.

    Reinstall all of your programs and thats it. Didn't lose anything, just a few hours of time. And now you can enjoy a 7200 RPM HD instead of your 6 year old 5800 RPM i guess? I'm only 17 so i didn't know HDs were ranked by RPMs back then :p
  3. WinDoWsMoNoPoLy

    WinDoWsMoNoPoLy TS Rookie Posts: 252

    And oh yes i know. Noooo not the huge automatic updates! I run SP1 myself because from my experience SP2 caused more problems than it fixed along with the other updates. Just set it to automatic update install and restart before you go to bed the night you do this. It'll be fully updated by morning.
  4. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 441

    that means i have to install each and every program to be properly registered with windows reg. i'm trying to avoid reinstalling all my programs.
  5. WinDoWsMoNoPoLy

    WinDoWsMoNoPoLy TS Rookie Posts: 252

    There's no way to do it worth doing. And what do you mean by installing progs to the windows reg?
  6. WinDoWsMoNoPoLy

    WinDoWsMoNoPoLy TS Rookie Posts: 252

    I reformat atleast once every couple years and reinstall all of my programs. But i have 3 partitions: one for the OS, one for mp3s, and one for games. It is a hassle i agree but hopefully you have setup files for your freewares saved and all of your disks for drivers and other programs.
  7. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    create a slipstreamed sp2 cd before you next format to install again with. It should be fine after that.

    Try using Acronis TrueImage I have used it many times on a variety of machines both old and new, and I've never ever had a problem with it. Depending on the amount of data though, disk imaging can take a little while - but at least you don't have to sit there in front of it, PLUS it means you can re-install to that state in as little time as 10 mins at any point in the future.

    It's pretty simple to use too.
  8. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 441

    thanks spike!
    that sounds cool. is acronis trueimage freeware? shareware? what is the proper process for doing this? i have a c: drive and d: drive. i'm trying to replace the c: drive. do i remove the d: drive, and put the new drive in? or install the new drive on the secondary ide and do it that way? i'm a bit not clear on the process.
  9. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    if you are purchasing a new hdd to replace the old one, then simply use the utillity that came with the hdd, or in case its just the hdd without anything else then go to its website (manufacturer) and download it there.. it will be able to initialize the hdd then copy and then either reformat the old hdd for storage or keep it (data inside) for whatever you want... Downloads

    However, since spike beat me to it.. Acronis and a few freeware are available that will image your hdd so you will be able to restore exactly to what it is at that exact moment when needed... although Norton Ghost, even "pricey" as it is, one hek of a program to have...

    but bear in mind you will need to store this into a storage medium such as a dvd/cd or another hdd/usb.. and it will take a bit of time...
  10. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 441

    i mean you have to install each and every program to be recorded in the windows registry. you can't just copy .exe file to the new drive and expect it to work. do you know what the registry is?
  11. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    no. He's wrong.

    Sorry WinDoWsMoNoPoLy, but I say it how it is in situations like this. Don't take it as a personal thing though - I think nothing of it beyond what it is.

    If you use a disk imaging tool to transfer the contents of your existing disk to the new on, you won't have to install any programs at all. It'll be just like you have now at this moment.

    Norton ghost is indeed pricey. Acronis is WAY less pricey.

    I'm afraid I don't know of any freeware that will do the job. N3051M might know, but I've not found any reliable freeware for it personally.
  12. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 441

    thanks spike. this helps a lot.
  13. WinDoWsMoNoPoLy

    WinDoWsMoNoPoLy TS Rookie Posts: 252

    Yea, i know what the registry is, thats insulting really. What i was saying was instead of going out and dropping $50 or however much for a Drive Imaging tool why don't you move your personal files to the other drive. Put in the new drive and install windows? I really don't think it's that much of a hassel to install your programs back. It can get annoying when you lose fonts you downloaded and stuff though.

    Yes, the drive imaging would be much easier, but i dont really have the cash to buy Norton Ghost or anything. Plus you said that your current HD was failing. It may fail when your imaging to.
  14. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 441

    i didn't mean to insult you. if you took it that way, i apologize. but re-installing all my programs is not at option. i have over 300 programs and applications. on top of that, some apps have new drivers updated. so i would have to apply the updates to the drivers. i figured if each program takes about 20-30 minutes to install and get them to its present state, i would take me about 100 to 150 hours. i'm looking for sort of like a imaging software that will take a complete image of the hdd and put it on the new one - bingo!. like that. norton has a ghost, but it's a few hundred dollars. the acronis trueImage may be the right one.

    spike, have you tried acronis? would it do what i'm trying to accomplish?
  15. WinDoWsMoNoPoLy

    WinDoWsMoNoPoLy TS Rookie Posts: 252

    Now, if you would of said that earlier i would of told you to get one haha. Yea forget 150 hours. Just pray that old HD doesn't fail while your doing it.
  16. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    after reading I was going to let this one go by
    but now my 2 cents
    I know how it is with over 100 programs to keep clean
    alidabiri,you beat me there
    if you keep the programs on another partition/drive and don't change the setup
    you can indeed copy OS drive and have all work just fine
    I have done this many times I use the seagate disc wizard for all my drives
    think about it the reg is pointing to a source file and the copy will do the same

    good luck
    acronis for me is the best
    good to image ISO past 4gb limits
  17. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    I've used acronis many times, yes. :) If it fails in the middle of imaging your disk, then just try again.

    When my disks fail, they tend to start sticking - if your disk suddenly clicks and you hear it struggling to spin, try giving it a bit if a tap to the side. If your disk isn't failing constantly though, it shouldn't be a problem.
  18. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 441

    spike and sam,
    thanks for all help guys. i'm hoping this acronis thing would work. anyway, i have the hard drive. and i'll get acronis. let me see if i have the process right:

    1 - i have to take my d: drive out.
    2 - put the new hdd as drive d:
    3 - what now? do i use win-98-fdisk/format? or xp cd to format and partition it?
    4 - use acronis to make an exact (praying) image of my c: drive.
    5 - turn machine off
    6 - take out my old c: drive
    7 - put new ("imaged") hdd as c: drive (primary master)
    8 - put back the old d: drive as (primary slave) which was that to begin with.
    is this about right?
    question about acronis: where woud i install it? or park it? on the old c: drive?
  19. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    That's pretty much it, though there's no need to format the new disk as far as I know. Acronis has a disk to disk copying system with support for both FAT and the NTFS filesystems. Just use its disck cloning tool.

    Your other option is to tell Acronis to create a boot cd, and then tell it to image your hard drive onto dvds (cd would result in to many disks (practically speaking) if your data is as much as it seems). This has the advantage of meaning that if at any time you need to reinstall your machine, you can do it with the back up disks in around 10-15 minutes.

    You can install it onto C: (or your system drive if different) as far as I'm aware - haven't used it now for a little while as I've had no need). If I'm wrong it won't hurt anyway, as it can always be installed somewhere else
  20. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 441

    here's another thing that i'm not sure about: the old c: drive that i'm replacing, is 20gb. the new hdd to be installed in its place, is 80gb. when acronis images the old drive to the new one, does it format the rest of the drive? or leave it as useless or what?
  21. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    If you back up to cd, when you restore you can tell acronis to use the whole drive, or an amount of it, or copy the backup like for like. I don't know if that applies to cloning too though.
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