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Hard Drive Cloning - IDE to SATA

By EXCellR8 ยท 12 replies
Mar 29, 2010
  1. I've been wanting to retire one of my older IDE drives as my primary disk drive (160GB) and use it as a storage/backup drive. I picked up a 160GB SATA drive and I wanted to "clone" the IDE (which is bootable) to the SATA. My question is, if I were to do this would I be able to boot from the SATA drive, or would I need to just reinstall my operating systems on the new drive?

    In other words, I just want to use the SATA drive to boot from instead of the old IDE and then use the IDE as another storage disk. I just need to know if by cloning the drive (essentially moving all of the info to the new SATA disk) would I be able to boot it up normally?
  2. matrix86

    matrix86 TS Guru Posts: 846   +38

  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,546   +429

    I think it would work if you aren't using AHCI in the BIOS - in other words I think it works if you have SATA set in the BIOS to emulate IDE. Because if you are emulating IDE you can install XP onto an SATA drive without the drivers the 2nd paragraph in matrix86's link talks about.
  4. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,797

    Well I wouldn't be using a PCI card but it sounds like it's not gonna work anyways due to SATA drivers not being present during boot up, or something like that. Seems there is a ton more work to be done in order to get the computer to boot from the new drive so I might just scrap the idea. Call me lazy but reinstalling my operating systems is just not on my agenda this month :)

    Thanks for the link...

    @SNG... may give the IDE emulation a try... if it doesn't hurt performance that is.
  5. matrix86

    matrix86 TS Guru Posts: 846   +38

    Be sure to let us know how the emulation method works. That's new to me, i'm curious about it, lol.
  6. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,797

    Yea I've never used it either... but I guess it may exist for reasons such as this so you never know.

    Also, would there be any way of just adding the SATA drivers after the cloning? I'm already using a SATA drive in the computer and the IDE drive is still going to be the master when I clone the disk's image. If I could just copy the correct driver(s) to the new disk after I slave the former IDE master would that work?
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,518   +3,702

    We kicked this around quite a bit in another thread recently. With XP, you must press F-6 when prompted, and install drivers to run SATA as SATA. I thinking that if you "image" the drive, the XP install won't work with the BIOS set to anything but IDE emulation. There isn't a terrible (if any) performance hit for running a single HDD in this mode. Only the hard core among us trying to run RAID arrays generally dither around with SATA drivers. IDE emulation is equivalent to "ATA100", (100 Mega >Bytes per second), which is about the read write speed of a decent modern drive. To pump more data than this through the bus would require RAID anyway.

    My impression is that SATA drives are faster than IDE, even when run in IDE mode. The only machine I have running in AHCI is a Core i3 530, 4GB RAM, Win 7 64 bit. That seems faster, but there's so many improved variables from my other machines, I'd be hard pressed to credit the drive mode for any improvement.
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,546   +429

    You may even be running in IDE emulation mode now. I think many people are and don't even realize it. Really the only disadvantage is your SATA drives wouldn't run with NCQ.
  9. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    Does your BIOS allow you to boot to the SATA?
    Check with your OEM MOBO (motherboard maker) They usually have FDD that you download a burn to FDD or CD the driver for XP. Now Vista and 7 will pickup it without the need to get the driver from the OEM MOBO. Unless you have some odd ball system BIOS.

    You can clone that IDE to SATA no problem.
    If you own Seagate, WD or Maxtor there is free backup, clone, recovery, image software from OEM version of Acronis True Image. To get the software to work on a system that doesn't either OEM. You would load it from a USB HDD that has one of these OEM HDD listed. I had clone Seagate to WD without issues.

    Or you could just use retail version of Acronis and don't have to worry about OEM HDD ownership.
  10. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,797

    Sorry for the delayed response. I am able to boot from a SATA drive with this motherboard just fine, and I plan to use Acronis TI 2010 to clone my IDE drive. The catch is i dual boot from that drive and I'd like both operating systems (XP and 7) to continue to be bootable... if possible. I'm actually rebuilding my entire system, well migrating everything into a new case, so it might be awhile before I'm ready to try. I will keep you posted though...

    Thanks for the help thus far.
  11. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,797

    Okay well i finally completed the rebuild, and my motherboard and OS are treating the SATA drive as IDE... so I should be able to make this work. True Image 2010 gives me the option to clone the drive to the new one without it even being partitioned and formatted, so I guess it will do that for me? I can leave the structure on the disk "as is" according to the software and that's good because the new SATA drive is the same size. I will give it a try later tonight or tomorrow some time and post back the results.
  12. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,546   +429

    Good luck. I think it will work without any problem, but keep us posted.
  13. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Topic Starter Posts: 1,797

    Sorry for the delayed update, but it seems that the cloning operating was a success! Once I cloned the structure of the old IDE drive to the new SATA unit with True Image, I booted from the copy and it worked perfectly! No errors whatsoever. The booting is actually a bit faster too so I'm happy with that as well. The hardest part to the whole thing was managing the disk letters and volumes afterward (i have a bad habit of generically naming them) but i got that all sorted out. I also made a recovery image file of the new structure and placed it on the old drive as a backup, just in case ;)

    Thanks for the help.
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