How to do a quick HDD replace - Without reinstalling OS?

By amp44 · 7 replies
Jul 11, 2008
  1. I need to increase the HDD of my early Viao notebook from 40gB to 120gB. The current HDD is working fine but is obviously too small. My issue is: After partitioning and formatting the new drive, is there an easy way to simply copy/ transfer over all of the OS, Drivers, Settings and Applications to a new HDD and then simply plugging it on board?
    I want to avoid having to reinstall everything? If this is possible, can someone please advise how to do this.
    Another reason for wanting to transfer rather than re-build on the new HDD is that my OS is an early WinXp (now fully updated, patched and service packed ...) and I'd hate to go through all those update steps again. Also a friend claims that MS no longer supports earliest WinXP (building-up from a basic XP2002). Advice appreciated.
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Norton Ghost (I use this one)
    Acronis True Image (most users like this one, images and backup incrementally)
    Acronis Migrate Easy (Just disk clone - quite good!)
    Drive Image (Basically an alternative)
    DriveImage XML (This one is free!)
    MaxBlast (I haven't used this, but it's free)

    Imaging: Backs up your entire system, including Windows and data, plus your partition as well. The image can be stored on removable media, such as DVD. And usually takes under an hour (depending on size of image) to fully recover from a blank HardDrive.
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    You may find it impossible or very difficult to take an image and restore it just using the one drive connection usual in a notebook. The easy way is to pay single digits of pounds or dollar or euros for a special laptop HDD adapter for use in a standard IDE connection. You can then do the imaging very simply in a full-sized PC.

    Install imaging software in main PC. Remove laptop drive and plug into main PC via adapter in place of CD for example. Reboot. Take image of laptop drive, store to HDD of main PC. Switch off. Install new laptop HDD in place of old laptop HDD. Reboot. Restore image from HDD of main PC to new laptop drive. Install new laptop drive in laptop and it should boot without trouble. Total time about 30 minutes.

    Here is a link so you see what they are. Some also have a loose power lead connection - in the link below it is fixed to the connector. Total cost including shipping £3
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Thanks gbhall, that's exactly what I do too.

    But if you're using a bootable disk to run the image (ie outside Windows) you need to be sure that you are not cloning the Laptop HardDrive directly over the Desktop HardDrive (which will remove the entire filesystem on the Desktop HardDrive)

    In this case, I usually put a HardDrive in the Desktop that I'm not worried about the data (ie a blank HardDrive)
    Once imaged from laptop to the Desktop (and not the other way around !!!)
    I then put the new Laptop HardDrive in and image back from the Desktop to the laptop HardDrive (Hoowee!)

    Now normally I would just image to DVD, but in your case, you also want to image all data and programs (which mount up to possibly many DVDs)
    So HardDrive to HardDrive is good. ie this one:
    Acronis Migrate Easy (Just disk clone - quite good!)
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    i use Acronis True Image v11.

    One internal hard drive, one external USB drive.

    using their wizards, is a few mouse clicks and works like a charm if i
    - Backup My Full Computer
    - For Recovery i can use same backup whether to indicate restore specific files or folders or a mouse click to Recover Full Computer, walk away, and when i come back later full disk image has been restored and system restarted and ready for me to pick up where i left off after the Backup
  6. javah

    javah TS Rookie

    Yeah me too I gotta say acronis is great.
  7. amp44

    amp44 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks guys.
    Worked a treat. I used Acronis Migrate Easy as you suggested. Fantastically simple. For info, I have an old Sony Viao VGN-S360 (actually it's a VGN-S36C/S from China but through trial and error I found all drivers and harware are same as the S360 released in the US). Replaced 40gB HDD with an IDE 160gB unit - bolted staright in. I did as you said - Just loaded Acronis, put the new HDD in a USB external holder and connected it up through USB. Migrated the entire exisiting HDD - the whole thing was virtually automatic after a couple of minor questions. New partitions were automatic, etc. Took about one hour to transfer everything. Next, I opened the Sony, replaced the exisiting HDD. For those with the same or similar machine (HDD buried inside) I found a couple of links by googling "How to Replace Sony Vaio HDD" that were relevant to my Sony VGN-S360 machine:

    Then I just booted it up - nothing else to do except re-activate my Norton's Internet Security as it detected a hardware change. Great. While inside the Sony I used metho and cotton buds to clean the masses of gunk from the (noisy) fan and that also eased the noisy fan problem reducing noise around 50%.
    Thanks again!
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Wow, good work

    So obviously you purchased Acronis Migrate Easy?? And possibly a HDD adaptor??

    Anyway, thanks for the update :grinthumb
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