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How to transfer files to new hard drive?

By Jskid ยท 24 replies
Aug 10, 2010
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  1. [RESOLVED]How to transfer files to new hard drive?

    I bought a new hard drive for my laptop and I am wondering how should I copy the operating system and all of the contents off my current hard drive to my new one?

    I considered using a backup program such as Ghost to copy my current hard drive and put it on my new one. The problem with this is, wouldn't I still need to install an OS and Ghost on my new hard drive before I can use the backup image?
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Not for the weak of heart, but for the least stress and the most complete move for someone new to the transfers, I recommend the full version of Acronis... Some hard drives have their own free or low cost version of Acronis...
    There are others, but the cost is higher and so is the confusion.
  3. Jskid

    Jskid TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 346

  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    While there are some freeware tools that will accomplish your short term goal (of cloning and moving your HD image), I also recommend Acronis. I think what Raybay had in mind and the Acronis product i both use and fully endorse is: Acronis True Image Home

    1. OMG! It's normally $50USD and well worth it. But i just checked their site and here in the US is now on sale for $30!!

    2. It'll handle all your future backup needs as well as your need to clone the drive

    3. If you buy the download version, the first thing to do when you run it is create a bootable Rescue CD (you get the CD if you buy a box version)
    > Run Acronis under Windows to create a backup image of your drive on external USB drive
    > Now put new HD into computer
    > Boot computer from Rescue CD to get a standalone version of Acronis
    > Now you can copy the backup image from ext USB drive onto the new HD
    And voila!
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    We buy Acronis True Image for our customers for $29.95 now... look for it on special deals at New Egg, Directron, etc...

    But the Western Digital, Seagate, and Samsung versions work as well.. just limited to those brands.

    You will find the setup is very easy compared to any earlier brands.. Their instructions are available online at their website
  6. Jskid

    Jskid TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 346

    two questions
    1. When using Rescue Media Builder what should I enter for the startup parameters for the bootable media being created?
    2. Under Tools & Utilities under Disk managment there is "Clone disk" and "Clone disk (unavialable in trial)". Is something screwed up because the second one is there?
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    i've never used the startup params. (i.e. i just skip that option) So i'm guessing it'll boot up with default options which has always worked for me.

    That i couldn't say.. Is this a trial or you paid??
    > if paid, i believe you have the first 30 days contact Acronis support directly (but double check that number and then do take advantage of it
    > But (my guess) i'd simply try that Clone disk option . My guess is it will work as is.

    Best contact Acronis directly and asap within their limited direct contact period coverage
  8. Jane55

    Jane55 TS Rookie Posts: 19

    hmm, I think lookinAround have solved the problem for you. :)
  9. techsuitor

    techsuitor TS Rookie Posts: 131

    Yup. Contact Acronis directly.
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    background: Cloning drive-1 onto drive-2 will not produce a bootable drive for some other system :wink:
  11. Jskid

    Jskid TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 346

    So after I made the bootable media what do I do? Clone disc or partition clone?
  12. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    1) I'd first verify you can actually boot from the Rescue CD and that it puts you into a standalone Acronis

    2) Then reboot into Windows and run Clone Disk (i don't see a partition clone option)...

    If you click the ? in the Acronis Tool Bar, look at their Help under Tools/Disk Management/Disk Cloning for more info. Use their Wizard would guess is easiest
  13. Jskid

    Jskid TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 346

    when I use clone disk I select my internal hard drive as the source and for my destination I select my external hard drive. Then I get the warning "The destination drive you have chosen contains partitions that could contain useful data". Is it going to wipe my external hard drive clean??
  14. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Yes. It would.

    I forgot a distinction between Acronis' "Clone Disk" vs. "Backup - Disks and Partitions" function (which is why Acronis has warnings!)

    When you do Clone Disk Acronis will copy disk image to disk image. So... if you get a USB adapter for your NEW drive, and hook it up as a USB external you can just Clone disk directly to new drive. Then use it to replace the internal drive

    OR to use the USB without getting wiped out you need to do Backup operation (vs. Clone Disk)
    Then tell Acronis to backup and choose internal disk as source and for destination point acronis to a folder on your USB drive. Acronis will compress the drive and store it on USB (without wiping anything out) but of course you still need room for storing the source image on the destination

    Then you would swap the internal drives. boot from Rescue Media, tell Acronis to Restore from the USB folder to the internal drive

    Of course, there's still always Acronis Help files ;) but will try to provide info as i can (I usually just do Backups/Restore. Been a long while since i used the Clone option)
  15. Jskid

    Jskid TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 346

    Since the new hard drive has a larger capacity than the old one, will the new space be usable automatically or what should I do?
  16. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    I don't remember but wouldn't worry about it.
    > If it put everything into one large partition you're done
    > If it created a single partition for the clone and the rest is empty then just use a partition manager (like EASUS Partition Manager) to resize the partitions and use the space as you want
  17. Jskid

    Jskid TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 346

    When I boot using the Bootable Media and plug in my external hard drive I get an error saying "can not read sector 0 on disk 0" and I think it's because my external hard drive is password protected and has Nomad Mobile Desktop.

    Would it work if I reformatted the drive and got rid of Nomad?
  18. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    That sounds like a good reason it doesn't work. Do you have any other USB flash or hard drive you can at least prove Acronis can see it from Rescue Media.

    Also, i don't know anything about Nomad or what it does, but if it encrypted any of those backup files, you may need to first
    > Turn off NOMAD encryption under Windows
    > Then rerun the Full Disk /Partition Backup
  19. Jskid

    Jskid TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 346

    Figured out how to remove password from ext. hard drive and get Bootable Media to recognize it.

    Now how do I actually copy my OS and programs to the hard drive without deleting data?


    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
  20. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Looks like you're in the wrong part of the Acronis Menu. Try looking under Backup Center->Disk and Partition Backup then just use the Wizard (and you can also then refer back to my instructions about point Acronis to a folder on your USB drive to store the backup in the folder - so it's just like file storage and won't disturb any other data)
  21. Jskid

    Jskid TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 346

    Think I've got the backup working now. Just one thing, I've noticed that whenever I boot into Acronis the next time I try to start Windows I get "Windows did not start successfully last time" and when I login I get warning messages. Why does that happen?
  22. Jskid

    Jskid TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 346

    WA-HA-HA-HOOO!!!!! I FINALLY GOT IT WORKING!!!!:approve:

    I had so many problems and I have a few questions.

    1. When I opened the panel on the bottom of my laptop and took out the old hard drive, my new hard drive was too small to fit in. Then I figured out that I needed to take off the "case" that enclosed the old hard drive and was screwed on to it. What is this called? A chassis? It covers the sides and top of the hard drive and it makes it fit securely into the slot where the hard drive goes.
    2. When I installed the new hard drive the pins didn't connect. I wasn't sure how to verify if this was the problem, I mean since its new there was no OS so of course nothing should happen when I turn on my computer. Finally I figured out that there was an "adapter" still attached to the old hard drive that I needed to put on the new one. This "adapter" basically attached to the circuitry on the hard drive and gave it pins to actually connect to the SATA port on the motherboard. What is this "adapter" called? Do all computers have them?
    3. I didn't realize that I could use Acronis to partion and format the new hard drive, so I used an old Windows XP cd I had. For some stupid reason even though I didn't begin the instillation process of Windows XP it still created the Windows and System directory. So when I recovered from Acronis, something got screwed up and it installed Windows Vista in the C:\Windows directory of Windows XP. I don't know how this got so screwed up.
    4. I figured out I can use Acronis dvd to format the hard drive, so I did this to wipe the XP instillation, then restored again and it finally worked!

    Just one more question, if my new hard drive is 320GB is it right for my computer to only have 298GB in total?
  23. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    I'll second that WA-HA-HA-HOOO!!!!! :grinthumb

    I'm pretty much just a "software geek" :) so i'll see if someone else might look in to answer your hardware questions...

    But as to question about disk drive size differences: Yea. Sounds about right. There's a few different reasons why you'll see that and the difference sounds reasonable. See this. It's from HP/Compaq but is true for all vendors.
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,499   +2,295

    I'm not sure why this matters to you, but I'll take a shot.

    First off, your machine really isn't a "computer" it's a laptop. I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course. Desktops are controlled by rigid "Universal Plug and Play" standards. This involves all aspects, both electronic and mechanical. In the desktop world, cases are designed to the same standards of mounting uniformity. A 3 1/2" drive bay fits floppy drives, 3.1/2 HDD bay is an "internal 3 1/2" bay and on. interconnecting cables and connectors are standardized as well. Motherboard mounting patterns.....standardized too.

    Laptop parts such as optical and HDDs are also standardized. Now, when a designer tries to shoehorn all this s*** into a non standard case, which is designed to contain maximum hardware in minimum space, compromise is king.

    If I tried to buy the part you described in relation to the HDD connection, I'd walk into the dealer and say, I'd like to buy the adapter between the hard drive, and the motherboard, and then give him the make model, and year of my machine. Really where would you put the "standard" 18 inch SATA cable supplied with a retail motherboard, inside a laptop?

    Any part intended to modify the mounting size or bolt pattern of a computer drive, is usually referred to as a "tray".

    298 GB out of 320GB is normal. In fact, that ratio of loss of space extends across different HDD capacities. A 640GB HDD will net 596GB, you get the picture. Divide 298 by 320 to get this number, >>.93 yadda, yadda, yadda....pick a HDD capacity and multiply away. Arraying the data physically on the disc, requires pointer tables, those tables take up space, end of story. I hope.
  25. Jskid

    Jskid TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 346

    Thank you for everyone's help.

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