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Swapping drive letters between a new and old hard drive with programs installed in it

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April 7, 2013 8:03:47 PM

Right now, I have my ssd (drive letter C) and my data hard drive (drive letter D). D has almost all of my programs installed on it.

I'm planning on adding a new, higher capacity and probably better performing hard drive, and want all the programs currently on D to go on the new one.

If I copy all the data from my current hard drive to the new one, and swap their drive letters so that the new one is now D and the old one is E, will my programs function properly?
a c 750 G Storage
April 7, 2013 8:21:18 PM

Highly doubtful.

You have two options:
Try it and flail around when it doesn't work, or only works for some.
or
Just reinstall all the apps and be sure that they'll work.

Just trying it would make a good data point for in here when someone else tries to do the same thing.

Me personally, I'd just reinstall everything.
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Best solution

a b G Storage
April 7, 2013 9:12:38 PM

Simply clone the the old drive to the new one, and after your done expand the partition on the new drive. There are plenty of free programs to do this, including boot CDs. Personally I like easeus's program as it's pretty easy for new users.

www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm

You might still have to manually change the drive letter, but it will work fine.
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April 7, 2013 9:30:40 PM

unksol said:
Simply clone the the old drive to the new one, and after your done expand the partition on the new drive. There are plenty of free programs to do this, including boot CDs. Personally I like easeus's program as it's pretty easy for new users.

www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm

You might still have to manually change the drive letter, but it will work fine.


What's the difference between cloning the D drive to the new hard drive and simply copying the entire D drive to the new one?

Why can't I just copy paste it all onto the new one and switch the drive letters? The way I understand it, registries and program stuff reference the location of their program files by "<drive letter>:\...<directory>", so shouldn't just making sure that the new drive has the data and swapping the drive letters do it?

They are both going to be in the same computer at the same time, it's just that I want the new one to contain my programs (which are currently on the old one) and my old one to use as storage.
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April 9, 2013 7:06:51 PM

I've installed the new hard drive. Using EASEUS Partition Master, I selected my old hard drive, clicked "Copy", and after it is done analyzing, I select my new one. On the next screen, I had it expand that partition to the whole drive. Then I swapped the drives' letters. After rebooting and letting it do its thing, I have 2 drives with identical data on them, except my new one has more free space since it has a higher capacity. I started all my programs normally and they work.

In short, YES, it will work.
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a c 371 G Storage
April 10, 2013 9:17:19 AM

shozonu said:
unksol said:
Simply clone the the old drive to the new one, and after your done expand the partition on the new drive. There are plenty of free programs to do this, including boot CDs. Personally I like easeus's program as it's pretty easy for new users.

www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm

You might still have to manually change the drive letter, but it will work fine.


What's the difference between cloning the D drive to the new hard drive and simply copying the entire D drive to the new one?

Why can't I just copy paste it all onto the new one and switch the drive letters? The way I understand it, registries and program stuff reference the location of their program files by "<drive letter>:\...<directory>", so shouldn't just making sure that the new drive has the data and swapping the drive letters do it?

They are both going to be in the same computer at the same time, it's just that I want the new one to contain my programs (which are currently on the old one) and my old one to use as storage.


This is always how I understood it too. Changing the drive letter can be bad, but keeping the drive letter on a new drive should be fine. I would have done a clone instead of a copy though, just in case there was some metadata or streams that needed copied and can't be done by a normal file copy.
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