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Need Help Backing Up And Restoring Hard Drive With The Same Letter

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July 15, 2013 7:13:18 PM

I currently have 4 2TB drives in my machine right now. My main backup drive has only 3.1GB free. Newegg has a 4TB drive for only $180 that looks interesting.

Now when I get the new drive, I need it to have all the exact same data and have the exact same letter. Can anybody give me some advice on how to do this?
a c 801 G Storage
July 15, 2013 7:34:06 PM

strausd said:


Now when I get the new drive, I need it to have all the exact same data and have the exact same letter. Can anybody give me some advice on how to do this?


If you tell us what you are trying to accomplish, maybe we can come up with a solution.
What is the reasoning behind "the exact same drive letter"?
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a c 878 G Storage
July 15, 2013 7:42:27 PM

Assuming you are talking about the main backup drive, you can clone it to the 4tb and then use disk management to expand the partition and change the drive letter to what you want.
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July 15, 2013 7:49:01 PM

USAFRet said:

If you tell us what you are trying to accomplish, maybe we can come up with a solution.
What is the reasoning behind "the exact same drive letter"?

Ok let me give you a little more background. For cloning and replacing my main backup drive it isn't totally important that it takes the same drive letter. However, I am using Crashplan and if it takes on the same drive letter, it will make everything a little more seamless.

Now, I have 4 drives that are all filling up. Replacing this first drive is sort of a test run. Replacing my other 3 drives will be much more important for taking on the exact same drive letter as the ones they are replacing. I have Mari, Maya, Premiere, AE, and various other programs setup for animation, texture, simulation, and video cache files for specific drives in addition to other various files. So taking on the same drive letter will make for a more seamless process.

In addition, my C drive is an SSD. I have my documents folder, desktop, music, pictures, etc. all on my G drive. So when I replace that drive, being able to take on the same drive letter will save setting all that up again.

So I am using this first replacement drive, the backup, as a way to test that this will work properly.

popatim said:
Assuming you are talking about the main backup drive, you can clone it to the 4tb and then use disk management to expand the partition and change the drive letter to what you want.

Can't you only change drive letters to a letter that is not already in use? I need to be able to have a drive "adopt" a letter that is already in use.
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July 16, 2013 11:11:10 AM

popatim said:
Assuming you are talking about the main backup drive, you can clone it to the 4tb and then use disk management to expand the partition and change the drive letter to what you want.


Also, what cloning tool do you recommend?
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a c 878 G Storage
July 16, 2013 4:22:24 PM

I would use the one from the new drive manufactuers website. They work decent for free stuff.

Yes to change the drive letter to one in use you would need to change the drive using it to something else unused first.

For example.
D: current drive
L: new drive that you want to be d:

first change D: to z:
Then change L: to D:
now change Z: to L: if you want or leave it z: or just disconnect and remove it from your system.

the only drive you can't change is your boot drive C:
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July 16, 2013 10:41:36 PM

popatim said:
I would use the one from the new drive manufactuers website. They work decent for free stuff.

Yes to change the drive letter to one in use you would need to change the drive using it to something else unused first.

For example.
D: current drive
L: new drive that you want to be d:

first change D: to z:
Then change L: to D:
now change Z: to L: if you want or leave it z: or just disconnect and remove it from your system.

the only drive you can't change is your boot drive C:


Thanks for the info! I'll try that out once my new drive is delivered. What cloning tool would you recommend?
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a c 878 G Storage
July 17, 2013 6:35:04 PM

There are many and all work well but since you ae getting a Seagate i would use their Diskwizard utility. I would also download their diagnostics to keep on hand too. Should you have problems with the drive they won't RMA it until you have the error code that their software will give you.
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July 17, 2013 6:48:28 PM

popatim said:
There are many and all work well but since you ae getting a Seagate i would use their Diskwizard utility. I would also download their diagnostics to keep on hand too. Should you have problems with the drive they won't RMA it until you have the error code that their software will give you.


That's good to know.

I actually contacted MiniTool, the company that makes Drive Copy and Partition Wizard. They told me that Partition Wizard has a cloning feature where the new drive will adopt the same letter as the old drive once the computer is rebooted.

My new drive already shipped so I am waiting on delivery. I will try this out once it gets here.
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July 21, 2013 8:42:32 PM

So I finally got everything over. And since I never found the right answer, I thought I would post what I did.

First off, Partition Wizard did not adopt the drive letter like their support told me. This was quite frustrating. And their cloning tool kept crashing, along with DriveImage XML. Overall things just did not want to copy over. So I used Partition Wizards bootable CD to copy, and it still didn't work.

Finally, after not finding a good answer anywhere, I did a little more digging and came across this article. It was very helpful.

Ultimately, I used regedit to change the drive letters of both the drives, old and new, to letters I have never used before. Then Partition Wizard worked when copying everything over. When done, I adjusted the partition size and used regedit to get all the drive letters to their proper places.

In the end, all my applications pointed to the new drive perfectly once I was able to give it the proper drive letter. Never had to re-setup any applications, which was my goal, albeit with a little less trouble.
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a c 878 G Storage
July 22, 2013 3:02:10 PM

Wow, sorry it never downed on me that you might still be using xp.
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July 22, 2013 3:04:41 PM

popatim said:
Wow, sorry it never downed on me that you might still be using xp.


I'm using windows 7...
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