Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Your suggestions for the best way to copy a boot drive

Last response: in Storage
Share
April 12, 2006 6:32:35 AM

Hi. I'm getting a new SATA II 250gig harddrive from NewEgg tomorrow and I want to make it my boot drive, preferrably with a minimum of hassle. I've currently got Windows and just about everything else on an 80 gig IDE drive and a 120 gig IDE drive full of movie projects that I'll never finish and can be deleted. What I want to do is copy the entire contents of the 80 gig drive onto the new SATA drive, including Windows, so I don't have to reinstall windows, reinstall programs to fix registry keys, etc. What would you suggest be the best (and preferrably cheapest) method of doing that? Oh, and any suggestions for a first time SATA user?
April 12, 2006 7:35:22 AM

Ghost is what I usually use! But if you got a hard drive that comes with an install disk you can also use them to copy to the new drive.
April 12, 2006 9:27:18 AM

the best way is to use ghost...just make a image of that active partition you have on the ide drive and then load it on your new drive.......

or you can just flash hard drive to hard drive ...from ghost
Related resources
April 12, 2006 9:47:08 AM

Quote:
the best way is to use ghost...just make a image of that active partition you have on the ide drive and then load it on your new drive.......

or you can just flash hard drive to hard drive ...from ghost


I wouldnt say ghost is the best, there are a lot of imaging software utilities out there, and I havent used enough of them to say one is the "best", but Ghost does get my vote. Ive been using the various versions of ghost for about 6 years with no significant difficulties.
April 12, 2006 2:10:23 PM

If you don't have Ghost available then look on the HDD maufacturer's website for any drive copy utilities.

e.g. Western Digital
a c 385 G Storage
April 12, 2006 2:25:04 PM

True Image does a good job of imaging and/or cloning drives. I use True Image 9 and it works flawlessly.

You can download the free trial and use it for 15 days. It's a fully functional trial version. ;) 
April 12, 2006 3:00:16 PM

Quote:
Hi. I'm getting a new SATA II 250gig harddrive from NewEgg tomorrow and I want to make it my boot drive, preferrably with a minimum of hassle. I've currently got Windows and just about everything else on an 80 gig IDE drive and a 120 gig IDE drive full of movie projects that I'll never finish and can be deleted. What I want to do is copy the entire contents of the 80 gig drive onto the new SATA drive, including Windows, so I don't have to reinstall windows, reinstall programs to fix registry keys, etc. What would you suggest be the best (and preferrably cheapest) method of doing that? Oh, and any suggestions for a first time SATA user?


The best tool I have been able to find is Drive Image (http://www.runtime.org/dixml.htm). Its powerful, it can image a drive you are actually using at the time (shadow imaging) and has info on how to make a bootup DVD or CD with an image you can blast to your computer. I have used several other expensive backup software and this by far is one of the best.

EDIT: OH, forgot to mention its FREE!
April 12, 2006 10:29:36 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions guys, it's been very helpful.
April 13, 2006 3:05:18 AM

Ok, so I've installed the new drive, mirrorred the content and I'm now creating an extra backup of the original drive just in case. What I want to do is to change the system and boot partitions to the new hard drive so I can take advantage of faster startups, use the older drive for backup, etc. I was looking around in the microsoft help files and it looks risky so I'm wondering if you guys could help me out again. Thanks a ton, you guys.
April 13, 2006 4:27:34 AM

Until you get that new drive booting without the old one in the machine, keep that old drive as-is outside the machine. You may run into issues with boot.ini settings when trying to boot from the SATA drive.
April 13, 2006 4:31:31 AM

I'm actually going to keep it inside the machine until I'm satisfied that everything is working properly.
April 13, 2006 4:40:30 AM

Its actually pretty easy.

Make the image of the original drive (like with the software I mentioned above). Place the new drive on the second chain (or second SATA) and copy the backup on the new drive. Now, switch them so the new drive is first in boot order and the old is second. You can do this physically or in the BIOS if it supports booting automatically from different drives. Simple as that. No worries about overwriting anything or messing with risky procedures. I do this type of thing all the time.
April 13, 2006 4:59:36 AM

My reason for suggesting to pull it from the machine is in order to ensure that it is in fact booting from the SATA drive and make certain it isn't using some files on the old IDE drive during the boot process.
April 13, 2006 7:41:03 AM

I'm still a little confused as to what you're saying so here's what my procedure would be: Shadow copy the old drive onto the new one, then go into BIOS and change the boot order so that the new one is booted first. I tried something similar before and all I ended up with is the windows logo on a blue field. If that happens again, I'm going to disable the old drive in BIOS (or do I really have to start pulling wires again), then boot from the XP disk and tell it to repair the new hard drive. I hope that this will both make the new drive into the system and boot disk and make it into the C: Drive. If it doesn't make it into the C: drive, then I saw some ways to force it to be it. Once it is the C:, I'll re-enable the old disk and see how it reacts to having it's drive letter taken; I'm hoping it'll default to D: and not boot itself, so I can start clearing out space for backups while leaving a workable boot drive for emergencies. This all sound good?
April 13, 2006 3:22:32 PM

Hmmmm.... Seems like the hard way of doing it. Here's what I do with a little more detail.

OK, did you DL Drive Image XML? If so, make a backup of the C: and place those backup files on the same drive. Once you have that image (should be an XML file with a bunch of other files ending with numbers like 001, 002 and so on). Sometimes the software cannot make an image (has error) and that is usually due to anti-virus software – just unload it from memory before trying the backup.

Next, if you already have the second drive installed do a restore onto that drive (D:, E: or whatever drive). Now, just switch the cables between the two drives so that the new drive is now connected where the old drive was (you don’t have to physically move them if they are next to each other). If you like, you could disconnect the old drive for the first boot up just to make sure all goes well. If you have been installing software on different drives (partitions) this could cause problems. The BIOS may not fully support booting from a different chain than the first which causes the computer to look for the NTLDR file on the new drive but then goes back to the primary boot device (C) regardless of what you tell it to do. So, switching the cables ensures you have a perfect match of C and the boot files.

The only problem I have run into is sometimes some files can get corrupted because the OS will use them while the backup is being done. This causes a few files to have incorrect sizes and time stamps. That is easily corrected by doing a CHKDSK /f just after the first boot (with errors). If all you are getting is the first windows screen then the backup was probably not successful. Try again, this time unload everything you can from memory most importantly things like firewalls (ZoneAlarm in particular), anti-virus and anti-spam software.
April 13, 2006 9:15:52 PM

Ok, I'm going to try that. Few things though, there's no space for the backup to end up on the original drive so I'm putting it on the new one. Second, I'm replacing a pata drive with a sata2 drive, different connections and all so I can't just switch cables. I am using Zone Alarm so that's probably what doomed the first one. Thanks for all the help, I'll let you know how it turns out.
April 14, 2006 7:11:18 PM

In that case, just do a drive to drive copy :)  w/o a backup.
April 14, 2006 7:57:21 PM

Well, I couldn't get the system to recognize the new drive as the system drive without a new windows install. So basically I just gave up, tried messing with the boot.ini, managed to get the old drive to stop booting and just installed windows on the new drive, copied application data and installers from the old drive and right now, I'm at about 90% what I was so I'm more or less happy. On the plus side, I happened to discover winamp in the process and spent an hour messing with plugins and stuff. I love this thing now.
November 15, 2011 2:41:36 AM

create a 2 secondary partition and do a drive to drive back up boot off windows cd thin run cmd (shift + F10) and delete the old partition worked for me also you can use the old drive for a spanned volume for more space this requires little to no bios changes. it's softwere rad-0 set up that is bult in to xp and up :) 

find a 3rd party program for the drive to drive back up.
!