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Copying Maxtor Boot Drive onto another drive in same system.

Last response: in Storage
July 13, 2006 2:43:07 AM

I’ve been looking through several threads, and haven’t come across just what I need, yet. So forgive me for asking something the folks who hang out here a lot have already answered a bazillion times.

I have two ATA/133 interfaces on my MOBO. I’ve always had one, each 80GB drives on each interface, set as Masters, with two 40GB partitions on each. A “Drive C:/D:” and a “Drive G:/H:” (CD ROM and DVD Drive are “E: and F:,” separately on the two IDE Interfaces.)

I bought a new Maxtor 120GB 7200RPM Air-Bearing hard drive because I believe that was starting to have a series of problems with my old Maxtor 80GB 5400RPM “C:/D:” hard drive.

The new drive installation went smoothly. I re-installed Windows XP Pro and downloaded all the updates, and installed most of my original software onto a 60GB partition on the new drive. (I just about split the new drive in half with two partitions.)

I used to use Norton System Works 2000, which had “Ghost” on it. I bought System Works 2006 for the updates utilities, but it no longer has Ghost to go with it.

Now that things have stabilized, and I’ve copied all the data off my old “C:/D:” hard drive, I’d like to make a copy of this working XP OS and its data, (AS IS,) onto the old drive, and save it in case something goes way off with this one, later.

I have the MaxBlast 4 CD. I’ve read up on what they say about making a new boot drive from an old one. I’m afraid to attempt this, because it might blow the newly installed hard drive’s partition or data, because the instructions don’t specify what I want to do…Only has instructions for what seems to be making a new drive out of one that may never be used, again.

If I go through the process, will I then be able to keep my normal boot drive as it is, and save the just-made one for later? In other words, will the Maxtor application leave the one I’ve copied from intact?

If I go through the process, and boot up, will I then see the good old option of booting from either Windows XP installations? That’s what I’d like to get to…The try booting off either, to make sure both work.

a b G Storage
July 13, 2006 3:55:52 AM

I do not think that Max Blast will do anything to the drive it copies from.
However, I have NEVER been able to a get "copied" version of Windows XP to boot. (even using Max Blast) I think I read somewhere that Windows puts some files on the disk during installation that effectively makes that installation only work from the drive it was originally installed on, and they either will not copy, or copying the installation to a new drive renders the installation inoperable on the new drive.
Just my experience, you may want to wait for some of the experts to reply before doing anything.
July 13, 2006 4:02:28 AM


I'm a little bit afraid that might be the case, too.

But when Max Blast's instructions says it'll copy a Boot disk, that makes it sounds like it should work.

Anyone else out there have an idea?

Related resources
July 13, 2006 11:00:42 AM

You can use Ghost to copy XP pro, and WIN 2000 pro. When XP pro is rolled out in companies Ghost is often used to copy a disk image.

I've used a ghost floppy to copy XP pro and WIN 2000 pro from one HD to another. I have not done it with XP home, but if it works for XP pro then I'm sure it will work fine for XP home.

I used a fairly old version of ghost to copy the disks so you do not need the 2006 version.

One thing to note is that often the HD partition you copy to has not been marked as "active". This means it will not boot. When you partiton the disk make sure you mark the destination as active.

July 13, 2006 11:51:24 AM

Yeah, ghost works well, but there may still be an XP auth error when you boot from the new disk, if XP feels there has been too much change in the system. It will require you to reauth the copy of XP, so as long as you have the key and it's an official version then it should be OK.

I've used Max Blast years and years ago, but not in the past 8 years. At the time it worked fine, but I think you'll still get the auth problems you would get with ghost or any other copy utility.
July 13, 2006 3:07:40 PM

The only change is the hard disk. I've done this several times now with no problems, but the disk with the copy on was used in the same machine that the copy was taken from. I would not want to try it to copy from a HP machine with HP XP on it to a self built machine, that would be asking for trouble.

The main trouble is marking the partition as active. The disk manager on XP does not do this. I used a linux boot disk or Knopix last time.

July 13, 2006 3:16:39 PM

You can also use a 98 boot disk to make it active, using fdisk, if you have one available. I suppose you could use an ME boot disk too, but fortunately I sucessfully avoided anything to do with that disaster called ME.

I was at a convention once and an MS rep told me everyone inside MS thought ME was an "f-in piece of sh**"...he used thosed exact words....but that beside the point of this thread. :wink:
July 13, 2006 3:37:51 PM

I use Ghost all the time at work. Have a system ghosting right now in fact. Ghost works with 2000, XP, Server 2003, and even Vista (probably 95, 98, and ME too but I haven't personally done it). Vista requires popping the Vista DVD in and running system repair to fix the boot sector because ghost doesn't copy it right but after that it works fine.

Just make a ghost image of the entire drive. It will easily fit on an 80GB drive. If you have a DVD burner that'll work with Ghost, you can even burn it directly to DVD. Or you can do ghost images of the seperate partitions if you want.

Ghost copies everything on the drive including the boot sector. And Windows doesn't check to see if other machines are running the same CD Key so if you have identical machines you can just run one copy on all the machines (just change the machine name so there isn't network problems).
July 13, 2006 4:22:01 PM

I have had problems using ghost images where the only thing changed was the disk. I'm sure it has worked for other people, and in fact it has worked for me too on some machines, but still, I have had problems occationally, so just be advised it might require you to reauth the OS.
July 13, 2006 8:29:43 PM

Thanks, People!

I’m going to be fine, it seems. I’ve got a good XP. Bought it OEM when I purchased the components to make this PC. I’ve been activating it when I’ve had to install and re-install with no trouble. And even my MS downloads go through that verification process and OK the downloads because I’m good.

One thing I think I’ll start out with, just to level the playing field, is to use just that 80GB hard drive, and boot with the Max Blast CD, so I can wipe the existing partitions, and install the same partition this 120GB drive has for its “Drive C:.”

Then, once I install it as "Drive G:/H:," again, and have this 120GB as "Drive C:/D:," I can try Max Blast to copy the system, and all the spare space it wants to, without having a problem with any mismatched partition size. I’m not sure that would have been a problem, but I figured it can’t hurt it to head it off, anyway.

I will attempt this with Max Blast, first. I will then use Ghost, (2000,) if that fails. If I were to install Ghost, I’m guessing it’d balk because of the existing Norton System Works 2006 that’s now on the drive. Ya think? Worse comes to worse, I can wipe that installation and start over with the older Norton, and then undo that by reinstalling 2006.

I’m so glad I don’t have the HP version. (Or worse, a Compaq version.) One reason I went with building my own was because of the oddities that those proprietary systems seem to drag into so much.

Not sure I’d want to use FDISK. (Though I do have a 98 installation CD.) I’m using NTFS file structure for this installation. And for some reason, I’m not even sure why…The old drive has FAT32, I think….

I’ve never touched Windows ME. And my only Windows 2000 experience was with some customers’ PCs at work. Thankfully, I only had to mess with their networking set-ups. Never their Operating Systems.

I’ve only got a CD-RW for burning. My DVD is just a player. Eventually, I was contemplating replacing that with a more up to date piece of hardware.

I appreciate your responses. I’ll let you know how this goes down when I start it. Not sure just when I’ll get the time or space to tend to it. Living full time in a fifth-wheel trailer, with a wife and two Golden Retrievers makes for a crowded environment. And when I’m working inside the PC, my wife and the “kids” often take off to go swimming so they don’t have to listen to any stray language that might emanate from my direction!

July 15, 2006 1:15:13 AM

Woo Hoo!

I spent some time, today, and used Max Blast to partition the old hard drive. Tried Ghosting. Then I ended up downloading and installing XXCLONE, (freeware,) to do the cloning.

I installed my old copy of Ghost 2002. (I thought it was 2000, for some reason.) But that wanted the target drive to be the exact size, (or maybe larger would have been OK,) of the origination drive. Since that was 40GB different, (old target drive being smaller,) it stopped mid copy.

XXCLONE doesn’t care about the sizes, as long as there’s room for the data.

I am presently up and running on the old hard drive, exactly as if it was the new hard drive.

I appreciate the tips you guys gave. And if anyone has to travel this road, themselves, I’d say to go with XXCLONE. It’s easy to use. It had to be. I had to use it!