How to migrate my C-Drive (Active/Windows) to a new HDD

Here is the situation - currently I have a C-Drive (PATA, Primary Master) that is 10GB (with Windows XP SP2) and this isn't enough to run my system correctly (I have been using it at 300megs free for months, just running a scan disk causes a "windows low-disk space" issue on my c-drive).

My computer specs:
- Asus P4C800-E Deluxe Motherboard (2xSATA, 1xATA 133, 2xATA 100/66/33)
- 5 HDDs in order, all are PATA (10GB, 20GB, 160GB, 60GB, 260GB)
(so these occupy 5/6 of my available PATA slots)
- 1 DVD-burner SATA (on SATA1)

So - I went out and bought a SATA-II 250GB hard disk that I want to use to replace my C-Drive (10GB) and D-Drive (20GB) [primary master & slave] as I think they are too small to keep in my system at this point...
Now this is where things get complicated ... ideally I would like to do the following:

- Backup (ghost? direct copy/paste? etc...) my C-Drive and D-Drive onto DVDs or another one of my HDDs
- Remove the physical C-Drive (10GB) and D-Drive (20GB) from my system
- Install the 250GB SATA-II drive (I'll move my DVD to SATA2 and use SATA1 for this drive)
- Break/partition my new 250GB drive into 2 parts (that will become my new C-Drive and D-Drive)
- Restore my C-Drive (THIS HAS WINDOWS XP SP2 ON IT !!!) and D-Drive onto these new partitions
Main idea is - not to need to format/re-install windows at all - would be a huge hassle that I don't want to deal with :)

- How can I accomplish this? The part that I am stuck at the most is the partitioning and restoring of my C-Drive (Windows), when I boot how will I partition the new drive, make one ACTIVE and somehow LOAD the ghosted C-drive backup (can I put it on multiple DVDs and make them bootable or something?)
- What would be the best way to "backup" these drives? Ghosting? Can this work with such LARGE drives as it would take multiple DVDs?
- Would it be a bad idea to leave the other 3 PATA drives where they are or do I have to change them PATA slots (from Secondary to Primary or just leave them on Secondary and have Primary empty)
Is any of this even do-able or am I just dreaming?

Any help, hints, or ideas would be greatly appreciated...
8 answers Last reply
More about migrate drive active windows
  1. I know you don't want to hear this but you would be better of removing the old hard drives, partitioning and installing XP on the new drive and then reconnecting you old hard drives.

  2. hi.
    personaly i never try something like that.its better reinstall windows on your new drive and all the staff later.
    but if you want to just copy your hdd u can use the following software.
    Acronis True Image
    Acronis True Image 10 Home creates the exact copy of your hard disk and allows you to instantly restore the entire machine including operating system, applications, and all the data in the event of a fatal system crash or virus attack — no reinstallations required!

    With the new version you also can easily back up your music, video, and digital photos, as well as Outlook e-mails, contacts, calendar, tasks, and user settings with just a few mouse clicks!

    * Copy your entire PC, including the operating system, applications, user settings, and all data using our patented disk imaging technology.
    * Backup your music, video, and digital photos!
  3. The trouble with copying the old hard drive is you then need to do a Repair installation of Windows since there is a different hard drive controller.

  4. Grumpy9117: Thing is I really didn't want to have to re-install everything when VISTA is coming and I'll have to do it all again in a couple of months.

    Can't something like NORTON GHOST take care of the issues of changing hard-drive controllers (that is something I didn't consider - ack)...

    I know I can save all my "Data" easily - it is the windows re-install that pains me ...
  5. No, Ghost makes an exact copy from one hard drive to another. When you try to boot XP you'll get the BSOD is you don't do a repair installation.

  6. Theoretically doing the REPAIR installation should then solve my problems no? I know this isn't 100% sure (and I will make backups before trying incase but ...) if the REPAIR just replaces core files then I shouldn't loose any of my installations and so forth..

    Is this ... at all .. reliable?
  7. That's correct.

  8. Thanks - I'll give it a try and see how it goes.
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