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New HDD, but How do I Install it without losing any Data?

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April 24, 2007 10:08:24 PM

I've read sticky post FAQ: Switching Storage Controllers w/o Reinstalling Windows. but that's not quite what I want to do. It states:

What You Can and Cannot Do With This Guide

This guide is NOT for adding another drive or controller to an existing system when the Windows installation doesn't move from it's existing controller.

Here's what I want to do: Replace the factory 160GB Seagate with a 500GB Seagate keeping all I have on their now.

I have just today received 3 new HDD, 2- 320GB & 1- 500 GB IDE, all Seagate 7200.10 perpendicular.

I currently have factory installed in my Sony Vaio Desktop a single 160GB Seagate & it is 77% full.

1. My plan is to replace the 160GB with the 500GB internal while using both 320's as backup only, external, not in a case. I only want them plugged in when I need to do a backup. But I always want to do a double backup. Reason is I am a photographer & if I lose photos I lose potential photo sales. Using the 500GB internal allows me to load very large software applications for photo editing & many photos for working on in minimum file sizes of 50MB each.

2. When backing up would I need a specific back up software application or could I get by with the Windows backup utility? I forget exactly where that is right now, but I think I can find it again.

Again I am very concerned about losing any of my photos as I am about to begin marketing my photos for sale, but all this needs to be done first. Is it possible to move all data straight over to the new drive? What are my options?

Thanks for any help you can give me. I'm a newbie but I have been reading a bit.

Rich

More about : hdd install losing data

April 24, 2007 11:29:23 PM

First, I'd back up all your data to an external drive. Second, I'd get an 80GB Seagate for the OS and programs and use the other 3 as back up drives probably using the 500GB in the machine and the 2 320s as external. You could partition the 500GB and put the OS and program on one partition and the data on another but I think it's safer to store on a 2nd drive. For just backing up I use a program called Good Sync, it's about $20 and does a terrific job. Easy to set up and run.
April 25, 2007 1:15:54 AM

Thanks g-paw,

But I don't have an external drive. And trying to burn 140GB onto DVD doesn't sound like an option I'm fond of. If I take your suggestion though, can I not just use the existing 160GB for the internal with OS, MSWord, IT Browsers & so on? The trouble would be transferring the PHOTO data & software to the 500 instead of partitioning (however one does that)? Could I use one for OS & the other for photo work? And my Sony would know which one I need when I need it?

Just trying to get a handle on this.
Related resources
April 25, 2007 2:37:53 AM

There are some points to keep in mind here. First and most important is that you may not be able to move your OS onto a new larger hard drive without running into hardware recognition problems that may make it necessary to format and reinstall. You should visit the MS website and knowledgebase to verify the situation.

If you can do the transfer without having to reinstall from scratch, your best option is to use a utility like Norton Ghost or PartitionMagic . Ghost is specifically designed to copy partitions and the like from one hard drive to another. PartitionMagic is a brilliant programme, that can do all sorts of partition manipulations, including moving them from one disk to another. One more alternative is to use one of the utilities designed to migrate an existing OS partition including all settingds etc from one hard drive to another.

Your comment about external drive not avaiilable is a little naive. You can buy an external enclosure to hold a 3.5" IDE drive for about $20 to $30. With either a USB or Firewire interface. For a ten-spot or so more you can get an enclosure with both interfaces. I would recomend the dual interface choice if you can get it. They have their own power. All you do is open the case, install the HDD, close the case and VIOLA you have an external drive. After it is ready to go, you can play with it to your heart's content.

Now, on the issue of backing up your data, you are being very foolish. You did say this what feeds and shelters you. Keep in mind that a proper backup includes the concept of secure, off-site storage. As in copy your data to some other medium and put it away somewhere safe like a safety deposit box. You can get very good backup applications that do a good job of loss-less compression and will burn onto DVDs.

Speaking of DVDs, you do know that there are dual layer discs out, that will hold ~ 9 GB. And that there are dual layer multiformat burners out there that are pretty cheap. Where I live, I can get an LG 18x DL multi-format DVD/CD burner with Lightscribe for around $45 (cash, OEM). You really should consider getting one of these. It would be a great business promotion tool - look a lot more "profesional".

My personal recommendation would be for you to put the 500 GB drive in the external enclosure and set up a RAID 0 array using the 2 x 320 GB drives for your working disk. Put the 500 GB drive in the external enclosure and create a 400GB and 100 GB partition on it. Use the external drive as primary backup, but don't forget to burn your stuff onto DVD. Leave the existing 160 GB drive in place, but move your data onto the RAID drive. Use the space on the 160 drive for your OS, apps and page file. You should carefully consider creating a small, seperate partition for your page file and a third partition for your apps. This will provide improved stability and security.

Caveats re RAID 0:

1) there is no protection from hardware failure in RAID 0. if one of the drives in the array fails, you are toast. Backups become extremely critical.

2) the onboard MoBo RAID controllers are semi-hardware at best, mostly software, so there will be some extra strain on your CPU.

3) I am recommending RAID 0 in the context of the specific work you say you do - photographs and video editing. This is one of the few areas where RAID 0 makes a reall, noticeable difference in performance, especially with large contiguous files like video.

Hope this helps.
April 25, 2007 3:09:36 AM

I tend to agree with the OPs original idea.

Though, I would make some slight modification, noting some distinct scenarios:

1) Use the 320GB drives as externals because you transport files to other computers for work, etc.

-- Then you would be best off with a synchronization program of some sort. You could backup whatever you need onto one of the 320GBs and then the software will copy it again to the other 320GB when you plug it in.

2) Use the 320GB drives as externals because you don't have extra drive bays and will NOT be transporting files (or will be doing so very rarely, and always to a Windows XP Pro machine):

-- Setup the USB drives as RAID1 in Windows. AFAIK, this is possible. It will show up as a single 320GB drive, probably D:\, and whatever you copy to it will be copied to both physical drives, making synchronization software not needed.

3) If you have drive bays, won't transport files at all, then install them as internal drives and use either the hardware RAID controller you might have or let Windows setup a RAID partition (RAID1) like in 2.

Since you said you have a Sony, I'm thinking it doesn't have a RAID controller built in. I'm also thinking the case might be a bit small, maybe it won't fit 3 HDs.

You need to use Ghost (free trial?), although there are supposedly some free alternatives like Ghost for Linux (G4L) which can handle NTFS properly. Since you're just swapping out HDs, this should NOT affect any hardware you have installed. In other words, you don't need to reinstall Windows on the 500GB drive. Now, whether or not your current Windows installation is something that should be reinstalled or not is a seperate matter, generally after some time it is better to start over than continue, but I've been quite able to go 3+ years on the same install and not get any weird issues or slower performance out of it.

FOR YOUR NEEDS, RAID0 IS THE WORST CHOICE POSSIBLE. The risk of data loss is a real financial loss to you, don't take chances.
April 25, 2007 11:47:47 AM

Quote:
Thanks g-paw,

But I don't have an external drive. And trying to burn 140GB onto DVD doesn't sound like an option I'm fond of. If I take your suggestion though, can I not just use the existing 160GB for the internal with OS, MSWord, IT Browsers & so on? The trouble would be transferring the PHOTO data & software to the 500 instead of partitioning (however one does that)? Could I use one for OS & the other for photo work? And my Sony would know which one I need when I need it?

Just trying to get a handle on this.


Sorry, thought from your original post you had external hdd and yes you can use your existing drive for the OS and Programs. I would put one of the drives into the computer, my preference would be the 500GB, but it really is up to you and just copy the data from your original drive. While using RAID is an alternative, I believe RAID 0 speeds things up and RAID 1 backs up your data, if you're not pretty well versed in RAID, I wouldn't go that route at this time but something you should definitely learn about. I agree with the others regarding getting external drive enclosures. This one's nice because it has an eSATA connection, which is supposed to be noticeably faster than USB or firewire.

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

I'd use it as my primary back up drive. Given you have the extra 320 GB, I'd use that as the 2nd external, which gives you 3 copies of your work, the one in your computer and the 2 external. If you have room in the computer, I'd probably put the 2nd 320 GB in the machine for your 2nd back up and just use one external. We all are saying pretty much the same thing, just different ways of doing it. If you decide to use Good Sync as your back up program, you can create 2 "Jobs", one for each drive.
April 25, 2007 12:24:35 PM

joex444,

RAID scares me as I've been told you can lose it all because both drives copy the same data but linked together can also lose the data simultaneously. Are you saying that with RAID1 I won't have to worry about this?

Your suggestion #2 is what I'm looking for. This would entail my picking up an external case to house both drives with their own Power Supply, correct? My Sony Power Supply is only 300 watt.

I do not have a RAID controller, & unless you tell me that there is a RAID configuration that I can feel safe about not losing both HDD's at the same time, I will just plug & unplug after each back up. Though I'm not even clear as to how these will plug in. Would I be using a IDE cable or USB or what? Remember I have only one cable plugged into my 160GB drive now with an extra plug on the end, but it is so short that it wouldn't reach anything outside. Do they make an adapter 40 pin male/male for extending cables? My other slot uses an IDE to both DVD drives, which I could easily take out & use that slot for an extra long cable.

I need to get this done this weekend & would appreciate a little further direction.

Rich
April 25, 2007 12:29:59 PM

Sorry, thought from your original post you had external hdd and yes you can use your existing drive for the OS and Programs. I would put one of the drives into the computer, my preference would be the 500GB, but it really is up to you and just copy the data from your original drive. While using RAID is an alternative, I believe RAID 0 speeds things up and RAID 1 backs up your data, if you're not pretty well versed in RAID, I wouldn't go that route at this time but something you should definitely learn about. I agree with the others regarding getting external drive enclosures. This one's nice because it has an eSATA connection, which is supposed to be noticeably faster than USB or firewire.

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

I'd use it as my primary back up drive. Given you have the extra 320 GB, I'd use that as the 2nd external, which gives you 3 copies of your work, the one in your computer and the 2 external. If you have room in the computer, I'd probably put the 2nd 320 GB in the machine for your 2nd back up and just use one external. We all are saying pretty much the same thing, just different ways of doing it. If you decide to use Good Sync as your back up program, you can create 2 "Jobs", one for each drive.[/quote]

I don't have time this morning but I'll ge tback to you this afternoon. Thanks
April 25, 2007 12:37:03 PM

Here's what I always do: Instal the new drive, instal windows, instal the old drive as a second drive, and copy over anything I want to keep. Since I want to keep everything in my user file, I copy that.

To copy a user file, you must already have that user on the new Windows installation and be logged in as a different user. Of course this won't work if you decided to make your new user files "private".

Anyway, there's another option: Start a Windows installation to the new drive, there's no need to finish. Then use Powerquest Drive Image 7 to copy an image of your old drive onto the new drive.
April 25, 2007 12:56:02 PM

I'm a sys admin, I do this type thing all the time.

Forget all that other stuff, if you are just dealing with a Sony single drive to drive:

1) Get you Norton Ghost 7 or 8 and an external USB drive of I would say at least 120GB to hold your image

2) with bootable floppy or CD with Norton Ghost 7 or 8

3) Ghost your 160GB drive to your external your the Fast option

4) Install your new 500GB drive, remove the old

5) boot again with floppy or CD and ghost

6) ghost image back to 500Gb drive.

When done your new 500GB drive will be an "identical" image of your old drive but with much higher capacity. No need to reinstall anything or configure anything.

You can leave the image on your external as a backup and use it for backups periodically if you want.

If you are referring to a raid system this still works but you have to create a Windows PE bootable CD with ghost installed and your Raid drivers. Otherwise its all the same.
April 25, 2007 10:38:15 PM

Quote:
I'm a sys admin, I do this type thing all the time.

Forget all that other stuff, if you are just dealing with a Sony single drive to drive:


As a professional you should know that with very few exceptions there is no "right" way to do most things on a computer, which the above implies. What I suggested is what works for me. I work out of my house so protecting my data is extremely important and in addition I have a collection of music and photo files I don't want to lose. I'm sure the other posters suggestions were what works them just as what you suggested works for you but the fact that it works for you, me, or anyone else doesn't make it a universal truth. Respect for the views of others even if you don't agree is what keeps these discussions civil and useful.
April 26, 2007 1:07:09 AM

Quote:
Sorry, thought from your original post you had external hdd and yes you can use your existing drive for the OS and Programs. I would put one of the drives into the computer, my preference would be the 500GB, but it really is up to you and just copy the data from your original drive. While using RAID is an alternative, I believe RAID 0 speeds things up and RAID 1 backs up your data, if you're not pretty well versed in RAID, I wouldn't go that route at this time but something you should definitely learn about. I agree with the others regarding getting external drive enclosures. This one's nice because it has an eSATA connection, which is supposed to be noticeably faster than USB or firewire.

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

I'd use it as my primary back up drive. Given you have the extra 320 GB, I'd use that as the 2nd external, which gives you 3 copies of your work, the one in your computer and the 2 external. If you have room in the computer, I'd probably put the 2nd 320 GB in the machine for your 2nd back up and just use one external. We all are saying pretty much the same thing, just different ways of doing it. If you decide to use Good Sync as your back up program, you can create 2 "Jobs", one for each drive.


I don't have time this morning but I'll ge tback to you this afternoon. Thanks[/quote]

OK so if I place the 500GB as my internal, I would use what to copy the entire drive to this new drive from my 160GB. I want to copy absolutely everything. Is this what others are saying, Ghost by Symantec?

Then buy an external case with its own Power Supply, but can't use eSATA as my system only supports IDE, PATA. Its a Sony Vaio PCV-RS620G & is 18-24 months old. SO I'll get that enclosure for IDE to house both 320's. Now I will have a 500GB internal & 2-320's external, then my 160GB as an extra backup for off-site security. As my files grow I will replace one of the 320's when full. But when I do a back up how will I connect these 2-320's? Will I use a lonnnnng 40 pin IDE cable to run to them & plug/unplug as the need to back up occurs? On the back of these drives, all 3 of them are a 40 pin IDE, an 8 pin (don't know what) & a 4 pin for power supply I presume.Is the 8 pin a USB?

Can you get back to me on the copy from 160GB to 500GB software & the connection cable?

Many thanks

Rich

Wow has anyone listened to Gina Catalino's new "I Believe"? Liking it a lot.
April 26, 2007 1:22:21 AM

I've had better luck with PowerQuest DriveImage 7. It's an old program, Norton bought PowerQuest to kill off the competition.
April 26, 2007 11:57:00 AM

Quote:
Quote:


OK so if I place the 500GB as my internal, I would use what to copy the entire drive to this new drive from my 160GB. I want to copy absolutely everything. Is this what others are saying, Ghost by Symantec?

Then buy an external case with its own Power Supply, but can't use eSATA as my system only supports IDE, PATA. Its a Sony Vaio PCV-RS620G & is 18-24 months old. SO I'll get that enclosure for IDE to house both 320's. Now I will have a 500GB internal & 2-320's external, then my 160GB as an extra backup for off-site security. As my files grow I will replace one of the 320's when full. But when I do a back up how will I connect these 2-320's? Will I use a lonnnnng 40 pin IDE cable to run to them & plug/unplug as the need to back up occurs? On the back of these drives, all 3 of them are a 40 pin IDE, an 8 pin (don't know what) & a 4 pin for power supply I presume.Is the 8 pin a USB?

Can you get back to me on the copy from 160GB to 500GB software & the connection cable?

Many thanks

Rich

Wow has anyone listened to Gina Catalino's new "I Believe"? Liking it a lot.


1. There are 2 types of internal hdd connections for external enclosures, PATA (IDE) and SATA, which one you would get would depend on whether the drive you're putting into the enclosure is PATA or SATA. For some reason I thought your drives were SATA but if they're not, you'll need a different case.

2. There are several different connections that are used to connect the external case to the computer, USB, firewire, and eSATA and several others. USB will allow you to attach it to any computer. You can only use firewire or eSATA if the computer has these connections. Many enclosures come with more than one external connection. You definitely want USB. The case I suggested also has eSATA and comes with an eSATA connector that you plug into a SATA connection on your motherboard, which your computer should have, if it doesn't, then just get a case with USB.

3. Put one hdd in the computer and store everything on this, when ever you save your work, save it to this drive. If your current hdd, the 160GB is good, you can use this for your OS and programs. If you prefer, you can partition one of the new drives putting the OS and program on one partition and data on the other but again I prefer to just store everything on a second internal drive.

4. You would keep one of the external drives attached to your computer and backup your work every day onto to it. The second external you could attach to the computer, you'd simply unplug the one regularly attached and plug in the second, maybe once or twice a week to do a second back up.

5. If you use Good Sync, you create what is called a Job and the program will copy the folders you designate. To get the data off the 160GB to the internal back up the first time, you could simply copy and paste through Windows Explorer. If you decide to use Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image for you're back up program, you'd have to follow the instructions to do so. I have Acronis, which is a good program for imaging, I just find Good Sync much easier to use on a daily basis.
April 26, 2007 12:16:22 PM

Quote:
I'm a sys admin, I do this type thing all the time.

Forget all that other stuff, if you are just dealing with a Sony single drive to drive:


As a professional you should know that with very few exceptions there is no "right" way to do most things on a computer, which the above implies. What I suggested is what works for me. I work out of my house so protecting my data is extremely important and in addition I have a collection of music and photo files I don't want to lose. I'm sure the other posters suggestions were what works them just as what you suggested works for you but the fact that it works for you, me, or anyone else doesn't make it a universal truth. Respect for the views of others even if you don't agree is what keeps these discussions civil and useful.

There is no civil issue here, other than your hurt feelings for some reason. The original guy wants to install an HD without losing any data.

My way does that easily and efficiently and my I add very quickly with 0% data loss.

Your way, he is only saving data he happens to remember to backup or transfer. His OS settings, shortcuts, installs, everything will be GONE.

But hey you appear to be the civil expert, knock yourself out, I was just trying to help. laterz
April 26, 2007 1:40:07 PM

Quote:
I'm a sys admin, I do this type thing all the time.

Forget all that other stuff, if you are just dealing with a Sony single drive to drive:


As a professional you should know that with very few exceptions there is no "right" way to do most things on a computer, which the above implies. What I suggested is what works for me. I work out of my house so protecting my data is extremely important and in addition I have a collection of music and photo files I don't want to lose. I'm sure the other posters suggestions were what works them just as what you suggested works for you but the fact that it works for you, me, or anyone else doesn't make it a universal truth. Respect for the views of others even if you don't agree is what keeps these discussions civil and useful.

No “right” way? We are talking about computers here, not your lifestyle. There are two options that are the most efficient and thus “right”, period. Either the data can be saved by doing a drive to drive transfer with programs like Norton Ghost or Drive Image XML (which is free btw) or the data can be backed up and a new install be made on new drive and the data returned to that drive.

Computers are either zeros or ones, there is no ambiguity. There are right ways of doing things and wrong; either it is efficient or it is not. Just because you can find people doing it wrong on the internet does not make it right. The only thing that proves is there are people doing just as wrong as you.
April 26, 2007 2:38:18 PM

how many spare ports do you have internally? sata and IDE.

guessing you only have 2 ide ports (1 for optical drives one for 2 hdds)
i would personally look to put in one of the 320's then simply copy over whatever data you required to keep on to that drive.

then pull out both drives and insert the other 500 in (on its own) and do a full reinstall.

then insert the first 320 and copy your data accross to the 500.

then buy a external enclosure for the second 320 and copy the contents of the 320 to this also. (then take it offsite some where.)

this will leave you with a PC with a 500GB c:\ drive and a 320GB d:\ drive for primary backup
a 320GB external drive with backups on it
and finally your original drive with your system installed onto it so if you need to remove your new hdds you can put your old one in and everything will run fine.

i have reccomended a reinstall of windows simply as it only takes 3 or so hours to reinstall everything and you will lose any previous crap that you used to have on it and you will notice a speed bump.

out of interest this maybe useful
http://www.speedguide.net/read_articles.php?id=1547
April 26, 2007 2:46:09 PM

Quote:

No “right” way? We are talking about computers here, not your lifestyle. There are two options that are the most efficient and thus “right”, period. Either the data can be saved by doing a drive to drive transfer with programs like Norton Ghost or Drive Image XML (which is free btw) or the data can be backed up and a new install be made on new drive and the data returned to that drive.

Computers are either zeros or ones, there is no ambiguity. There are right ways of doing things and wrong; either it is efficient or it is not. Just because you can find people doing it wrong on the internet does not make it right. The only thing that proves is there are people doing just as wrong as you.


2nd'd

The correct way to copy any OS with accompanied programs (without data loss)is to do a mirror image. Use any of the aforementioned programs some of which are free some of which aren't, see which one you like.

Regardless of what you use, asothers have stated it's not even at should I backup my information, it's how can I keep my backed up information safe and secure. You never really understand how little of time 1 hour is to backup your information when you lose all of it. Tieing into the imaging portion of the post again, this is a good way to keep backups. If you would spend an hour or so imaging (since you only have 1 drive) your drive, if something were to happen you would have that backup image in a safe and secure location.

Case in point:

I was helping a person who's hard drive failed after his house was hit by lightening. He kept saying that he needed those files and I asked if he had a backup. He replied that he indeed had a ghost image. I said great let's just ghost it onto your new drive. However he failed to tell me that he kept the image on THE ONLY DRIVE HE HAD. Backing up data isn't only a must but so is keeping that data secure. Obviously this time it wasn't, keep that in mind when you setup your system.

Personally I run 2x80 raid 0, ghost that to 1x160 internal as well as transfer the image to my multimedia server. If something would happen to my raid array I have a hot spare. If something should happen to both of those I still have the image on my multimedia server. If something happens to all three then I guess god was telling me it's time to upgrade :twisted:
April 26, 2007 3:28:21 PM

If your 160gb drive is in good shape there is no need to remove it.

To keep things as simple as possible I suggest installing the 500gb drive as the second physical drive in the Sony and use it for initial photo file/project storage.

Get an external drive enclosure for each of the 320gb drives. The external enclosures with their own internal fans and included power supplies are more reliable.

Copy/move completed projects to one external drive, perform main drive (drive C) drive image backups to the second external drive.

Since you've been doing okay so far without RAID, I see no need to go through the hassle of using two drives for the same amount of drive space.
a b G Storage
April 26, 2007 4:06:06 PM

@ OutsideShooter

In the UK in 2005, of the small businesses that ran a single drive on their computer and had a data failure with no backup, half of them were out of business 12 months later.

You have said that you are going to be running your business based around photography and images stored on your computer. - You MUST have a secure, separate backup of your data, otherwise you may at some future time be the victim of the 12 month fail.

The early posters have all suggested some form of data redundancy based upon their preferred method; these are all good suggestions. To replace your 77% full 160Gb drive with nothing more than a bigger drive (500Gb) by simply using Ghost or other program and then continuing with that drive only is tantamount to idiocy and business suicide. Don't follow that route - please.

As for doing this over the weekend - your posts show a level of knowledge that needs a greater learning period before attempting most of the suggestions within this thread, with one huge exception; that of simply copying your data files to another medium such as any one of your new hard drives as well as archiving your data to DVD. That is your first and foremost priority - get your data safe NOW.

As for a working machine, here is a suggestion :


Start with a new build. (I know it is a drastic step but hardware is cheap compared with other business costs)

Get a good processor - Core 2 duo is recommended at the mo - E6400 should be sufficient;
You will need a motherboard that can support RAID, and this is where your media editing will fly. (you may need to get a RAID controller as well for the RAID5)
3Gb of RAM if using WinXP (it can't address any more than this), or 4Gb if using Vista. - The more the better as then you can work on those big files of yours without noticable slowdown.
2 x WesternDigital Raptor 150Gb drives in RAID0 partitioned for OS on one partition and 'ScratchPad' on the other.
4 x large size drives (320Gb or thereabouts) arranged as a RAID5(3+hot spare) for all the data you will be storing/working on locally.
1 x Dual Layer DVD burner for more permanent backups of your data for off site storage.
A low range graphics card - after all you are not going to be gaming with this machine. You may want a more capable graphics card if you are going to end up editing video in HD.

Your 'scratchpad' is the temporary storage used by your editing suite when working on your images, but the originals and any finalised work is stored on your data drive (the RAID5).

You will need to instigate a rigorous backup routine using whatever flavour of backup software you feel comfortable with. Remember, your precious data are your income. If your RAID0 fails you can re-install your OS and editing suite, but the RAID5 together with the DVD backups keep the bread on the table.

I strongly suggest you take much more time to learn all you need to know to get this right. There are some truly knowledgable peeps hereabouts who will help with selection of parts. If your life is such that you cannot afford the time to learn all the necessary things then you would be better to go to a local PC builder who specialises in business machines (rather than gaming machines).

Good luck with your business.

Q
April 26, 2007 4:18:40 PM

My understanding of the original post was that the OP was asking how best to utilize multiple hdds to back up his data and he was not asking about a system back up. There are a number of ways to back up data including programs like Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image or simple sync programs like Good Sync. I suppose you could just copy and paste. How you choose to do this is up to the individual, what they're comfortable, what they find convenient. This is what I mean by no "right" way. It's like partitioning. If 2 partitions work for you fine, it you want to use 3, 4 or 10, fine. There are some dos and don'ts, e.g., don't do a back up on the drive the data you're backing up is on. There are also shoulds, e.g., you should have a back up of your data that is not in your machine be it on CDs/DVDs, an external hdd, another computer, or a tape.

And my feelings were not hurt by your comment. Most of us are here to learn as well as help. To tell someone to forget about what anyone but you has to say is in essence to say they will not learn anything from other posters, which in the majority of cases is simply not true. By reading and considering all of the posts the OP will learn a lot about how to setup multiple drives and back up data, which will allow him/her to make a well informed decision.
April 26, 2007 5:52:32 PM

A review of the OP shows the following:

1: He wanted to replace his 160gb drive with a 500gb drive without losing any files.

2: He wanted to know about backing up his drives/data to two 320gb drives.

There seems to be no dispute about the need to backup his drives, the issues are in how he implements drive usage and programs used to transfer/backup his drives.

IMHO, the simplest/easiest solution is to leave the 160gb drive in place as the main OS/program drive, add the 500gb drive to the Sony case as a second physical drive to use as initial photo/project storage and use the 320gb drives externally to perform backups to.
April 26, 2007 6:36:03 PM

Quote:
A review of the OP shows the following:

1: He wanted to replace his 160gb drive with a 500gb drive without losing any files.

2: He wanted to know about backing up his drives/data to two 320gb drives.

There seems to be no dispute about the need to backup his drives, the issues are in how he implements drive usage and programs used to transfer/backup his drives.

IMHO, the simplest/easiest solution is to leave the 160gb drive in place as the main OS/program drive, add the 500gb drive to the Sony case as a second physical drive to use as initial photo/project storage and use the 320gb drives externally to perform backups to.


Agree that this is the easiest solution. The other issue is what and how to do back ups. If he wants to do a system back up Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image would do the job but this is different than doing a daily back up of just his data (work) for which a simple sync program would be easier. While Acronis, and I imagine Norton, will do data back up, at least Acronis changes the back up to a proprietary format, which is why I prefer Good Sync, which maintains the original format. If it's possible, I would think partitioning the 500GB using the first for the system backup and the second for the data would make sense if he wants a system back up. If he wants to partition, would recommend Partition Magic, easy to use and safe. I've just started reading about RAID 5, which looks like the way to go but personally I need to learn a lot more about it before I'd try it.
April 27, 2007 12:32:20 AM

Shooter, I did almost exactly what (I think) you are asking, successfully. I originally had 2 crappy ATA100 drives: 40GB system drive and a 200GB media drive. I wanted to replace them with a single 500GB SATA2 drive, with all my programs and data preserved.

The new drive I bought (WD I think) came with a setup utility on a floppy. When I installed the new drive and booted off the utility disk, it allowed me to:
1) create partitions. I created a 80GB partition on which to dump my system drive, and a 420GB partition to dump my media drive.
2) copy from the old drives to these partitions. The original system drive copied cleanly, including the boot stuff, into the new larger system partition. The media drive copied easily into its new home.

Then I disconnected the old drives from the system and rebooted. Voila! WinXP booted happily, I had a new larger sys partition, and all my media stuff was still there on the second partition. Only a couple minor programs had to be reinstalled. There was some minor corruption of some icons, but reinstalls of those apps fixed it. My system has been rock stable since then, and I didn't lose anything.

Hope this is helpful.

Kman
!