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Swapping for a quieter HD- how to make an exact copy of the old drive?

Last response: in Storage
August 27, 2007 12:03:43 AM

I currently have a very loud 500GB Seagate 7200.10 HD. I'm trying build a silent PC, but the hard drive can be heard from across the room when it's loading programs. As a result, I plan on swapping out that HD for a Samsung HD501LJ, which is supposedly much quieter. My dilemma is that I spent a great deal of time installing the OS, drivers, necessary programs, etc. on the Seagate.

Is there anyway to make an exact clone of the Seagate on the Samsung so I can do the hard drive switch seamlessly? It would be a huge pain to have to start fresh and reisntall everything. I also have two partitions on the Seagate and was hoping to have those transferred over as well. Also, would there be any conflict as the hard drives are different models and use different drivers (hopefully XP won't get confused)? Thanks for any help on this matter!
August 27, 2007 12:33:18 AM

You need a copy of Ghost or similar tool.
It will mirror the HDDs for you.
August 27, 2007 12:45:55 AM

Thanks Zenmaster! That's exactly what I needed. After creating the clone do you know if there will be any incompatibility problems with XP, or would Windows just realize the HD is different and adjust to it?
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a b G Storage
August 27, 2007 12:46:50 AM

You can download the free version Acronis true image. Very easy to use. Will make an exact mirror image of your old drive to your new drive.
August 27, 2007 9:33:01 PM

Never used Ghost but with Acronis True Image you just install the new drive, format it, and then basically copy, mirror, the old drive to the new. Remove the old drive and boot the machine. I believe the new drive has to be at least as big as the old drive.
August 30, 2007 1:02:06 PM

Acronis rules over Ghost anyday in my opinion. And no, Acronis will put an image or using the copy drive option, it can put a larger drive's image on a smaller drive, but only if the data will fit on the target drive. Example, a 500GB drive with say 200GB's of data on it will require at least a 200GB drive. I've done it plenty of times, like from a 160GB drive to an 80GB drive, then later decided I liked the 160 as my O/S drive better and used Acronis to move it back. I have never had Acronis fail on me EXCEPT once, when trying an older version (because thats what I had burned as a rescue disc) and the drive I was attempting to make an image of was physically damaged. With Acronis you don't even have to format it first, it will do it for you as it either copies one drive to another OR unpacks an image onto it. You can even manipulate partitions... Acronis > Ghost :) 

oops forgot this, if your drive that's all set up with drivers and such is to be moved to another computer with different chipset, video will still work, you just have to boot into safe mode, remove the non-compatable drivers and reboot normally and install that computers drivers needed... Sometimes it takes a little registry work, but it's a fairly simple process...good luck!
August 30, 2007 1:45:21 PM

Never used Acronis, but if it's free that works as well.
There would not abe any compatibility issues.

There are a host of applications that can do this, just simply was the over whelming market leader at one point in which the process is commonly just called "Ghosting", even when using other products.

Sorta like "Please Xerox this page for me".
August 30, 2007 3:51:15 PM

thesmallelder said:
Also, would there be any conflict as the hard drives are different models and use different drivers (hopefully XP won't get confused)?

No, there would be no conflict. Remember that HDDs don't use drivers. It's the HDD controllers that use drivers, and assuming you connect the new HDD to the same controller as the old HDD, there will be no problem.
a c 349 G Storage
August 31, 2007 9:41:14 PM

In case you can't get a free copy of Acronis, try the websites of the HDD manufacturer. For example, I know that Seagate, Maxtor and Western Digital all make available free downloads of their utility software for this purpose. They make an exact copy of an old HDD onto a new one, even to ensuring the new one is boot-able so it can take over as the new boot drive.

One caution: many of these from manufacturers will check what disk is the destination, and only do the job if it is writing to one of their drives. So in this case, take a close look on the Samsung website for the utility you need.