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How do you move data from an old hard drive?

Last response: in Storage
September 20, 2009 2:34:07 AM

I'm thinking about switching out the old OEM hdd from a 2005 dell e310 and getting a faster hdd. How do you go about transferring all the data, including the OS from the old to the new?

More about : move data hard drive

a b G Storage
September 22, 2009 6:32:20 AM

You can try putting in the new disk into a hard disk enclosure, plugging it into your old computer via USB, creating an image of your old drive through True Image or something, then writing that image to your new hard disk.
a b G Storage
September 22, 2009 7:14:43 AM

As manic said, Acronis True Image can clone, resize, and backup. So for example, you temporarily install your new, larger HD as the 2nd drive in your PC. Then you clone your "C" drive's image to it while at the same time expanding the partition to fill the disk.

Your PC has room for a second disk drive, so that's probably the approach to take. Check inside and see that you have a spare power connector and a data cable. Use the ones attached to your "C" drive to show you what they look like.
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a b G Storage
September 22, 2009 3:26:16 PM

Acronis and Symantec's GHOST are the BEST WAY
for cloning your C: partition entirely.

Also, for the future, size your C: partition at 20-30GB,
and format the rest as a data partition: this will help
if/when you need to restore a drive image of C:,
which will overwrite all files as of the moment
that drive image file was created.

With data files on a separate partition, that problem goes away.

If your drive image file saved a large C: partition, however,
the new partition must be at least as large as the old one:
GHOST will err if you try to restore a drive image to a
partition that is smaller than the source partition.

For data files generally, in Command Prompt (aka DOS window):

XCOPY folder D:\folder /s/e/v/d

If you add the /l option on the command line,
XCOPY will tell you which files it WILL copy
when you omit the /l option:

XCOPY folder D:\folder /s/e/v/d/l

Help is available too:


You can re-route "help" results into a text file:

XCOPY /? >

a b G Storage
September 22, 2009 6:44:17 PM

+^ These have been shown to work OK; note, however, I believe you need to get the software from the same manufacturer that makes your new (receiving) HD.

Also, don't get confused - you need "drive image" type software to move the HD that has your OS on it. You can't use "file copy" type software.
September 22, 2009 6:58:12 PM

I've actually moved completely away from Ghost in favor of Clonezilla (free/GPL software for cloning and restoring hard drive and partitions). The text menus can be scary at first, but unlike a lot of GPL software, the default settings are great. I'm very no-nonsense when it comes to software, and I had an easy time using it.