How to replace main drive with a new one?

I currently have a Western Digital Caviar Green 640GB hard drive running Windows Vista 64-bit. I just ordered a Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB drive in hopes of using this faster drive as the main one from which Windows would boot . I would then keep the Green drive for storage. I'm not only doing this for faster performance, but also the needed extra space.

What would be the best way to do this?
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More about replace main drive
  1. I just saw a whole thread dedicated to this as a sticky at the top of this forum.
    Sorry for posting before checking.
  2. Actually tried reading the sticky, but it seems like a lot of work, and also only provides help up to Windows XP

    Any advice would be appreciated.
  3. Easiest way? Fresh install on the new drive, and format the old.
  4. So the steps would be:
    -Install Hard Drive
    -Start Computer and see it probably as Drive (F:)
    -Insert Windows Vista and install OS on the drive
    -Somehow transfer the files from Drive (C:) to Drive (F:)
    -Then format Drive (C:) once Windows can boot from the new drive, and I have all my important files on the new drive.

    Is it as simple as that?
  5. Best answer
    Transfer files off your old to your new? As in programs, etc? I'm not sure you can do that, perhaps you'd be best suited cloning the drive. But this would require more expertise then I could provide. Here's what I would do, back up what you want, pictures etc.

    Unhook your current drive,

    plug in your new drive, install windows, etc.

    turn off computer

    plug in old drive, locate the old drive in disk manager

    format the drive in NTFS.

    I'm not certain as to whether you can do the steps you've said. It may be possible, hopefully someone with more expertise can chime in. But that's the best I can offer you.
  6. Go tot he WD site, downloads page

    'Acronis True Image WD Edition Software helps you to completely clone your current system drive onto your new WD hard drive. Cloning makes an exact copy of your old system drive on your new WD hard drive, including the operating system, applications, data, preferences, and email settings. Everything will be present and operate exactly as it did on your old hard drive.

    ATIWD is based on the award winning Acronis True image Home 2009 backup, restore and disaster recovery program."
  7. Looks like I'm going to clone the drive, then reformat it once I know the new drive is up and running.
    Thanks for the help guys and for the link to the WD program for cloning.
  8. Take the advice of purchasing a new drive and load the new OS onto it. Use windows migrating tools to get a head start on the new OS. Keep your old drive intact as a back up if things go south.
  9. Symantec's GHOST also has a feature to move your C: partition
    from one hard drive to another.

    I don't have experience with it, but I believe that
    Acronis True Image WD Edition Software does the same thing.

    As a general rule, it's a good policy to create regular drive images
    of your C: partition, to permit fast recovery from destructive
    malware, viruses, etc. This totally eliminates the need to
    re-install your OS and all application software as well.

    The easiest way would be to install your new drive
    in an empty bay; run GHOST (or comparable software);
    then just swap SATA cables so your new HDD is
    the primary boot drive. You'll see in the GHOST menu
    the option to "clone" an entire drive.

    The next easiest way would be to fully install your new HDD
    and format the first partition to be equal to or greater than
    your existing C: partition; format the remainder (if any)
    as a data partition; then, run GHOST to write a drive image file
    to the data partition on your new HDD; then, swap cables
    and run the GHOST restore task -- by writing a copy of
    your former C: partition to your new Caviar black.

    If you have only one partition on your Caviar green,
    the latter sequence won't work, however.

    We always format C: at 30-50GB and format the rest
    as a data partition; using the latter approach,
    it always helps to make a copy of the drive image file
    to the data partition on the old HDD: by reading from
    one HDD and writing to a second HDD, the restore
    task won't need to "thrash" the read/write armature.
    The latter "thrashing" will happen if you must read
    the drive image file from a data partition on the
    same HDD that hosts the new C: partition
    (because partition boundaries fall on cylinders).

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