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Clone/copy hard drive

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November 12, 2009 12:05:02 AM

I have a rather old Dell dimension 8200 with a Maxtor 6L080L4 hard disk.
I installed another identical Maxtor hard drive and copied many files onto it. I believe both have only one partition. Question: do I need to delete the files I put on the new hard drive (E:)  before I try to clone/copy from the old (c:)  hard drive? . In addition, will both drives be capable of "booting" the computer without any problems being incured?
That is, can I use either disk to operate my computer?
Larry T. I have Seagate disk Wizard
I have windows xp installed with all updates SP, etc.

UPDATE
I goofed up on the hard drives. They are not both Maxtor's. C:( original) is the Maxtor drive, while E: (the new one) is Seagate's 80gb ATA-100 Barracuda 7200.10 drive. Both have the same capacity. I ran a preliminary clone process via Seagates DiskWizard and it advised that after completion of the clone that the C: drive would be the "new" Seagate drive. I was hoping to just clone the C: drive and have the E: drive as a backuo when the original C: (Maxtor) fails... And then there is some verbage that I might have to remove/disconnect the old original drive. I am confused somewhat.....
I deleted all the files on the newest drive, and there was comment that more than one partion existed on the new drive.. I am afraid to pull the trigger on the clone process now.

More about : clone copy hard drive

a c 357 G Storage
November 12, 2009 2:54:22 PM

You can re-do the Cloning operation. I assume from your post that you want really to have two almost identical drives when done - the older Maxtor which you will keep as C: and boot from, plus a newer Seagate 80 GB unit containing the same stuff and resident in the machine, but just not used until the Maxtor fails. We'll review how to do that, but I'll suggest alternative things at the end.

With both drives in the machine run Seagate Disk Wizard and make VERY sure you designate the Maxtor as the SOURCE drive, and Seagate as the DESTINATION - everything on DESTINATION will be destroyed! As a first step, make sure that you Delete ALL existing Partitions on the Seagate. The Cloning operation has three steps: Create a bootable Primary Partition, Format it with a File System, then copy absolutely everything over to it.

In Creating the Partition, you have control over the size of the Partition, and by default it probably will try to make it match the Source drive's size. You probably should change that (if necessary) to use up ALL of the space available on the Seagate. Check that it is making a Primary Partition and it will be bootable. For File System, usually choose NTFS unless you know you need FAT32 for some reason. A Quick Format usually is all that is needed, but a Full Format that takes several hours to do exhaustive disk testing before use may be advisable for re-using a used drive. Once the options are set, proceed with the Cloning.

Now, it appears you did that, and then it automatically changed settings so that the Clone would become your boot drive, but that was not your plan. Fixing this will take two steps, I think. First is to shut down and disconnect the new Seagate clone so only the Maxtor is available, then boot up and go directly into BIOS Setup. There check that only the Maxtor shows up, and ensure that it is set as the boot device in Boot Priority. Save and Exit, and the machine will boot this way, all happy. Now, shut down and re-connect the Seagate drive. Boot into BIOS Setup again and this time ensure that the Seagate is detected and OK, and check that it is still going to boot from the older Maxtor unit, but NOT try to use the Seagate for booting. Save and Exit and finish booting into Windows, and it should be all good with the Seagate simply showing up as a second drive that is fully accessible, but named something like D: or E: (not C: ). I think this is what you wanted.

Now, with this setup you COULD boot into BIOS Setup any time and change the Boot Priority so that it boots from the Seagate and not the Maxtor. But that will make the drive letter names change around. You could also reverse this and get back to booting from the Maxtor.

I see two problems with what I believe is your plan. The first obvious one is that the moment you boot up from the Maxtor with both drives installed, the Seagate's copy of the Maxtor is out of date. This will get more mis-matched as you work. You may find that quite acceptable. In fact, you can easily solve that periodically by simply repeating the whole process above, deleting the clone Partition on the Seagate and making a new clone on it.

The other problem is how well you are protecting yourself from disk disaster. With both units installed and connected, you run the risk that any electrical malfunction of hardware, or any virus etc., can damage BOTH drives, and your safe backup is destroyed. To protect against this, you should keep the Seagate DISconnected (BOTH data and power supply cables) while in the case, and only re-connect it when you need to use it (either as the replacement when Maxtor fails, or when you re-clone to it.) The other option you should consider is whether you want to guard against physical damage to your machine which contains BOTH drives. Completely removing the Seagate and storing it somewhere else (especially off-site) guarantees it won't be harmed if a theft, flood, fire, etc.
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November 12, 2009 5:45:51 PM

Paperdoc, wow, thanks for the great information. I think I am getting a little paranoid now. What if I just clone the new drive and disable the old one and leave it installed but not connected? The Seagate is new and "should" last for some time, right? If I do as proposed will all the drivers, etc be there? I am not smart enough to go to far on this effort. All I want is an operational computer. my system uses FAT32. Will DiscWizard recognize what I proposed and make the necessary master/slave configurations?
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a c 357 G Storage
November 12, 2009 8:21:13 PM

Once you've made your clone you can operate from either one with the other disconnected, no problem. This does have the two drawbacks I mentioned in my last two paragraphs - it gets out of date, and it's still physically in the case rather than off-site - but those are small items you can make your own decision on.

However, I missed an important point. It appears BOTH of these disks are IDE (PATA) drives, right? On those you must set jumpers to establish Master and Slave - Windows will NOT do this for you, nor will the BIOS.

You could connect both drives to one IDE port with a cable that has 3 connectors - this is the normal way. When you do that, here are some general rules to follow.
1. For each IDE (PATA) port, there MUST be ONE Master device - set by jumpers. Check the jumper notes on the drive or on its maker's website to be sure. SOME make a distinction between Master with No Slave, and Master with Slave Present, some don't treat these as different. The Master should be plugged into the END connector.
2. If you add a second device to the port, it MUST be jumpered as a Slave, and should be connected to the middle connector.
3. If you have both an optical drive and a hard drive sharing one port, it's recommended the Master should be the HDD.
4. If you opt to put the second HDD on a second IDE port, the same rules apply - the first device MUST be that port's Master, and any second device the Slave.

So if you put both drives on one IDE port ensure they are set one to Master (probably the older Maxtor) and one to Slave. But after you've made your clone copy and disconnect a drive, make sure to adjust the jumpers on the one that is still connected so it can be the Master, since it is the ONLY drive on that port. and plug the cable's END connector into the active drive.

If you have SATA drives, none of this applies - there is no Master or Slave for SATA drives because there is only one device per SATA port. And note that the Boot Drive (C: ) is NOT the Master of anything unless you set it that way. Which drive you boot from is set entirely by what you tell the BIOS Setup screen to do under Boot Priority Sequence.
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a c 357 G Storage
November 12, 2009 8:27:07 PM

By the way, here's how to avoid yellow smiley faces in the middle of your posts - I had to fix mine above. They happen when you use a colon : followed immediately by a right round bracket ). Looks like: the (C:)  drive. Just insert a space between the two, and it won't get converted: the (C: ) drive.
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November 12, 2009 11:12:39 PM

The Seagate says ATA-100 interface type, is this the IDE/PATA thing to which you refer?
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November 12, 2009 11:21:47 PM

I think its time to retreat and just use my second/new harddrive to store
ordinary files. All I can hope for is that the old drive doesn't crash. It may be time to buy something newer. Sure as hell, it will fail but I just can't go thru the rigors of trying to configure this beast the way I wanted to.
There is nothing simple these days, huh? Larry
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November 13, 2009 12:42:13 AM

I just wanted to add that I do have an external harddrive that I backup all my data files on a regular basis. I am sure that it does not back up any on the necessary software that actually operates the machine. Don't know this to be a fact though. Also, on Seagates DiscWizard I made a bootable RW-CD which I am saving. For what I don't know being an ignorant computer person. I didn't actually test it to see if it does boot my system. I also have a wireless laptop but when the D-Link server(? )goes offline I need my desktop to get it going again. Moreover, I never thought of the increased power requirements by adding another harddisk. I just assumed it was capable of driving both units.

I still don't understand why I can't have two identical drives installed. Why wouldn't the computer know that it should always boot from the C: drive ? and not the identical backup drive. PaperDoc, I hope you read this... I understand the backup drive will become for want of another word "obselete" because new data is not being added, i.e., windows xp updates, etc.
But it should still be operational if required for future use, huh? what do you think? Larry T.
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a c 357 G Storage
November 13, 2009 12:41:50 PM

Yes, the "ATA-100" interface is one of the versions of PATA.

There is NO real problem with having both drives installed and operating at the same time. (As I said, there is a small probability that electrical trouble or viruses, etc. could damage both drives at the same time, but that has nothing to do with normal operation.) When you use the Boot Priority Sequence system in BIOS Setup to specify which drive to boot from, just set only one of the drives (probably the older Maxtor) as the boot drive. The machine will boot from there and never even try to boot from the other unless you go back into BIOS Setup and change it. But both drives will be fully usable.

The "obsolete" backup copy certainly will work if you need it, and it will have everything you put on it up to the last making of the clone copy. It just won't have anything more recent. That simply means that if your Maxtor suddenly fails, you will not have a backup copy of the very latest files on the clone. However, you may have those backed up on your external drive anyway.

As a means of "backing up all your files", I find that the cloning system works well. From time to time I simply re-do a clone from my C: drive to an external (in your case, you would clone to the Seagate internal) and it has guaranteed EVERY file on the C: drive at that time including any updates, Registry changes you did not know about, etc. I don't even use typical backup software, but maybe that's why my clone "backup" is a little too old!
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November 13, 2009 3:06:22 PM

Paper doc, I want to thank you for taking the time to march me thru this cloning effort.
I am going to clone the puppy and cross my fingers that all goes well. Your expertise has been most helpful in making this decision. sincerely Larry T.
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November 13, 2009 4:00:47 PM

PaperDoc, Thank god for small favors, I sucessfully completed the clone and the old disk is still the master. Everything worked as advertised. The system booted and am able to conduct all internet operations. The Maxtor is still C:
Thanks tons for your help. I am going to delete all previouse discussions.
Best Regards, Larry T.
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a c 357 G Storage
November 13, 2009 6:56:34 PM

I've a friend with a favourite expression: I love it when a plan comes together!
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!