Copying hard drive
I have installed and formatted a new hard drive in my PC. I want to copy everything on my old C drive to my new G drive so that I can replace my old C/D drive with the new G drive. Is there a way to do this? For now, the old C/D drive is the master and the new G drive is the slave.
My old hard drive is too small and too slow for my needs. It's only 80GBs with 2MBs of cache, while the new one is 500GBs and 8MBs of cache. Also the old one is just IDE and the new one is EIDE. So yeah, I definitely want to upgrade from the old one to the new one which has a much better controller. Right now the new one is formatted and ready to go but there's no OS or anything else installed on it and I'm not sure at this point how to get windows installed on it so that I can use it to bring the rest over.
Who made the NEW drive? If it is Seagate or Maxtor or WD, you can download free software for this job. Other makers MAY have it also. The task is called cloning - you want to copy absolutely EVERYTHING from the old drive to the new one so that the new one can completely take over the C: boot drive functions. But probably, during this process, you want the new C: drive to be much larger, also.
Seagate's website has a utility package called Disk Wizard. It is actually a customized version of Acronis True Image which is capable of doing a lot of useful stuff, so be sure to get the manual and read it. Part of the customization is that it can make clones only TO a Seagate drive, or to Maxtor (owned by Seagate). Similarly, WD has a package called Acronis True Image WD Edition if you are making a clone TO a WD drive unit.
In making the clone, watch for a few details. First thing is to be VERY sure you designate the NEW unit as the DESTINATION drive, because the destination drive's old data will all be destroyed! Next is size. By default these packages tend to set the size of the Partition on the new drive the same as the size of the old drive, leaving a lot of empty Unallocated Space on the new drive for creation of additional Partitions later. But many people want the entire new drive to be one large Partition to be used as the C: drive. You can set it this way manually, just look for how - don't accept the defaults blindly. If your old drive had more than one Partition on it, the default new layout also may not be what you want, and you should manually set the several Partitions as you would prefer. You probably want the new unit to be bootable so you can boot from it and use it as the C: drive, and that will be the default. For moving to a larger drive you often will want the new one to be Formatted with the NTFS File System, even if the old one was FAT32, so just check that setting.
You already have installed and formatted your new HDD. As it turns out, the cloning software would have done all that for you, and will basically re-do it as it sets the drive up to receive the clone copy.
One small item that may or may not affect you is the size of the new drive. Some people with older systems and small HDD's have an issue with what is known as "48-bit LBA Support". This feature is necessary to use an HDD over 137 GB. It is needed in the HDD itself (obviously will be there in a drive this big), in the HDD controller, and in the OS. All SATA systems and controllers have this feature, but you are using an EIDE system, so maybe you need to check that. On the OS side, Windows XP in its original form did NOT have this built in. If your OS on the old system is that, you really should update it BEFORE making the change. But if your Win XP already has been updated to Service Pack 1 or later, OR if you are using Vista or Win 7, there is no problem.
1.The old drive is a a Maxtor IDE with 80GB & 2MB of cache. The new drive is a WD EIDE with 500 GB & 16MB of cache.
The old drive is partitioned into a C: (30GB) & a D: (50GB). I can boot to either one.
I would like to copy only the C: to the new F:, keeping it just one large un-partitioned drive for simplicity's sake.
My OS is Windows XP Pro with service packs 1,2 & 3.
The old drive uses the NTFS File system as does the new drive.
2.Once all this is done I want to remove the old HDD, which is currently the master and use the new HDD as the master instead, since it is clearly the superior drive. Besides, as long as the old drive remains installed the new drive can't operate at full capacity due to the fact that my PC's processor is programmed to automatically slow the new HDD down to match the speed of the old drive. I learned that this is because your system is only as fast as the slowest device on your line. A pain in the ass but it makes sense.
3.Some people have suggested that it might be simpler to just install Windows directly onto the new HDD and start a whole fresh new drive. Since I don't have an installation CD for Windows and I can't afford $400 for one, how can I do this? Where can I find a free Windows XP Pro download and will I be able to do so without there being a conflict with the Windows program that's already installed on the old HDD?
So you have one IDE old drive at 80 GB containing two Partitions, and a new 500 GB EIDE drive. You don't say whether there is an optical drive in the system somewhere.
I recommend you mount the old and new drives on the same IDE cable and port. Before doing this, make sure the old 80GB unit has its jumpers set to Master (some make a special case for Master with Slave present) and the new unit has its jumpers set to Slave. The END connector of your ribbon cable should go to the OLD drive (the Master), and the middle connector to the new drive. This will all change later.
Go to the WD website and download their package Acronis True Image WD Edition, and install it on your old hard drive (the C: drive if it has space). Make sure you get the instructions for it and read them. The package does a lot of good stuff. You will want to concentrate on the chapter on cloning an old drive to a new one.
Boot up into Win XP Pro and start the software. Choose the menu item to make your clone. Be VERY sure your Source drive is your C: drive, and your DESTINATION unit is the NEW 500 GB unit. You say you do not want to clone the D: Partition, so set the new clone to be the full size of the new drive, and make it bootable. For the Formatting portion of the work, select the NTFS File System and I recommend you take the short route with a new drive - select Quick Format, and the whole process should complete in maybe half an hour. If you want to be extra cautious, a Full Format will take MANY hours to check the new HDD thoroughly, but the job will get done.
When you are finished, shut down and disconnect power. Now, change the jumpers on the drives so that the new one is Master, and the old 80 GB is Slave. Change the ribbon cable connection - END connector to the NEW (Master) large drive, middle connector to the old drive. Close up and boot your machine. You should boot from the new drive with LOTS of space on the C: drive. Your old unit will now have two Partitions on it called D: and something else. You can copy anything from your old large Partition (used to be the D: drive) that you need to the new C: drive. All your drives will be usable.
At some point you may decide to remove the old drive completely. Just unplug it and remove - no further jumper settings to change.