Hard drive cloning

Hello and thank you guys for being my place for infinite knowledge on computers and technology.I know this question has probably been asked alot but after searching the site I might have missed my specific question.I know how to switch jumpers from master to slave and install sata and or pata cables and I have windows install discs and keys.I will be installing XP on the new drive im getting.I have an old 160 GB pata hard drive I want to keep in my computer when I add the new 500 gb western digital sata drive.My first question is how do I do a complete clone of whats on my 160 to the 500 including windows themes,all files ..etc?Does the files and settings transfer wizard in windows work for drives on the same computer and will it work from sata to pata?With all of these questions comes another....(sorry if its too much lol) If I do transfer all of my files and everything, will my games and programs be on my desktop the same way as the old drive so they will work without reinstallation.I heard something about wd having its own program to transfer on one of your posts. I appreciate any suggestions and am pretty computer savvy so you don't have to give me a detailed step by step unless you need to.I just want to basically clone everything off my old drive onto the new one and have it work the same way.Thank you again for any input. You guys are the bomb lol.
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  1. Best answer
    Best solution is to find some drive cloning software: I've manually moved XP from one hard drive to another before, but it's a major pain... and thanks to the dumb central 'registry' concept in Windows if you just reinstall Windows and copy the programs over, most of them won't run, you'll have to reinstall them too.

    If you want to try copying it yourself, I think this is how I did it:

    1. Install Windows on the new drive.
    2. Boot on the new drive.
    3. Copy all the files off the old drive into a temporary directory on the new drive, this ensures that the files are in a consistent state.
    4. Boot on the old drive.
    5. Move all the files you copied in step three to the correct places on the new drive, overwriting the new Windows installation from step 1. You can't do that while you're running Windows from that drive.
    6. Boot on the new drive and fix up the drive letter in the registry, since it will probably not be mounted c: since you copied the registry from the old drive which thinks that it is c:.
    7. Reboot.
    8. Check that everything works and complain to any software manufacturers who have stupid 'activation' checks which use the hard drive serial number so they now refuse to run.
  2. Yea im looking into the WD software on how to use thier program to clone Instead of having to manually move everything.There was another post about this and some answers but I didnt quite understand because they were talking about from one computer to another not in the same comp.But thanks if all else fails I will use your method as I have before.Just thought there was an easier way lol.I did get an answer from a bestbuy employee who said the windows file and settings transfer wizard only works from computer to computer not from drive to drive in the same computer which is rediculous to me since basically is the same concept of cloning onto a new drive,why does it matter where the drive is lol...o well windows can be grrrrr sometimes but any more info or answers about the WD software if anyone knows how to use it plzzz help me lol thanks u guys.I called WD and they said if I use thier Acronis software I can only use the 340 gb partition it will make for backups and cannot install anything on it.So now my question is how to use the most of the new drive for installing..because I dont need 340 gb's of backup.
  3. You can make an exact copy of a hard drive using a number of different software packages. Norton Ghost is one; Google "Bit by Bit hard drive copy", or" cloning a hard drive" to get links to more titles. The advantage of this method of backup is that if anything goes wrong with your drive, you slap the copy in, and you are up an running in 5 minutes. The OS, drivers, and software are already installed. I use the Ubuntu startup disk to do a bit by bit copy of a hard drive. See this link:

    This can be a bit (ha ha) scary because you have to use the dreaded Linux Terminal. However, I have found it to be a worthwhile investment of time to learn a bit (omg not again) about Linux and the use of the terminal. I use Windows 7 for 90% of my computing, but the Ubuntu startup disk is a very valuable tool for fixing Windows, and other problems. Eg, it has an easy partitioning software, you can format partitions or USB keys, or hard drives in a number of different formats, you can scan Windows hard drives for viruses from the Ubuntu OS, you can clone hard drives, rescue documents from unbootable hard drives, determine whether you have hardware problems, or your OS is just messed up, and on and on. The best thing about Ubuntu is that there is a huge amount of online help available in forums. I just print out the instructions for future reference. Google Ubuntu to get the latest version.
  4. Sorry, forgot to add one thing. All the things I mentioned in the previous post, can be done WITHOUT actually installing Ubuntu on your hard drive. You just run it from the DVD, which you make from the downloaded ISO file available on the Ubuntu site.
    Actually installing Ubuntu on your hard drive needs a bit (oh no, not again) of research to make sure you know what you are doing.
  5. This all should be as easy as you hope. and I think you got bad advice (or misunderstood) from the WD guys.

    You are planning to buy a WD SATA 500 GB drive and want to clone onto it everything already installed on an existing IDE (PATA) drive. NO PROBLEM!! Go to the WD website and download from there for free their package called Acronis True Image WD Edition. It is a customized version of Acronis True Image that does a LOT of good stuff, so make sure you get and read the manual for it. Install it on your existing PATA drive. Then install the new SATA drive in your machine.

    Boot up and make sure your BIOS Setup screens are set to use the new drive on a SATA port and it is recognized. Very near to where you Enable that port, look for a place where you set the port's Mode. (What we're dealing with here is that XP does not know how to use SATA devices without the installation of a driver, and adding that to an existing XP installation for a BOOT drive is tricky - so we'll avoid that complexity.) Your choices for SATA Port Mode setting usually include IDE (or PATA) Emulation, native SATA, AHCI, or RAID. For your situation, set it to IDE (or PATA) Emulation. In this mode your BIOS will make the actual SATA device on the port appear to Win XP to be a simple older IDE drive it understands with no additional help, and it all just works. Save and Exit to boot your machine. NOTE that you still will NOT be able to see your new SATA drive in My Computer at this time.

    Now, run the Acronis True Image WD Edition software, and go to the menu section that does the cloning operation you need. Very first and IMPORTANT thing: make sure you set the existing old IDE drive as your SOURCE drive, and the new SATA unit as your DESTINATION drive. All data on the Destination drive will be destroyed, so be sure it is the empty new one! Now check through the options for making the clone. First thing is its size: often the default setting is to make the clone size the same as the original. But my guess is you want to have the clone use ALL the space on the new drive, so find the option to manually set that size. Then check a couple other things which probably are already right by default: the Partition being created on the new drive should be a Primary Partition, it should be bootable, and it should be formatted with an NTFS File System. You MAY have a choice of a Quick Format or a Full Format operation. Quick does all the necessary stuff in 10 to 15 minutes before making the clone copy. Full will take MANY HOURS to do an exhaustive test of the entire hard drive surface for bad sectors - not usually necessary with a brand new disk unit, but you can if you have spare time. When all options are set, run the cloning task. When it is finished, back out of the software and shut down.

    Now boot into BIOS Setup again and change which drive your system uses to boot from. You probably have it set currently to use the optical drive as its first choice, and the IDE drive second. Just change that drive choice to your SATA drive, and do NOT have it try to use the old IDE drive. Save and Exit from there and the machine will boot from the new drive. It will all look the same as before (desktop the same, all your games and applications fully functional as before) with two exceptions. One is that your C: drive will be the new one with a LOT more Free Space. The other is that you will find a new drive (formerly the C: drive on the IDE port, but with a new letter name) that contains all your old stuff, too. You can just ignore it for now until you are completely happy that the new drive is working perfectly. THEN you can do what you wish with the old drive. For example, you could use Acronis True Image WD Edition to go to it, Delete any and all Partitions on it, Create and Format a new Partition (does not need to be bootable) that you can use for data storage.

    By the way, here's where I think the misunderstanding between you and WD happened. If you use their software to make the clone and do NOT change any defaults, it will make that clone as one 160 GB Partition on the new drive - same size as your old drive. This will leave you with 340 GB of Unallocated Space on the new unit, which CAN be used (with Acronis or anything else) to Create a second Partition on that drive; its most logical use would be for data only since the first (cloned) Partition is already your Boot Drive. It is true that this second Partition would not be used to install XP on again. But as I outlined above, Acronis True Image WD Edition has the option available in its menus to allow you to set the clone size manually to whatever you like (not just duplicate the Source drive size) and avoid this situation.
  6. Ok I know what you are saying paper but no matter what option I chose in acronis it would make the 160 partition and the 340 unallocated..maybe i was doing something wrong and your answer sounds like the best one but Im giving it to the manuall way lol.I just manually copied everything off the old one onto the new one without having to sacrifice or make 2 partitions on one drive since I dont need it fopr backup,because thats what my 160 is for like you said.But thanks again everyone I truly appreciate it.
  7. Best answer selected by neocloud.
  8. You guys are all wet. Got to Apricorn site and take a look at EZGIG. That is the top of the line for really making a TRUE CLONE of your drive. I have used it many times with great success. This is not a backup but a real cloning solution.
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