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Installing new hdd

  • Hard Drives
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
a b G Storage
July 29, 2010 6:49:55 PM

We have an ASUS P5Q Pro ATX LGA775 P45 DDR2 2PCI-E16 CrossFire 3PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 Sound GBLAN eSATA Motherboard and are installing a Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green 2TB SATA2 3GBPS 64MB Cache 3.5IN Hard Drive OEM. We are running Windows XP. We had two computers built at the same time and I know where one of the original disks are with the auth number but am unsure where the other one is. How will I know if I am entering the correct auth number if I have to re-install windows. I want to make the new hdd the master drive and possibly use the old drive as the slave. The new drive has special instructions for setting up XP. Once I get through that process, is there an easy way to transfer the data from the old HDD to the one? Thanks for the help

More about : installing hdd

a c 367 G Storage
July 29, 2010 7:32:57 PM

I think this is what you want to do, but please check and correct me if wrong.

You have a computer fully functioning with Win XP installed. It happens that there's another just like it somewhere, but in fact that does not really matter for what you are doing. You want to add to this unit a new WD Green 2TB dive, copy absolutely EVERYTHING from the old drive to the new one, then change it so that the new drive completely takes over as the C: drive you boot from. After that is done you probably want to change the old drive into a second data storage device, but not use it as a boot drive.

This is easier than you thought. The process you need is called "cloning" the old drive to the new one, and it's a common need when people upgrade to a larger drive. So common, in fact, that manufacturers like WD will let you download for FREE from their website a very good tool to do the job for you! It is called Acronis True Image WD Edition and you should install it on your existing old HDD. Find it here:

Make sure to get and read its manual. It is actually a very good and powerful set of utilities for lots of things beyond cloning.

I'm not sure what you mean when you say, "The new drive has special instructions for setting up XP. " You MIGHT be referring to a feature of SOME of WD's drives called Advanced Format. WD has already made that Acronis utility take care of that for you as it makes the clone to the WD Green drive, so you will NOT have to take special extra steps if that is what you mean.

So here's the way it works. You download and install that utility from WD's website. You mount the new 2TB unit in your machine and connect it up. It will NOT show up in My Computer yet! Then you run the Acronis utility and use the menus per the manual. Make VERY SURE at the beginning that you set the SOURCE unit to be your old drive, and the DESTINATION unit to be the new 2 TB Green unit. Go to the cloning section and set up some of the options. In particular, watch the size of the Destination Partition. By default it may want to make it the same as your old drive. BUT you probably want it to take up ALL the space available on the new unit, so set that through menus. When you get all the options set you run the task. It will copy ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING from Source to Destination and make that new drive completely prepared to take over. When the whole job is done, shut down. I recommend you open the case, disconnect the old drive completely, and connect the data cable from the new one to the same port the old one had. Close up and reboot. Your machine will look exactly the same as before, BUT the C: drive will just be much larger! In the meantime, the old drive is sitting there untouched with a complete backup up to the point of this cloning operation.

After you have run this way for a while and are satisfied all is perfect, you can address the old drive. My suggestion is that you reconnect it (but to a new SATA port) and it will suddenly show up as a second drive in My Computer. Then you can run the Acronis utility again. BUT this time you are not making a clone. You use different menus to Delete all its former Partition(s) and Create a new one (the full size of the drive) and Format it (NTFS). This disk does NOT need to be bootable. It is just going to be for data storage. When it's done you have two drives - the new C: drive with lots of empty space, plus a second drive (the old one) completely empty and usable for data..

NOTE that all this completely avoids the question of which XP Install disk is which. You have simple cloned the existing installation on this machine t a large HDD, with NO need to re-install anything!