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Can i image my hard drive on cd/dvd

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February 8, 2011 3:37:09 PM

I have dell 745 with one hard drive space, so I wanted to image my old hard drive (160gig) to my new one (1tb) I already have xp installed on the 1tb but need all my programs from my old one to be copied on the new one, and with one spate for hd I was hoping I can do that on cd/dvd, can anyone explain how to do so and what is the right software to use? I see lots of free software for imaging and cloning but don't know which one is right one.

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a c 316 G Storage
February 8, 2011 4:44:51 PM

Yes, it can be done. Probably easier to get a cheap USB-to-SATA (or -to-EIDE) cable and do it that way.

BUT. If you have already installed the OS on the new drive, you will not be able to run those programs copied from the old drive, or even on the old drive, while the new OS is running. Your post sounds to me like you want to run the old programs.

The reason that it won't work is that almost all (there are "portable apps") programs that are installed into the Windows environment use the Windows registry, and those entries are tied to your old instance of the OS. Your new OS instance doesn't have them. Some programs also deposit files in /windows or /windows/system32.

That said, if you continue with the XP install on your new drive you will have to re-install all programs, and might as well just copy all the stuff from the old drive to the new one; an image won't do you any good.

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Now the alternative view. What I wrote above is true for the case where you have re-installed Windows on the new drive. What you could try, if you don't have too much time invested in that OS build, is to abandon what's on the new drive and overwrite it with an image of what's on the old drive. Plugged into the same system, the odds are that it will boot, and whatever was installed will be installed when the image comes over.

Which brings me back to your original question: software that will copy a disk image to intermediate media (say that three times fast!). There is no "right one," most of the ones that you see will do this just fine. I'm still using the 2003 version of Norton Ghost, myself. I even have floppies to boot it.

Totally random picks: Buy a copy of Acronis True Image, or try EASEUS disk copy - for free ( http://www.easeus.com/disk-copy/ ). From their blurb, "Copy all of your hard drive: Creating a bootable CD/DVD to copy entire disk."

I haven't tried it, but watch on the restore option for the chance to create a partition exactly the size of your old one, or to expand it to occupy the whole disk and give you more space.

When you say one hard drive space, does that mean you can only attach one, or there is only room in the case for one? If the latter, just have an extra drive hanging out of your case for an hour while you do the transfer. If it's EIDE, you can always put a slave on the same cable. If it's SATA, and the motherboard really only has one SATA port, try something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . Or do it with intermediate DVDs; I'm just too lazy to change that many DVDs.

Good luck.
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February 9, 2011 2:55:54 PM

Thanks for the respond, I can only attach one to it, and I don't mind to have the old os on the new one if thats the case, I only want to clone all my programs more important than whichever os will cary with it.
so I have never did this before and was hoping that someone will recomend something thats easy to use or tell me the steps, the ones on the web are not really clear.
if I use norton ghost can I copy to cd since I have no flopy thing (I know my computer is very limited but dont want to change it, I am use to it and love it).
I am appreciative of your responds, please help me do this.
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a c 316 G Storage
February 9, 2011 4:34:25 PM

I dunno nothing about the current version of Ghost; mine is 8 years old. As I indicated above, I think that the EASEUS freebie will do it. I have never tried this, myself; all my transfers have been disk-to-disk.
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February 16, 2011 2:35:22 PM

Best answer selected by imstudent.
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