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Cloning a HDD without the OS?

Last response: in Storage
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April 14, 2011 10:38:17 AM

Recently I purchased a new motherboard without realizing that it would make me unable to boot Windows. I have a new HDD and a new copy of Windows that I can install on the drive, but I need to clone my original HDD to the new drive without interfering with the new copy of Windows. Is this possible and if so, how do I do it? I have never imaged a HDD before.

Here are my system specs.

OS: Windows 7 64 bit
Case: Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATI Full Tower
Motherboard: ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
CPU Heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
GPU: XFX Raedon HD5750
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 1600
PSU: Rosewill BRONZE Series RBR1000-M 1000W
Original HDD: 500 GB Western Digital SATA 3G (3.0 Gb/sec) 7200 rpm

New HDD: 500 GB Seagate SATA 6G (6.0 Gb/sec) 7200 rpm

More about : cloning hdd

April 14, 2011 12:42:32 PM

You could just re-install Windows without formatting your hard drive - your 'data' (non-installed programs) will still be there
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April 14, 2011 1:04:00 PM

If you are doing this because the new HDD is SATA 6Gb/s, you won't see a noticable difference in performance.
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April 14, 2011 2:16:59 PM

I have the feeling that you don't need to clone the drive. If all you want is the data, you could bring up Windows on the new drive, attach the old drive to the system, and just copy the files instead.

WARNING: When you install Windows on the new drive, disconnect the old drive from the motherboard before installing. Otherwise, the beginning of the boot sequence will be left on the old drive, and the system will not boot without it. If you already violated this rule, you can to a "repair installation" to make the new drive bootable.
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April 14, 2011 3:50:24 PM

What I am trying to do is clone the old drive, installed programs, settings, et cetera, and have them put on the new drive with the new copy of Windows. Would simply copying over the files do that?
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April 14, 2011 4:05:33 PM

zack_of_steel said:
What I am trying to do is clone the old drive, installed programs, settings, et cetera, and have them put on the new drive with the new copy of Windows. Would simply copying over the files do that?


Nope, you need registry and other files that reside in Windows. There are too many variables for this to work well. Why don't you just clone the drive, and boot it off the new motherboard and see how it does. You may just need to supply the thing with new drivers. Don't use the original drive though, keep that as a backup if things don't work.
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April 14, 2011 4:21:51 PM

zack_of_steel said:
What I am trying to do is clone the old drive, installed programs, settings, et cetera, and have them put on the new drive with the new copy of Windows. Would simply copying over the files do that?


But why? You are replacing a 500 gig drive with another 500 gig drive. I could see if the drive is failing or you are moving to a larger drive capacity. So, I asked, what is the goal of switching drives? If you are trying to keep your windows intact on the new motherboard, you can do a repair install or a clean install. Either way you will need to reinstall your programs.
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April 14, 2011 4:24:18 PM

zack_of_steel said:
What I am trying to do is clone the old drive, installed programs, settings, et cetera, and have them put on the new drive with the new copy of Windows. Would simply copying over the files do that?

There are applications that allow you to do this, with varying degrees of success. However, all of the ones that I've ever seen require that the source be up and running. Do you still have the old rig?

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/transfer-fi...
http://www.laplink.com/pcmover

These move files and settings from a running source system to a running target system. Is that closer to what you want to do?


Worst case, you clone the old drive to the new with something like EASEUS and do a repair install. But consider this an opportunity to do a fresh install and clean out years of accumulated crud. The drive clone method doesn't install a new copy of Windows
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April 14, 2011 5:00:23 PM

hang-the-9 said:
Nope, you need registry and other files that reside in Windows. There are too many variables for this to work well. Why don't you just clone the drive, and boot it off the new motherboard and see how it does. You may just need to supply the thing with new drivers. Don't use the original drive though, keep that as a backup if things don't work.


I'm in the middle of trying this out. We'll see what happens, I suppose, lol.


Hawkeye22 said:
But why? You are replacing a 500 gig drive with another 500 gig drive. I could see if the drive is failing or you are moving to a larger drive capacity. So, I asked, what is the goal of switching drives? If you are trying to keep your windows intact on the new motherboard, you can do a repair install or a clean install. Either way you will need to reinstall your programs.


Because I want all of my old settings, bookmarks, installed programs, et cetera, but with my new motherboard.

WyomingKnott said:
There are applications that allow you to do this, with varying degrees of success. However, all of the ones that I've ever seen require that the source be up and running. Do you still have the old rig?

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/transfer-fi...
http://www.laplink.com/pcmover

These move files and settings from a running source system to a running target system. Is that closer to what you want to do?


Worst case, you clone the old drive to the new with something like EASEUS and do a repair install. But consider this an opportunity to do a fresh install and clean out years of accumulated crud. The drive clone method doesn't install a new copy of Windows


That's what I want to do, yes. I have the old rig, which is what I was going to give to my dad (which is why I had the extra HDD and copy of Windows). I am cloning the drive now, but if that doesn't work, I'll do a clean install of Windows on the new drive and try one of those.

Also, the "old" HDD was bought last May, so it's actually not that old. I do, however, have a LOT of things on it that I'd rather not have to re-do.



Thanks for your help, guys.
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