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Unallocated disk drive problem and clone question

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December 15, 2011 2:53:33 AM

I installed a second Hard drive (750 gb) which is larger than my current 500gb hard drive. I wish to make my larger HDD my primary as it is faster. I have it correctly installed as it appears in disk management. However it says it is "unallocated". I am using windows 7. How can i get the drive online? And how can i clone my drive to act as the primary!?

Thanks in advance
a b G Storage
December 15, 2011 3:06:09 AM

use partition master or a similar program, select extend partition, extend the partition, apply.

If this is the system drive there are a few warnings.
1) It will require a restart of the computer to modify the system drive
2) There is a chance (however slim) that the partition can be lost and you will either have to recover the partition, or completely reinstall/reimage the drive, which sucks.
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December 15, 2011 3:13:35 AM

CaedenV said:
use partition master or a similar program, select extend partition, extend the partition, apply.

If this is the system drive there are a few warnings.
1) It will require a restart of the computer to modify the system drive
2) There is a chance (however slim) that the partition can be lost and you will either have to recover the partition, or completely reinstall/reimage the drive, which sucks.



Im in partition master and I have no option to extend partition. When right clicking...the only options i have are "Convert to dynamic disk, Convert to GPT Disk, and New Simple volume
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a c 342 G Storage
December 15, 2011 3:24:09 AM

Any new drive is completely empty of data and structures. It needs to be Partitioned and Formatted before any OS can use it. These steps (often combined into one procedure) can be done within Disk Management. However, that does not address your need for cloning and having the new HDD take over as the C: drive from which you boot into your OS.

You actually need cloning software for this. As a small bonus, most such tools will do the Partition and Format operations for you as their first step, so you do NOT have to do them yourself ahead of time. Where to get this? There are good third-party tools for this, like Acronis True Image. BUT IF you bought your HDD from either Seagate or WD, they will give you the cloning tool free by download from their website. The limit is that each has a customized version of Acronis that will only make a clone TO their own HDD - they don't care whose old HDD you are leaving behind. Whatever / however you get it, cloning software usually will do these steps:
1. Allow you to set size, File System type, etc., with default values provided, and make sure the Partition being Created is bootable.
2. Copy absolutely EVERYTHING from your old HDD to the new one so that it is completely ready to be you new C: drive.

SO, IF you have a new Seagate HDD, go to their website and download and install on your current older HDD their Disk Wizard package. It will make a clone for you TO a Seagate HDD, but not to another. Likewise, IF your HDD is from WD, get their package Acronis True Image WD Edition. If your HDD is from another company, check their website to see if they offer something similar. If not, you can buy Acronis True Image (which is really good and very capable - can do a LOT more than cloning, so read the manual!), but I bet someone here will suggest a free cloner for you.

One note for you from my experience. The Acronis version I have used by default will try to make the Partition on the Destination drive the SAME size as the original older one, leaving the rest of the space on the new larger HDD as Unallocated Space. You can create a second Partition there and use it as a separate drive. BUT most users, I think, want the new HDD to be just one "drive" larger than the old C: drive. You CAN do this. Read the manual on how it works, because as you set up to do the cloning, you can access menus to NOT use the default settings. You can specify the size of the Destination drive's Partition, up to the full HDD space.

Once you have made your clone to the new larger HDD, I suggest you shut down and disconnect the old HDD. Then move the data cable for the new HDD to plug it into the same mobo port the old one was on. This is because the BIOS is already set to look for the drive on that port as the boot drive. I know, your BIOS will tell you is is set to use a drive with a name like some model number, but it secretly is set to use a drive controller port number, so let it continue to use that same port. Saves you having to change the BIOS. Now, the old HDD - leave it disconnected for a while. It is a perfect backup of your system until the change! If anything seems wrong to you or something missing, it's still there, on a disconnected HDD that cannot be corrupted. AFTER you are satisfied the new HDD is working perfectly, you can decide what to do with the old one. A likely idea is to reconnect it (to a new port), Delete its Partition, then Create a new Partition and Format it so it is NOT a bootable drive but is used for data storage. Another option is to install it in an external case and make it your backup unit - everyone should have one of those and USE IT!
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a c 342 G Storage
December 15, 2011 3:27:06 AM

Please don't do what CaedenV wrote. Partition Master will help you make and manipulate Partitions, but it does not do cloning. And your task does NOT require any change to the Partition on your old drive, so there's no need to talk of Extending it.
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December 15, 2011 11:02:47 AM

Best answer selected by hooyah.
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