Transferring Windows partition to another drive


Does anyone know a program that will copy ALL the hidden files, etc of Windows and keep the OS bootable when moving it to a new hard drive? I've always had problems trying to do this. I know programs like Ghost and Drive image can copy drives, but they seem to require identical partition sizes or equivalent FAT systems.

I'm trying to copy a 2GB FAT 16 partition over to a 6GB NTFS partition (Windows just KEEPS GETTING BIGGER! -- My spacious 2GB partition is now down to 20 megs free even though I NEVER install ANYTHING to C, my swap file is on a different drive, and I constantly delete temporary files! Win2K has DOUBLED in size since my initial install with all the service packs, etc.)

Anyone have experience doing this? I do intend to reformat eventually, but I'm in the middle of an intense semester and absolutely need my system up and running right now. I'm having a lot of trouble using this system because of the small free space on C, so I got a 200GB WD Special Edition hard drive and want to move over to that without killing Windows.


I am currently trying the approach of using the Ghost browser to extract the files instead of doing a partition copy. While I was able to extract all the files, when I tried to boot Win2K, I got the error message "NTLDR is missing" ...

I tried using the Win2K CD to "repair" the installation, but it tells me it cannot find any installations of Win2K.

I originally posted this in Anandtech's forums, but I didn't really get any useful help.

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  1. Before doing anything suggested, please make a good and complete backup.

    What I see is that you have a FAT 16 partition. I know that Ghost is unable to change the partition type when restoring an image so I am going to suggest that you try and convert the FAT 16 partition to NTFS using the Convert program in W2K.

    Once the partition is not FAT 16 you'll be able to use Ghost to increase the size of the partition when coping from one drive to another. I Imagine that Drive Image has the same limitations and probably could be worked around in the same manner. In Ghost you'll have to reduce the amount of the second(other) partition(s) to make enough room for the system partition


    Yes, I made it past newbie w00t.
  2. Hi,

    Thanks for the suggestion, but I already ruled out converting FAT to NTFS -- I don't want to be limited to 512byte clusters. Plus, the data table will be scattered throughout the drive instead of being in one continuous stream.

  3. So long as both drives are correctly recognized in win2K, you can copy the files with XCOPY (open a dos box and type XCOPY /? for a list of options)

    You will then need to switch the drives, boot to the installer CD and use the Emergency Console to make it bootable.

    --->It ain't better if it don't work<---
  4. Hmmm.. I had a lot of hope for the Xcopy method, but halfway through it dies from a sharing violation... If only there were a Win2K boot disk! >:[ I would use a WinME boot disk, but I need it to be able to recognize NTFS. Hmmm...

  5. So... do it from safe mode.

    --->It ain't better if it don't work<---
  6. Quote:
    I'm having a lot of trouble using this system because of the small free space on C,

    what's more important getting this done quickly or getting the best efficency out of the drive. Get the semester over and then work on it after the semester instead of partying the first or last couple days of the summer.

    Me well I'll have my degree after this semester so I'll worry about the babes LOL


    Yes, I made it past newbie w00t.
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