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pgabor9
Posted: January 19th, 2009, 10:44am Report to Moderator
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I have a 90 Gb hard drive in my PC with Windows XP Home edition.  It is getting full so I would like to replace it with a larger drive.  Is there a way to move everything to the new drive, including the operating system without having to reinstall programs?  I no longer have the CDs for all of the programs I use, so I cannot simply install the operating system and then reinstall the software.  I have a 170 Gb external network drive, so I could copy everything there first and then move it to the new drive if that would work.
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Ray
Posted: January 19th, 2009, 7:02pm Report to Moderator
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   Just write a copy of the image of the old drive to the new drive.  Sometimes new drives come with the software to do this.  Other drive companies have the software on their website to do that.
   If all else fails, you could use a free image backup program to do this.  DriveImage XML is such a program that should be able to do that.
   Just install the program on the computer and then use the Drive to Drive feature to copy the image of the old drive to the new one.  Once it is complete, you can switch the two drives by switching the cables hooking them to your computer and then start the computer.  It should work.  If it doesn't, switch the cables back.
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pgabor9
Posted: January 21st, 2009, 2:36pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks, Ray.  Can I do this by writing a copy of the old drive to my external network hard drive, install the new drive into my PC and then copy the image of the old drive from the external drive to the new drive?
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Snakeyes
Posted: January 22nd, 2009, 4:59am Report to Moderator
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As Ray suggested you need to copy an "image" or "clone" your hard drive. Simply copying the hard drive contents is not likely to work. the most efficient way to do this is to install your new hard drive as a secondary "slave" drive on your computer. Then use a cloning program to clone your existing active drive to the secondary drive. Once that is done, shutdown your computer and disconnect your original drive and set the new drive as the master drive. Restart your PC and you are done. Try the following URL and hopefully the free trial of Acronis will do this for you.

http://www.acronis.com/promo/A.....yBopgCFQwDGgodtT_4mQ

If the free trial does not work there could be other free programs that perform this function. Acronis could be worth buying because it is a far better solution for protecting your data than Windows highly inefficient restore function.
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Ray
Posted: January 22nd, 2009, 11:29am Report to Moderator
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   To answer pgabor9's question: if you are saying that you would remove the old drive after copying it to the external drive and then install the new drive, no, that will not work because Windows is on the old drive and without it, Windows will not work.
   If you do as Snakeyes says, you will end up putting Windows on the new drive and starting your computer with it in the place of the old drive will work.
   When you switch the cables, I would suggest just taking the cables from the old drive and plugging them into the new drive.  Make sure the Master/Slave jumper (this is on the harddrive itself) is set right.  Try setting it the same as the old drive is set.  When you start the computer, it will need to recognize the new drive and configure itself for it, but then it should start normally.
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pgabor9
Posted: January 22nd, 2009, 2:35pm Report to Moderator
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I am afraid both of you gentlemen are missing the point of my basic question.  Can I clone my existing hard drive to my external network hard drive, replace my internal hard drive with a new larger drive, and then replicate the cloned information onto the new internal drive?
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Snakeyes
Posted: January 22nd, 2009, 3:47pm Report to Moderator
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No. Not in the two steps you have described.
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Ray
Posted: January 23rd, 2009, 10:05am Report to Moderator
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   That is what I said too in my previous post.
   If you open your PC, you should be able to find a ribbon cable with an empty plug on it and an extra power plug (it is a sort of flat plug with four leads on it).  Plug your new drive into those two plugs and start the PC.  When you do that, the new drive will be shown as an extra drive.
   If you have problems, take the new drive back out and tell us.
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pgabor9
Posted: May 2nd, 2009, 1:29pm Report to Moderator
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My current hard drive is a 90 Gb 7200 RPM Ultra DMA drive, the processor is a 2.93 GHz 256 Kb L2 Cache, 533 MHz front side bus Intel Celeron D.  Is there a maximum capacity limitation for a replacement hard drive?
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Snakeyes
Posted: May 2nd, 2009, 3:04pm Report to Moderator
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The motherboard info would be more relevant, but I very much doubt if there will be and limitation on the size .
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stoopgj
Posted: May 4th, 2009, 8:55am Report to Moderator
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Depending on the nature of your 'external network hard drive' and how your laptop is connected to it, you could buy Norton Ghost (it doesn't have to be the newest version, look on e-bay or amazon.co for a cheap older version). Install this software, use it to clone your present hard drive (to your network drive) and to burn a start-up CD. Then put your new hard drive in your computer, and start-up from the CD you burned, load the cloned image from your 'external network hard drive' to your new hard drive and you're done.
Alternatively, if you can't use your 'external network hard drive' for this operation, have a look here: http://spotmau.com/products/package/full.htm
You would also need a 2.5 inch hard drive case ($15 to $30 on amazon.com or compusa.com), which comes with a USB connection cable. Mount your new drive in the case (very simple). Then use the Spotmau software to clone your present hard drive directly to your new drive, take it out of the case, put it in your laptop, start up normally from the new drive and you're done. The advantage is that you can put your old drive in the case and use it for backups, very useful.
I used both methods, they both work and you don't need any technical skills or advanced computer knowledge for either ...
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stoopgj
Posted: May 10th, 2009, 6:17am Report to Moderator
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Sorry, I misread your post, thought you wanted to change the hard drive in a laptop. My answer is still valid though, except you would have to buy a larger (3.5") hard drive case to accommodate your PC hard drive. Same price ...
Go to compusa.com, search for 'hard drive enclosures', select any one of them, scroll down to the bottom of the page that comes up and read the articles on external hard drives and back up possibilities. Interesting stuff! http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3875566&CatId=2780
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