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    Cloning a Hard drive: Help Required

    Hi Folks,

    With all the recent purchases of hard drives, I was wondering if anyone had some tips/instructions on how to replace an internal hard drive using cloning software.

    I want to swap someones internal 100Gb Drive with a 320Gb external. I know how to physically swap the drives, but what is the easiest way to clone his current drive on to the external, so that when I swap them over it works as the original?

    29 Comments

    i use casper xp

    Check out this list:
    en.wikipedia.org/wik…are
    and this for a comparison of them - en.wikipedia.org/wik…are

    I've used norton ghost in the past and never really had any probs... most of them come with a wizard these days, so all you'd have to do is plug in both drives and follow the wizzard!

    Good luck!
    Amb

    Original Poster

    What about the drive lettering? Is it possible to make the new drive be C: also?

    Original Poster

    and it's for a Vista OS, incase that makes a difference

    You need to go into disk management and change the letters... usually straight forward.
    windowshelp.microsoft.com/Win…spx

    Just re-read ur op again, are you cloning ur OS drive to the external?? IMO, you'd be better off leaving the internal as the OS and just using the external for personal files!

    Original Poster

    Ambdon;5044384

    You need to go into disk management and change the letters... usually … You need to go into disk management and change the letters... usually straight forward.http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-us/help/ada5519d-850d-465d-a6a7-598fa2f110521033.mspxJust re-read ur op again, are you cloning ur OS drive to the external?? IMO, you'd be better off leaving the internal as the OS and just using the external for personal files!



    Yeah, basically I'm wanting to clone the C: drive to an external and then use the external as the new C: drive

    cool - i've never tried that... i would have thought it would be quicker to run it on an internal drive??

    Don't forget to change the boot order in ur bios to be USB drive first otherwise it won't pick it up! (missing things like this will drive you nuts for ages if you forget!! :))

    Original Poster

    Ambdon;5044472

    cool - i've never tried that... i would have thought it would be quicker … cool - i've never tried that... i would have thought it would be quicker to run it on an internal drive??Don't forget to change the boot order in ur bios to be USB drive first otherwise it won't pick it up! (missing things like this will drive you nuts for ages if you forget!! :))



    Once it's done, I will be swapping the disks

    Subscribed - I want to do this as well!

    Original Poster

    repped all so far.

    Any free software that can do this easily on Vista

    Original Poster

    right, i'm going to try clonezilla

    bazzaric;5044655

    right, i'm going to try clonezilla



    Let me know if it works smoothly bazz - will be following you once you've sorted all the glitches! :-D

    Try clonezilla.org/ looks a bit more user friendly... or partimage.org/Mai…age (seems a bit more geeky)

    alternatively you could *ahem* get hold of a copy of ghost/acronis

    bazzaric;5044655

    right, i'm going to try clonezilla



    Lol - good choice
    Let me know how it goes too - i need to rebuild my laptop and want to clone it once i've installed everything!

    Original Poster

    seems to be going quite well so far.

    I installed it to a bootable pen drive and have started the process

    bazzaric;5045239

    seems to be going quite well so far.I installed it to a bootable pen … seems to be going quite well so far.I installed it to a bootable pen drive and have started the process



    famous last words - soon there will be meltdown.

    Original Poster

    There has been a meltdown!!

    Right
    1) I can boot as normal from the internat drive
    2) I can boot from the External drive and everything works perfect
    3) I can't boot from either drive when they are swapped over. It says 'windows files missing'.

    So, I'm guessing it's to do with the drive lettering, so how do I go about changing the G: drive to become the C: drive? I don't think I can do this while booting from the C:

    bazzaric;5046371

    There has been a meltdown!!Right1) I can boot as normal from the internat … There has been a meltdown!!Right1) I can boot as normal from the internat drive2) I can boot from the External drive and everything works perfect3) I can't boot from either drive when they are swapped over. It says 'windows files missing'.So, I'm guessing it's to do with the drive lettering, so how do I go about changing the G: drive to become the C: drive? I don't think I can do this while booting from the C:



    Nah, you call that a meltdown?! I call it a near total success - just that 1% thang. Sorry can't help you myself - I'm an expert on G-Spots but G Drives I haven't studied so much.

    bazzaric;5046371

    There has been a meltdown!!Right1) I can boot as normal from the internat … There has been a meltdown!!Right1) I can boot as normal from the internat drive2) I can boot from the External drive and everything works perfect3) I can't boot from either drive when they are swapped over. It says 'windows files missing'.So, I'm guessing it's to do with the drive lettering, so how do I go about changing the G: drive to become the C: drive? I don't think I can do this while booting from the C:



    are you able to boot from external with the internal pulled out?
    did you switch off the secondary boot device (i.e. have just the external as the only boot device)?

    From the MS site:

    You can change, add, or remove a drive letter by using Computer Management.
    1. Open Computer Management (Control Panel>System and Maintenance>Administrative Tools>Computer Management

    2. In the Navigation pane, click Disk Management.

    3. Right-click the partition or drive that you want to change, and then click Change Drive Letter and Paths.

    4. Do one of the following:
    • To assign a drive letter if one has not already been assigned, click Add, click the letter that you want to use, and then click OK.
    • To change a drive letter, click Change, click Assign the following drive letter, click the letter that you want to use, and then click OK.
    • To remove a drive letter, click Remove, and then click Yes to confirm that you want to remove it.
    Notes

    * Many MS‑DOS and Windows programs make references to specific drive letters. If you change a drive letter, some programs that you have installed on your hard disk might not work correctly.
    * You cannot change a drive letter if the drive is either a system partition or a boot partition. If you get an error, the partition or drive you are trying to change might be in use. Close any program or window that is using the partition or drive and try again.


    What i'd prob try doing is change the internal drive to H and then changing G to C... you might have to experiement with which one u need to be on before it lets u change the letter.... u never know vista might allow u to do it on the fly!

    What instructions did you follow to clone the hard drive?

    Can you please boot from the internal and see which files are on the external? Is there just one huge file, or do see the same things as you see in the internal?

    From reading the ]CloneZilla Wiki, it simply says that a image of your hard drive is created, which is different to copying your entire hard drive to a new one.

    Original Poster

    MrBrightside1987;5047722

    What instructions did you follow to clone the hard drive?Can you please … What instructions did you follow to clone the hard drive?Can you please boot from the internal and see which files are on the external? Is there just one huge file, or do see the same things as you see in the internal?From reading the ]CloneZilla Wiki, it simply says that a image of your hard drive is created, which is different to copying your entire hard drive to a new one.



    I did the disk to disk copy which made an exact image of the main drive and the recovery partition... I can boot from the usb but only when the internal is still attached

    bazzaric;5048203

    I did the disk to disk copy which made an exact image of the main drive … I did the disk to disk copy which made an exact image of the main drive and the recovery partition... I can boot from the usb but only when the internal is still attached



    OK thanks, in this case you may need to set the boot flag of the external to on manually.
    Download the ]Gparted Live CD/USB and boot from it. Select the external drive, right-click and select Manage Flags. Make sure that boot is checked then restart and see if you can boot.

    Original Poster

    MrBrightside1987;5048266

    OK thanks, in this case you may need to set the boot flag of the external … OK thanks, in this case you may need to set the boot flag of the external to on manually.Download the ]Gparted Live CD/USB and boot from it. Select the external drive, right-click and select Manage Flags. Make sure that boot is checked then restart and see if you can boot.



    Going to give this a bash tomorrow, the guy is away home with his useless hard drive :-D

    if any of the drives fitted are seagate or maxtor you can download a free copy of acronis rebadged seagate disk wizard from their website, you do not need to worry about drive letters as they will adjust automaticallly (depending on interfaces and bios setup)
    I keep a spare seagte 4gb to attach to a system to allow this if none of the fitted drives are from them.
    assuming both are sata drives simply install the software, clone over the drive shut down, swap drives and start up again...

    Original Poster

    maddogb;5051929

    if any of the drives fitted are seagate or maxtor you can download a free … if any of the drives fitted are seagate or maxtor you can download a free copy of acronis rebadged seagate disk wizard from their website, you do not need to worry about drive letters as they will adjust automaticallly (depending on interfaces and bios setup)I keep a spare seagte 4gb to attach to a system to allow this if none of the fitted drives are from them.assuming both are sata drives simply install the software, clone over the drive shut down, swap drives and start up again...



    The new drive is a seagate, however every time I try to clone to it, it greys out. Any advice?

    bazzaric;5056863

    The new drive is a seagate, however every time I try to clone to it, it … The new drive is a seagate, however every time I try to clone to it, it greys out. Any advice?



    At a guess.... are both drives the same format? (ntfs/fat32 etc)

    Banned

    Acronis disk director ver 10 is Vista compatible for cloning, the trial version can be downloaded from here: acronis.com/hom…or/

    Hope it helps

    bazzaric;5056863

    The new drive is a seagate, however every time I try to clone to it, it … The new drive is a seagate, however every time I try to clone to it, it greys out. Any advice?



    remove any partitions on there..

    The method that worked for me using CloneZilla was by first saving HD image to an external hard disk and then restoring that image to the newly installed internal drive. However for this method you would need use of 3 drives. i.e. - the original drive, an external drive to save the image file and the 3rd drive as the new replacement drive in the PC.
    After clone finishes, the PC should work same as with the old drive.
    note: You would have to reclaim the unused/unallocated part of the larger new hard disk using suitable hard disk tools - the cloned disk will otherwise only show up the 100GB size of old hard drive. Works great as all data and hidden partions get retained and input of Vista serial number or activation not required.
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