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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Time to replace my data drive; what software to move files around?

    Hello, I've got a computer running Windows XP and it's time for me to install a larger data drive.

    The current configuration is this:

    Windows XP

    Hard disk 0: 36 GB - C: Windows lives here
    Hard disk 1: 300 GB D:

    I want to replace my 300 GB drive with a 2 TB drive I bought. Normally I would have just installed the new drive alongside the old one and copied the files over, but I found that my motherboard has only 2 SATA connectors. I have an external USB 2.0 1 TB hard drive, so my plan is:

    1) Copy/Backup all of the contents of the D: drive to the external USB hard drive
    2) Remove the 300 GB drive from my computer
    3) Install new 2 TB internal drive in my computer
    4) Copy/Restore all of the contents from the external USB hard drive on to the new internal drive

    My question is, what software do I use to copy the files?

    If it matters the D: drive contains a mixture of pure data files (mp3s, jpgs, etc.) and there are also a number of programs installed in D:\Program Files.

    I could just copy the files over or I could use a backup program I experimented with a bit, Areca Backup. Obviously since this isn't the boot drive it makes things a lot easier. The problem is there is about 270 GB of stuff on that drive so I need something fairly reliable. Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    Eric

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I would simply use an Imaging app, Create an Image of the Data drive, install the new HDD then restore the data to the new HDD. Whatever Imaging app you choose you will have to create a Rescue Media disk to allow you to boot to the Imaging app outside Windows to accomplish the restoration.

    I use Acronis True Image Home (not free but a free trial app). Many other apps are discussed in the Security and Back Up forum.

    You can use this same app to Image your OS. This is the best way to back up your entire OS drive.

    Edit: Changed name from Boot Disk to Rescue Media Disk as this is what Acronis calls this. All Imaging apps will have these options. I choose the paid versions because they have an expanded feature set not included in the free versions (Acronis only has a paid version)
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-07-28 at 07:30.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Some other options:

    1. Create a directory on the USB drive called Data.
    2. Open a Command prompt.
    3. Xcopy source:\*.* dest:\Data\*.* /s/e
    Where source is replaced by the drive letter of your 300Mb drive.
    dest is replaced by the drive letter of your USB drive.
    4. Reverse the command after the new drive is installed and formatted/partitioned.

    You could also do the same with RoboCopy or XXCopy free downloads.

    Good Luck!
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  4. #4
    Gold Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by EHarman View Post
    I could just copy the files over or I could use a backup program I experimented with a bit, Areca Backup. Obviously since this isn't the boot drive it makes things a lot easier. The problem is there is about 270 GB of stuff on that drive so I need something fairly reliable. Any ideas?
    Eric,

    Hello... As Ted has stated it would be best to learn "Imaging" With this Free program Macrium Reflect Free With this program you can Image (or Clone) your Data, or OS.. and restore to whatever HD that you want..If you,re not sure how post a new thread in "backups" or just explore the various existing threads... Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Imaging is, IMO, the gold standard of HD back ups. I create a new Image whenever my OS changes. In this manner, if I have to restore, my Image is Up To Date so the restoration takes less than 10 minutes. Using the Imaging app to handle the data moving chore will be good practice for the real thing. Since you are not deleting the old data until after the fact if something goes wrong it's still there.

    I have created and restored from these Images dozens of time. It's easy and safe, and you will definitely get a warm and fuzzy feeling when your OS HD crashes and you know that you can get it back in 10 minutes.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    Thanks very much for all the helpful answers. I will definitely give one of the imaging applications a try.

    One question for you, though, Ted. You mention that I'll have to create a boot disk to boot to the imaging app outside of windows to do the restore. Since I'm only swapping out the data drive and leaving the OS/boot drive in the whole time is that strictly necessary in this case?

    Thanks again,

    Eric

  7. #7
    Platinum Lounger
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    The drive manufacturers also offer free imaging apps - as long as you are imaging to their drive.

    Remember to install the replacement drive using the cable from the drive being replaced. Otherwise Windows may not see the drive in the same relation to your boot drive.

    cheers, Paul

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EHarman View Post
    Thanks very much for all the helpful answers. I will definitely give one of the imaging applications a try.

    One question for you, though, Ted. You mention that I'll have to create a boot disk to boot to the imaging app outside of windows to do the restore. Since I'm only swapping out the data drive and leaving the OS/boot drive in the whole time is that strictly necessary in this case?

    Thanks again,

    Eric
    I am not sure about the data drive. You might be able to boot to the app within Windows to restore this drive. BUT, you will need the Rescue Media Disk (It fits on a CD, you don't need a DVD for this) to be able to restore if the OS gets screwed up. You boot to the Rescue Media Disk then restore because as part of the restore the partition is formatted. This is one method to eliminate a nasty virus in the OS.

    In Acronis, one of the options is to create a Rescue Media Disk.

    The screen shot is from an old post. The Rescue Media Disk is just below the red boxed entry.

    Acronis2011-Tools.png
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    OK, another question. I was reading the help files for Macrium Reflect Free and came across this quote,

    "A disk image creates an exact copy of the data on your hard disk. This includes the structure of the partitions on the disk and the file system format on the partition."

    In looking at the disk manager I find that Disk 1 is actually divided into 2 partitions, a 258 GB D: drive and a 40 GB E: drive. The D: drive is the one that is almost full, the E: drive for all purposes empty.
    Since I'm pulling a 300 GB drive and replacing it with a 2 TB drive,
    what would a restore give me if the structure of the partitions were copied as it says above? Would the new 2 TB drive end up with a 258 partition, a 40 GB partition and a 3rd partition making up the balance of the drive? I'd actually rather have it all as 1 partition if possible. Would Macrium Reflect Free work to allow this?

    Again, thanks,

    Eric

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I cannot answer the Macrium Reflect question, but assuming your OS is in one of the partitions your create on the new HD, a 3rd party partitioning app can easily put the HD back to one partition. I use Partition Wizard for this chore. If the OS partition is number one then the Windows Disk Manager can accomplish this, but if the OS is in the second or subsequent partition then you will need a 3rd party app.

    In Acronis True Image Home (Paid) a disk Image can include the entire HD (all partitions) in one Image file, or just the partition you wish. Then, assuming the Image file includes multiple partitions in one file, you can select which partition you wish to restore, one or all, and which one of the multiple partitions you wish to restore, then where to restore it to.

    For example, say you have a dual boot and a data partition (3 separate partitions) and you include all in an Image file, then you wish to only restore one to a separate HD (assuming it is bigger than the original partition) the app will restore the partition you select to the front of the new bigger HD. Hence you could restore just the data partition to the larger HD.
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-07-28 at 20:54.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  11. #11
    Platinum Lounger
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    You can change the size of the partitions when you restore. Just restore D: and make it full size.

    The downside to doing this is you will have small cluster sizes on your disk. Generally larger disks should have larger sectors.

    cheers, Paul
    Last edited by Paul T; 2012-07-29 at 03:22.

  12. #12
    New Lounger
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    Also Check that your computer can accept a 2GB drive. You might have to Partition
    to make it all usable
    Last edited by 1Ted; 2012-08-02 at 10:18.

  13. #13
    New Lounger
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    You know that HAD completely slipped my mind. I've got XP SP3 32-bit, which I think should allow 2 TB partitions (assuming NTFS), but I guess it's also a factor of how old my BIOS is. Or maybe it's just time to upgrade to Windows 7 while I can still get it.

  14. #14
    New Lounger
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    Maybe I'm missing something here, but what's wrong with creating a couple of top level folders on the USB drive; copy all files and folders from the first partition on the drive being removed to one folder; and then copying any files and folders from the other partition to the other top level folder on the USB drive?

    Then, shut down, replace the internal drive, format as needed, and reverse the copying process. You don't need any other software or high-level thinking to do it.

  15. #15
    Lounger
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    I've done this a couple of times using gparted off a live Linux CD on XP (SP? enough to handle larger drives, may have to check Large Block Addressing in BIOS) and Vista boxes. Works well. It may take a while, given amount of data and constraints of the "pipes" you're using. Just keep in mind the different naming conventions - your C drive will be sda1, etc., but you can always see the drive info as well.

    Since your OS is on a separate drive, you could also easily use the excellent and free Drive Image XML, which had saved my bacon several times on Windows systems.

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