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Copying Partitions from disk to disk

penneck
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Copying Partitions from disk to disk

Not sure this is the correct sub-forum for this, not strictly speaking being Windows, but as I can't anywhere better, here goes.
I am thinking about changing the hard drive in my PC. At the moment it is 30GB and is nearly full. I want to change to something much much bigger, but dont want to go throughthe rigmarole of re-installing.
I have Partition Magic 8 and a 300GB+ external drive, so I was thinking of using PM8 to copy the 30GB hard drive to the external hard drive, changing the 30GB drive to the new one, then using PM8 to copy the 30GB back.
Has anyone out there done this before? Will this have any hidden problems, like will the new hard drive end up as bootable?
Thanks for your help
33 REPLIES
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Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: Copying Partitions from disk to disk

Why not just buy the new drive, install it as the slave and copy/enlarge directly?
penneck
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Re: Copying Partitions from disk to disk

My pc is a Dell GX270. It can only hold one hard drive, otherwise I would have done what you suggest.
Thanks anyway
techguy
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Re: Copying Partitions from disk to disk

Do you have multiple partitions (volumes) on your existing disk, as you are using a Dell I'd say you are lookig to retain the Dell restore partition yes?

I don't see any issues with what you are planning to do by imaging the drive, although personally I prefer to do a clean install of an OS rather than using the restore partitions on systems as they've never worked when I've used them and I think its always better to get the code fresh from a CD when you reinstall.
Anyway, best of luck with what you are planning to do.
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Re: Copying Partitions from disk to disk

Quote from: penneck
My pc is a Dell GX270. It can only hold one hard drive,

Are you sure?
Even the smallest cases can usually be persuaded to run 2 on a temporary basis with the lid off.
Also, as has been said above, it's probably best to do a clean install. Even if you don't have a CD yourself any old Dell XP CD (or a copy) will work fine and is totally legal.
techguy
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Re: Copying Partitions from disk to disk

I only had a Dell for about a month (returned it because it was cooking its own innards but thats another thread) I think they install their diagnostic package on the recovery partition which is probably why the OP wants to save it)
Think he maybe using one of these http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/opgx270/en/ug/index.htm so space is likely to be limited inside the case (though never seen inside an Optiplex desktop but by the looks of the case) so that is probably why this arrangement is necessary HP.
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Re: Copying Partitions from disk to disk

Yes, I'm familiar with those.  Wink
You just need a "normal" CS-type IDE 80-core cable and maybe a 2:1 molex power adapter to run 2 drives with the lid open.
As I said:
Quote from: HPsauce
Even the smallest cases can usually be persuaded to run 2 on a temporary basis with the lid off.
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Re: Copying Partitions from disk to disk

What you are planning wont work. PM copies the partition but it doesn't copy the MBR or the Boot record so you will have a new drive with the right partition but it wont boot as the Boot and MBR are missing. You could rebuild the mbr and boot but its a bit of a mess to do.
You need to use disk imaging software like Acronis (they were giving away an old version last week) or if you want free one see
http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/Best/free-drive-copy.html
A free copy of Acronis version 9 is here
http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/Utilities/Misc__Utilities/Acronis_True_Image_Download.html
With these create an image to the external drive then take out the old drive and put in the new one then image back from the drive with the image.
Depending  on the software before you get started you need the software to make bootable cd(acronis does) make that and ensure it can see the drive you want to back up and restore from if you use USB not all the software will see it so check first.
The quicker option is to put the new drive in with the old one even if you have to have the case open and copy the drive to the new one this is faster and is safe as you still have your old drive complete.
It should take about 30-45 mins depending on  how much data you have
You may need to change the partition after you have copied the drive but Acronis does let you change them during copy. Make sure you do a disk copy not a partition copy
penneck
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Re: Copying Partitions from disk to disk

Thanks for all the suggestions fellas, and in particular Samuria - I was worried about the bootup after loading to the new disc.
The PC was an old (not too old) one from work that had gone wrong, They thought it was the psu, but I found the motherboard needed some capacitors changed. The pc came without a hard drive (work destroyed that deliberately for security reasons) or any recovery/OS CDs, but I didn't have to pay for it so what the hell. I fitted my own hard drive (with XP Pro) taken from an even older Dell, ran XP in repair mode, and I had a good GX270. However, the OS, other services (AVG anti-spy, etc) on the hard drive meant it was fairly full even without data. The old Dell (GX200) could take two hard drives, so the data is on the second drive which has been fitted to yet another pc.
The GX270 is by far the best pc I've got. It would be difficult to use the GX270 open for a long time (lack of space) but is possible for at most a day or so while I deal with this disk problem.
I find relying on the external hard drive to be unwise. When I boot up, sometimes the pc wont see it (a problem not confined to just the GX270 - the GX200 had the same problem so I guess it is the external hard drive to blame) hence I would like to fit the larger internal drive to the GX270.
Thanks to all
penneck
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Re: Copying Partitions from disk to disk

I've downloaded Acronis as suggested by Samuria, and I have created and tested an Acronis bootup CD. I can open from that bootup CD the version of Acronis that has the USB drivers, and, if the external drive co-operates, I can see the hard drive.
Before I clone my internal hard drive to the external hard drive, I have a question - will the clone going onto the external hard drive, overwrite anything that is on that external hard drive, or will it go into the oodles of unused space on that hard drive?
Thanks
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Re: Copying Partitions from disk to disk

Quote from: penneck
My pc is a Dell GX270. It can only hold one hard drive, otherwise I would have done what you suggest.
Thanks anyway

My PC is a Dell GX270 and it has two hard drives.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: Copying Partitions from disk to disk

Quote from: penneck
Before I clone my internal hard drive to the external hard drive, I have a question - will the clone going onto the external hard drive, overwrite anything that is on that external hard drive, or will it go into the oodles of unused space on that hard drive?
Thanks
Acronis will just create a .tib file on the external hard drive and will not overwrite anything on the disk. This assumes you create a backup image of the C: drive and then restore the image to the new drive
penneck
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Re: Copying Partitions from disk to disk

Hello Jelv. - My GX270 is the desktop model. It only has racking for one hard drive. I assume you have the mini tower version. Either that or you have squeezed a second drive in somehow. If you have, I would be interested in the details of how you fixed the hard drive in place.
Old Jim - I've never heard of a .tib file so I dont know the ins-and-outs of them. If I have understood you correctly, and I cloned my internal drive to the external drive, this would create a .tib file on the external drive without overwriting anything on that external drive. I then replace the old internal drive for a larger capacity drive, Now, and this is where I show I know nothing about Acronis either, I would need to restore the .tib file to the new internal drive. How would Acronis do that, and having done it, would the new drive be bootable?
Thanks to both of you
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Re: Copying Partitions from disk to disk

You don't clone the drive.
You take a backup of it using Acronis and the backup file it creates is a .tib file which you would store on the external hard drive.
You then remove the old C drive and put in the new one and using the Acronis boot disk restore the backup onto the new drive.
I am not familiar with the version of Acronis you have (I have an older version and the latest version) but there should be an option to modify the partition size assuming you want to partition the hard drive or to expand the restored partition to take up the whole disk.
Yes it will be bootable
penneck
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Re: Copying Partitions from disk to disk

Ive got Acronis True Image 9. I've only had it since Saturday, and have to learn how to use it quickly. I ran Acronis to create the tib file on Saturday, but I only got the replacement hard disk today. I have tried to restore the tib file back to the new hard disk, but am now having trouble with the external hard drive. Part way through the restore, the process started complaining about corrupt sectors. The restore failed completely.
I've have had this Seagate external hard drive a couple of years, and over that time I have had occasional problems with it. The annoying thing is that I bought it to be used as a backup after I had a hard disk crash. The problem with it has always been that occasionally the pc wouldn't be able to see the external drive. I reported the problem to Seagate, and they sent me a peice of software which solved the problem for a while. However, I now have about 100MBytes of data files backed up on it, and am beginning to think it has now decided to fail permanently. I hope not.
Anyway, back to Acronis. Instead of using the external hard drive, if I mount the new hard drive as a second hard drive, I assume the following:-
1.  that this would be on the same ribbon cable as the first hard disk;
2.  that the new hard disk is set up as a slave drive.
If I do this how do I get Acronis to put a bootable image of the old hard drive onto the new hard drive? Is there anything that I need to be forewarned about?
Thanks for any help