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  • Question about imaging a hard drive

    This is kind of a hardware question, kind of a software question, but in any case, here it landed:

    I want to switch out my current HD in my pc for a bigger one. Is it possible to do this without having to re-install the OS and everything else onto the new HD? I have a USB enclosure kit so I'm set on that end.

    I'm quite certain that it's not as simple as just copying the entire contents of the old HD to new one, but can it be done with imaging software that creates an image of the entire HD, with partitions intact and all? If so, can someome recommend a good piece of software? I'm willing to pay for it if it does what I need.
    My Grandma & Her Friends on Their Spring Vacation

  • #2
    Norton Ghost.
    Old Systems retired due to new car
    New system at design/prototype stage on BeagleBoard.

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    • #3
      Whoa Rob, that was fast! Incidentally, I was just reading about Norton Ghost through a Google search as you responded. Many thanks!
      My Grandma & Her Friends on Their Spring Vacation

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      • #4
        There's a bunch of disk imagers out there. Norton Ghost being the most popular. I've used Acronis True Image which I like better.
        www.computer-forums.net

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Rob Withey View Post
          Norton Ghost.
          Ghost gets a second vote. It's an awesome piece of software.
          Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
          How about the Wiki?



          Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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          • #6
            For those of you who use/have used Ghost... can it make an exact copy of a hard drive that has more than one partition? I briefly started looking at the app tonight, and it will only let me copy one partition at a time. I didn't get past that point before needing to tend to something else. So I'm wondering if after I make an image of each partition, am I able to just dump all that to the new harddrive, or do I need to partition the new harddrive manually to the exact sizes of the old harddrive before copying the images over?
            My Grandma & Her Friends on Their Spring Vacation

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            • #7
              Looks like Acronis TrueImage copies partitions and all. I may look at that.

              I have another question now which is related to the same project but is totally hardware-related: I want to hook up the new HD (2.5" SATA notebook drive) via USB with something as simple as possible to make the transfer. So I'm looking at several of these SATA-to-USB cables which look perfect, but I'm confused about the power. Most of the cables I see say that they can be used with either 3.5" or 2.5" sata drives. Where I get confused, is that all the ones I've seen include a 12v power adapter. I know 3.5" HD's use 12v, but laptop drives use 5v.

              Won't I fry my 2.5" HD if I connect the SATA power cord to it that is outputting 12v?? According to some reviews I've read, laptop drives are NOT bus-powered off one of these cables (which makes sense, since the SATA end of the cable is only the data connection anyway).
              My Grandma & Her Friends on Their Spring Vacation

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              • #8
                if you old HD is 15 gig your new one has to be 15 gig to match the Image

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nola111 View Post
                  For those of you who use/have used Ghost... can it make an exact copy of a hard drive that has more than one partition?
                  Yes.
                  I briefly started looking at the app tonight, and it will only let me copy one partition at a time.
                  Image the entire disk, not just a partition.
                  I didn't get past that point before needing to tend to something else. So I'm wondering if after I make an image of each partition, am I able to just dump all that to the new harddrive, or do I need to partition the new harddrive manually to the exact sizes of the old harddrive before copying the images over?
                  If you're going from a smaller disk to a larger one, you shouldn't have any problems with this.
                  What I would do (and this is just me, because I'm kind of anal retentive that way) is make images of each partition. When you put the secondary partition onto the new hard drive, you can adjust the partition size so that it will be larger (if needed). That will save you the hassle later on of resizing partitions.
                  Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
                  How about the Wiki?



                  Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

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                  • #10
                    @tn6478: I would have thought this too, but it's actually not true. These apps will automatically proportionately adjust the partition size based on the size of the new drive. In other words, if your old drive's C: partition takes up 20% of the space and D parition takes up 80%, it will use those same percentages for the new drive, which will of course result in bigger partitions since the the new drive is bigger. Acronis also has a choice (and Ghost may too) to copy the exact image of the old HD to the new, keeping exact partition sizes intact. It then automatically creates a new partition in sequential order for whatever space is left over. So technically, you are correct in a sense: the two images will not MATCH exactly so to speak, but you can transfer exact partition sizes to the new drive even if it's bigger.

                    @DarquePervert: Thanks for the info. Since I now own a copy of Ghost (I thought it looked like great software regardless of this current project) I plan to delve into it more comprehensively tonight. I'll reference your post and hopefully it will be painless.

                    I still need to figure out the hardware side of things though... back to Google I go.
                    My Grandma & Her Friends on Their Spring Vacation

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                    • #11
                      Ive done this before and the easiest way in my opinion is to download western digital's data lifeguard tools. Just hookup your new drive as a slave, bootup, run the tool and follow the instructions.

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                      • #12
                        I'll check it out... thanks.
                        My Grandma & Her Friends on Their Spring Vacation

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