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Old 01-28-2008, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default Hard drive copying

So I recently bought two new sata hard drives that I plan to link in raid for data security, but before I do that, I need to move everything from my old hard drive to my new sata ones. The new hard drives are like 3 times the size of the old ones, so size is not an issue.

Normally, I would just reinstall my operating system, but I don't actually have any install disks. Besides the fact that I don't know how (or if its even possible) to copy the hard drives, I partitioned my old hard drive and I need to get rid of that. Basically, I want to take the C: and D: from my old hard drive and make a new system disk with just C: overall.

If anyone knows how to do this, any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hard drive copying

You can get a utility from the drive manufacturer's website that will copy the entire contents of your old drive to the new drive including the operating system.

I'm not sure about combining both partitions in one. If you have no programs installed on the "D" drive, then you could just copy the "C" drive using the utility, and then add the contents of the "D" drive afterwards. But then, even if you have programs installed on the "D" drive, you could just as easily reinstall them on the new drive and just copy over the files, pics, MP3s or whatever it is you have on there.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hard drive copying

Do you know what software I could use? All the drives are from western digital. And come to think of it, I do have most of the software for the programs on my d partition. Would i be able to transfer game saves and the likes though?
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hard drive copying

The software you'll need is Data Lifeguard Tools 11.2 for DOS (CD). Instructions for use are on that page also.

You should be able to copy your game saves into the new installs.
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hard drive copying

ok so i downloaded the software and made sure to burn it as a bootable cd. but for some reason, whenever i start up with that as the first boot priority, i get a long stream of error messages telling me that i have no ide driver installed. now is this because my dvd drive is sata (that would make sense)?

if it is, is there any way to get around it? if there isn't, i could always hook up my ide dvd drive, but i only want to do that as a last resort.

also, are there any special requirements for copying drives? right now my sata drive is listed as a "dynamic" drive at location f: whereas the drives i want to copy are listed as "simple" and located at c: and d:
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hard drive copying

Yea, I dunno about the error messages at boot with the CD. That's odd as we have a SATA DVD drive in one of our machines and it works fine to boot from. Maybe it doesn't "see" the correct path it needs or it doesn't recognize the SATA controller on your motherboard. Try the IDE drive, I know it's a pain to swap in, but it's worth a shot.

As far as I know, there aren't any special requirements needed. Anything would be listed in the directions for the software. You basically select the drive to be copied and then the drive to be written to.

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Old 02-02-2008, 06:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hard drive copying

I went back to the software website and it turns out that i can actually run the software right from my desktop, so thats what ill do.

My only problem now is, when I format my disk as the new boot disk, I can't get rid of the partitions. The ratios are changed so that my c would be 22.9 gb's but the whole point of this transfer would be to get rid of the partitions all together.

I've tried to scale the partitions, but whenever I delete the D partition, the C partition disappears also. I think I've heard that Norton Ghost can move one partition at a time, but I'm broke and can't afford to buy it. Any ideas?
(Thanks for all the help so far!)
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Hard drive copying

You should be able to format the drive as you want before doing the transfer. Then you should just be able to copy the contents of the old drive "C" to the new partition irregardless of how big the new partition is. It's been a few years since I last did this so I may be mistaken.
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Hard drive copying

I don't know how much of a computer/linux person you are (probably not big on Linux at all...), but there is a very easy way to do this using a LiveCD, such as DSL or Puppy Linux (these are the smaller versions, but even a Ubuntu disc will allow you to do this...).
Let's say you get Puppy linux on a CD and reboot and run it. After you mount the discs (and Puppy has a nice little program to do this with) you can use the "dd" command (which is basically a "copy 'as is' in this format" command, which is very handy) to move the entire contents of the HDDs into the new SATA drives. Also, if you are having trouble with partitions, you can use many LiveCDs, including Puppy, to set up partition and format new drives, including NTFS file system.
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Hard drive copying

I think I've been told that just copying all the files won't recreate the memory and as a result I wouldn't be able to use it as a bootable disk.

Are there programs which can expand partitions without getting rid of all the information on the partition you want to expand? Because I just realized that I could format my sata drive as the new boot disk and let the software bring both partitions over. Then later I could just delete the partition for d: and repartition the unallocated space to make it one drive again.
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