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Starting Over With Windows Xp

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 06:13 PM

I have a windows xp laptop that has a full hard drive. I bought an external (USB 2) hard drive and I would like to copy the entire contents (External HD is much bigger), or "clone" my C Drive onto the external drive, and then reformat my laptop drive.

Here is what I'm thinking. It doesn't seem to me that I can copy the entire laptop (C Drive) onto my external drive (I'll just call it E) while I'm actually running windows, since some of the files would be in use. So I made an MS-Dos boot disk (floppy disk in drive A). I changed the boot sequence in the bios, but when I boot with the floppy (A drive), I cannot access drive C. I'm not sure how to get the dos commands I need so I can access drive C.

I'm thinking of using dos commands to copy my entire C drive to my E drive (which should work), but I'm not sure about disk partitions, etc.

The end goal for me is this: I would like to be able to boot up using a "clone" of my C drive on my external drive E, so I can still have access to everything on my C Drive for a while (like email, etc.). This is so I can wipe out my C drive and start over without interrupting my work.

Maybe I'm going down the wrong trail? Any suggestions? :thumbsup:


Edited by POUYE, 22 January 2006 - 06:14 PM.

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#2 acklan


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Posted 23 January 2006 - 12:38 AM

No you are on the right track for what you want to do. You need drive imaging software like Ghost. I normally recommend Digital Dolly because it is freeware but I have been in formed it does not work with USB drives. Before you do this you need to know if your computer supports USB booting. Check the boot order in your BIOS. If it does not you will be able to make an image but not restore it if you cannot Boot to your USB drive.
There is another option. If your external drive is the same phsyical size as the drive in your notebook, you can image an then swap drives. Put the larger drive inside your notebook and use the smaller one for your external case.
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Posted 23 January 2006 - 08:47 AM

I don't think you can use a USB drive as the boot drive.

You can get a new internal hard drive and use the manufacturer's software that comes with it to migrate your op system and data to it and then use it to replace the master drive.

#4 usasma


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Posted 23 January 2006 - 11:10 AM

You can boot with a USB drive. You can't run Windows from a USB drive.
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