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Upgrading an HDD via cloning


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#1 Village Baka

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 06:08 PM

I've got two computers; a Windows 7 machine with a 1TB HDD, and an XP machine with a 75GB, 100GB, and 150GB HDD. The XP machine is for gaming and needless to say it's an enormous pain in the butt having a bunch of hard drives. The 7 machine is just a family computer and would do fine with a 150GB HDD.

I read about hard drive cloning software and it seems to be the solution for me here; I want to clone the 7 machine's OS and files to the 150GB drive (effectively downgrading it) and then reformat the 1TB drive and stick it in my XP machine. The main problem here is I don't know what software to use. I found a few free ones, but the the target drive (1TB) is bigger than the destination drive (150GB) and it looks like the destination partition has to be bigger for this to work.

Frankly, this is just a completely new process for me and I don't really know where to start. Here's my problem more simply stated:

I want to clone the contents of a 1TB HDD to a 150GB HDD. Is there free software that can do this, and if so how would I go about using it?

Thanks in advance for any responses. Everyone here is always so helpful.

EDIT: Forgot one detail. The XP machine still has room for another HDD in it, so I can directly connect the 7 machine's HDD to the XP machine if that would simplify things.

Edited by Village Baka, 10 October 2012 - 06:10 PM.


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#2 jhayz

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:34 PM

To clone the contents of a computer's OS, programs and files, the hard drive should be connected directly to the win xp machine. If the source drive contains more than the destination drive, the process would not be applicable. There are free softwares online to clone a drive. There may be workarounds to your issue but safety first for first timers or long time users is to make sure all documents were backed up in any case. Still another remaining problem, a one terabyte in Win xp would depend on the support of the current XP edition and motherboard, BIOS support for your 1 tera drive. If your looking for more storage, just use the 1 terabyte(partitioned) as your secondary drive and install Win 7 on the 100 gig hard drive.

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#3 Village Baka

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 09:22 PM

Thanks for the advice, but that doesn't really help me. I can't install Win7 on anything; I don't have a disc for it and I'm certainly not paying for a whole new copy, that's why I want to bother with cloning in the first place.

I do know, of course, that if the source drive has more data than the destination drive it isn't going to work, but that's not the case. The 1TB drive only has about 35GB of data actually saved on it, which is why I say the Win7 computer could get by just fine with a 150GB drive. The problem is that the partition (not the contents) on the source drive is bigger than the destination. Clearly we can't cram a 1TB partition onto a 150GB drive.

I suppose more clearly my question is this: Is there free drive cloning software out there that can make an image of only the used portion of a partition? Or is there a way to resize a partition without destroying the data on it?

#4 jhayz

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 12:42 AM

You could try using the Windows 7 built-in system image feature, see here http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/What-is-a-system-image
Another tutorial : http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4241/how-to-create-a-system-image-in-windows-7/
Some cloning or imaging softwares available:
http://www.partimage.org/Main_Page or more from here http://www.thefreecountry.com/utilities/backupandimage.shtml

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