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Hard drive cloning questions

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3 replies to this topic

#1 Little dawg

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:23 PM

I recently recovered from a BSOD problem stemming from a bad graphics card. In the mean time I obtained XP Pro and several 1TB Western Digital drives, so I installed that OS, and just parked my old hard drive (XP home). Everything is running fine right now with my new install of XP Pro, but I have questions about my old hard drive. I would like to save my old hard drive, I have copied the files I use most, but I am sure that there is something that I am forgetting. Some people have suggested "cloning" the old drive to a partition on my new hard drive. I remember reading somewhere that more than one copy of Windows on the same machine can do bad things. If I clone the drive, will I also transfer my old OS, and would this cause a problem? If cloning presents a problem, do I just copy all files and NOT copy the Windows file?

Also, if I just transfer files and not do a full clone, should the partition be logical or primary. I believe that a primary partition includes an OS, but a logical does not...and can be read from an OS on another device.

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#2 cee134


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Posted 19 October 2012 - 10:32 PM

  • A maximum of four partitions can be placed on any hard disk. These are sometimes called primary partitions. The limitation of four is one that is imposed on the system by the way that the master boot record is structured.
  • Only one partition may be designated, at any given time, as active. That partition will be used for booting the system. See here for more on active partitions and switching active status between partitions.
  • DOS (and the operating systems that depend on it for booting, which includes all consumer Windows operating systems) will only recognize the active primary partition. Any other primary partitions will be ignored.
  • One of the four partitions may be designated as an extended DOS partition. This partition may then be subdivided into multiple logical partitions. This is the way that two or more logical DOS volumes can be placed on a single hard disk.

You could do alot here. You could take 1 HDD and create 2 partitions, one for each XP, you could put one XP type on 2 different HDD. Since you have two versions of XP, I would make 2 primary partitions, since your computer can only load an OS from a primary partition. This will not mess up your computer. You would probably want to download GRUB, this is a program that makes dual booting easy. You could also use a Primary Partition for your main boot up OS, and a extended partition, which is un-bootable, but a way to store info. What I don't know is if you could have 2 primary partitions and access data on both, if you only made one active as your primary OS. Or if you would have to use a Primary and an extended to access data on the 2nd partition.

#3 hamluis



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Posted 20 October 2012 - 06:54 AM

<<If I clone the drive, will I also transfer my old OS, and would this cause a problem?>>

If you clone a hard drive...you get an exact duplicate set of partitions/files on that drive.

As to whether such would "cause a problem"...cloning just creates a duplicate. If the hard drive is capable of being cloned with no problems...I don't understand why you would not just attach the old drive as a secondary. If the drive had problems before...those problems will still exist.

BTW: I've never heard of replacing a hard drive and O/S...to deal with a graphics problem. I think some pieces of the puzzle haven't been stated here.

<<If cloning presents a problem, do I just copy all files and NOT copy the Windows file?>>

Not sure what you are asking here. As I said above...if the hard drive is without problems, all you have to do is attach it as a second hard drive to access all data files on it.

If your intent is to run both XP Home and XP Pro on the same system...that's doable.

Rather than asking questions...why don't you just tell us what it is that you think that you want as the final result of your efforts? Then...we can try to advise/suggest what is possible/likely...and ways that you can achieve your goal.


#4 ronald.teng


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Posted 21 October 2012 - 11:59 PM

Try researching Minitools partition software, they are pretty good.

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