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What Is The Best Way To Transfer Os To New Hdd?

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#1 pc-details


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Posted 27 August 2006 - 02:23 AM

I want to transfer the entire contents, including OS to a new (bigger) Hard Drive. Reason: It is a legit copy of XP and the owner does not have their original software. I know this can be done, but I am not sure of all the steps. Does the new hard drive have to be formatted NTFS first? I believe if I have software that copies the contents from drive to drive, then the volume ID will be copied also, but I am not exactly sure about this. How is the boot sector handled?

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#2 usasma


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Posted 29 August 2006 - 08:15 PM

Please read this article prior to trying this - it'll explain things that you'll need to figure out prior to the actual move.

Now, as I understand it, it's important to uninstall as much hardware as you can (physically remove it - any that you can't remove must be uninstalled in Device Manager). This is major components - not things like under the system components section.


Then make an image of the hard drive to install on the newer hard drive (I use Acronis True Image - but others say that Digital Dolly works). Install the image on the new hard drive. Then put it in the system and boot it up. If all goes well, Windows should detect the new hardware and set itself up.

CAVEAT: Since the only thing that you're changing is the hard drive - I'd suspect that it's the only thing that you must delete in Device Manager. Also, since it's only one thing that's changing - it may be that Windows can cope with this one change without any additional prep.

The image is an exact copy of the hard drive - and will be laid out the same way on the new hard drive. I'd assume that you'll have the option to either partition the drive so that the image fits the partition exactly - or that you'll leave it one big partition and lay the image over that.

FWIW - I've never tried these steps, but have moved an XP hard drive from one system to the other (and have used imaging software to reconstruct things while I was experimenting with it). It was a relatively troublefree process - and you've always got the copy of the image to fall back on if disaster strikes!

If it's a major brand PC the owner can get replacement CD's from the manufacturer at a reasonable cost (I've recently ordered 2 sets from Compaq at $16 a set - shipping included).
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