Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

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Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

Postposted on Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:21 am

Hi,

Would anyone know if I can swap the main drive of my Wondows 7 computer (i.e., the C: drive, the one on which Windows is installed) for a bigger one, without having to reinstall everything? My problem is that my C: is the smallest drive, and I've found out this morning, after I let some jobs go overnight, that it is completely full. It actually said 0 bytes left on C :o . First time this even happens to me... The jobs used files on other drive with space, but I guess it also needs space on C to work...

Anyway, I was wondering if I could do the following: do a full C drive backup with the Windows backup utility on a seperate drive, physically remove this 150Gb C drive, and replace it with a 500Gb drive. Then put the backup back on that drive so that it has the exact same content as before, only on a bigger drive.

So is that possible? Would that work, or would it create corruption? Any other suggestions are welcome... Thanks
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Re: Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

Postposted on Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:56 am

In theory, Windows Backup should be able to do it. I haven't done it in practice.

Or you can look for any number of disk imaging utilities. Ghost, True Image, Drive Image. I'll leave it to others to suggest which software to use, but they should all work.
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Re: Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

Postposted on Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:16 am

this is easy.
google search for TODO Backup.
It's a free program. you can clone your hard drive to a larger one with no loss of data.

Download program, make boot cd (free!)
plug both harddrives in computer.
boot from TODO Backup boot cd.
clone from smaller drive to larger drive.
turn off computer. remove smaller drive
good to go!
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Re: Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

Postposted on Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:33 am

Windows Backup should do it.

If you're using using Western Digital drives (or even if you're not) you can download the free Acronis TrueImage WD edition and use that as well.
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Re: Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

Postposted on Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:39 am

edit

NM you'd already done this
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Re: Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

Postposted on Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:44 am

Thank you all. Yeah I've considered moving stuff to other drives, but it seems like there isn't that much to move... :-?

Anyways, I use that computer quite heavily, so it is much dues for a bigger drive on C anyway. So thanks again!
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Re: Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

Postposted on Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:06 pm

Any tool that is able to make a disk image should work, as long as the new drive has the same type of interface (switching from PATA to SATA can be a little trickier). You may need to reactivate your copy of Windows, but as long as you've got a valid Windows license this should not be a show-stopper.

I used to use Ghost for stuff like this, until Symantec ruined it. Acronis has some very good tools for imaging system drives; IIRC there used to be free trialware versions of some of the Acronis tools available both direct from Acronis and on Seagate's support site. (Not sure if they still do this, haven't checked in a while.)

Any more, I just use a Linux live CD and various Open Source tools (dd/fdisk/parted/etc.) Nice thing about this is that it's free, and (once you're fluent in Linux CLI) surprisingly flexible -- deals with both Windows and Linux partitions, allows you to create compressed images on a file server, clone to a raw drive on another machine over the network, etc...

Definitely check out Acronis though. That's probably your best bet.
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Re: Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

Postposted on Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:16 pm

just brew it! wrote:...
Definitely check out Acronis though. That's probably your best bet.


One more vote for Acronis from here, used it myself a while ago to move my system from a 400GB to 1TB disk.
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Re: Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

Postposted on Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:30 pm

If you haven't gotten the 500GB drive yet, check out the Samsung F3. It's a single platter design, 7200RPM, gets awesome reviews, and is only $62 with shipping from newegg.ca.

Linky: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as ... f3%20500gb
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Re: Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

Postposted on Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:51 pm

Thanks for the suggestion Dashak, but I already had another disk to use. It's actually a 250 Gb. Still an improvement from the 160Gb one...

Anyway, I'm now back from my restore, and all works perfectly, except for one thing: the partition it created for my new C: drive is the exact same size as the previous drive, and the extra space is unallocated :x Kinda of defeats the purpose...

So now, tell me, is there a tool out there (preferably free) that I could use to expand the boot drive?
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Re: Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

Postposted on Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:53 pm

ImageX is another option. Free with Windows 7.

http://msforums.ph/blogs/jayr/archive/2 ... magex.aspx

http://benosullivan.co.uk/windows/how-t ... ete-guide/

----

You posted right as I did. Heh.

Windows 7 Disk Management can expand the size of the disk.

Right click "Computer" in your Start Menu > Manage > say Yes to UAC > and then click Disk Management at the bottom of the snap-in. Right click on the volume you want to expand and you should see the option in the context menu.

I'd note that ImageX would have avoided the above problem. ;)
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Re: Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

Postposted on Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:08 pm

I'm trying EASEUS Partition Master now...
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Re: Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

Postposted on Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:14 pm

So you installed a third party tool even though the base OS could have done it for you?
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Re: Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

Postposted on Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:27 pm

todo backup would have let you resize the new partition on the drive you were copying to.....
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Re: Swap main drive without reinstall possible?

Postposted on Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:43 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:So you installed a third party tool even though the base OS could have done it for you?

Windows said it could not resize the partition on which the OS is installed on. That's when I looked for an alternative.

BTW, EASEUS Partition Master, which is free, worked like a charm. It only required a reboot since this was being done on the OS partition. Other tools might have done the resizing by itself - we all know Microsoft hasn't always been the best in including all the obvious features, although I'm happy they now have a good, easy to use backup/restore solution - but what counts is I have the result I wanted, with little effort.

Thanks all for your suggestions and help!
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