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Old 06-27-08, 02:28 PM   #1
Johnny_Monkey
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How do I copy my PC hard drive?

I have upgraded some of the components on my PC. I have a new hard drive but kept the old one.

The problem is that the new HD is the master and is basically blank and I want to copy everything across from my old HD without having to reinstall everything (such as Office etc...). Is this possible?
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Old 06-27-08, 02:30 PM   #2
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You can't do that without imaging your hard drive first using a program like Norton Ghost or Acronis TrueImage.

If you've upgraded some components of your PC, even that might not be an option (though I think it still is; the only time where you can't use an image is if your moving everything to a different machine).

Worst case is that you can copy everything, but will have to reinstall all of your programs.
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Old 06-27-08, 02:31 PM   #3
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Not really.

You can copy files, but you need to do the actual installations in order to get the registry entries etc.
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Old 06-27-08, 02:39 PM   #4
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cat /dev/hda1 > /dev/hdb1

or

dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb conv=noerror,sync bs=4k

or via a network on receiving end using older netcat:

netcat -p 2222 -l |bzip2 -d | dd of=/dev/hdb

then, on the sending boxen:

bzip2 -c /dev/hda | netcat remote_boxen_ip_addr 2222

(see Cygwin)
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Old 06-27-08, 02:42 PM   #5
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Use a copy cat. the new drive will be smaller.

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Old 06-27-08, 02:50 PM   #6
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if its a desktop you should be able to have more than one hard drive recognized, and then just copy from one to the other?
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Old 06-27-08, 02:52 PM   #7
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Maxblast?

This is a utility that allows one to image drives, free of charge, as long as the machine has a Maxtor or Seagate drive, external or internal connected.
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Old 06-27-08, 03:24 PM   #8
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I still think all of the programs will need to be reinstalled....
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Old 06-27-08, 03:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linux_author View Post
cat /dev/hda1 > /dev/hdb1

or

dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb conv=noerror,sync bs=4k

or via a network on receiving end using older netcat:

netcat -p 2222 -l |bzip2 -d | dd of=/dev/hdb

then, on the sending boxen:

bzip2 -c /dev/hda | netcat remote_boxen_ip_addr 2222

(see Cygwin)
These methods presume disks of the same geometry, which isn't the OP's situation. Also, you can really hose yourself screwing about with these utilities if you don't know what you're doing.

JM, the easiest way to waste lots of time and screw things up is to take shortcuts. Bite the bullet and install everything from scratch.

BTW, why do you need to switch which drive is the master? Unless the new drive is faster, there will be no benefit.
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Old 06-27-08, 03:45 PM   #10
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You should probably reinstall your OS and programs anyway. After a long period, a computer can get crufty and wonky. Reinstalling everything gives you a clean slate. (That is, unless your OS vendor assumes that you're a criminal, and makes it as difficult as possible to do as you wish with the software you own...)

You can still copy over your personal files, so you won't lose everything.
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Old 06-27-08, 04:26 PM   #11
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If you want to give it a shot and not spend much cash, all you need is a CD burner, a blank CD-R and a copy of the g4u iso from here:

http://fbim.fh-regensburg.de/~feyrer/g4u/

It is basically a bootable linux that lets you "clone" one drive to another using dd, but with a simple command rather than just using dd.

Pretty much all you do is boot the CD with both drives in the same machine, one a primary and one a secondary. Then you can see which drive is which using the "disks" command. Then when you are certain that your disks are properly detected then you would issue the "copydisk wd0 wd1" command where wd0 is your original disk and wd1 is your new blank disk. Just don't get them backwards because you don't want to wipe out your original disk.

Sorry that this was breif, I saw it on my way out of work and had to type it out quick.

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Old 06-28-08, 02:37 AM   #12
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I think I've come to the conclusion that I'll end up re-installing everything as there's less chance that I'll **** things up. It will also be an opportunity to not install a lot of the junk that I couldn't be bothered deleting as well.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 06-28-08, 02:49 AM   #13
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Make sure you have all your data backed up first. Dump it all to DVD or tape first. Playing around with hard-drives poses a certain level of higher risk than doing nothing.
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Old 06-28-08, 03:16 AM   #14
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Make sure you have all your data backed up first. Dump it all to DVD or tape first. Playing around with hard-drives poses a certain level of higher risk than doing nothing.
I've backed it up to an external drive. Mostly it's just photos and some data files. The photos are the only critical thing though.
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