I'm overmatched -Need help swapping out Dell laptop HD

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Montague, Oct 29, 2007.

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  1. Montague

    Montague Registered Member

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    Hey guys. I'm new here and best defined as a geek wannabe (although you'll see that classification might even be generous.)

    I have a Dell XPS M140 with 80gb hard drive. Picked up a Hitachi HTS541616J9AT00 160gb drive and thought I could swap it out. Here's what I did, and where I'm now stuck.

    Bought TI 11 and a USB enclosure. Installed TI, placed the new hard drive in the USB enclosure and cloned the 80 gb hard drive to the 160. I niavely thought I could place the newly cloned hard drive into the Dell and I'd be ready to roll. Unfortunately, when placed into the laptop and booted up, it begins to show the Windows start-up and, just before it gets to the password/log in screen, it goes to a blue screen and locks up (I'm running XP btw.)

    Figuring the cloning didn't take, I thought I'd erase the 'cloned' disk and try again. However, when I place the 'cloned' disk back in the USB enclosure, the computer doesn't acknowledge it. Is this because Windows is seeing two C drives?

    I turned to this forum for help, but after reading a ton of postings, I found myself even more confused. Mostly because I now know about the difficulty with swapping out Dell hard drives that have the Media Direct button (which mine does.) In short, I'm not sure how badly I screwed this up, or what steps to take to remedy.

    Right now, I just want to get back to square one, get my computer to recognize the USB enclosure, erase the disk (yes?), and get to a point where I can approach this correctly.

    I'd be grateful to anyone who can point me in the right direction. Thanks in advance for any and all recommendations.
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Montague,

    You were so close. When you saw that blue WinXP screen (drive letter problem) all you had to do was clear the DiskID with...

    http://www.acronis.com/files/support/mbrautowrite_en.iso

    No matter. You have erased (wiped?) the 160 GB HD and it's not seen in Windows. This is probably because it's not partitioned. Have a look in Disk Management to confirm its status.

    I don't think your laptop is affected by the MediaDirect issue. I think you have ver 3 MD.

    OK. Can you see your external HD (leave it unpartitioned if you can) from Acronis TI boot CD. Use the CD rather than Windows TI. Redo the clone. Remove the external HD without booting to Windows when you are finished. Remove the 80 GB HD and install the 160 GB HD and boot to the 160 GB HD. After a successful boot you can connect the 80 GB HD in the USB enclosure.

    Success? Questions?
     
  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    My mistake. It is MediaDirect 2. Do you want to fix that before you start the clone? It's easier if you do it now.
     
  4. Montague

    Montague Registered Member

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    Brian:

    I actually didn't wipe out the cloned HD. When it didn't boot up with the cloned HD, I put the old one back in, placed the cloned HD back in the USB enclosure, and would have erased it, but it wasn't recognized by TI or even Windows Explorer.

    So, if I boot from the TI CD and find my external HD, do I erase and reclone? Or should my next step be a different one since I have the Media Direct issue?

    Huge thanks for taking the time to walk me through this.
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Montague,

    When you look in Disk Management, (right click My Computer, Manage, Disk Management) how is the external HD described?
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I think it will be partitioned and formatted but without a drive letter. Correct?

    Are there several partitions? What sizes?
     
  7. Montague

    Montague Registered Member

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    I think I have trouble. Both are exactly the same size, but my cloned drive isn't partitioned. Here's what it says:

    On my internal HD is 73.13 gb partitioned as follows: 39mb FAT (EISA config)/C: 68.44gb NTFS (system) / 4.44 gb FAT32 (unknown paritition)

    My 'cloned' drive (assigned E: in Disk Manager) is simply 73.13 gb (healthy) but with no partitions
     
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    That's due to the MediaDirect issue. Don't worry. It's fixable. But we'll have to do it after the clone process.

    In Disk Management, right click in the E: drive and click Delete. It should then become Unallocated Space. Now shutdown and boot to the Acronis TI CD and clone the internal HD to the external and follow the above instructions.

    Let me know if things are different from my description.
     
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  10. Montague

    Montague Registered Member

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    Thanks! I'll be working on this tonight and posting the outcome. Really appreciate all your guidance.
     
  11. Montague

    Montague Registered Member

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    Brian:

    Re-cloned and swapped out the drives. Booted up fine this time. Had to work through the HPA problem but I think I got it. Under disk manager I'm showing the following:

    149.05 gb - 39mb EISA config/68.45 gb ntfs/4.64 fat32/75.92 unallocated

    I'm shutting down for the evening, but look forward to the next steps. I'm thinking we're inching closer (?)

    Thanks.
     
  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Montague,

    Excellent work. The difficult part is over.

    Now you have to decide what you want to do with that unallocated space. Do you want to expand your C: drive to include that space or do you want to create a data partition from that space? It's up to you but I favour the latter choice for reasons outlined in this article. "Backup strategies".

    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/notes.htm#13

    Let us know which you prefer.

    Do you have partitioning software?

    How much used space and free space do you have in your C: drive?
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    One other point. Your 4.64 GB Dell Restore partition is now useless unless you repair the Dell MBR.

    http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/index.htm

    Now that you have Acronis TI you really don't need that restore partition (as you can make your own backup images) and I delete it in my computers.
     
  14. Montague

    Montague Registered Member

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    Brian:

    I'm thinking of a small partition - around 10 gb - the rest can go back to C:. As you note, no real need for the MBR so I'd allocate that space back as well.

    I do not have partitioning software. Considering I'm not planning on repeating this process much in the future, what would you suggest?

    Looking forward to wrapping this up. All the best, and thanks.
     
  15. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Montague,

    No need for it at present. You can do the following from Disk Management.

    Right click on the 4.64 GB partition and click Delete. Now you have contiguous unallocated space after your C: drive. Let's create a 10-15 GB partition at the end of the HD.

    Right click in the Unallocated Space and click New Partition
    The Wizard commences, click Next
    Select Primary partition, Next
    Choose 65,000 MB, Next
    Put dot in Assign the following drive letter and accept the letter, Next
    Put dot in Do not format this partition, Next
    Finish

    Now you have a primary partition and unallocated space. Now we will create a data partition.

    Right click in the Unallocated Space and click New Partition
    The Wizard commences, click Next
    Select Extended partition, Next
    Leave the partition size alone as it should be the remainder of the drive, Next
    Finish

    Now you have a partition with a green band above and it is called Free Space
    Right click in this space and click New Logical drive
    The Wizard commences, click Next
    Dot in Logical drive, Next
    Leave the partition size alone as it should be the remainder of the drive, Next
    Put dot in Assign the following drive letter and accept the letter, Next
    Put dot in Format this partition, Accept NTFS, Default Allocation Unit size, Type in a Volume name eg DATA
    Next
    Finish
    Wait for it to format

    Now we’ll delete the Primary partition to recreate unallocated space.

    Right click in the 65,000 MB primary partition and click Delete partition
    Click Yes
    The space is now Unallocated Space

    Don't worry about messing it up. It's easy to do again and again.

    Now to absorb the unallocated space into your C: drive. I do this with partitioning software but here is another method.

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=180576#2 (Post #2)

    Let us know if there are any problems or if you have questions. How did it finish up?
     
  16. Montague

    Montague Registered Member

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    Wow. I can not believe you walked me through that. A million thanks. The thing is, it wasn't that difficult, but I never would have figured it out (or even where to begin!) without your guidance. Again, thank you.
     
  17. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Montague,

    It's been a pleasure to assist you. If you look in the Dell Newsgroup there is a thread called "Dell Notebook Disk Upgrade problem; need help!" It's about the HPA problem with laptops. Interesting reading.

    In Disk Manager, how large are your partitions now? Just interested.
     
  18. Montague

    Montague Registered Member

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    Brian:

    Here's the breakdown- 16mb/131.46 for C:/17.09 gb for DATA

    If I'd have known about the Dell issue I probably wouldn't have attempted this. Very glad I did however. Again, many thanks.
     
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