Upgrading to a larger hard drive

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Aaron Here, Aug 4, 2008.

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  1. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Yesterday, my son told me that his 60GB C-drive (the only hard drive on his Dell Desktop running WinXP) is full. After asking him if he can remove or archive any of his stuff (mostly music and photos) he said that he has already done that and what remains is frequently used ....he is into photography so he has a great deal of jpg files, his school work and of course, the obligatory itunes. ;)

    His Dell PC is 5 years old and came with a 60GB 7200RPM (PATA) hard drive and 1GB RAM. Since his PC is in otherwise good shape and runs quick enough to suit his needs, I thought I would buy him a Seagate 320GB 7200RPM (PATA) hard drive, image his 60GB drive, replace it with the 320GB, and then restore the image. But before proceding in that direction, I thought I'd get some of your thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  2. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    I'd suggest leaving the 60 gig drive as is. I would install the 320 gig as a second internal drive and move your son's "my documents" over to the new drive. Now your c drive is your system drive and your new drive has nothing but data (music, pics etc.)

    That way, if the c drive gets corrpupted at some point in the future, your data is safe. It also keeps the system drive relatively small which would allow you to image it frequently and quickly
     
  3. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion Len, but the thing is that all of his personal files may not be inside My Documents. For example, not being an itunes user, I wouldn't have a clue as to where those reside.
     
  4. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    hello,
    download paragon trial link
    install the new drive as slave.
    install paragon trial, reboot to complete install.
    create a partition of around 120GB on the new drive
    create a second partition with the remaing GB.
    clone old drive to the 120gb partition follow the wizard,apply changes, reboot if needed. once done and back in windows if it needed reboot turn off pc. take out old drive, plug the connectors from old drive to the new drive. put old drive somewhere safe. put cover back on and boot.

    bacially the same as brian's post but cloning takes half the time and no need for boot discs.

    FYI itunes music is stored at C:\documents and settings\(user)\my documents\my music\itunes\
    thats the default.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Aaron,

    It should still be a good computer and will be even better with the OS on the new HD. Being a Dell, could you check in Disk Management whether there is a small, about 40 MB, partition in front of the C: drive. The diagnostic partition.

    What I'd do is install the new HD as a slave. From Disk Management, create two partitions on the new HD, the size of the first could be 100 GB for his OS and the second (remainder of the HD) for data. Using Drive Snapshot, create an image of the C: drive, writing the image to the data partition on the second HD.

    Now remove the 60 GB HD from the computer and install the new HD as a Master. Using Drive Snapshot from a boot disc, restore the image to the first partition on the HD. Boot the new HD. If the restored image doesn't take up the full 100 GB we can fix that soon.

    When everything is working normally you can install the old HD as a slave, delete and recreate the partition, and use that HD for backups.

    The OS will work faster on a new HD.

    PS... Use your Drive Snap.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  6. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    That's pretty much what I had in mind, except that I was planning to create and restore an image (rather than clone the drive). Would cloning offer any advantage other than no restore necessary with a clone?
     
  7. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Hi Brian, I was planning on using Drive Snapshot and yes, his PC does have hidden Dell diagnostic and recovery partitions (they are small in size). But I'm not following why you suggest a 100GB partition on the new drive for C: ...wouldn't it be smarter to make it about the same size as his original drive (if not even smaller)? o_O
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  8. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    cloning is half the time since its direct from old to new and with paragon wont need a boot disc
    read my majorly edited post.
    100-120gb partition is so that you have room for expansion. then later on you move data to the second partition so if windows wont boot you can reinstall windows with no data loss.
     
  9. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    @all,
    On a 5 year old Dell, wouldn't the drives be FAT32? I thought I read somewhere that if FAT32, the upper limit on a new drive installation, with Windows XP, would be 137 GB? Unless it was formatted in NTFS? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  10. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    hello,
    arent you thinking about the old maximum partition size limit?
    service pack 1 and above of xp doesnt have that issue. its not a fat32 partition limitation. you can easily convert a fat32 partition to ntfs
     
  11. sosaiso

    sosaiso Registered Member

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    Also, that would be a motherboard issue wouldn't it?

    I had a 320GB IDE drive formatted to NTFS and/or FAT32 that just would not get recognized by XP due to having an older motherboard.

    Though, a computer from 2003 shouldn't have such an issue. But then again, it's always safer to check.
     
  12. InfinityAz

    InfinityAz Registered Member

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    Instead of investing the time in adding a new or additional drive to the existing system, why not either get or build an external drive.

    The advantages are obvious, especially if its main purpose is additional storage. Also, since your son is into photography a portable drive offers additional capabilities and functionality that an internal drive doesn't offer.
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    100 GB was just a suggestion to make it easy for him if he continues to add files to the C: drive instead of to the data drive. The partition needs to be at least 60 GB otherwise the image may not restore. You can make the C: drive smaller at a later time if he does move a lot of his data files to the data partition.

    If you decide to do it this way rather than use a clone, could you post the boot.ini here. It may need a temporary edit prior to creating the image so as to avoid the "hal.dll is missing" error. It's likely the boot.ini references partition(2) because of the diagnostic partition.
     
  14. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    lodore, yes, the old partition size limit is exactly what I was thinking about. Somewhere in the CPU of my brain, that data was laying around and was accessed in error. ;) Thank you for refreshing my memory!
     
  15. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    The hard drive on my son's 2003 Dell came formatted with NTFS.
     
  16. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Two big disadvantages:

    1. He has limited desk-space in his room, so 'permanently' adding an external drive would be difficult (he uses my USB drive to backup his PC and then returns it when he is done).

    2. A USB drive is much slower than an ATA/100 drive, so he would likely see a dramatic performance degradation.
     
  17. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Your point is well taken.

    Hmm, that being a possibilty perhaps lodore's cloning suggestion does have other advantages (besides not having to perform a restore)! :doubt:
     
  18. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Thanks lodore... Even though I'm a Drive Snapshot user I've got to admit that cloning (with Paragon) seems like a more straight-forward approach for this purpose than does imaging. ;)

    PS. Thanks also for the iTunes education!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  19. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Whether you clone or image /restore is a personal choice. Lodore likes clones. I don't.

    Lodore, with the Paragon clone, can you select the final partition size for the C: drive. Or does it take up the full HD? Just interested.

    It only takes 10 seconds to edit the boot.ini if an edit is needed. Then 10 seconds to change it back.
     
  20. ambient_88

    ambient_88 Registered Member

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    1) Is his desk messy or just plain small? An external hard drive is not really big.

    2) While this is true, he likely won't notice a significant degradation in performance. Also, as some have already said, it is a good idea to separate the user data from the system partition. External drives are a good choice because they are relatively cheap and portable.
     
  21. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Lodore,

    I just re-read your post. Sounds good and I thinks it's the best option.
     
  22. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    It's got a 48" x 24" top surface. He has a monitor, printer, keyboard, mousepad, speakers, and a small bookshelf on the desk. Given some working space for homework, etc., there's really no spare room.


    GB for GB an external drive is more expensive (and slower) than an internal drive, so I fail to see any benefit in doing this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  23. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Although I've never performed a cloning operation, it certainly seems to be a better method (than image/restore) for this particular purpose. :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  24. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I didn't know Paragon did partition cloning. Most do whole HD cloning. Partition cloning does suit your situation.

    PS You may still have a boot.ini issue. Could you post your boot.ini?
     
  25. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Aaron,

    As you may recall I'm also a Drive Snapshot user and although it can do the job in question, cloning is the better method. I know because we often do that at work.

    That said, I really believe you should reconsider LenC's suggestion. Assuming your son's original HDD isn't showing signs of mechanical problems, it really isn't much slower than the larger drive that you're thinking of getting. Moving your son's 'My Documents' folder to the larger D-drive (as Len suggested) should provide more than adequate free space on the C-drive and of course, more total HDD space. If you do this, just be sure to connect the new D-drive as the master on the 2nd IDE cable (rather than a slave on the C-drive's cable). Connecting it that way can result in better overall system performance.

    JA
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
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