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Old 2008-03-29, 18:35   Link #1
Eviltape
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Florida, USA
Changing Out HDDs

Alrighty, here we go. I have 2 SATA drives available to me, and if it matters, with the same manufacturer: Western Digital. One is bigger than the other, and I want to migrate my entire Vista installation onto the bigger hard drive. I'm handing down the smaller one to a different computer with a slowasturtles IDE drive (dad loves defragmenting, etc etc).

Would it be possible to migrate an entire OS and its contents on the NTFS partition onto a different HDD with all else having the same hardware? Would setting up the bootloader/MBR be sufficient once the entire partition is copied (if plausible)? What if I just RAID 1'd the two and slipped the other away? What if they have different connectors ie: an EIDE to a SATA?

No, I'm not going to give the bigger one to my father.
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Old 2008-03-29, 20:05   Link #2
Kurz
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One Word Acronis
Its a disk image copier.
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Old 2008-03-29, 22:14   Link #3
hobbes_fan
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Well If you raid 1 bigger Hdd and one smaller Hdd, It will recognize the bigger HDD to the smaller size. They have to be the same size. So if you have a 500gb and raid it with a 250 you can only use 250. I'd avoid mixing it as well, I'm pretty sure it will work but ibecomes more fragile as you have 2 controllers to deal with the IDE and SATA controllers.

Acrons and Norton Ghost are your best bet. Dixml is free but it isn't the easiest thing to use.
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Old 2008-03-30, 02:18   Link #4
grey_moon
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RAID is good, but if your motherboard dies in the future and you cannot get that controller then you will have lots of trouble accessing your data. <- Check if the controller is widely available in the form of a PCI card and also make sure that the mobo manufacturer hasn't done any weird things to it. <- The best type of controllers are full hardware ones and not the usual hybrids you find in home mobos. The hybrids work with some of the functionality in the driver, you will know because the OS should always recognise a full controller without the need to install drivers.
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Old 2008-03-30, 03:55   Link #5
Danj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eviltape View Post
Would it be possible to migrate an entire OS and its contents on the NTFS partition onto a different HDD with all else having the same hardware?
Yes. Use something like Acronis True Image or Symantec Ghost. If the target hard drive is larger, the utility can usually expand the partition to fit, so you won't lose any space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eviltape View Post
Would setting up the bootloader/MBR be sufficient once the entire partition is copied (if plausible)?
No further setup would be required. Disk imaging copies EVERYTHING, including bootloaders and MBRs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eviltape View Post
What if I just RAID 1'd the two and slipped the other away? What if they have different connectors ie: an EIDE to a SATA?
This will not work.
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Old 2008-03-30, 07:22   Link #6
Eviltape
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Florida, USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurz View Post
One Word Acronis
Its a disk image copier.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danj View Post
Yes. Use something like Acronis True Image or Symantec Ghost. If the target hard drive is larger, the utility can usually expand the partition to fit, so you won't lose any space.
I'll be going with this option; thanks for the help. I already know how to partition drives (linux struggles, etc etc )

I'll probably be going with one of these OSS options listed on the Wikipedia page. Clonezilla seems like the best option so far, as I haven't reinstalled Arch Linux since that one time with bootloaders... If the National Centre for High Performance Computing, Taiwan risked a run with it, then I feel confident to do so too.
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