05-11-2012 11:17 AM
I'm planning to upgrade all data from my main drive to a new larger drive. There is this option which is "Copy My Hard Drive" which will copy all the files, programs, settings etc to the other drive.
I'm been cautious - my question is, are there any potential problems I might face with this feature? I read somewhere it may cause problems with the windows 7 license key / registry / mapped networked drives. Is it safe? What precautions should I do?
I have backed up all the data I need.
I would really hate to install and reconfigure hundreds of applications all over again if it fails...
05-11-2012 01:13 PM
If it's done correctly you won't have any problems because the clone will be just like the original, windows will remain activated, all your settings and the system registry will be the same as the original drive.
Here are the 3 biggest mistakes we see here:
1) The copy must be done into unallocated space or partitions with no drive letters or the cloned disk will not boot.
2) Both drives need to be directly attached to the systems motherboard, don't try it using a USB connection.
3) After the copy you can't boot with both drives attached, the new drive has to be booted by it'self.
Personally, rather than doing a copy drive I always use the image\restore method instead. Making images of the partitions and then restoring those images onto the new drive.
Also be aware that windows 7 usually has a hidden partition that contains the boot files and you need to copy or restore that partition as well.
If you need any help, please post a screen shot of disk management.
05-14-2012 10:27 PM
thank you for your advice. Your method should be better.
In regards to image restore, hmmph can't seem to find that option in ghost.
Do you have any reference guide or can you advise how do I do a image restore from the ghost interface?
Also, how can I do the recovery after I made the disk image?
05-15-2012 06:49 AM
When you run a backup of your computer that is called an "Image" so everything on your primary drive can be "Transferred" to the new drive via that "Image".
To create the "Image" run a "One Time Backup" onto your external drive which is where all the "Images" should be stored.
When you create the "Image" like Dave said we will need a pic of the disc management to determine what drives/partitions need backing up.
If you have a read of this post in the meantime Here it refers to a laptop but the principal is the same and will give you some idea of the preparation needed for the "clone".
05-21-2012 12:32 PM
thanks. I understood what you explained. When I do the "one time backup", does the drive that I want to copy to needs to be unpartitoned? In my current harddisk, I have 3 drives.
C: drive is where all windows and programs are stored.<- These need backup.
D: and E: drives are just documents/photos/ etc that has already been safely backup to an external storage.
F: is the 2TB new harddisk that I want to copy into.
05-21-2012 02:16 PM
Yes, the destination drive must be unallocated. See my Rule 1 above.
Also, as I mentioned, it's very unusual for a system not to have a hidden system reserved partition or recovery partition.
You should make sure if one exists or not before doing anything. Thats why I suggested you post a screen shot of disk management for us to see.
05-22-2012 07:51 AM
Okay thanks. I attached a screenshot. Let me know if I need to account for any hidden partitions.
Both the main and new drive are directly attached to the motherboard.
Correct me if I'm wrong. So I run the 'one time backup' overnight and copy it to an unallocated partition, once done unplugged out old drive and reboot on new drive? This procedure should be clean?
05-22-2012 11:49 AM - edited 05-22-2012 11:59 AM
Very unusual setup you have there, it looks like you had a previous operating system at one time and after installing Windows 7 you deleted it.
There are a few issues that need to be fixed and changed here. You'll notice you have windows installed on the 3'rd partition and that partition is a logical drive and not a primary. It's going to need to end up on the new drive as the first active primary partition.
Your boot files are on the first partition so you will need to do a startup repair after the disk copy to rewrite the boot files onto the windows partition.
Third, your page file is on 2 partitions and you will need to temporarily remove it from E because that drive will not be present for a while.
If you don't have a retail windows 7 installation disc you need to create a startup repair disk. See here for how to make one and how to do a startup repair.
Then copy the folder "Boot" and the file "bootmgr" from D to C (copy it, don't move it. You may need to change your view setting to be able to see them).
Next, go into your page file settings and disable the page file on the E drive, increase the one on the C drive if necessary for the time being. 2 or 3 GB should be fine for now. Reboot your system to let it take effect.
Using disk management, delete the partition G on the new drive so the entire drive becomes unallocated space.
Start Ghost and go to: Tools > Copy my hard drive
Select the C drive as the source and the unallocated space on HD1 as the destination.
Use these settings (thanks to Brian).
Check source for file system errors
Check destination for file system errors
Set drive active (for booting OS)
DON'T SELECT Disable SmartSector copying
DON'T SELECT Ignore bad sectors during copy
Destination partition type : Primary
Drive letter : None
You will also see a setting to resize the drive but I reccomend you don't use it now. You only get the option to use the entire drive and it's just as easy to resize it later and I don't think you want the C drive to be that big.
After the drive copy is done YOU MUST NOT let the system reboot. You must shut down the system and unplug HD0 (the old drive). Move the plug from the new drive so it is attached to the motherboard using the same connection the old drive was.
Have only the new drive attached at this point.
Boot to the startup repair disk and follow the instructions on that page to do a startup repair.
Chances are you may need to do it twice.
Then boot into windows and make sure everything is working.
Later you can use disk management to expand the C drive another 100GB or so and then create a couple more partitions.
Attach the old drive again as a slave and copy all your data over, reset the page file how you like it.
Then if you want you can make the old drive a single partition and use it for backups, schedule ghost to image the C drive onto it.
Added later- If you want to be extra safe, before you begin you can create an image of the C drive (one time backup) onto either your external drive or your D drive.
05-23-2012 08:35 AM
Woah, that's alot to troubleshoot. :P
I have no idea how it ended up as the 3rd partition. haha. I did formatted windows 7 a few times but it's always installed on C: drive. It's very interesting to see your advice. Is there a way to merge back C,D,E drive? I could empty out the D and E drives. If not I will try the steps this weekend.
05-23-2012 11:05 AM
Sorry about that, but as i tried to explain, because of the changes and issues your system has now it's not a straight forward partition copy.
The easiest and safest way to do this would be to create an image of the C drive onto an external drive.
Then you can remove the old drive and set it aside, no changes will be made to it and if worse comes to worse you can put the drive back in and not have to worry about any problems.
The steps I gave also sound more difficult then they really are.