Upgrading Hard Drive when there is only one drive

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by Scoobiesnacks, May 3, 2007.

  1. Scoobiesnacks

    Scoobiesnacks
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    I've just got a Sony VGC LA2 and am thinking of upgrading the hard drive from 320GB to 750 GB to turn it into a super PVR, store all my music, work files etc.

    However, it only has one hard drive and no space for another. How do I transfer the copy of one hard drive to another?

    All the googling I've done seems to talk about situations where there is more than one hard drive slot in a PC, so you can copy one to the other, then switch the master switches.

    Do I have to buy additional hardware to do this?
    thanks in advance
     
  2. dmurray0

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    From memory you can use a program called Ghost. It will take your existing drive and clone it on to the new one.
     
  3. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965
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    In order to use Ghost you'd still need somewhere to send the 'clone' or 'image' of the original drive....it wouldn't fit on a DVD unless you delete all your music, etc first (kind of pointless). What you could do is buy an external caddy to put your new drive in as a temporary measure and then you can connect it using USB/Firewire.

    Some HD manufacturers have a copying software available for DL on their webiste, be warned that it will take some time if using USB/Firewire. Once the new drive has the copy on it, you can then remove the original drive from the PC and swap the two over. Please note that you can't just use Windows to copy the files over to your new drive...it won't bootup.;)

    Once you are sure that the new drive is working exactly how you want it to, you could then put the old one into the caddy and use it as a backup external drive (you could format it to give you the full capacity back).

    Here is a caddy, but please check whether your original hard drive is SATA or IDE and 2.5" or 3.5"...they have all types on this website:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/127545

    PS: Looks like your PC has a SATA drive and is most likely 3.5", so this should be OK.
     
  4. Paul Shirley

    Paul Shirley
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    As long as you have a spare mboard drive connector and the cable(s) you can run the new drive outside the case. Just make sure it doesn't move while connected, I usually have to sit a box next to the PC and place drives on it for the power connector to reach the drive. Sitting it upside down (electronics facing up) will reduce the chance of problems from whatever its sitting on.

    All the usual precautions over static apply and make sure the PC is fully off when making and breaking the connections. Clone the drive then physically swap it with the existing drive.
     
  5. Uridium

    Uridium
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    Not many people realise but SATA drives are actually hot swappable :smashin:
     
  6. ellipr97

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    why not install a second 320GB drive? will be cheaper, plus 1 750GB parition is a LOT of data to loose in one go, so it is also safer should something happen
     
  7. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965
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    That's the drawback with this particular PC: You can't physically fit another hard drive in there (it is like a thick screen rather than a tower/desktop case).
     
  8. Paul Shirley

    Paul Shirley
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    ...hot-swapping the boot drive is rarely a good idea, safer not to tempt anyone to try :devil:
     
  9. sandstheman

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    Do you have access to another PC??

    If so then you could create a ghost image of your current drive and transfer it to the second machine into which you connect your new drive and then apply the ghost image to it, and then swap back into the PC that needs the upgrade
     
  10. Uridium

    Uridium
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    SATA drives are designed to be safely hot swapped, that's why many enterprise level devices SAN's/Servers etc.. are using SATA as an alternative to SCSI
     
  11. sandstheman

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    I think the point he's trying to make is that even though SATA is hot swappable it's never a good idea to pull out your boot drive, even on a server, hot swappable or not.
     
  12. Paul Shirley

    Paul Shirley
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    Whilst there's arguably little risk any cloning tool will actually be using the boot drive that also means there's not much point performing a hotswap since you're already rebooting into your main OS - it won't save any time!

    I normally clone with TrueImage, booting with its CD. Seems to have a better rep than Ghost. One tip: WinXP sometimes fails to boot from a cloned and resized drive, booting into Safe Mode then restarting usually fixes it.
     
  13. Scoobiesnacks

    Scoobiesnacks
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    thanks for the replies so far.

    I have been thinking, as the PC is completely new, how about I create the Sony Recovery Discs (Sony doesn't supply discs, but you can create them), take the old drive out, put a bigger new one in, and boot from the recovery discs.

    Would the Sony recovery discs install on the bigger drive successfully?

    I'd then use the partition functionality in Vista to open up the new space on the disc
     
  14. Scoobiesnacks

    Scoobiesnacks
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    How does the data get to the second PC? Would you connect the 2 PCs via an ethernet cable?
     
  15. sandstheman

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    Depending on the size of the ghost image, you can either burn it to CD or DVD.

    Just another thought if the image you create can be burned to CD/DVD then most ghosting programs used to (been a while since i used one) allow you to create a dos boot disk which you would use to load a cut down version of the ghosting application, from which you can then you can load the image onto whichever drive is connected to the PC
     
  16. unique

    unique
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    that should work, and if the pc is new and you don't have any data etc to lose, it's probably the easiest option. the recovery discs should probably let you use the full capacity without having to partition

    the other options if you wanted to keep data and settings, would be to attach another drive externally, but running the cable outside of the case. if it's IDE it should work, you just need a cable that will let you connect two drives (cheap and easy to get). if it's a SATA drive, you might find there is only 1 SATA connection inside as it would be a bit pointless having a second one if there is no space to add another drive, but you could perhaps use the IDE/SATA cable/channel that the DVD rom drive uses

    if you do have another pc, the way to do it would be to add bother your sony old drive and your new 750gig drive at the same time as the other PC's HD and run ghost on that pc's OS

    the caddy option would be the next option, but i'm not sure how ghost handles backup up a complete HD to an external USB/firewire/etc drive like that

    if you have nothing to lose, try the option you suggest. you can use a memory stick or burn off data if you have a little bit (remember emails/favorites etc). you'll just have to set your program options, internet and email the way you like it again, but that isn't that time consuming, and maybe less of a hassle than the ghosting options, considering your hardware position
     
  17. satinder

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    I think that the only way to do it is too copy your music, movies etc. from your 320gb drive to the 750gb drive. If you don't have the spare connectors available then use a mates pc. You should install the 750 gb drive and format it creating a small 50gb partition first and large partition next for your personal files. Then put the 750gb drive into your pc and install your os onto the small partition on the drive. You could then put your 320gb drive into a caddy and use it as a backup drive.
     
  18. Paul Shirley

    Paul Shirley
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    Right idea...

    Creating a root partition significantly larger than your easy backup options is a near guarantee you'll never perform disaster recovery backups. If you're going to use DVD for backup 50gb is way too large, aim for 15-20gb and try not to fill it. 10gb of Windows+applications will usually compress onto 1 disk as a drive image, its an ideal size. Go past 2 disks and you just won't bother with regular backups.

    Using external drives,NAS or tape for backup things are a little different but I'd still recommend sticking below 20gb. It keeps the backup speed under control and lets you do them more frequently. Reinstalling Windows is no fun and worth planning to avoid.

    The other 730gb probably isn't going to get regular backups...
     
  19. satinder

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    If you use an image based backing up software program doesn't it just create an image of what data there is on a partition and leave the 'empty' part of the partition alone. It that case it would only create a backup of what data there is so would not backup 50gb unless you had 50gb of data stored.
     
  20. Paul Shirley

    Paul Shirley
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    I've yet to meet anyone who could resist filling space if its there... and Windoze will happily fill it with temp files, backups and rubbish even if the user doesn't. The only reliable solution is removing the temptation :)

    Worth remembering the only applications needing vast amounts of install space are games. Not only are the files large but they're already compressed. You really don't want them installed on a partition you want to image regularly, luckily its easy to install them elsewhere. Excluding games its unbelievable how much software you need before a WinXP install reachs 10gb.
     
  21. Shady

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    Sorry for the hijack, but I am trying to do the same as the OP.

    I also installed a new SATA drive which is recognised in the BIOS and is now available as a new formatted drive (F: ). I used Ghost to copy everything over - including the Master Boot Record and also ticked the box for 'make bootable / active' (or something like that).

    I disconnected the current IDE drive and restarted. The Windows XP logo appeared and went to the blue screen which usually displays 'loading personal settings' etc. - however at this point it just hangs with the same blue screen (not the 'blue screen of death 'tm').

    I have also tried restarting in Safe Mode - but the same screen appears (albeit with the XP logo), but keeps scrolling round.

    Are the two occurences above an indication of the comment 'WinXP sometimes fails to boot from a cloned and resized drive' ? What I have not tried to do is boot into safe mode, and then restart normally - would this fix the problem ?

    I thought the problem may be to do with the new drive being recognised as 'F:' during the initial ghosting. If only one hard drive is found, would this automatically be recoded as 'C:' ?


    Again, my apologies for the hijack if deemed as such - may be questions which the OP will also face...

    :confused:

    Cheers
     
  22. Paul Shirley

    Paul Shirley
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    Its the way XP labels drives in its bootloader, its still trying to boot off the IDE interface. You need to get into the Recovery Console (boot from the install CD and select it) and rebuild the bootloader and possibly the bootsectors.

    Check http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058, bootcfg /rebuild should do the job. If that doesn't work you may need fixboot (unlikely and it will damage dualboot configurations). Do not have the old IDE drive connected when doing this.

    Booting into safe mode seems to fix some stale cached stuff that confuses XP (that's a guess though ;) )
     
  23. skippyonspeed

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    Don't know if this applies to XP, registry files and ini files might be looking for other files in drive F.

    Suggest you put your old drive back and using a registry editor try a global change replace F\: with C\:
     

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