New harddrive, how to copy?

Ok, I just got a bigger Hard drive for my computer. So I have a simple question, how can I copy everything from my old one to the new one?

I’ve already been able to copy everything but the Windows directory, when I try to copy that directory while in Windows I get sharing violations. If I drop to DOS to try and xcopy the directory, it doesn’t take the long file names.

You can use a utility such as PowerQuest’s DriveCopy, which I’ve used and highly recommend.

Copying the operating system directory probably won’t work, depending on what your setup is. When your machine boots, it redirects control to the operating system directory on what is probably your first drive. If you just move it to the second drive, the boot code won’t be able to find it.

To get around this, reinstall Windows on the new drive. As part of the installation, it will setup the boot code.

Symantec make a product called Ghost which will talk you through the whole process - assuming that you know enough to be able to set one of the drives to slave and connect both to an IDE cable.

Well right now I have my old harddrive as the C: drive, and it is set to master on the IDE, and the new hard drive as the D: drive, set as slave. I was planning on just copying everything over, and then removing the old drive so that my computer would just make the new drive C: (changing things in the BIOS if I had to). Would this not work?

I want to avoid having to re-install windows on the new hard drive by itself, then I would have to re-install all my programs, and if possible I don’t want to have to buy any new programs.

I used Drive2Drive for this purpose about a month ago and also make occasional backups with it. After duplicating the drive, I am able to make the new drive the master and boot successfully without reinstalling a single program, including Windows ME.

Waverly: Sounds good, however as I mentioned I would like to avoid spending any more money if possible. The new Hard Drive it self used up pretty much all of my paycheck as is :slight_smile:

I understand. FWIW, I didn’t want to spend another cent either, but the 6-10 hours I would have spent installing, customizing, recovering, etc. made me decide to part with the $25. It’s up to you to weigh the cost against the time and effort. I’m fairly certain that there is not a free solution, since it wasn’t that long ago and I did look for one without success - sorry I don’t have better news.

I just got a new HD, it came with software to do this & if not, the software is free on the manf web site. This is true for every HD I bought probably for 7 years now.

Boot to the floppy disk that has this software, read the online instructions to copy & Voila! You have made a copy. Hope your bios supports a HD otherwise the floppy disk has software to make it so. If in doubt, always read the instructions.

Handy: I know those tools will copy the data, but I’ve never found newer operating systems to work properly, if at all, afterwards. My understanding was that files were moved, but the registry is not handled properly during a simple move, which is why dragging over the entire volume will not work. Have you had success? Maybe you just buy better drives than I do.

Why would it matter with the registry if you make the drive that you copied to the C: drive aftwards? Doesn’t the registry just have path info?

Naive copying methods (using xcopy for example) do not preserve long/short file name associations. For most programs, assuming they use the long file name all the time, this is no problem. But MS-Windows itself during bootup doesn’t have access to long file names for a while. So there might be a reference to a file by it’s short name in the registry. And if the short name doesn’t match the long name …

Do a search on my user name and “partition” at 2am (when the load is low) to see a thread with more info.

It frightens me to say this, but Handy is right. :smiley:

Every hard drive comes with a diskette that has various utilities (generally EZ-Bios or something similar). One of those utilities is a partition copier. It would be silly to pay extra for a utility to do that when it was included with your new drive.

As for the registry not being copied properly: ridiculous. The registry is just a file (a collection of files, actually) that can be copied the same as any other file.

I do this regularly (generally at least twice a week) on customers’ computers, and have never experienced a problem.

I don’t doubt that there is a way to make it work, but as for following the instructions and having the new drive work with the software supplied, it was not possible in my case, nor apparently was it meant to. From the Western Digital website (

In other words, the WD would not make a viable drive copy with the supplied tools in the ME operating system as documented in the material that came with the drive.

I’d be happy to hear how I could have made the move without 3rd party software.

Waverly, yeah they never do copy 100% do they? What I do when it does that is I just boot to DOS, type: scanreg /restore
& restore a previous registry. The new HD really likes this.