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Copying OS to another HD


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#1 trdi

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 11:49 AM

I posted the question on a big tech forum, but received no reply - realized it might be too specific for a regular forum. Probably it is a very easy question for some people here though...

I have an HP laptop with 2 identical Fujitsu drives. Drive 2 is more or less empty (it does have an XP installation that I don't use) and has D: on it, as well as recovery partition with Vista Ultimate. I work in Vista installed on Drive 1, C:

I have had occasional BSOD for some time now and startup hard drive test showed that Drive 1 has errors and it says I should replace it (took only 9-10 months, good quality ). So naturally my plan is to move exact copy of Drive 1 to Drive 2. I would like to use Acronis True Image 2010 for that (not other commercial programs), however I see couple of problems and maybe someone can help.

1. When I want to clone 1-->2 I have only option to delete all partitions. However if possible I would like to keep recovery partition. Is it possible and how?

2. From the process I see that drive 2 would take the C: letter and be bootable (as it is even now actually). But what will happen to my existing Vista installation on 1? That one is C at the moment, does it mean, that it will be impossible to use it? How will my boot screen look? Do I have to change physical positions of the drives after that? Even if so, I still don't see, how will boot screen recognize my drive 1.

I use this laptop for work and I am very very skeptical and cautious. How would you do the whole operation, maybe that is the easiest way to help me out. If someone has done a similar task, I would be glad to hear how it went.

P.S. I would like to keep recovery partition, because it is the only thing I got for the nice money that I paid for this Vista Ultimate copy. As I looked online, it is not possible to make regular install DVD from that partition. I know that some kind of recovery DVDs can be done, but let me ask this: If I format everything, will those DVDs allow me to install Vista? Probably not?

#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 12:41 PM

Lots of questions. ;)

Don't worry too much about drive lettering, each OS will have it's own internal drive lettering, and there are ways to have them the way you want them.

Moving an "exact copy" of a failing hard disk is not the best idea in the world, if the "exact" includes the bad sectors/areas/files that produce currently the BSOD's.

Creating the DVD's (most probably they will be "recovery" ones) is however strongly, and I mean STRONGLY suggested.

I am not familiar with Acronis True IMAGE, but from what you write you are using a "whole hard disk" cloning approach and rather obviously the program tells you that you have to start from scratch.
The general idea is to use instead a "partition only" cloning approach, which should be possible as well with Acronis.

HP recovery partitions use a "custom made MBR" that is known to be a problematic one, it is very likely that if you, by any means, rewrite the MBR on that drive you will lose access to the recovery partition for good:
http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=131620

Since Commercial tools (including Acronis) are "smart" apps that often automagically do something you will later regret, my suggestion is NOT to use it in ANY way on the second drive.


First thing you should do is to create a backup copy of all the MBR's and bootsectors on disks and partitions.

You can use HDHACKER:
http://www.dimio.alt.../eng/index.html

You should produce:
From Physicaldrive0: MBR0.MBR
From Physicaldrive1: MBR1.MBR
From Logicaldrives: BS00.BS (first partition on first hard disk) BS10.BS (first partition of second hard disk - probably the recovery partition - most probably a FAT32 one) BS11.BS (second partition of second hard disk) - if they are NTFS save 16 sectors.

It is possible that you won't be able to "see" the recovery partition, in this case try using one of the tools listed here:
http://www.boot-land...showtopic=10169

Once you have the files MBR0.MBR, MBR1.MBR, BS00.BS,BS10.BS, etc. compress them all in a .zip archive and post the file as an attachment or load it on some file hosting and post a link.

Short of Acronis Trueimage, have you got an alternate booting OS, (like a PE, some form or Linux, etc.) on a CD or USB stick?

With the exact data we may be able to suggest you an accurate possible course of action.


:thumbsup:
Wonko

#3 MedEvil

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 12:50 PM

P.S. I would like to keep recovery partition, because it is the only thing I got for the nice money that I paid for this Vista Ultimate copy. As I looked online, it is not possible to make regular install DVD from that partition. I know that some kind of recovery DVDs can be done, but let me ask this: If I format everything, will those DVDs allow me to install Vista? Probably not?

If you create those DVD they will be usable to install Vista again just like the recovery partition, cause that's what it basicly is a recoverypartition on DVDs. Just like the recovery partition those DVD are useless to install Vista on another computer.

What you wanna do is move only your C: partition not the drive as a whole. No idea if ATI can do that.
Basicly it should work like this.
- Make room on the second HDD by deleting or shrinking partitions.
- If the C: partition does not fit into the free space od HDD2 shrink it, to make it fit.
- Copy C: partition to second HDD

At this point i'm a bit confused about what your goal is. You talk about keep using the old C: and talk about using the backuped C:. Please be specific about your goal.

:thumbsup:


edit: As i see, Wonko has already taken over. ;) Better follow him. He can help you much better, with any gotchas you might encounter.




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