Copy OS & files from one hard disk to another


I am not sure if this is the right place to post this but here goes.
I have two hard disks. A 20 gig with WinXP and mp3’s ect and an 80 gig with photos and games ect. The 20 gig is the older disk and it is making a hell of a racket at start up. I think it is going to give up soon, that sound can’t be good.
My question is this; can I copy/move the contents of the problem disk (including OS) to the 80 gig while keeping the contents of the other disk as it is and how would I go about it? Or what other options are there?
FYI: I am reluctant to buy a new internal hard disk. I plan to immigrate and I will probably buy a removable hard disk and transfer everything to it, as it will save space when moving.

Thanks in advance.

Yes you can, if you have the room on the new drive. There are numerous utilities on the web for this operation. You don’t give the make of the hard drive; the manufacturer’s web site should be the first place to go.

According to the BIOS the 20 gig disk is ST380011A, there isn’t a manufacturer name and the 80 gig is a Maxtor 2B020M1. What do you think is the best app for doing this job?

Thanks for the reply.

On a single PC, with only a single OS installation available, it’s difficult & indeed the most common answer will be norton ghost or similar.

If you have a second PC available … then you can whip the HD’s out, copy the entire HD contents to the target partition of the new HD, & activate the approproate partition on the new partition, along with the following hidden files in your active partition of the old hd:
IO.sys, msdos.sys, & NTLDR

If the partition structure & active partition of the new HD is different to the original HD, you will need to mess with “partition(x)” in boot.ini to get the right partition (usually 1 or 2).

Windows protects alot of system files & will prevent you from copying them, if windows is loaded, doing this on a single OS system is very difficult.

Quick & Nasty Boot process explanation…
Bios->Check target IDE boot device->Check HD (bootcode) for active partition->
Active partition has a boot loader, which in windows case is NTLDR, which then checks boot.ini to see where windows is installed.

Boot.ini tells it the partition (drive) & folder that it will find windows:
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS=“Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /noexecute=optin /fastdetect /usepmtimer

You will buy a lot of trouble and work around and you must consider if it pays, as you want to buy an external and move everything to it.
So, the easiest way would be (while the 20GB still works):

    • buy the external disk
    • Move the info from the 80 GB to it
    • delete, re-partition - re-format it (creating a 20 GB primary partition - you can use XP or DOS Fdisk)
    • Use Ghost to create and image of your 20GB disk
    • write it to your new 20GB partition
    • take the 20GB away and use the “new” as main/start disk.

Offer of MS, you may have to reactivate your XP…
Obviously, you can follow debro’s advice if you feel confortable with the technicalities.

hi to all i’m a new member!

Go to Maxtor’s site and get maxblast 4 this software has the capability to copy over windows and all the files on your C drive and set it as the new C drive.
Then you power down reset the master slave jumper removing the dying drive from your system. Power up and the rest is history as they say
Best wishes.

havent tried it so i dont know… couldnt he go start --> programs --> accessories --> system tools --> backup, and backup his system, and then extract the backup onto the new hard disk?

Hmmm… there are many guides how to do this. Here you’ll also find a good article on this topic. :slight_smile: