Recommendations for migrating my XP boot drive to a larger drive without reinstalling Windows?
February 6, 2005 9:55 PM   Subscribe

Recommendations for migrating my XP boot drive to a larger drive without reinstalling Windows? IDE, NTFS if it matters. [+]

My measly 20 GB won't cut it. Ntbackup.exe still requires you to have a fresh install of XP on the target disk, and I'm out of keys. Searches turn up info on migrating from a previous OS to XP, or commercial software vendors. Open source/freeware solutions? Built in feature I'm overlooking?
posted by Jack Karaoke to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Is the Hard Disk you have that is bigger new? Who is its manufacturer? Hard disk manufacturers include software that will allow you to copy partition information from an older drive onto the newer drive. This is probably as simple as it gets.

Western Digital

Or you could download Ultimate Boot CD and burn it to CD. It is a collection of software that is used for disk backup, retrieval, collection, recovery, etcetera. It should include a recent version of any Hard Drive manufacturers software needed. If not, it has generic software that can do the exact same thing. The Basic version will have everything you need.

Remember to defrag your original drive and scandisk before the move.
posted by Dean Keaton at 10:15 PM on February 6, 2005

there's g4u if you're unixically inclined.. and this site has some other options. there's also hdclone . this list contains some other possibilities as well (esp. partimage and partition saving, but there's some linux-based dealies that will do it on there too).

jooc, how are you out of keys? I thought you could call MS and get your activation reset if you needed to.
posted by mrg at 10:15 PM on February 6, 2005

Note: 20GB on a desktop drive must be rather old. To be safe, use Scandisk Thorough before transferring data. Nothing worse than hearing loud clicks as you are moving /Windows over.
posted by Dean Keaton at 10:17 PM on February 6, 2005

Response by poster: I haven't bought a new drive yet, it'll be 80-120GB probably, old one is a Maxtor.
I haven't called MS yet (oh joy), but I tried to install a copy on a laptop, and it said I had to buy a new pack of keys.
Looks like Maxblast (pow!!!) should do the trick. Tanks, all.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 10:56 PM on February 6, 2005

You are allowed one copy on a desktop, one copy on a laptop per key.
posted by Dean Keaton at 12:25 AM on February 7, 2005

If it is just a matter of disk space on your C Drive, you can mount the new hard disk as a subdirectory of C:, or extend your C drive to encompass 2 partitions; see

Although if it's 20GB, it's probably old enough and slow enough not to be worthwhile...
posted by Boobus Tuber at 9:11 AM on February 7, 2005

Untilities like Symantic Ghost are designed to do just this task. Straight forward and fairly common in the windows world. Ask around any techs you know they could probably lend you a copy or perform the transfer for a nominal fee.

Usually though it's a lot better to run your windows install from scratch on your new disk. I think you can call microsoft and get a new activation key at no cost even if their web tool has denied you a new key.
posted by Mitheral at 12:01 PM on February 7, 2005

« Older I can't install Flash Player 7 in Mac OS X (10.3.7...   |   .sit file extraction Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.