Simple data transfer question
August 28, 2006 6:13 AM   Subscribe

I want to transfer the stuff on my boot drive to another drive, but I'm a computer idiot.

This one will be rediculously easy for you, but I'm a computer idiot. I searched, but didn't find a question exactly like mine. Here goes: My 250 gb boot drive is getting full, and I want to transfer everything to an external USB 400 gb drive. When finished, I want to just swap the 250 gb C:\ drive with the 400 gb drive and boot up with all the extra space. I am a computer novice, so I hope you'll tell me what I need to buy and what I need to do step by step with this in mind.
posted by Crotalus to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
operating system plz thx

(there should be a special submit form just for computers questions that has required fill in boxes for this stuff)
posted by sergeant sandwich at 6:16 AM on August 28, 2006

Oops. Windows XP.
posted by Crotalus at 6:19 AM on August 28, 2006

Get ghost (by hook or by crook, ok, maybe not the last bit). Ghost will then make a perfect but defragmented duplicate of your one drive onto the other [disk to disk] (Likely if it's in a USB enclosure it'll end up running at USB 1.1, although there are drivers that sometimes work for USB 2.0. I suggest you install the HD temporarialy for this instead, as USB 1.1 will be incredibly slow for 250 GB).

It will also resize the partitions, etc for you. Now you're done. Enjoy! And the defragmenting might make things a bit faster for you too...

BTW: While "windows" ghost will work in the newer versions, I suggest getting ahold of the last good copy of DOS ghost (mine is Ghost 2003, I think that's corporate version 7). Much better to do this in DOS, IMHO.
posted by shepd at 6:26 AM on August 28, 2006

DrvImagerXP is freeware that does what ghost does - makes a bit-by-bit copy of your drive on another drive. i don't know if it'll resize the partition though.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 6:28 AM on August 28, 2006

I think this website

pretty much describes the whole process in an understandable way.
posted by pu9iad at 6:31 AM on August 28, 2006

Sorry, this was my first post, the link is the following

Use External hard drive to boot Windows incase C drive crashes?

posted by pu9iad at 6:39 AM on August 28, 2006

Or look on the web pages of the manufacturers of your new and old hard drives. Most manufacturers seem to have disk migration utilities of this sort, but they're often set up so that they only work if either the source or target disk is from them.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:41 AM on August 28, 2006

DrvImagerXP might do it, *BUT*, if it's anything like other bit-by-bit copy programs, it won't resize the partition because it doens't know anything at all about filesystems. Also won't defrag the HDD for free.

Yeah, I've been looking for a decent free alternative to ghost for a while. I've seen some, but none of them worked really well for me. They were always missing some sort of functionality.
posted by shepd at 6:49 AM on August 28, 2006

You could try out Acronis. I think the trial is fully functional.
posted by Pryde at 10:22 AM on August 28, 2006

Some retail boxed drives come with software for transfering. Maxtor, for example, has "MaxBlast" which will make a copy of an existing drive. They limit it to working only with their own drives but hey, it's free.

if you bought an OEM (no box) version you can still download the app from (under software downloads). other vendors likely have their own versions of the same stuff.
posted by phearlez at 12:49 PM on August 28, 2006

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