Give the boot drive the boot.
July 15, 2004 9:27 AM   Subscribe

Upgrade Filter: I would like to change my boot drive. What is the easiest way? [MI]

Basically, I want to swap my current C: drive with a larger/faster one. I do not want to reinstall things. I would then like to use my former C: as a D:. I am hoping that I could just put the new drive in as D:, clone the C: to D:, and then swap them. Is there an easy way to do that?

Thank you much!
posted by eas98 to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Use Norton Ghost, or if you're cheap like me, here's what I did:

Put the second drive (bigger one) in as a slave (or secondary master, I don't think it'd matter. Copy and paste the files from the smaller one to the bigger one. Put the bigger one in as master and in the same IDE place as the smaller one and you're good to go. You can now also use the smaller one for extra space.
posted by geoff. at 9:35 AM on July 15, 2004

XP? You'll need to overwrite your drive signature after you clone it, or else it will throw Windows Product Activation error on reboot. Read this for info on how to do it.

There was a tool I used when I cloned my XP drive a while ago which made this easier, I'll try to find it again.
posted by Hackworth at 10:38 AM on July 15, 2004

Response by poster: I'm sorry for not specifying. Yes, this is XP Home.
posted by eas98 at 11:19 AM on July 15, 2004

Got it. The app is called Bootit NG.

Once you clone your c: partition using ghost or partitionMagic, you'll need to boot from a floppy that has BootIt NG on it. It'll ask you if you want to install it on your disk, say no, and it'll say it's entering "maintenance mode".

Choose "partition work" from the menu and choose your new partition from the partition list it gives you. Then click the "view mbr" button on the left of the screen.

Choose "clear sig" from the next window. This will clear the drive signature that XP checks when it boots up. If it find one that it wasn't expecting, it'll say "windows activation error" and make you reinstall windows. This way, it'll just write a new sig and continue on.

You might want to keep your old drive around, untouched, until your really get the new one up and running, just to have a backup to fall back on. Good luck.
posted by Hackworth at 7:44 PM on July 15, 2004

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