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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,

Just upgrading in a week or so to a new laptop hd, i'd like to "skip" the whole reinstall pain and anguish, and heard it's possible to make an image of where i'm at, ie install/setup, etc, and back that up to an external, then use it on the new hd I toss into my laptop?

How is this done? Doable? Possible?

Do I need a thumbdrive or dvd/cd program of choice to get this to work?

This would be awesome if it can be done!

Thanks!

- Le_Loup
 

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Not sure about free software but Norton Ghost will rip an image for you and them let you image your computer with it. It's what I use at work.
 

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Probably the best solution to this task is Acronis True Image.. You can seamlessly clone your existing partitions to any new drive (or even stripe), and automatically expand to fill the disk. There is also a free, "Personal Edition" of Acronis available, if you do some quick google searches, I'm sure you can come up with it.
 

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Drive Image XML is my favourite. Completely free, and I've never had any problems.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by sav5716
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Not sure about free software but Norton Ghost will rip an image for you and them let you image your computer with it. It's what I use at work.

+1...
 
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Norton ghost will do the job fine. You can capture the image of your current setup and put it on the external hard drive. When your new hard drive comes in just pop the old one out and put the new one in. Norton ghost comes with a bootable disk and all you have to do is boot to that cd and select the source image located on the external hard drive and select your new hard drive as the destination drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow, this is wonderful information everyone. Muchly extremely appreciated.

Now since this new harddrive i'm swaping my old one for, won't be "formatted". Will it auto format the hd? Or does the image applied actually do that for me? (depending program).

Thanks!

- Le_Loup
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Le_Loup
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Wow, this is wonderful information everyone. Muchly extremely appreciated.

Now since this new harddrive i'm swaping my old one for, won't be "formatted". Will it auto format the hd? Or does the image applied actually do that for me? (depending program).

Thanks!

- Le_Loup

Yes, any information on the target drive will be overwritten, if this is a clean, never formatted drive, you need take no action, but if you have any data you need to keep from the new drive, then back it up before performing a clone or ghost.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Muchly appreciated for verifiying re: target drive question.

I'll back it up in a day or 2 here, and then pop the new drive in, and ghost it back to the new drive.

This is how I understand the process.

Use norton ghost, make "image" of my current harddrive on laptop. Point the image to my external harddrive which is larger then what the image should be.

Then shut off laptop, swap old harddrive for new harddrive.

After doing this, laptop will have empty new harddrive in it.

Then use boot cd in cdrom drive (as long as bios boots with cd before harddrive I understand).

Boot of "norton ghost cd" that it made, or came with. Use image from External harddrive, and push image onto new harddrive (empty brand new).

Once image is applied to new hd, I understand it'll reboot probably? Then it'll just be the new hd instead of old, and work fine I presume?

(Old hd, 200gb 5400rpm, new hd 320gb 7200rpm).

Thanks,

- Le_Loup
 

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If you restore your 200gb image to your 320gb hdd you will only get a 200gb harddrive. You will probably have to make a 200gb partition to restore to, then make a separate data partition in order to utilize your new space.

Also, my favorite way to image hdds and discs is the dd tool in linux.
 

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Im not sure how this will work with a laptop, since you need both harddrives connected at the same time. Unless you make a backup image, do a quick install of windows, install the program and restore the image.

I used acronis home true image, and it worked flawlessly! I got a larger harddrive, so i connected it to my PC, then selected to clone my existing harddrive onto the new harddrive, and BAM! It was all automated, it automatically copied everything, made the new drive the C: drive and now i can boot from either harddrive, because it leaves the old harddrives files intact. I know acronis was giving a free edition away, you should check it out.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Le_Loup View Post
Muchly appreciated for verifiying re: target drive question.

I'll back it up in a day or 2 here, and then pop the new drive in, and ghost it back to the new drive.

This is how I understand the process.

Use norton ghost, make "image" of my current harddrive on laptop. Point the image to my external harddrive which is larger then what the image should be.

Then shut off laptop, swap old harddrive for new harddrive.

After doing this, laptop will have empty new harddrive in it.

Then use boot cd in cdrom drive (as long as bios boots with cd before harddrive I understand).

Boot of "norton ghost cd" that it made, or came with. Use image from External harddrive, and push image onto new harddrive (empty brand new).

Once image is applied to new hd, I understand it'll reboot probably? Then it'll just be the new hd instead of old, and work fine I presume?

(Old hd, 200gb 5400rpm, new hd 320gb 7200rpm).

Thanks,

- Le_Loup
That sounds about right. When you boot to the norton ghost cd there should an option for cloning from disk to disk at which point it will ask you for the location of the source image and then for the destination hard drive. Here is a review on the latest norton ghost for home users. After going through my recovery cd I found some options that might be useful for you, like resize restored drive which will automatically expands the drive to occupy the target drive's remaining unallocated space.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Quote:


Originally Posted by sigfreik
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That sounds about right. When you boot to the norton ghost cd there should an option for cloning from disk to disk at which point it will ask you for the location of the source image and then for the destination hard drive. Here is a review on the latest norton ghost for home users. After going through my recovery cd I found some options that might be useful for you, like resize restored drive which will automatically expands the drive to occupy the target drive's remaining unallocated space.


So to better understand your last sentence, the old hd data and setup, will restore on the new 320gb, and the 320gb will still have it's full space available minus the original space used?

Example

200gb, 50gb used, 150gb un used. (literal example, not literal data #'s as 1000kb vs 1024kb data stuff).

New hd
320gb, 50gb used, 270 un used?.

Would that occur?

Or would the norton ghost program when imaging back onto the new hd (320gb), will there be an "un partitioned 120gb approx" section i'll have to "add" to my primary partition, since i'm using vista?

Thanks,

- Le_Loup
 

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From what I understand is that if you check the option then it will create one 320GB partition and restore everything onto there. So in your old 200GB hard drive if you only use 50GB then when you restore it using that option onto your new 320GB hard drive then you will have one 320GB partition with 50GB used up. That means that you will have 320GB-50GB = 270GB of space free to use. If you don't check the option then it will create a 200GB partition and it will leave the other 120GB as unallocated so that when you go into windows you will have to go into disk management and create a partition for the space remaining. Therefor you will have 2 partitions in your new hard drive one being 200GB and the other being 120GB.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks Sigfriek, Definately rep around.

Muchly appreciated for clarifying in detail.

Will try this soon enough!

- Le_Loup
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ok... Now have Norton ghost 14, How do I make a boot cd????.....
 
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