Help: Moving HDD to new pc instruction needed

Discussion in 'Windows OS and Software' started by jas0ndotc0m, Jun 2, 2011.

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  1. jas0ndotc0m

    jas0ndotc0m Notebook Enthusiast

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    I found some articles on how to transfer HDD between PC's but in my case, its a little more complicated since my new netbook comes w/ an external rom drive and I lack the windows CD. But the main problem is having to move the OS and all my games on the primary HDD to the new pc.

    I have an 7811fx with two HDD's, an 500GB 7200RPM Momentus XT(Win7 Pro) and an 200GB 7200RPM Momentus(just holding movies & music), and I want to transfer the XT HDD to my new Alienware M11x (i5 CPU, only has one HDD slot) that comes with a 160GB 5600RPM (Win7 Home). Afterwards, make the 200GB as primary and 160GB secondary for the 7811fx. In short, a 3 way swap, 160GB -> 200GB -> 500GB -> (160GB).

    I'm aware this sounds extremely complicated (with all the BIOs and drivers issue I'm going to go through), so any help on what to do will be helpful. I'm here hoping someone can guide me through the process of doing it myself without having to wipe my HDs clean, or a link would be cool.

    PS. The XT has more than enough space to hold all the files from the 160GB & 200GB HD, if that helps. I don't mind wiping the 200GB or the 160GB clean, just lack the CDs.

    edit: if it helps, both pc are 64bit, nvidia,
     
  2. gmoneyphatstyle

    gmoneyphatstyle Notebook Deity

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    Is this right?
    [​IMG]
     
  3. gmoneyphatstyle

    gmoneyphatstyle Notebook Deity

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    Recovery Disks
    By any chance when you first got your computers did you burn recovery disks? I don't think you did, but if you did, you'd be able to use them to reinstall the factory disk image on a new harddrive. But you'd have reinstall all the programs and udates since you first got your computers. Another fact about restore disks, they don't always work, sometimes there's an error on the optical disk that prevents the image from being restored. So beware of that.

    If you don't have the recovery disks you maybe still be able to create them. Are the harddrives in the computer the original drives? do they have a hidden partition on them with the factory image. If yes, then you may still be able to create the recovery disks.

    Please note, recovery disks, and Windows install disks are not the same thing. Recovery disks reinstall the factory image your computer had when it left the factory. A Windows install disk is from Microsoft, it in stalls windows, you still have to install drivers. Both of these require you to reinstall all programs you've installed since you got your computer.

    Disk Imaging Software - Risky
    Switching around the harddrives like this is made riskier by the fact that you don't have a windows7 (Pro for 7811fx and Home for M11x) disk for each computer. This means that if anything goes wrong you won't be able to fall back on using the windows7 disk to reinstall the OS.

    You could try using a disk imaging program like Acronis or Clonezilla, to copy an image of the harddrive onto dvd-r disks, and then use those disks to install the image (OS, drivers, programs, and all) onto another harddrive. But this is made harder by the amount of information on each disk, the more data you have to image, the higher the risk of something going wrong. Check out this review of Acronis True Image, Acronis is one of the better names in imaging programs and even it didn't perform consistently during the review.

    Windows7 install disks
    Even you have a windows7 install disks, you'd then be faced with installing the drivers for both computers. I've done this for 2 Thinkpads, but Lenovo's site has all the drivers available for download. I'm not so sure about Gateway or Alienware. You'd have to look into this.

    Options to get a Windows7 Disk

    You could try downloading Windows7 as described in this thread. I myself have never tried this, and I have no idea if it actually works.

    Or, you could buy it. newegg has windows7 Home upgrade disk for $115. If you bought two you'd be able to do a clean install of windows7 home on both computers. Check out this article by Paul Thurrott on using upgrade media to do a clean install.

    So that's it. I've tried to lay out your options and the risks. If people tell you different, and they know what they're talking about feel free to follow them over me, cause they probably know more than me anyways. But beware, there is a real risk of ruining your windows7 OS installs on both drives with no means of recovering it.
     
  4. Gregory

    Gregory disassemble?

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    Use Seagate DiscWizard to clone the drives as necessary.

    | Seagate

    Use a desktop for the cloning process.

    At the end of the process, be sure the the Windows Pro and Home each land on the computer they came with. Don't try to swap versions. Just swap them as data, do not boot from each drive until after this process is complete. However, check that the clone process was successful pior to formatting the original drive. Do so in the laptop the Windows version originated on.
     
  5. jas0ndotc0m

    jas0ndotc0m Notebook Enthusiast

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    holy crap! how did you get that image? lol

    both of the 7811's HD aren't stock, and after much thought, i decided it's prob safer (and maybe faster?) to just not go through doing that, but its good to know that it is possible and a thread to keep in bookmark when i ever do decide to try it sometime.

    +rep to the both of ya~
     
  6. gmoneyphatstyle

    gmoneyphatstyle Notebook Deity

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    Hehheh, I'm rather proud of that lil photo. Did it in excel, white background, copy n pasted in the pics of the computers, then took a screen shot (alt PrintScreen) and cropped it in Microsoft Paint. Then uploaded the pic to imageshack.com, copied the link to the pic, pasted that link into the post using the Insert Image icon.


    Another thought occurred to me. If you did the following you would minimize your risks.

    1. Back up all your data to optical disks. Or another harddrive.

    On Gateway 7811fx
    3. Use windows7 built in system image feature to create recovery media on optical disk for both computers. I always forget that thing exists. I have never used it so you'll have to read up on it.

    2. Move 160GB drive into HDD1 slot, or make it the boot drive in BIOS.
    3. Restore the system image for the Gateway on that drive.
    4. Confirm it is working.

    You could then repeat the process on the Alienware.
    The key here is that you're confirming the restored image works before deleting the old system disk.

    Some articles on Win7 system image:

    Paul Thurrott writes great windows articles
    Windows 7 Feature Focus: Backup and Restore

    Microsoft: What is system image
     
  7. jas0ndotc0m

    jas0ndotc0m Notebook Enthusiast

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    if it does work out, all my programs (mainly games) probably wont play right, due to driver errors and what not? I got a crapload of games and all of my CDs are back at home (im at school)
     
  8. Gregory

    Gregory disassemble?

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    There shouldn't be any driver issues whatsoever if you clone with care. Be sure that the existing OS lands ends on the computer it started from, without ever booting from the other. In that case, the only hardware that will change is the hard drive. However, that may be enough to trip some games activation limit securities. :(

    If you choose you do want to do it, use the data drive to test it out. Give it a dry run, going through the cloning process and booting up. That way you can get a feel for the outcome without risking your existing installs.
     
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