Installing a new, larger drive

NOTE: The audience of this article should be technical enough to understand the information discussed below.  I used Windows XP for this process, but you should be able to use Vista/7 for the same.

  1. DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee the below process will work for you and I have used this several times with success
  2. POTENTIAL PITFALL #1: The system HAL may not be able to address or handle the larger drive and/or hardware changes
  3. POTENTIAL PITFALL #2: You may also have to re-install your operating system (but, not deleting your old software) on the new drive to fix any existing issuses that get tranferred over – YMMV
  4. POTENTIAL PITFALL #3: The original intent of this article is to take a copy of an image from an old drive to a new drive and run the new drive under the same, original chassis.  If you copy the image from one chassis to another, you maybe able to run it, but then again you are on your own as the HAL will be different.
  5. You have to be patient and stick with it!!
  6. You have been warned! :)
  1. Be sure that you can boot your system from the CD-ROM drive
  2. Be sure you have the correct, bootable Windows CD (I used XP with an appropriate edition (Home, Media Center, or Professional), Service Pack (SP1, SP2, or SP3 – be sure it is the same Service Pack that is installed on the system), Internet Explorer (6, 7, or 8))
  3. Download GParted (version 0.5.2-1 or newer with Debian LINUX), they have fixed/updated the copy process for NTFS partitions
  4. Use a program like Imgburn to burn the GParted ISO to a new blank CD
  5. Download and/or obtain any tools, utilities, and/or updates from the hard drive manufacturer as they maybe needed for the new drive installation.  And/or you need to be sure you have the install disks, CDs, etc. that may have come with both the new/old drives
  6. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and reference materials for correct technical data:  This can be, but not limited to: jumper settings, software drivers, firmware, etc. for the drives (old/new)
Process Steps:
On a high-level, you will be taking a copy of your old hard drive and copying it to your new drive.  Once copied, then you will need to disconnect the old drive and boot off of the newly created volume.  I have also tried to use the DOS Command XCOPY with various switches to copy the volume from one drive to another, but when put into practice I had mixed results.  If the process does not work, you can put your old drive back in as a Master position/jumper(s) and you can use the old drive.  With a SATA connector (depending on your PC manufacturer) can be as a simple as a  move from one connector slot to another on the motherboard for the Master/Slave configuration.  It may also be helpful to apply BIOS Updates as well.
  1. BACKUP FIRST: Backup your system to insure that you have your Desktop, Favorites, Documents, Outlook files, registry, etc to an offline store like a network drive.  This will help insure that if there is a problem you can get to your old data
  2. Configure and plug the new drive in a secondary (or slave) location into the intended system
  3. Boot using the GParted CD
    1. From the button bar, locate the: //dev/sda and switch it to: //dev/sdb – this is an example, yours maybe different
    2. Create a new NTFS Partition(s).  Note: If you have used a tool like MaxBlast or another utility, you maybe able to skip this step
    3. From the button bar, locate the: //dev/sdb and switch it back to: //dev/sda – this is an example, yours maybe different
    4. Locate the original drive and image and select it should be something like: //dev/sda1
    5. Locate and press the copy button from the toolbar in GParted
    6. From the button bar, locate the: //dev/sda and switch it to: //dev/sdb – this is an example, yours maybe different
    7. Select the new image location
    8. From the button bar, locate and press the paste button.  NOTE: If the old drive is larger than the new drive, you may have to re-size the old drive using GParted to fit on the new drive – don’t laugh this happened to me
      NOTE: The copy process can take a while (60-90 minutes plus), so you have to be patient and is dependent on processor, bus speed, drive size, and so on..  I had one drive that took me most of a weekend to complete it’s copy, but was with an older version of GParted
    9. Once the copy has completed, right-click on the image and choose boot flags: verify it has a checkmark in boot
    10. Shutdown and eject the GParted CD
  4. Remove the old drive out of the machine or undo the cable temporarily
  5. Add the new drive cable into the primary (or Master location and/or jumpers)
  6. Start up your computer with your Operating System Boot CD
    1. Once it boots up, have the install check and correct the new drive for errors.  Once complete, it will say maintenance has completed and will need to restart
    2. Eject the Operating System Boot CD
  7. After the computer restarts and if all goes correctly, you should be able to start and login to Windows.  NOTE: If the computer is in a Domain Environment, you may have to reset the Computer Account in Active Directory.
  8. Let it sit on the desktop for a while (might take a few minutes), it should detect the new drive an prompt for another restart
  9. Once it restarts and you log back in to windows, you may want to install and tools or utilities from the manufacturer of the drive
    It is very important that you check and correct any errors on the drive before the drive is put to use
Enjoy your new drive!

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