Internal drive to external to internal

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  #1  
Old 02-01-04, 11:00 AM
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Internal drive to external to internal

A friend of mine is upgrading her laptop to a larger drive. However, the Dell will only transfer so much information and its not enough to transfer it from the current drive to the new drive.

The plan is to spend $10 more than what Dell was charging for the transfer (home visit) and purchase an external drive and copy her current drive to the external, then install the new drive and transfer the information to the new drive.

Is it that simple or is there something else we need to be aware of before we start this project. I will be helping her by phone since she lives about 6 hours from me.

Thanks,

Kay
 
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Old 02-01-04, 11:21 AM
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There are a myriad of other methods before buying an external drive that will be used for this transfer only.

First off, unless your friend has a lot of data, there is not much to transfer anyway. The operating system and all the installed programs must be installed on the new hard drive from their original installation CD or installation program. With very few exceptions, you cannot simply transfer programs from one installation to another and expect them to work.

Your friend has a laptop. Does he or she have access to another computer via a network, where data files could be stored temporarily? What about using a USB flash drive or two? These are devices that everyone should consider owning anyway, and they work great for saving data files. What about burning a CD or two or three? Does the laptop have a CD burner?
 
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Old 02-01-04, 12:25 PM
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She has only the laptop. This is why I am curious if we can just transfer the image of one drive to another, then to the new drive.

I did that with my 4gig to my 80gig through the software provided with my hard drive (desktop computer). I just transferred everything and then pulled the 4g drive out of the system and used only the 80g. It worked fine that way, and I didn't have to reinstall Windows before doing it. However, she will be taking the extra step because she doesn't have a burner, and a laptop can only have one internal drive at a time.

She's too far away for me to network my computer to hers, and doesn't have a second system to work with.

Kay
 
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Old 02-01-04, 12:49 PM
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What about something like this <a href="http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=506073&Sku=D13-1004&CatId=1204&sourceid=3174">DataPro 2.5" External HDD Enclosure</a> - it's USB, so it may not work from DOS (where most Disk Image programs operate from), but would allow her to connect both HDDs at the same time to transfer info. Of course, the other thing is she will need a USB port.

The other advantage is that she will be able to use both HDDs with the laptop - she could use the external to store programs and info not needed on the road, etc.

Basically the same idea you had, but why not reuse the 2.5" HDD and skip a step?

Good luck!
 
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Old 02-01-04, 01:46 PM
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If the OS is old enough, she may be running into the 2GB partition limit - e.g. she has a c:\ and a d:\ drive on the dell, with a smallish 4GB drive.

It may not be able to "see" new drive total size. (Block Size/LBA, other issues, NTFS filesystem in NT, 2000, XP vs. FAT32 in Win95/98)

Having said all that, there is no substitute for planning ahead and NOT transferring the image of the old to the new. If Windows, you'll carry a lot of old baggage you do not want.

Best method is to back the data off you want to keep, using an external CD burner or at worst trasnfer to another PC.

The install all the OS, Software FRESH and any drivers needed for your machine (check Dell's website if you are going to XP from 95/98).

"Ghosting" the drive and transferring it wholesale to a much larger drive today would compromise performance. If you start fresh, your Windows registry will be much cleaner, smaller, and that alone helps improve stability.

At worst, you could 1) Install the new drive and put the OS onto it, 2) Copy an image of your old drive onto a smaller parition with the same config.

It would help to know if you are going to change OS (e.g. Win98 to XP, XP Home).
 

Last edited by SafeWatch; 02-01-04 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 02-01-04, 01:50 PM
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OOps...

Laptop? Not happening w/o a network and another machine, or using a backup program to an external, non-laptop drive.

99% of laptops can hold 1 and only 1 hard drive at a time. The desktop deal is common because both drives usually fit at the same time.

I'd advise backing off what you want to keep, buy beg borrow an external drive or use a friend/family PC, it is very hard to imagine doing this standalone with a laptop, unless you have some sort of external hard drive adapter to hold the exact same drive (Compaq laptops have this in some models).
 

Last edited by SafeWatch; 02-01-04 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 02-01-04, 03:46 PM
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You can buy - fairly cheap - a mini IDE adapter cable. The same as a 2 drive IDE cable for a desktop, but for laptops. This enables the connection of 2 drives at once. Then use Ghost as you would for a desktop, then replace the old drive with the new and that's it.
 
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Old 02-01-04, 05:15 PM
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She just upgraded to XP and needs a larger drive for her business.

I will try to get her to read the post here so she can read this information for herself.

I like the idea of an enclosure for the hard drive but will that one work with a laptop harddrive? They are smaller.

Dell was going to charge her $110 to install the drive, transfer x (not sure of the size) amount of information and also install her new memory. I talked her through the memory and its already installed. We were going to try to work on doing the transfer of info ourselves. If she took the drives to a computer shop would they be able to do it for her?

Kay
 
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Old 02-01-04, 05:21 PM
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Laptops use 2.5" drives, while desktops use 3.5" drives (this is typical, but not <i>always</i> the case.) Of course, you'll want to check the laptop out to make sure it uses a standard 2.5" drive.

A computer shop could probably image it for her, and probably for less than $110 too - the whole drive. But, as was mentioned, it's not a bad idea to just reinstall everything - as big a pain as it is. Of course, you know that, so I'll leave that up to your discretion. Transferring info can be as big a pain too - it's a tough call between the 2.

Good luck!
 
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Old 02-01-04, 09:46 PM
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Does the laptop have USB or a CDRW?
 
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Old 02-02-04, 09:19 PM
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I know it has a usb port, but not sure about the cdrw. I'll have to ask on that one.

Kay
 
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