Replacing a hard drive and re-installing Vista

Discussion in 'Recovery & Backup' started by mark44004, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. mark44004

    mark44004

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    I have an ACER 5515 laptop with Vista and i want to replace the hard drive with a bigger one. I was suppose to make a recovery disc when i bought it and I didn't fully. I made some DVD discs but there were so many I had to burn that i thought I was doing something wrong so I stopped and was going to research the situation, but never did. Now I have my programs and pics and documents on the computer.
    My question is, can i make recovery discs now with the stuff I already have on it? I know I can can copy all my docs and pics/vids onto a jump-drive, but what about my programs? If I can make recovery discs now, what will be copied?
    I know there is a lawsuit against ACER for the recovery disc situation but I don't think it'll be finalized until mid March. And then who knows when ACER will send out my recovery disc. This was an option to accept the lawsuit and it's reward.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
    mark44004, Feb 29, 2012
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  2. mark44004

    WAW8

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    If you want to "migrate" your install to a new drive, one simple way to do this is to "clone" the existing setup directly to the new drive.

    You can do this as follows:
    1) Download and install the FREE version of Macrium Reflect to your Vista setup.
    2) Connect your new, blank, hard drive to your Vista PC (you will need an adapter if it is a laptop, or you will have to open the case and connect the drive to an existing SATA port with another cable if it is a desktop)
    3) Run RM and choose the option to Clone the current setup to the new drive. This will copy all the existing partitions, including ALL the data, over to the new drive -- intact.
    4) When done, shutdown the PC.
    5) Replace your old drive with the new drive and boot your PC. It should come up without problems.

    However, since the new drive is larger, there will be unallocated space on the drive. If you have a separate Data partition on your drive, you can expand that to fill the remainder of the drive using the Vista Disk Management utility.

    If you have only three partitions on your drive, you can also use the same utility to create a new, fourth, Data partition (format it NTFS).

    If you prefer, you can do all of this (and more) using the FREE version of Partition Wizard -- and while you can add and resize partitions using that, to mess around with the OS partition, you may have to boot from their CD to do that, which will require you downloading their Partition Wizard Boot CD image and burning that to CD.

    Good Luck
     
    WAW8, Feb 29, 2012
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  3. mark44004

    mark44004

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    I see you recommend that program to alot of folks. Can I NOT have a partion? I just want one drive if at all possible.
    "However, since the new drive is larger, there will be unallocated space on the drive."
    Is this a concern? What does it mean?
    I appreciate your wisdom. Thanks.

    ADDITIONAL INFO: Is the adapter you speak of a hard drive caddy with a USB connection?
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
    mark44004, Feb 29, 2012
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  4. mark44004

    WAW8

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    I've generally kept the setup of separate Data and OS partitions because I regularly make image backups of each -- on different schedules. But that is a personal preference.

    Also, having a small OS partition and a large data partition allows me to make image backups of the OS partition to the data partition. But since I mess around with changing things a lot, this allows me to restore the OS partition very easily.

    When you "clone" a drive, it copies all the partitions to a new drive -- and retains the existing partition sizes. So, if your old drive was (say) 160GB and your new drive is (say) 320GB, when you clone, the second half of your new drive will be unallocated.

    Unallocated space is wasted space since it's not used.

    After the cloning, you should either expand the existing partition to fill the rest of the drive or add a new data partition in that unallocated space. You can do both with Partition Wizard. I recommend this because it works -- and it's FREE.

    The adapter is what you mentioned. That allows you to connect your new drive to your PC while the old drive is still in place.
     
    WAW8, Mar 1, 2012
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  5. mark44004

    mark44004

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    excellent. Thanks for your wisdom.
     
    mark44004, Mar 1, 2012
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  6. mark44004

    mark44004

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    Here's an update, i upgraded my vista to windows 7. I downloaded Macrium Reflect and connected the hard drive i want to clone to in a Inland SATA/IDE Combo Drive Adapter via a USB connection. The computer recognizes it as a "USB to ATA/ATAPI Bridge".
    I run the software and select the clone option but it does not recognize the new hard drive. It says, "No disks are available". Got any info? Is MR compatible to windows 7 32 bit? Do you have any knowledge with the Windows 7 stuff? I'm sure you do. Help!
     
    mark44004, Mar 8, 2012
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  7. mark44004

    WAW8

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    Looks like MR is having problems with the Bridge.

    Unfortunately, this tends to be a driver issue, and while USB devices tend to use similar drivers, in too many cases, special drivers are required.

    I've used MR on several versions of Win7 and can confirm it works fine, both for cloning disks and imaging/restoring partitions.

    However ... since you're NOW using Win7, and I really don't want to turn this into a Win7 forum; therefore, please post your Win7 threads on the Win7 forum: sevenforums.com.
     
    WAW8, Mar 8, 2012
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  8. mark44004

    eddieprice

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    cloned drive fails to boot

    I was interested in this thread, because I too want to increase the capacity of my Acer Aspire laptop drive from 60GB to 160GB. I have tried several pieces of software. I had lots of problems with Acronis, so tried Clonezilla. This was easy to use, but the new drive would not boot. I then saw this thread and so I tried Macrium Reflect. The 160GB drive was attached to the laptop via a usb cradle. I ran MR, it recognized the drives and I chose the option to 'clone this disk'. It appeared to work, and after about 1 1/2 hours it reported that the clone was complete, but when I swapped drives the new drive failed to boot. As with the Clonezilla clone I got a message from Windows Boot Manager that the mbr was either corrupted or absent. To fix the problem I was to insert the Windows Installation Disk and select 'repair your computer'. Unfortunately Acer is one of those companies that do not issue any disks with their laptops.

    Any ideas? Is there any free software that will fix the mbr?

    Eddie Price
     
    eddieprice, Jun 15, 2012
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  9. mark44004

    clifford_cooley

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    Any cloning software should have options to fix the MBR. I know Acronis (Seagate DiscWizard) does as that is what I use. Sometime restoring an image will not restore the MBR. The option to restore the MBR is also available as well as the image during restoration.
     
    clifford_cooley, Jun 15, 2012
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