PDA

View Full Version : migrating w7 to new hdd



Sanco
29-05-2014, 08:04 AM
Hi all, I have purchased and installed a new hdd in my w7 system desktop as the old one showed signs of age. Now I want to migrate the OS to the new hdd and make it the primary bootable one and retain the other hdd just for data storage.

Acer allows me to make a system back up disk, is this useful or I better start from scratch?

In essence, what I need id a fool proof way to do this for dummies.:)

thank you all
Roberto

dugimodo
29-05-2014, 12:22 PM
There is no 100% foolproof way but the best option is to clone your old hard drive. You can do this with free software available from the website of most hdd manufacturers or other programs. seagate and WD use a cut down version of Acronis and it usually works, just go to their website and download it.

There are other options often recommended such as Active@ (which I use and recommend but which also failed last time I tried it). And a free one I forget the name of mentioned on several threads here if you do a search. Windows 7 & 8 can both save and restore a disk image as well which achieves the same thing but is quite limited and I think requires same size hard drives for source and destination.

Couple of things;
1. Don't delete anything off your old drive until you've confirmed the new one is FULLY working
2. Sometimes because the clone is identical to the original windows gets confused or has conflicts on bootup - you may have to disconnect the old drive to be sure you are booting off the new completely. Also you have to be careful which one you wipe.

Nomad
29-05-2014, 12:51 PM
I received a warranty HDD that was newer SATA3 - not that it matters much, still a old style HDD (non SSD). I create images with Windows 7 backup. I just booted up with the Windows CD and reloaded this image onto the new HDD. Formatted the old HDD.

I've tried a no. of the free on offer software like the WD Acronis (when I had WD HDDs). Some of them might be limited to 32 bit and things like that .. I just used Windows b/c that is what my running OS is ... and I have used it before and it worked for me. Yeah don't wipe until it is running ...

You mentioned the Acer backup thingy. Hmm ... maybe you have a hidden partition in your system. Then maybe don't employ other softwares just so quick then. Cos you might backup Windows but you may forget that hidden Acer partition. IME with a Acer Netbook. If you get the right app - it is installed on your system already now, it creates a HDD image (like on a external HDD) then you can reload it and it returns everything to default incl this hidden partition. This hidden partition allows you to start the computer and press a special key ... to factory restore your system - so your files etc .. are not included it's back to DAY ONE.

Because even if you backup the hidden partition you might still lose the bootup prompt you to press that special key etc.

Above all try it and employ it onto the new HDD but don't do anything to the old HDD until it is all working etc.

Nomad
29-05-2014, 01:06 PM
The Acer thing. Might be a bit tricky if you only have 2 HDDs - the old one and the new one. Cos it usually creates this restore image to another HDD, maybe network or multiple DVDs but can be more messy. So .. your're running the old HDD - you create image to external HDD then you reload this to the new HDD - sounds like you need 3 HDDs in total then.

linw
29-05-2014, 02:25 PM
@Nomad - as dugimodo said, the best process is to clone not make a system image. No need for three drives.

OP, add the new drive as a secondary one and then clone the old to the new. Another free reliable cloner is Macrium Reflect.

There are potential dangers so be very careful. Make sure you clone FROM the old TO the new. You can imagine the problem if you get this wrong! And, like Dugi says, after the cloning, remove/disconnect the old drive before rebooting.

Good luck!

Sanco
29-05-2014, 06:18 PM
Ok guys and thank you for your input so far - cleared a lot of things up.

@linw - not sure primary and secondary can be done in SATA? Is this possible?

@Nomad - I think the ACER thingy is same as win7 backup (just a proprietary one, me thinks) and could be an option.

@Dugimoto - once I cloned the full HDD and copy it to the new one, will I be able to make it a dual or multi-boot at firtst? I tried this with AOMEI Backupper and it told me MBR was missing... sigh... I'll try the ones you suggested,

Nomad
29-05-2014, 06:24 PM
@Nomad - I think the ACER thingy is same as win7 backup (just a proprietary one, me thinks) and could be an option.



The Windows one is a snapshot at any given time you do it.

The Acer one factory restores it. So it can take out all the crap that has generated over time. Another way of reinstalling Windows with the DVD. But Acer and other MNCs don't provide DVDs anymore at least the ones I know.

If you are cloning it - it would be the same as today 29 May 2014. If you wanna clean it to factory state. You could clone it (afaik ..) and then when the Acer boots up press the special key to factory restore itself.

Sanco
29-05-2014, 08:04 PM
Thank a bunch for your help guys, acronis true image from wd worked a charm :)

gary67
29-05-2014, 08:05 PM
You clone direct from your old hard drive to the new one, then disconnect the old one and boot off the new one, you don't copy anything as cloning means making an exact working copy of one hard drive to another.

Sanco
30-05-2014, 08:20 AM
You clone direct from your old hard drive to the new one, then disconnect the old one and boot off the new one, you don't copy anything as cloning means making an exact working copy of one hard drive to another.

Yes, Gary, I did exactly that with acronis wd edition and all worked flawlessly. Thank you all again for all your valuable input.

cookee
30-05-2014, 12:02 PM
Yes, Gary, I did exactly that with acronis wd edition and all worked flawlessly. Thank you all again for all your valuable input.

Generally you can get away with this quite safely, but you did ask early on if you were better off starting from scratch? - the only caution I would add here would be dependant on how long the previous drive had been since it was first set up, and whether it had been running very stable?

If for example the previous set up was say 3 years old, you've probably accumulated a lot of clutter in that time, unwanted apps you tried out, programs long since updated but not fully uninstalled etc etc. In those cases, a fresh clean install can really breath new life into your system and be worthwhile for that reason alone.

The downside of course is that you need to re-install all your preferred programs (not always a bad thing, gives you a chance to ask if you really need it, like clearing the garage!!), and of course all the Windows security updates from day1 as well.

I did this just recently with my own system, and I create a folder ('pcsetup' in my case) into which the install files of everything I download goes into. It's helpful for a quick repository of all my install masters but also easy to cross-match what's in there against what is in the Control panel installed programs list - things are not always named as helpful as they could be.

But as everyone says, no NOTHING with your old drive until you are 100% certain you have everything off it.

If your system is running well then as they say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" but if you are having doubts, a clean install has many benefits.

Cheers