Cloning OS drive to newer, larger drive without hidden Dell Restore Partition

Discussion in 'Dell' started by xsrossiter, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. xsrossiter

    xsrossiter Guest


    I have a Dell Dimension 8300 that I bought with 2 x 200 GB drives and
    currently am running XP SP2. After first upgrading the data drive to a
    500 GB Seagate I would now like to do the same for the OS drive. My
    question is, Seagate provides DiscWizard software designed by Acronis,
    that will clone the original OS disc to the new drive, but will the
    hidden Restore Partition from the original disc pose some sort of
    problem in the cloning process?

    I would rather do without the restore information unless it will
    produce spurious system errors for loss of the information that was
    maintained in the hidden partition. If this will be the case then I
    would rather recreate the hidden partition and be at peace with my

    How would I prepare the new disk for this situation? I have already
    formatted the entire disk as NTFS but then realized that the cloning
    operation might not work if it is trying to put information from a
    hidden FAT 32 partition onto a destination NTFS partition.

    Is there a problem here or does Acronis make a bit-by-bit image of
    what is on the origin disc and then simply format the remainder of the
    destination disc in NTFS effectively cloning the original, complete
    with 39 MB Restore Partition, as well as making available the extra
    space on the new drive?

    Thanks for any responses, Steve.
    xsrossiter, Aug 12, 2007
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  2. Partiton image/cloning with your favorite imaging application.
    Then, as long as the drive letters remain the same - you should see no

    If you want to keep the Dell 'restore' or more likely, 'diagnostic'
    partition - just image/clone the entire disk from one to the other and
    expand the second partition (the OS) as needed.
    Shenan Stanley, Aug 12, 2007
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  3. xsrossiter

    btb Guest

    Use Acronis to clone your OS partiton only... not the entire drive. Tell it
    to resize the partition on the fly to use up the entire destination drive.
    (You did not have to format the new drive in order to do this the
    future when cloning just use a raw drive).
    btb, Aug 12, 2007

  4. Careful reading of the Acronis User manual (a downloadable .pdf
    from the website) seems to indicate that Acronis
    cannot clone single partitions. Instead, it only seems capable of cloning
    the entire hard drive - unlike Symantec's Ghost and Future Systems
    Solutions' Casper. Acronis might work for the OP if Dell's "hidden"
    partition is also hidden from Acronis, but I don't know if that is true.
    If Acronis *can* see the "hidden" partition and it clones it, perhaps
    Acronis could be used to delete that partition after cloning and to then
    expand the OS's partition to include the entire hard drive. If not, you
    might have to use Ghost or Casper to transfer just the OS's partition
    to the new hard drive.

    Timothy Daniels, Aug 12, 2007
  5. xsrossiter

    robertharvey Guest

    robertharvey, Aug 12, 2007
  6. xsrossiter

    robertharvey Guest

    robertharvey, Aug 12, 2007
  7. xsrossiter

    Lil' Dave Guest

    The clone should be a duplicate of its source. That means all partitions.
    Some cloning and/or imaging software will copy individual partitions, not
    just the entire hard disk contents. That is not the case with the Acronis
    disc wizard software.

    I tried it using 2 identical SATA hard drives. The clone was not bootable.
    The source hard drive, XP started, hal.dll could not be found or was damaged
    per message on screen after the cloning attempt. I used the boot CD iso to
    create a boot CD with disc image on it. The iso comes with the disc image
    product download.

    I also used disc image within XP to create images of my XP partition. The
    restore result, restoring the boot CD, was not usable.

    Admittedly, the software could have been botched during the download from
    the seagate website. But, am not going through that mess again.

    Lil' Dave, Aug 12, 2007
  8. xsrossiter

    S.Lewis Guest

    I'm going to weigh in here just to get the OP to consider downloading the
    trials of either CompApps Drive Wizard v3.15 or Casper XP .

    Neither are likely as sexy or full of options as Acronis, but I'd bet one of
    them would work as a cloning solution for all of the partitions. Both
    programs are pretty small and easy to use.

    Both trials can be installed and the cloned drive tested before one has to
    purchase either product.

    I use Drive Wizard and have for some 3 years for a bootable backup; a close
    friend couldn't get it to work with his system but found that Casper XP
    provided that same function (a fully bootable drive copy with all

    S.Lewis, Aug 12, 2007

  9. The free 30-day trial version of Casper has only one restriction:
    It can clone all or individual partitions, but the clones will be the same
    size as the originals - they will not be expanded to a larger size or to fill
    up available space on the new hard drive. See .

    Timothy Daniels, Aug 13, 2007
  10. xsrossiter

    S.Lewis Guest

    Thanks, Tim. I believe you w/o referencing the link.

    DriveWizard does resize partitions, expanding them to fill larger partitions
    if one chooses to do so. It's a 3-4 click process.

    S.Lewis, Aug 13, 2007
  11. xsrossiter

    Lil' Dave Guest

    Another possibility in the failure could be is I'm remapping the SATAs as
    ide primary master and slave. Don't know if disc wizard peeks in at the
    bios to see this or not. My PC has the older SATA ports. Can only be
    remapped to primary ide for booting via bios setting. Might be something
    funky going on regarding this.

    Appreciate the weblinks.

    Think I'll stick with Partition Commander at boot time for copying
    partitions from/to hard drives. Do one at time, takes awhile. But, it
    works. I make a clone once a month. Image (drive image 7.0) every week to
    firewire drive.

    I'll try Casper next month. Hope it don't wreck it like Disc Wizard did.
    Lil' Dave, Aug 13, 2007
  12. xsrossiter

    Toast Guest

    I've not used Seagate's DiskWizard but do know that both the source
    and target drives in any clone operation must be Seagate products.
    Otherwise it won't work.

    A competent freeware cloning tool that clones drives of any brand is

    It has a minimalist interface but is straightforward to use. Works
    from a floppy but is included in the UBCD4Win PE builder.

    A cloning operation will typically make an exact bit for bit copy of
    all data from the source HDD to the target HDD. Most have the ability
    to proportionally resize the partitions on the target drive if it's
    larger. Since your source drive has that hidden Dell partition I
    don't recommend you proportionally resize, just resize the boot
    partition after the clone opertation has been successful.

    The resize operation will be quick and simple as the boot partition
    will be enlarged into free space.

    Recommend PartedMagic / GParted (easy and free) or BootitNG trial
    (good but tricky to learn) as LiveCD to do this.
    If you image the boot partition and restore it to a partition you've
    made for it on the target HDD (note you *do* have to create
    partitions to receive an image) the new HDD will boot to an error
    message unless you modify the boot.ini file it contains to tell it
    the boot partition it is the first partition on the drive, not the
    second. If this sounds tricky, just stick with the cloning operation.
    No need to partition or format the target HDD before you begin, the
    cloning operation will do it all for you. It is a one step operation.
    The target HDD can be completely raw and unpartitoned.
    After a straight copy (no proportional resize) the end of the drive
    will be free space, ie: not partitioned or formatted. You can
    partition and format it, *or* resize the cloned boot partition into
    the 300 GB or free space after the cloning operation as an additional
    step or steps.

    GParted / PartedMagic is the simplest way to do this -- it has a well
    designed GUI that makes is easy to understand what you're doing.
    Toast, Aug 13, 2007
  13. xsrossiter

    Ben Myers Guest

    It depends on the version of DiskWizard one uses. I use DiskWizard 2002, and
    it clones drives no matter what brand they are... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Aug 13, 2007
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