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Installing new SATA drive, changing boot drive.

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by Slitheen, May 4, 2005.

  1. Slitheen

    Slitheen Guest

    I just recently had a new system built for me. When I originally designed
    the spec, it had a 36GB SATA 10k Western Digital Raptor drive to just handle
    the system....and I was going to have games and media and all the other
    'bloat' on my 120GB SATA drive. However, the price was too much all in one
    go and I had to scale down my spec a bit - deciding to add the Raptor drive
    later on. Now I have the funds to add this drive to my set-up, so I'm
    wondering if I can install it and transfer the XP system files to it - so I
    can boot from it. I'm, I would say, intermediate in hardware/OS
    knowledge....but fair better when someone explains in layman's terms what I
    should do. I have installed drives before, but never had to move data
    between them or change the boot device.

    Is this plan possible, or would I need to start from scratch and format both
    drives & reinstall windows on the new drive? And if I *can* do this, can
    someone point me to a good site that would explain the process to me? (or if
    anyone has the time to post instructions, it would be very much

    Thank you for any forthcoming help.


    My system:
    Coolermaster Centurion CAC-TO5 case
    Thermaltake 480W PSU.
    Abit AN8 (socket 939) motherboard (non Fatal1ty edition)
    AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Winchester core
    1GB Geil dual channel DDR400 (2x512MB)
    120GB Seagate Barracuda SATA HDD
    Windows XP Professional & service pack 2.
    Asus nVidia N6600GT ('Top' Edition)
    Lite-On SOHW-1673S DVD re-writer
    Hauppauge Nova-t PCI (digital terrestrial TV card/PVR)
    Logitech Cordless Desktop/Rechargeable optical mouse.
    Couple'o fancy LED fans.
    Slitheen, May 4, 2005
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  2. Slitheen

    Jeremy Boden Guest

    Why bother?
    How many people will be using this system simultaneously?

    Wait until windows gets slow due to bloat and then go through the
    tedious rebuild procedure.
    Jeremy Boden, May 4, 2005
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  3. Slitheen

    Slitheen Guest

    Erm, where to start? :-\

    I hate buzz words...but here's one anyway; I have a 'multimedia' PC, for
    want of a better description. It pretty much forms the 'hub' of all my
    electronic entertainment. TV, personal video recorder, fairly vast music
    collection - and I'm also an avid gamer - with a good few games installed.
    My system is only a few weeks old and it *is* nearly bloated.

    It takes about 2GB of space to record one hour of digital
    television......this alone is a major consideration in quantity of HDD space
    on a PC like mine - pity I misjudged that and decided to postpone another
    drive, but money was tight at the time. Sure, I can burn to DVD discs to
    create space.....but that (as you are one who dislikes tedium, I'm sure you
    can appreciate this) is time consuming, boring and not really necessary in
    these good days of 'cheap as chips' hard disc drives. If I put another drive
    in, and that isn't *really* a "rebuild" by the way, I can have my database
    of recorded TV and movies....that I can access anytime with the click of a
    mouse or remote control, for playback on my nearby big TV. Large or multiple
    drives are getting to be pretty much commonplace now - we don't *have* to be
    economical with space. Also, in the kind of PC I want to run...they are
    invaluable and totally necessary.

    Good enough reasons to enquire on a relevant newsgroup for advice on
    installing a new drive (and the subtleties of transferring system files to
    it), I would have thought.

    Thanks for the most helpful advice. ;)

    Anyone else? I would most appreciate some helpful instruction on this.
    Slitheen, May 5, 2005
  4. Slitheen

    Jeremy Boden Guest

    I believe you wanted to move your OS?
    In windows that's a reinstall.
    If you want just want extra disks then it's no trouble to stick a few
    more in.
    For sequential recording of video then speed isn't an issue - just buy
    the biggest and cheapest you can find.
    Jeremy Boden, May 5, 2005
  5. Slitheen

    Mike Scott Guest

    Jeremy Boden wrote:
    Just a thought, and maybe I'm missing something. How about this:
    0) create a restore point
    1) remove existing system disk to safe place, replace with new disk, do
    minimal 'dummy' install of windows, just to get the boot information in
    place (there are probably easier ways, but if all you've got is the XP
    2) replace existing system disk, add new disk as 2nd drive - delete all
    files from the minimal install and copy entire existing disk onto it
    (don't reformat though - you'd lose the boot blocks)
    3) swap the drives round.
    4) restore from the restore point - the registry may have been mangled
    in the copy process. You may be best using safe mode and an admin
    account for all this, too.

    Worth a whirl?????

    But I really don't see what's wrong with keeping the existing system
    disk and putting the large files on the new one as 2nd drive. Might be
    worth thinking about page file location as well.
    Mike Scott, May 5, 2005
  6. Slitheen

    Slitheen Guest

    I just thought it'd make sense to have the system on the fastest drive - the
    one I have my eye on is 10k.

    Does Norton Ghost do a job similar to this...or will that just clone the
    entire disk?
    Slitheen, May 5, 2005
  7. Slitheen

    Jeremy Boden Guest

    You need an extra couple of steps: there will be a few system files on
    the original system disk which you won't be able to copy (in use etc).
    So you have to use the dummy system to do the copying.
    When you install the dummy system, install it to a directory with a
    different name - helps avoid confusion!
    Finally delete the directory with the dummy install.
    I've done this kind of thing on windows NT4 to recover a broken system.
    Never tried it on XP though.
    Take a full backup first!
    With 1GByte of memory you don't really need a page file.

    However, after all this work I don't really think you will detect any
    *noticeable* difference in performance by using a faster system disk -
    except possibly for boot time duration.

    You *might* like to consider re-partitioning your system disk at this
    If you allocate a fixed (limited) number of cylinders to your OS then
    random access times ought to be slightly improved. Of course the trick
    is to allocate sufficient space (but not too much) to allow for all
    future usage...
    Jeremy Boden, May 6, 2005
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