laptop with 2 hard drives?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Timothy Daniels, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. Do any of the Dell laptops provide 2 bays for
    hard drives like the desktops do? (I'm looking
    for an easy way to clone a laptop hard drive.)

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 14, 2004
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  2. Many Dell laptops support the D-Bay hard drive. I haven't tried
    Ghosting my system disk to the D-Bay drive, but I'd imagine it would
    work. The BIOS also supports booting from the D-Bay drive, FWIW.
    William P.N. Smith, Sep 14, 2004
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  3. Sounds encouraging. Is the "D-bay" usually used by other
    storage devices (perhaps optical), or is it meant just for hard drives?

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 14, 2004
  4. Timothy Daniels

    Ron Reaugh Guest

    Don't screw with that. The easy way to clone a laptop HD is on a desktop.
    Just get an adapter(or two) and connect the laptop HD to a desktop's
    standard EIDE cable.

    Ron Reaugh, Sep 14, 2004
  5. Timothy Daniels

    Markeau Guest

    Does it support USB2? (If not, easy to add a USB2 PC Card, etc) ... I
    would try Drive Image 7 with a laptop drive in an external USB2
    enclosure (I use ADS Dual Links) ... that *should* create a bootable
    image, but I have not tried it. [I have, however, moved desktop
    drives in the Dual Link to an IDE channel with no problems - all
    partitions, data, etc, remained accessible]
    Markeau, Sep 14, 2004
  6. Timothy Daniels

    the yeti Guest

    1)remove hard drive from laptop
    2)insert laptop hard drive into desktop with special adapter (easy and
    cheap to find)
    3)clone drive

    1) use Norton Ghost (or similar)
    2) send image to CD-RW or accross network
    3) clone drive

    the yeti, Sep 15, 2004
  7. Timothy Daniels

    Jack Mac Guest

    I bought a WD 160 GB External HD and backup my 5150 Laptop and
    my XPS G2 via USB2 ports using Ghost.

    Jack Mac
    Jack Mac, Sep 15, 2004
  8. Timothy Daniels

    Ben Myers Guest

    Three comments:

    1. To clone a laptop hard drive means to clone it. If the original laptop drive
    is the usual 2.5" type, so is the clone. TWO desktop adapters are needed for

    2. Though unlikely in this era of highly standardized BIOSes, it is possible
    that the drive geometry(s) supported by a desktop BIOS are different than the
    one used by the laptop. This could lead to one screwed up clone drive.

    3. There is a MUCH easier way to clone a laptop drive. I did it last week to
    get all the data from a failing 60GB drive inside a 3GHz Dell laptop onto a
    replacement drive sent out by Dell to my client. Use a USB-IDE converter, and
    attach the drive to be cloned to the laptop via its USB port. (In the unlikely
    event that the laptop lacks a USB port, the same can be done with a PC Card-IDE

    The USB-IDE converter I bought came in a box marked "ALL PURPOSES SMART IDE
    CONVERTER." You can bet from the brilliant syntax that the kit came from
    Taiwan, which is what the box says. But the converter worked even more
    brilliantly than the syntax, perfectly in fact. I don't think I paid more than
    $30 for the USB-IDE converter on eBay.

    I also used Seagate's SEATOOLS, which will clone any standard partition type
    (FAT16, FAT32, or NTFS), but not oddball or hidden diagnostic partitions.

    .... Ben Myers

    Ben Myers, Sep 15, 2004
  9. Timothy Daniels

    Ron Reaugh Guest

    Right, just like I said possibly two. But that's the harder way. Make an
    image file of the laptop drive on the desktop HD and then restore that image
    file to another laptop drive inserted into the same adapter.
    VERY unlikely today.
    Although workable this technique is more likely to have some potholes than
    the other.
    Ron Reaugh, Sep 15, 2004
  10. We've got nearly the full set of D-Bay peripherals, floppy, hard
    drive, CD writer, DVD writer, and extended battery. I think they also
    make a Zip drive and LS-120, but I don' t have much use for either of
    those. 8*)

    Yeah, if all you want is to clone a particular drive once, there are
    easier ways, but if you want to be able to back up your system, the
    D-Bay hard drive is wonderful. Since the latest versions of Ghost can
    write image files to NTFS partitions, you can have multiple hard drive
    images on your D-Bay drive and still store extra files and such. Just
    make a (DOS) bootable partition, put Ghost on it, and you are ready
    for complete destruction of your internal hard drive! 8*)

    The housing (4P124) is about $30, it requires five screws (7M490) at
    50 cents each. There are four optional screws (5X488) to hold the
    hard drive in place, but they are $5 (yow!) each, and the compression
    fit of the drive in the bay is pretty good. Add any 9.5mm laptop hard
    drive and you are all set.

    You can buy the whole thing assembled with a 40G drive for $104 from
    Dell's Small Business sales, but a 40G drive isn't nearly big enough
    for what we needed. I put a spare 60G in my wife's and a spare 80G in
    mine, and I'm anxiously awaiting the 100s and 120s!
    William P.N. Smith, Sep 15, 2004
  11. Timothy Daniels

    Brian K Guest

    To get it straight in my head Ben, windows sees the external HD as just
    another drive and I could clone (Drive Copy, Partition Magic etc) to that
    drive. Sounds great.

    Brian K, Sep 15, 2004

  12. It sounds like the D-Bay is a generic peripheral
    bay and using it for a 2nd hard drive precludes using
    it for a CD-R/W. Is that true?

    I imagine that I could use the D-Bay for a hard
    drive just during the cloning process, but swapping
    the other peripheral in and out and going through
    the discovery by the OS of the change and loading
    of the peripheral's driver could be a pain. What I'd
    like to do is to make a clone hard drive for the laptop
    so that I could just pop the clone in if the primary
    hard drive should fail. (With my desktop, the 2nd
    hard drive is always installed and ready to go.)

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 15, 2004

  13. So the adapter goes into what size bay of the

    So the procedure is to take the hard drive out
    of the laptop, put it into the adapter in the desktop,
    and 1) copy it to a desktop HD, or 2) copy it to another
    laptop HD in another adapter inside the desktop?

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 15, 2004

  14. So you would use the ADS Dual Link external laptop drive kit
    to use the laptop's USB2 channel to transfer the primary HD's
    contents to the IDE laptop drive housed in the ADS external housing?

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 15, 2004
  15. Timothy Daniels

    Ron Reaugh Guest

    Bay? It sits on your desk while doing the copy.
    Cable adapter...forget the mechanical adapter.
    No, the 2nd laptop HD would also sit on your desk while copying.
    Ron Reaugh, Sep 15, 2004

  16. Clone the laptop drive to a partition on one of the desktop's drives
    and then directly or indirectly back to a laptop drive?
    If so, I would prefer something more direct, as in laptop drive to laptop
    drive. Are there SATA drives for laptops, yet? Maybe one could
    run a serial cable out to another laptop drive in an external housing?

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 15, 2004
  17. The recovery after primary hard drive failure would
    involve.... what? How do you get the laptop running
    again? What I'd like to do (in absence of having a 2nd
    HD already in my laptop) is just pop a backup HD into
    the laptop.

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 15, 2004

  18. Could you name the make and model of the USB/IDE
    converter? Does it include an external housing?

    Timothy Daniels, Sep 15, 2004
  19. A D-Bay drive just plugs into the USB port. Accessory drives even ship
    with a USB cable so you don't have to install them in the computer to
    use them.

    You can get the same functionality using any external USB or FireWire
    hard drive.
    Larry Caldwell, Sep 15, 2004
  20. Yes and mostly yes. You can swap them in one at a time unless you
    have a D-Dock docking station, which has another D-Bay, and allows
    three at a time. You can also use the D-Bay "Powered USB" connector
    (USB plus extra power) to get another external D-Bay on some laptops
    and the D-Dock and the "port replicator"
    Nope, just stop the one peripheral and plug in the other. Kinda like
    USB, but with IDE.
    You can do this if you don't mind booting from the D-Bay drive (or
    doing the physical swap). Note that Win2K (and probably XP) don't
    work well if you have both the system drive and it's mirror powered up
    and in the system at the same time, so you'll want to remove the drive
    after cloning it.
    William P.N. Smith, Sep 15, 2004
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