View Full Version : Swapping Hard Drives

August 16th, 2010, 08:26
I'm about to replace my HD and was wondering if going from a 150 gig to a 1T would cause sector problems. I am running XP now but plan to install Win 7 on the new one. I have less than 20% free space on the 150. Both will be WD drives. I would like to just ghost this one to the 1 T.

August 16th, 2010, 08:56
AFAIK, the sector / cluster / allocation unit size for a drive which holds a Windows operating system must always be the same. When you install Windows, it will not let you use any alternative size.

On the other hand, it's not clear to me how you're planning to proceed. If you're going to ghost the old drive on to the new one, to me that says you're making a copy of the old o/s on the new drive (including everything in that filing system). Presumably, the new drive would then be upgraded from Win XP to Win 7, in which case I've never heard of an upgrade which changed the allocation unit size.

Alternatively, if you're going to do a fresh install on the new drive then ghost the "document" files on to the result, then my first paragraph should apply, and again there should be no problems.

Hope that was what you were asking about,

August 16th, 2010, 09:59
Somewhare in the back of my old decrepid mind, I remember something about XP and sector size. I do plan to format the new one for/with XP and ghost the old one onto the new one ....... If I can do that.
That's what I would like to do anyway.

August 16th, 2010, 19:25
when you say "ghost", does that mean you have the product "Norton Ghost" or are you talking generally ? If you do have "Ghost", then I assume it works in much the same way as Acronis True Image. ATI gives me two options - either an image of a whole disc partition, or an image of the files within a partition. In both cases, you need another drive on which you can save the image of the old drive and from which you can copy the image to the new drive.

Without the third drive, I believe your only option is to connect both the old drive and the new drive to the system at the same time. In this case, there are tools you can use which will copy the partition from the old drive to the new one. These tools are stand alone programs which don't work under Windows, so you need to be able to boot your system from either a CD / DVD or a USB stick.

Sorry if you know all this, but I need to know what you know in order to be able to help you much more,

August 17th, 2010, 02:01
No ... I don't have Norton Ghost. When I say Ghost I mean that I want to copy that hard drive fully without loosing anything. Of your ATI will do that then .. I'll use that. What I want is the old hard drive on the newer, bigger drive, with it running as it is now with more space.

August 17th, 2010, 03:52
OK, you can get Acronis True Image 2010 from -

Although they say it's on special offer at the moment, that doesn't necessarily mean that their direct prices are worthwhile. The same situation was true early last year when I bought my copy, but that was from Amazon here in the UK. The other advantage to buying the pack like that is that the s/w then comes on a DVD which is bootable and can be used to restore an image from your "library" to the replacement drive IF your hard drive has failed. However, the download version should be the same as the DVD version in that you can make a bootable disc from the s/w yourself, so it really comes down to the price.

Two things to note - first is that when you want to restore an image to a drive which is a different format (size, etc.) from that which was used to create the image, they now say that you need to buy their "Plus Pack" add-on for ATI. I thought that I could do that with the version I bought, but can't be sure whether I included it in the testing I did before I bought my copy so cannot comment for sure. Having said that, I think there are ways around it using partition management tools, but can't test the theory until I can finish building my new "big rig".

Second is that I would not risk using the trial version to do what you want, as I've had some bad experience in that area (albeit not with Acronis s/w).

Finally, if you want to continue using ATI after you've upgraded to Win7, you need to make sure you get at least the "2010" version. Having said that, I believe that Amazon are already selling the "2011" version, though my personal take on that would be to avoid it for at least 6 months.

Hope that helps,

September 5th, 2010, 20:28
Post #4 in this thread shows an alternative way of doing the same thing -


September 28th, 2010, 02:35
Going from 150 Gigs to 1 TB seems a bit extreme to me.

If in 2010 you have a 150 GB drive, it seems to me that you are either very restrictive in your Data management (throw away stuff not needed) or have been stuck on the HDD size limit for some time now.

I would , without thinking, opt for 2x 500GB HDDs,

The first one
will hold your OS and Programs, ghosted from the current setup: 380 GB Free.

The second one, at this time, will be empty, and can be used to Move or copy your Perrsonal Files over. Pics, songs and FSX addons.

That way, a Big 1 TB HDD with about 150 to 200 Gigs of Data on it (you seem to have little data), should it fail, will not destroy 800 GBs of empty space. Empty space that you have bought and paid for.

The Benefit of the 2x500GB HDDs
If one of the drives should Fail, you have a backup
Same HDD space

The downsides
Two HDDs use a lil more power
they generate a Tad more heat

Sorry for the late reply...