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New HDD: WinXP reinstall?



<n00b alert!>

I just bought a Maxtor 80GB 7200rpm HD to be used together with my old 40GB 5400rpm HD. Would I benefit from reinstalling my WinXP on the faster drive (pagefile access for instance?)

If not, that would save me to reinstall all my soft...

Also, If I were to install my OS on my new HD, I was thinking of doing it this way:
- Format 80GB and install win XP
- Connect old 40GB HD to copy documents/files/savegames etc... to new drive
- Format 40GB HD

Are there any dangers in having two HD's with two OS's on the same system, or do you just have to make sure to boot from the correct disk BIOS-wise? Any precautions I should take? (I know it's obvious that when booting from my new drive, apps installed on my old drive won't run :rolleyes: , but other than that?)



Soltek SL75-DRV5 / AthlonXP 1800+ / Thermaltake 7+ / 512MB DDR PC2700 / MSI GeForce4 Ti4200 128MB / Maxtor 40GB 5400rpm / SB Audigy 2 Platinum / Lite-on DVD-ROM 16/48 / Lite-on CD-RW 40/12/48 / WinXP pro
Yes you would definately benefit from running XP from the new drive. However it is not necessary to reinstall XP if your really don't want to. You could use Norton Ghost or some other drive cloning utility to clone the old disk onto the new disk. Then just boot from the new disk and off you go. Lastly format the old disk and use it a secondary drive.


Must be dreaming...
Originally posted by Zedric
You could use Norton Ghost or some other drive cloning utility to clone the old disk onto the new disk.
Hmm... I should have thought of that when I brought my new HDD... Would have saved me a few hours of my lifespan... :cool:


Thanks Zedric :happy:

That HD cloning idea is really useful. I did too much tweaking on my comp and I am really not looking forward to starting from scratch. I am an avid flightsimmer and just the thought of reinstalling all the add-ons for FS2002 (several GB) makes me wanna go play soccer :eek: (which I obviously don't like)

I know this isn't strictly hardware related, but starting a new thread seems rather pointless, so here's another newbie question:

I have three partitions on my current drive. I don't like them and do not see the point:mad: . So once I have copied my old drive to my new drive I want to get rid of those partitions (which will have copied as well). Can I? I know that PartitionMagic makes you do all kinds of fancy stuff with partitions, but can it completely remove partitions? i.e. make 3 partitions into 1 big one AND make sure that my programs are still working?

Not without reinstalling the programs that now recide on D: and E:. But yes you can remove the three partitions and then make one big new partition.


Have a look at the Maxtor website as if I remember right, the cloning a hard drive option to a new drive is in Maxblast 3, which is free

Partition magic has a feature that searches a hard drive you have changed the letter of and will fix "all" references to the old drive letter. I've used it with pretty good success. It's worth a try before re-installing everything.


Thanks all

I 'got hold' );) of Norton Ghost and Partition Magic 8 (I had PM 6 SE, but that didn't work on NT based Windows) so I'm gonna give it all a try. I think I might keep my partitions in the end, but maybe just enlarge/resize them using PM. Norton Ghost was a great hint BTW.

Leejend, rather than changing every reference to the old drive letters, I'm gonna try to make sure that my new drive will have the old letters. Changing drive letters is also a PM option I think.

Thanks again for your input all... Case closed I'd say. :)


With reference to your partions, its known to be not a good idea to have one big partion, and much better to have a couple smaller partions say 2 or so..................

Thats just what i have read up and have been told......... maybe someone else will confirm that ;-0
Originally posted by DragonHeart

With reference to your partions, its known to be not a good idea to have one big partion, and much better to have a couple smaller partions say 2 or so..................

Thats just what i have read up and have been told......... maybe someone else will confirm that ;-0
I read somewhere that having no partitions makes the computer run quicker... but not a lot faster.

I prefer to have large hdds split into 2 or more partitions (unless there is another hdd in the same pc - or if the hdd is like 60gb+). I've got an 80gb maxtor 7200rpm which I split into a 20gb (windows etc) and 2x 30gb.


much better to have a couple smaller partions say 2 or so
Right, but WHY? For instance, I got a game I want to install which takes up 2GB. I got three partitions, with 1,5GB left on each one. That makes 4,5 GB in total and yet I cannot install the game. It's a bit like slack IMO.

The only thing I ever read about the benefit of having your HD split into partitions had something to do with safety. Something like if one partition got damaged, the others at least would not be. But this makes no sense to me. It's one drive after all.

Two other possible benefits
- You can defrag only a part of a disk: takes less time
- (I'm not sure this is a benefit but) you may be more flexible with assigning space for the pagefile

Anyway, this really should not be in this forum, so sorry about this

Several partitions isn't better or faster. It was with the old FAT32 systems but not with NTFS.

Partitioning is just up to preferrence now. If you want several partitions, make several. If you want one big, make one big. :)
I just bought a new Western Digital Hard Drive 120 Gig with 8 MB Cache ($180 at circuit city, then with a $100 rebate making it $80!). Anyway, I partitioned it into two, one being 92 GB being the main drive that Windows will be on, 20 GB for my install files, mp3s, etc. That way, when I format, I won't have to backup all my stuff and can just leave it on my 20 GB partition. That's another benefit of partitions.


Hmmm good point Eck. Obvious, but didn't cross my mind...

Anyway, I've installed the drive five minutes ago and it seems to work fine. I'm gonna make sure I got all my soft backed up and then I'm going to try cloning my old drive to my new one (probably tomorrow).

Out of curiousity: the drive is obviously not formatted yet. How can you do this in WinXP? The drive doesn't show up in explorer of course, but it is present in device manager.

Anyway, using Norton Ghost I won't need to format it I guess, but I still want to know



Okay just an update here

I did a nice clone of my old HD (with 3 partitions) to my new one with Norton Ghost. No problem. I then had C, E qnd F drive (old partitions) and H, I and J drive (partitions on new HD). Now I figured if I rename C, E and F to H, I and J and vice versa I should be able to boot from the clone (selecting the correct drive in the BIOS of course).:rolleyes:

No luck, I seem not to be able to change the C: drive letter (system drive). :mad:All the other drives letters I can change except for that one. Then I was kinda hoping that if I would disconnect my old drive, thus forcing XP to boot from the clone, it would automatically change the H drive to C. Well it doesn't. I get to the blue Welcome screen but that's it. Except that it doesn't say 'Welcome' anymore, but it just shows the XP logo on the same background.

Any ideas? :huh: I got a perfectly bootable os, except that it's on a drive with a wrong letter.

Oh yeah and I also tried booting from CD. Dunno why. System recovery and all. Turns out I don't know my own administrator password. I can't remember setting one in the first place

Oh and another thing. Ever since I installed my new HD, I am not able to shutdown / log off / reboot using the start menu. Why oh why? :eek:


hardware monkey
so many reasons why i'll always just reinstall in these types of situations. :) cleans up the OS, too. peak performance.

i know this is of no help to you... but just something to think about next time.


Hehe I know, I just wanted to give it a try. :p As long as I don't screw up big time I can still go for the full reinstall if this doesn't work out...

Anyway, with PartitionMagic apparently I can change the system's drive letter, although PM warns about possible severe boot issues. The good thing is that whereas Win XP changes drive letters immediately, PM only does that on the next reboot. So I didn't have the courage yet to change the win partition letters cause if my clone turns out to be not bootable I could be in trouble. :eek:

Gonna make me a pair of PM rescue disks and make sure that the DOS version of PM on there also has the ability to change drive letters. If it does I'm gonna give it a go. (anyone know this without having to do some research?)

All i know is i always make 3 partitions when i get a new drive.
1 at 4gigs another at 4 gigs and the rest for my storage like games music and programs. 4 to 5 gigs is plenty for xp,and when it comes time to reinstall i lose no important stuff.


It's pretty easy. Just boot into PM in DOS and delete the partitions from your old drive (since they have already been copied to the new drive) and then go to your new drive and rename the letters (this time PM allows you to rename the XP partition to C: ). Then go back to your old drive and create new partitions. They'll be assigned with new letters. Reboot and XP will boot up.

Just make sure the XP partition is the first partition of the new drive. If it isn't, move it to the left. Normally that would change the partition letters, but since XP couldn't boot before, this will have no effect. Or maybe it will. I'm not sure. Ah well, it's just plain deleting the old partitions, renaming the ones on the new drive and finally create new ones on the old drive.

Oh yeah... Don't use the format option to get rid of your old partitions! Just delete them and recreate them. Saves you lots of good hours. ;) Deleting them only takes 3 minutes, whereas formatting would take hours. :p


Okay just a quickie... thanks for the advice everyone (especially zedric, mentioning Norton Ghost first) because.....

It finally worked!!:D The trick was not to do your clone from within Windows (cos it keeps the drive letters) but to clone from a Ghost boot disk. Next time you boot, windows assigns new drive letters, most importantly a new C:

Thanks to the Symantec knowledge base and especially this article (just putting it here so that any other (future) readers of this thread may know what the solution is).

Anyway I got a perfect copy of my old system but on a new drive. Looks like nothing changed (except that it goes maybe slightly faster, but that was the point right?).

Thanks again:happy:

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