Copying a Hard Drive
How to easily copy your data from one hard drive to another hard drive.
If you would like to make an exact copy of your existing hard drive (including those elusive hidden files) to a new hard drive, you can opt to use a software solution or use an effective DOS command to achieve your goal.
If you are going to use a software solution to copy data over to a new hard drive, some programs may require you to prepare your new drive by fdisk-ing and formatting it first, other software solutions may not require any drive preparation at all.
Companies Providing Drive Copy Software Solutions:
- Drive2Drive by Higher Ground Software is an excellent software solution choice that capably copies your entire original drive to a new drive. You have the option to change the partition sizes with Drive2Drive and the process is quickly finished, whether you have a single or several partition(s) on your source drive.
- Symantecs Norton Ghost not only provides a way to clone your hard drive, but also writes disk images directly to many popular CDR/RW drives. This new version works faster than ever, and also supports the Linux EXT2 file system!
- Paragon Drive Backup enables you to create a complete backup of your hard disk or separate partition(s) without leaving Windows. After restore on either old place or a new place it immediately becomes bootable and workable. Paragon HotBackup technology allows you to backup with no need to reboot Windows or close any application.
- Casper XP from Future Systems makes it a snap to keep a bootable backup of your Windows XP system. Just use Casper XP to copy your system hard disk to another hard disk. When your system hard disk fails or becomes corrupted, simply boot your computer directly from your backup hard disk and you're up and running again in just seconds! It really is that easy!
If you would like to clone your hard drive using the DOS command Xcopy, be sure the drive you've installed in the slave position as Drive D, has a primary partition and is formatted.
You will need to format a used drive by opening My Computer, right click Drive D, select Format > Full and select Display summary and Copy System Files.
When your drive to be copied to is formatted, close all open programs and go to Start > Run type XCOPY C:\*.* D:\ /c/h/e/k/r, click OK.
A DOS window will open to your desktop and when you are queried about overwriting, simply answer yes each time.
You are instructing the computer to copy all the files (*.*) from your filled hard drive called C to the your newly formatted hard drive called D. While copying, your added instructions (/c/h/e/k/r), that are called "switches", instruct the computer to copy attributes, read-only files, all sub-directories, hidden files, system files and to ignore errors.
A limitation to the DOS Xcopy command is that it can only copy over a single partitioned area from your source drive at a time.
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