Monday, September 23, 2013

Upgrade Your Hard Drive Without Re-Installing Windows Again

This is another tech support post where I'm just recording my notes for future reference.
A desktop computer running Windows Vista again, but this time, the desire was to just swap out the hard drive with a newer one. How do you do that if your computer originally shipped with a recovery partition and didn't ship with discs? What if you really do not want to re-install Windows again?

Luckily, there exists a simple solution. I almost took the more risky solution though. Both solutions that I considered (among several other options) involved Linux. Yeah, you're guessing it. I was reading up on the 'dd' command. Which, surprisingly, is nicknamed 'disk destroyer' because so many people get it wrong. Yeah, that's enough to pause and make you think twice.

What is the 'dd' command? It's essentially a command line tool that does what more expensive tools like TrueImage will do for you - clone your hard drive. And that's exactly what I wanted to do. I used a LiveCD for Ubuntu 12.04 and was nearly convinced I had the correct command. Instead, I went and burned a CD with CloneZilla on it and took that route instead.

If you are going to use CloneZilla, do yourself a favor and boot into BIOS first to verify which disk is which, or look at the disk physically and take note of it's serial number because CloneZilla will likely identify your disks this way. I didn't do this first and had to stop the process and start over because my two disks were very similarly named WDC (Western Digital). Getting it wrong in CloneZilla is just as bad as getting wrong with the 'dd' command in your linux terminal.

CloneZilla worked great. The new hard drive is happily in its new home and thinks it shipped straight from the factory.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails