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Cloning 500gb to 250gb hard drive problem


esecallum
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i have a 500 gb pata hard drive with 4 primary partitions.it boots from c: which has windows me and the other partitions windows xp modified/optimized for different things.

on c: it has windows me on d: xp1 , on e: xp2 , on f: xp3

thus when i start the pc i can boot into windows me or xp1 or xp2 or xp3 via windows bootloader.

like this:-

[boot loader]

timeout=30

default=C:\

[operating systems]

C:\="Microsoft Windows"

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional 1 photoshop" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Gameing" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

this 500 gb hard drive is 3 years old and showing signs of wear and tear. on partition d it has a 32k bad sector and on f: it makes a clicking noise occasionally.

c: is 26 gb and has 10 gb free

d: is 18 gb with 5gb free

e: is 400 gb with 235 gb free

f: is 22 gb with 9 gb free

i want to transfer all the data and operating systems to a new 250 gb pata hard drive with 4 primary partitions in a similar configuration.

the new drive partition e: will be just big enough to accommodate all the stuff on or original partition e: with very little empty space left over.

instead of cloning the whole drive sector by sector which would be stressful on the hard drive and difficult because of the bad sector i want to copy/paste partition by partition all the files onto the 250gb hard drive.also not much software which can clone from a larger hard drive to a smaller one.

i will use hiron cd bootdisk and use unstoppable copier to copy partition by partition from original hard disk to new hard disk.

the question is how would i make the new hard drive bootable exactly as before without installing an operating system from scratch on the new 250 gb hard drive.

Edited by esecallum
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If you have a western digital drive, you could use Acronis True image to clone your data (as it doesn't do to sector by sector copy).

Seagate provide Discwizard which should also be able to clone your drive.

If you already cloned your partitions, you should just need to set the right partition as active or to do a fixmbr and/or fixboot after booting from your xp CD to the recovery console (you should let only one drive connected at this step).

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Please do NOT mention "hiron" again - WAREZ (against our rules). Suggest investigating software allen2 indicated. There's also another topic in the Win9x subforum telling how to "Easily Clone" that's worth reading. The main factor for XP boot is the Identifier Bytes (explained in that topic, I believe).

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If you have a western digital drive, you could use Acronis True image to clone your data (as it doesn't do to sector by sector copy).

Seagate provide Discwizard which should also be able to clone your drive.

If you already cloned your partitions, you should just need to set the right partition as active or to do a fixmbr and/or fixboot after booting from your xp CD to the recovery console (you should let only one drive connected at this step).

i understand acronis true image can do this but remember this new hard drive is smaller and i do not want to shrink partitions to make them fit onto new hard drive.

i just want to copy/paste all the files and if required skip certain files or damaged sectors which unstoppable copier can be set to do after so many tries.

unstoppable copier can also be set to Pause while copying to avoid stressing the old hard drive and allow it to cool or just rest.

only thing is how do i make ithe new drive bootable.

what software would make it bootable without installing an OS.

IN WINDOWS THERE MUST SOME EXE FILE WHICH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING IT BOOTABLE OR WRITING THE BOOT RECORD.

I SHOULD POINT WINDOWS ME WAS INSTALLED FIRST ON C: AND XP WAS ADDED LATER

Edited by esecallum
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"How to easily... (the "clone" procedure). I'm not really sure exactly how you intend to do this (larger to smaller) easily without first deleteing from the original what you don't want. That's your best option for what you suggest doing. Edited by submix8c
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"How to easily... (the "clone" procedure). I'm not really sure exactly how you intend to do this (larger to smaller) easily without first deleteing from the original what you don't want. That's your best option for what you suggest doing.

the old one only has about 230gb of data on it...

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4 partitions - want to keep all 4

1 - 500 gb original

1 - 250 gb replacement

500 gb original has "230gb of data" (not true! what about the OS on each and the associated files/folders)

If the above is true (you said it was) then...

Something on the original will have to go in order to keep each OS on each smaller Partition!

Edited by submix8c
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Do not forget all of the super hidden files from each os like pagefile and such...

230bg data includes everything including os.

as i said once copied i need it to boot as before and therefore need some software to make it bootable.

the boot.ini file above will not work by itself i take it.

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32k in bad sectors is really not the end of the world, your drive should be able to survive a copy.

You're more stressing a drive copying file by file than copying the partition (see the time it takes as a hint).

You can't "make a drive bootable without installing an OS", you always boot "an" OS, be it aPE, or a command line something. You can format your ME partition with an ME boot disk (floppy or cd) and the "/s" switch (or if still available on ME boot disks use "sys c:" command ) but it's more complicated for the XP partitions and I don't think that this method is the good one.

If really you have 230Gig of data and can manage to create each partition so that all the data fits in, you are going to end up with 4 crawling OS's having their respective partitions more than 90% full.

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Yep, defintiely sequential sector copying is FAR less stressful for the disk mechanics than copying filesystem contents, just imagine something that goes:

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

....

as compared to something that goes:

228

4356

4357

4358

12789

12790

12791

12792

3145602

3145603

4362

4363

18598748

...

:ph34r:

Now, let's get back to work :).

A NT based system identifies disks by their Disk Signature, volumes by their Volume numbers, actual Drive lettering is given through settings in the Registry (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices\DosDevices\x: ) if drive letters are "assigned" or otherwise automatically along a set of lettering Rules.

The "link" between drive letter assignment and disk volumes are Disk Signature AND partition beginning offset.

The actual "boot" partition is initially identified by it's arcpath in BOOT.INI (disk signature and drive letter independant)

You can allright:

  1. Partition the new disk under XP
  2. Create four primary partitions on it with suitable size (and set first one Active)
  3. Copy to them the contents of the various partitions, personally I would use Ycopy, instead of Unstoppable copier, as it seems to me more suited to the task:
  4. http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Miscellaneous/Ycopy.shtml
    (obviously you should boot "XP#2" or "XP#3" to copy the "XP#1" volume and then use the booted "XP#1" to copy the other ones)

You need to be careful when copying files, ALWAYS copy first:

  • IO.SYS
  • MS-DOS.SYS
  • COMMAND.COM
  • NTLDR
  • NTDETECT.COM
  • BOOT.INI

(in this order)

Then you need to access OFFLINE the Registry of each of the "target" XP installs and simply delete the contents of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices\DosDevices\ hive.

Then try booting from the "copied" hard disk.

Normally the appropriate values for drive letters wiil be re-generated during the boot process.

There is theoretically NOT any need to copy (before attempting booting from the "target") on the target the disk signature of the "source" disk, but since it costs next to nothing, it is a good idea to do it, to be on the safe side, you should do this from a DOS or Linux bootCD or USB stick, as to prevent the possibiity that XP detects the duplicate disk signature (when both disks are connected to it) and vanifies the effort, but usually it can be done from within XP allright.

There is not really any need to copy over the Volume serials.

Mind you that Commercial programs may use some of the data mentioned, including partition beginning offset (that you cannot replicate) as part of their copy protection/authentication schemes.

For the record, there is a commercial utility (also available in a limited Freeware version, that should be anyway be good enough):

http://www.xxclone.com/

http://www.xxclone.com/itheory.htm

http://www.xxclone.com/ixclnfaq.htm

that uses the above detailed approach, but that AFAIK "misses" the features of Ycopy or Unstoppable Copier.

jaclaz

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Just for the record Acronis True Image can skip bad sectors and recent versions can exclude folders in the imaging process, i'am not sure about the Western digital one's.

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But can Acronis True Image clone from a larger hard drive to a smaller hard drive?

Also to Jaclaz after reading your post is it possible that using a MBR backup utility on the original hard drive i then restore the MBR on the new hard drive to make it bootable?

remember all the partitions have been copied 1 by 1 and all their respective files.only thing is the MBR AND IPL.

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You might try rereading jaclaz' post very carefully. There are two (actually three) parts significant in the MBR. First, the MBR Code, Second, the Partition Table (which tells, in part, the SIZE of the partition), Third the Signature Bytes within EACH Parition Table. NO you can't "copy" the MBR Complete due to the Second Part. The THIRD part is contained (as well as other information about the Partition) is stored in each XP's Registry. This is why you got the instructions as stated.

Read this...

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Also to Jaclaz after reading your post is it possible that using a MBR backup utility on the original hard drive i then restore the MBR on the new hard drive to make it bootable?

remember all the partitions have been copied 1 by 1 and all their respective files.only thing is the MBR AND IPL.

Of course NOT! :w00t:

You can restore the MBR CODE (if you prefer the IPL code), BUT NOT the PARTITION TABLE (i.e. the DATA exception made for the disk signature).

In the MBR there is the partition table that tells:

Partition type.

Where a partition begins (CHS and LBA)

Where it ends (CHS only)

How big it is in size. (LBA only)

To simplify, in a 500 Gb HD you have:

Partition #0 starting at 0 and ending at 99 (100 in size)

Partition #1 starting at 100 and ending at 199 (100 in size)

Partition #2 starting at 200 and ending at 299 (100 in size)

Partition #3 starting at 300 and ending at 499 (200 in size)

Let's say that you have a half sized HD, 250 Gb and you decide to reduce each partition by 1/2:

Partition #0 starting at 0 and ending at 49 (50 in size)

Partition #1 starting at 50 and ending at 99 (50 in size)

Partition #2 starting at 100 and ending at 149 (50 in size)

Partition #3 starting at 150 and ending at 249 (100 in size)

I.e. the only values that will be correct are the partition types and the CHS and LBA start address of FIRST partition, all the rest being WRONG.

About Disk Signature do re-read my post, you normally cannot have two disks with the same signature on a NT system (when the system boots NT will change one of the two).

There are tools to restore (or create) PARTS of the MBR, among others, MBRFIX:

http://www.sysint.no/nedlasting/mbrfix.htm

The whole point of my previous post is that INSTEAD of "copying partitions resizing them", you rather CREATE new partitions (of changed size) then copy FILES to them.

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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