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Clone Hard Drive


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Clone Hard Drive

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I have a Dell Dimension 5000 with Windows Xp home sp3.

It is getting rather old and the hard drive is making more noise than it used to,My question is if I put a replacement hard drive in I want to clone the old drive to put on new drive.

Will it clone the Dell Restore and the other small partition that is on my drive at the moment as I dont want to loose them,Also can someone tell me of a easy software program for Cloning as I have read that Acronis and Norton Ghost can be quite hard for someone like me with very little Pc skills.

I want something that you just have do a couple of clicks and not much else if that is possible,I hope I have made it clear what I want to do.

Thank you.

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  • A retail hard drive will come with cloning software, but I don't know if it will clone the Dell Restore or Dell Diagnostic partitions since my hard drive doesn't have them.

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  • I've used Macrium Reflect... it's simple and easy to use and I had no problems with it.  They used to have a free version, but it looks like they've done away with that.

    They do, however, offer a free trial version:


    You will be able to select all the partitions you want to clone.

  • spamhead

    I know that Acronis 2010 will copy all the partitions, including the DELL PC Restore feature and small partition with Dell Diagnostics to the new hard drive, when used with XP Home Edition, as I have performed this many times.

    You'll need a imaging utility, similar to either Acronis True Image Home 2010 or Acronis Migrate Easy 7.0

    Either of these utilities will match the partitions to the new hard drive's size.

    Note: Seagate/Maxtor hard drives have a free copy of Acronis, that is included in their retail boxed drives or can be downloaded from Seagate's site for use with their OEM hard drives and the other hard drive manufacturers have their own free cloning software available.

    First, install the new drive as the secondary and image the exsisting primary hard drive to it.

    Immediately shut the system down, switch the data cable [SATA port 0] to the new drive, making the new hard drive the master and see if the system boots correctly.

    Boot the system with only the new hard drive connected.

    Remember to leave the original drive disconnected.

    An additional SATA data cable is needed, there is a spare SATA power connector inside the case for a second hard drive.

    Before cloning a hard drive, be certain that existing drive has no corruption or virus on it, as these will be transfered to the new hard drive.



    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
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  • When I got my new Western Digital Caviar Blue drive, it advised me to download Acronius from the link on the Western Digital website.  I then followed their instructions for cloning my existing 250 gb Hard Drive to the new 500 gb WD drive.  It was a very simple painless process.  It also cloned the hidden restore partition from the original Dell installed drive.  The only downside was that it resized the new partitions based on the original drive, so my hidden restore partition is 20 gb in size, even though the system restore files only take up a little over 5 gb.  (So almost 15 gb essentially wasted)  Still, lots more space available now, plus the new drive seems noticeably quicker booting and loading large files, perhaps due to the 16 mb of cache or larger platter size?

  • Hi

    Thank you to everyone who has replied,I am very very gratefull for all the advice you have all given and I shall do some hard thinking agin Thank you.

    Ps  what would we non tech people do without all of you.


  • It's widely accepted that Acronis True Image is the daddy, and there are one or two other similarly good commercial programs too.

    But there are quite a few FREE hard drive imaging/backup programs available Roger, which would be worth trying first, if you have a limited budget?

    They include:


    Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Free Edition
    O&O DiskImage 4 Express
    Macrium Reflect (apparently no longer FREE?)
    Clone MaXX
    Self Image
    DriveImage XML

    There are many imaging and backup programs mentioned/linked to on this The Free Country page too Wink

    From experience, I've found that:   “Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder”!!


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  • RChris
    They used to have a free version, but it looks like they've done away with that.


    Sorry, free version is still available.  I like it better than Acronis, but they've both worked for me.

  • Acronis Disc Director 12 failed for me. I tried twice. It didn't clone D:/ partition, didn't shut computer down, didn't assign letters to partitions, couldn't boot from new hard drive (I copied NT and removed original HDD). Wasted my money.

  • This thread has been locked due to it's age, if you have a similar issue, please use the 'New Post' feature at the top of this page and start a new thread.


    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell