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Note to Self: Get a floppy drive! (HD upgrade related -- rant)

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Note to Self: Get a floppy drive! (HD upgrade related -- rant)

Old 05-16-02, 10:15 AM
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Note to Self: Get a floppy drive! (HD upgrade related -- rant)

I haven't had a floppy drive for about a year and a half now. My last one just gave up the ghost and I never bothered to replace it because I never used it.

So recently I got a new 80 gig 7200 hard drive. I want to move everything over from my 10 gig 5400 drive for performance gains (Windows XP Pro). Problem is every hard drive copy utility seems to need to boot to dos from a floppy to work. I lamely assumed that I would be able to install the drive and just go into explorer, highlight every thing in c:, cut, and paste to d:, switch cables/jumpers and go about my business. Uh uh.

Here is what I've tried so far:
Using windows 'backup and restore feature'. Backup current drive (including system state), switch new drive to boot first, install windows on new drive, restore backup onto new drive. Won't boot unless in 'safe mode'.

Free trial of Norton Ghost -- requires floppy.

Little util called HDCopy -- worked but only copied half the stuff (instructions say it only works on Win9x, I tried it anyway).

Xcopy from dos everything -- some files didn't copy, won't boot.

I guess every time I upgraded HDs in the past I just started from scratch. However, now I share the computer with my wife and I really don't want to go back through and reinstall every little chat program/cute screensaver/etc. etc. that she has setup. Not to mention the millions of 'windows updates' and new drivers I've installed since getting Windows XP.

PS. While I was struggling with all this, the bios decided that my I didn't have any memory installed. About gave me a heart attack. Had to pull out the sticks and put them back in, then everything was fine. WTF?

Well, thanks for listening, I just had to rant. If anybody has any instructions on how to copy a HD without using a bootable floppy I'd be grateful. I found a couple on the web, but nothing has mentioned XP specifically. I'll probably try those tonight. If that doesn't work -- reinstall city here I come!
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Old 05-16-02, 11:51 AM
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Xcopy should work. You need to be sure to use /E, /C, and /H.

As for booting it, format with /s and be sure the partition is active.
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Old 05-16-02, 12:12 PM
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Ain't no /s option with the format from Dos in XP. From what I could glean from the online help the best way to get a 'clean' hard drive bootable is to format a bootable floppy, then after booting from the floppy, do a sys {drive letter}. But you can't just do a sys from the dos prompt with windows, it doesn't recognize the command.

Maybe I'll try to do xcopy after I have Windows XP installed on the new drive. That way I know that its bootable.

Edit:
Also, there is no 'copy system files' option when formatting in windows XP. It looks like this:

Last edited by CharlesC; 05-16-02 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 05-16-02, 01:15 PM
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Another thing you might want to try - do you have a CD-R drive? If so, try hunting around on the many sites that host boot disks, and see if any of them have images of bootable CDs with DOS on them. That'd let you boot off a CD, and then run the other apps (assuming you put them on the same or another CD).
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Old 05-16-02, 01:26 PM
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Good idea Dirk. I'll look around.
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Old 05-17-02, 09:59 AM
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Well, its official. I give up.

xcopy does not work in XP. For some reason it only copies 4 out of the 7 gigs I have.

I'm going to get a floppy after work today and try ghost.
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