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Windows 7: Swapping system Hard Drives

26 Jan 2010   #1
Spoonology

Windows 7
 
 
Swapping system Hard Drives

My system drive is C, the drive I want to be the system drive is D.

I have created a system image on D, if I install from the system image, will D "become" C?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Jan 2010   #2
nate42nd

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

You may want to post a screen shot of "disk management" so we can see what's going on.

If they are separate disks, or partitions is the question, but it would still be helpful to see disk management.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2010   #3
Spoonology

Windows 7
 
 



C:\ is 80GB and E:\ is 500GB, I'm looking to upgrade from the 80GB to the 500GB but keep 80GB as a back up drive, so my desired end result would be the drive letters swapped over, with the system on the 500GB drive and a system image on the 80GB drive.

Cheers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Jan 2010   #4
nate42nd

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Yes, you have two separate disks. I would open the computer and switch SATA ports so the bigger one is "disk 1" and restore the image to that disk. Whaen you get done, make sure the image is on the correct disk and erase the data on the 80GB disk. (disk 2) then you should have your desired result.

KEEP your image just in case I have given bed advice, but I;m sure it will work fine.

I don'r see disk "D" anywhere, is it an external?

Also. it looks like you have some data on the bigger disk....you might want to salvage that before you restore the image to that disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2010   #5
Spoonology

Windows 7
 
 

Sorry I got D and E mixed up.

The data on the bigger drive is the system image, is in the right place?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2010   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Hmm, this may become a mess. Best would be to install with the installation disk and as a seperate system. That means you disconnect the drive with the current C and make a completely new install on E. If you leave C connected, you will end up with a double boot situation and may have to fix your MBR later.

If, however, you want to install from an image, you'll have to make a clone. If you want to use the E drive for that, I suggest you create a partition for the clone and another partition for the future system. I would then still disconnect C when you roll in the clone (which contains its own MBR). Alternatively you could write the clone to an external disk and go from there.

The fresh install from the installation disk has the advantage that it is simple straight forward. Disadvantage is that you start with a "virgin" system and have to make all the settings and program installations again (including the updates from the time your installation disk was made)
The installation from a clone has the advantage that you get exactly the system you cloned. For that you need, however, a program that can make a clone and roll it back in ( with a recovery CD). Norton Ghost, Acronis, Paragon are examples that have that facility.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2010   #7
Spoonology

Windows 7
 
 

Aghh a lot more complicated than I thought, thing is I don't have the installation disk, I downloaded an upgrade from Vista.

Could explain more about the cloaning system, do I just clone my system, unplug C and put E in the disk 1 sata slot? That sound's a lot more trouble free...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2010   #8
nate42nd

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

If you had the image on an external you would be in good shape, maybe you can copy it to an external.

Or take the downloaded install files and make an iso
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2010   #9
Spoonology

Windows 7
 
 

I haven't got an external big enough, sadly, and I thought the downloaded files were wiped when the instal completed, I've never been able to find them, plus, it's only an upgrade, not an installable package.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2010   #10
madtownidiot

 

One way I swap system drives is by using gParted on a flash drive to boot the system. First, make sure the new HDD is unformatted and there are no partitions. Then it's simply a matter of copying the partition(s) from the old drive to the new one and afterward expanding them to fill the HDD. Before you restart the system, make sure to connect the new HDD to the primary sata part, and disconnect the old HDD. You may have to do a startup repair with the windows installation disk, but it's a relatively simple and painless way to upgrade your HDD without having to reinstall everything. One thing I would recommend is to have a partition for any media and program installers, personal files, etc, separate from the partition in which you install the operating system. That makes it less likely to lose data in the event of a serious error, plus you can easily change operating systems without losing any files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Swapping system Hard Drives




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