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Re: Replacing main hard drive...

Subject: Re: Replacing main hard drive...
From: Andreas Schulze-Bäing
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 22:55:36 +0000
Newsgroups: uk.comp.homebuilt
On Mon, 24 Nov 2008 20:07:52 -0000, Marcus Fox wrote:

> I've got an ageing Dimension 8300 with a 120 GB PATA disk as my main boot
> disk with two volumes, a 40 GB system partition and an extended partition
> containing an 80 GB logical drive, used as file storage.
> 
> The motherboard also has on-board SATA ports but I've not booted the
> computer from a SATA port before (thinking about having to press F6 to point
> to SATA drivers on clean installs here?), besides, my SATA ports are being
> taken up by other data storage devices and it would leave an IDE bus free.
> So I'm thinking to go with replacing the drive with another PATA disk, say
> 500 GB.
> 
> Been a while since I bought a PATA hard drive, I'm not sure which specific
> manufacturer or model to go for, it will probably be purchased from Ebuyer
> or Scan. Any recommendations?

You can still get some PATA drives, although the choice would be bigger and 
prices tend to be lower with SATA. These are two PATA models that might be 
worth considering:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (ST3500630A)
Western Digital Caviar Blue (WD5000AAJB)

Both models are available with 500 MB. The Western Digital is a bit faster 
and has 3 years manufacturer warranty while the Seagate is a bit slower and 
has 5 years manufacturer warranty. Make sure you get the versions with 16 
mb cache and look for the retail version to gain the right of claiming this 
warranty in case of failure.

> Will also need to clone the disk structure onto the new drive. Ideally I'd
> like to have more space for the two existing partitions though, say 50 GB
> and 200 GB respectively. This leaves me with some unallocated space that I'd
> like to make another partition with. How do I do this exactly? Install the
> new drive into the secondary IDE bus, and then use something to clone and
> resize the partitions, then unplug the old drive from the system and change
> the new drive over to primary IDE whereupon the computer boots as normal -
> what will do this?

I have done this once with a software called Maxblast. It is available for 
download from the Seagate website (they bought Maxtor some years ago). 
Maxblast is based on the leading imaging and backup software by Acronis. It 
allows you to mirror and resize the existing partitions onto a new larger 
harddrive, then set the new drive as primary ide boot drive, as you 
described above. There is one requirement though. To be able to use this 
software for free you need at least one drive from Maxtor or Seagate in 
your system. So either you buy the Seagate drive mentioned above - or any 
of your other drives is from Maxtor/Seagate. You could of course also buy 
Acronis "True Image" or "Migrate Easy" for this purpose.
I just read that a similar tool exists for Western Digital drives, the 
"Data Lifeguard Tools" with the "Drive-to-Drive Data copy" option.
More information about disk cloning with references to available software 
can be found here:
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=418&page=1

Andreas

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