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Discussion in 'Computer Related Help & Discussion' started by MickLL, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    I'm looking for advice about the easiest way to achieve an HDD upgrade. I'll explain my system and then you will see the problem.

    Exisiting HDD

    C: A small solid state that has more or less only software and the operating system (Win 7 Pro) . It is 111GB with 18 GB free. Try not to fill it any more.
    D: 1TB HDD that contains only a copy of all my data that's stored on E: 322 GB free
    E: 1TB HDD that contains all the data (in a single folder with LOTS of subfolders) PLUS software that won't fit onto C: 108 GB free.
    F: and G: two external 1TB drives that have copies of the data folder each with about 322 GB free.

    I don't keep a lot of what I ideally should because I'm afraid of running out of space. What I'm looking to do is to replace E: with a bigger drive and I need to do it in the easiest possible way - that is without having to reinstall all the software that's on it.

    Having done that I might be persuaded to replace C: and transfer all the software to it. Again need advice on how to transfer the E: stuff to C: without reinstalling everything.

    Then, in time, replacing the two externals is easy.

    Any advice please?

  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I'd guess that if you copied contents of E: to a bigger drive and called that E: it would work. Where windows does things when it installs software that is usually to do with registry entries. I'd doubt the install uses a specific volume id, more likely to use the drive letter. But - a guess only.
  3. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    In typing my post it occurred to me that the most sensible way might be to upgrade C: (the SDD) , copy the software from E: to C: , delete the software from E: .

    All that would buy me some time in upgrading the HDD's and make it very much easier because only data would need copying.

    What I want therefore is a means of mirroring C: onto a new C: without reinstalling windows and all the other stuff.

  4. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    The last time I had to do this on Windows I used Macrium Reflect: https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree It worked but didn't fill me with confidence. If you want to do this for Linux you can use the open source and very powerful RSync (which is built in to most versions) and for Mac OS-X you can use RSync or the paid for Carbon Copy Cloner (which I'm pretty sure is a wrapper round RSync) that makes the job a doddle.
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I keep meaning to buy some disk imaging software to back up the PC I use for business stuff. All the data is double backed up but reinstalling software from scratch if I had to is a pain. Disk imaging software just copies everything. I think it is clever enough to restore to a different sized disk.

    Certainly when I was at work and there was any problem with a PC the IT support just re-imaged it.

    My personal stuff is on a mac running time-machine. I've never tried but I understand you can replace the hard drive and restore everything from the time machine backup - system and all.
  6. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    You can't just copy programmes from E: to C:, nor can you just upgrade C:, unless you plan to re-install everything.

    You can upgrade either C: or E: by cloning.


    It's easier to upgrade E: because you can use your normal computer to do it, and you could simply replace D: temporarily with a nice big HDD and then clone E: to it, and then switch them around.

    If you take D: out, you could put a bigger SDD in, and then close C: to D: again using the above post. There's plenty of literature on-line about how to achieve it.
  7. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    It's not quite that simple, because of various hidden and system folders, but you can simply clone E: to a bigger drive using appropriate software.
  8. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    Thanks Tony,
    It seems that I can't do what I want easily. Do you know if the following would be possible:
    Just to repeat my system for clarity:

    C: Small SSD with OS and some software.
    E: Larger HDD with some software and data.

    Could I install a new (big) SSD and partition it so that the second partition is E:
    I could then clone existing C: to a C: partition on the new SSD and clone existing E: onto the SSD E:

    Even as I type I think that I may be answering my own question !!

    Probably I'll leave things as they are except that I may clone E: onto a new 'big E:' and , later, clone C: onto a new 'big C:'

    That should not only be possible but within my capabilities.
    Thanks for your relevant advice. At least you took on board that I don't have a MAC and don't run Linux. :):)

  9. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    ...and if you followed the link I shared you'd have found that Macrium Reflect is a Windows program. :rolleyes:
  10. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    I know. Call it 'artistic licence' hence the double 'smiley'!!
    The reference to MAC wasn't in your post.
  11. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Fairy snuff. :)
  12. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    All the Mac users realised you were using Windows because Macs don't use drive letters.
    Scphoto likes this.
  13. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    You can do what you're suggesting in the first step, but it's significantly more complex. You need to rebuild / clone a number of partitions (because your C: drive is actually several partitions, some of which get drive letters and some of which don't) rather than a 'simple' disk clone.

    It's significantly easier to do your second option which I would strongly recommend. Because D: is just a copy of E: you can safely physically remove D:, and use the connectors to give you a drive to clone either C: or E: to at any point.
  14. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    For EightBit,

    Just an update. Realizing that what I ideally wanted was beyond me, and bearing in mind your advice above, I contacted the guys who built my machine (eight years ago!!) and they said no way . Too complicated, too risky.

  15. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    A lot of SSDs now come with cloning software which will easily cope with the different partitions. I recently upgraded my 120GB SSD used for Windoze and programs to a 500GB SSD (running out of space) and just ran the software - usually a copy of True Image. Mine came from Crucial, and the software was a download.
    It runs perfectly well - copying the boot partitions etc etc, and I had done the same thing on my wife's laptop last year. This is not rocket science.
    Just plug the new SSD into a USB (preferably version 3) port via a suitable interface (I have an external USB dock for drives) and let the software do it's business.

    I would then, in your case, just sort out what storage you need - I keep my most used files on another SSD, and photos are kept on a 1TB HDD, mirrored to a second drive.

    The main reason for replacing your C drive is the speed drop when using photoshop etc, as the swap file (scratch disk) can eat a lot of space, and giving it enough room to breathe is always a good idea.

    Once you have cloned your C drive, plugged it in and got it up and running, you could always wipe the original smaller SSD and use it as a scratch disk, but that is only reasonable if you do lots of complex editing in PS.

    With regards to transferring stuff from E to C, it you put a large enough C SSD drive in, and assuming that the files etc have been put in the user folders on E, then you could, once everything else is set up, tell windows that you want to move the user settings including files back to C - this is done via explorer.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
  16. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Did it work without you having to reinstall any software?
  17. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    Yep, it copied everything across.
    I thought I was going to have to reinstall some stuff, but it just cracked on with it without any issues.

    Some programs need reinstalling, but none of mine did. I have PS, lightroom, cad programs, office amongst others.
    It may ask you to sign in again on the office apps, but that's about it.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019

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