Boot off of Windows 95 installation copied from different drive?
Posted on 1999-01-24
I just bought a new hard drive and need to copy Windows (and everything else) from my old hard drive (D:) to the new (C:).
I tried just copying the whole Windows folder from D: to C:. I think the result of that was Windows showed the "loading Windows" clouds screen, but immediately after showed the "It's now safe to shut down your computer" screen. I tried it in safe mode with the same results. I think before it showed the shut down screen, it quickly flashed a message on a black screen, but it was too fast for me to be sure of what it said (even rebooting like 5 times). It was something like "Unable to load ...". The file name I'm not sure of, but it looked similar to GDI.___.
I tried freshly installing Windows 95 to a blank hard drive (C:). That worked, of course, but I lost all my settings and my Start Menu; many of my programs failed to run (I'd have to re-install them); some of my hardware (like my network card) wasn't correctly setup. In general, it would be a major pain to get everything exactly how I had it before.
I tried copying my Windows folder from D: to C:, and then installing Windows into C:\Windows, but that didn't work.I tried freshly installing Windows and then copying my Windows folder from D: to C:, replacing everything, but that didn't work. I don't remember exactly which results were for what, but here's one thing that happened: When Windows booted up, it asked for my login name. I pressed enter to login, and the next thing that happened was Explorer crashed. That meant no programs at all were running. I pressed Ctrl+Alt+Del to get the Close Program dialog box, and no programs were listed. My only choice was to choose Shut Down from there.
Is there any way to copy a Windows installation from 1 drive to an other and then have it boot off the copied installation? Would that require mirror software? I know that programs install all over the hard drive and not just in their program folders, but if I copied the _entire_ hard drive, shouldn't it work just like it did before? I just don't want to have to re-install _everything_ because that would take countless hours.