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Reformatting Hard Drive And Using Creating Partitions To Maintain Old Op System

I have windows XP machine Laptop Sony Vaio 2Ghz 200 Gig hard drive that needs a reformat and re-install. However we have some essential server software that needs to keep running for half the day to alllow access to resources from outside our company. Therefore what we have come up with this idea and would be interested to see if anyone can see any problems or issues that may come up:

Currently the hard drive has 2 particition on it one is both 100 gig each. Currently all the programs are on the C:/ partition and a backup copy of the op system files (unistalled) are on the D:/ drive.  What I would like to do is use partition magic to create a new partition aE: nd on this new partition install a fresh install of the same operating system that we are using on the C drive we will do this during the time that the PC is not being accesses externally. Then swap over from the old  currupted op system that needs a reformat to the fresh install on E:/ then format C:/ and then change the drive letter of E: to C:  finally remove the E. partition.

Can anyone see any issues with doing this? or is there a better way to do it? basically what we want to do is be able to reinstall the programs on e:/ until all the essential programs are back - this could take several days to do  and we therefore want to ensure the external contractors still have access to the server on our old op system whilst the reinstall is occuring.


1 Solution
only one problem - It aint going to work !
Wayne BarronCommented:
You have [C]and [D] drive.
And you are wanting to use partition magic to create an [E] drive.
Then, you want to Install Windows on [E] drive, and then Format [C] Drive.
And make [E] drive [C] drive.

Is that accurate?

Great Idea. IF ONLY your was doing this without the Parition Magic Crap.
As it is a Virtual Parition, it is not real, only in Windows current install is it real.
Other then that, it is software based and does not exist any where else.
IDEA for you.
[D] drive.
Copy everything over to [C:\Backup\D\] location
Go into
Disk Management
Delete the drive (After Reboot)
Then Create 2 Paritions (or) more from the [D] drive.
Then Format NTFS
Then Move the Backup\D\
To the [D] drive where it was originally at.
And then Install Windows into [E]
And then reinstall all your programs.
It is not going to care rather it is E (or) C drive.
That is is installed in.
As long as it is installed somewhere.

Changing Drive letters is a tricky issue, I did it a long time ago.
Though it did work and worked well for a while.
There was still slight issues that I dealt with.

Good Luck
whay not take another disk, and image your drive to it.
then - during the free time, you can insert the disk, and change whatever you want - if it is not ready yet, put the original disk in and you're running again in a minute !
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boltwebAuthor Commented:
Hi Nobus - yes we would use another hard disc but it is a laptop - we do not have access to put in a new disk - the only thing we could do is use usb harddrive - but then what would power the USB hardrive?
you make the image on the usb drive, then put it in the laptop to boot, as i posted...
you can even do it on a network drive...scsi, or whatever drive you want to use...
boltwebAuthor Commented:
I have read your post a few times but can´t follow what you recommend. You say "then put it in  the laptop to boot ?   How can I put a USB external drive in the laptop^?    How can a laptop boot off a USB drive? Would be grateful if you could clarify what you mean

an usb drive is : a drive + an usb to IDE or Sata adaptor
see : http://www.cooldrives.com/seatatousb20.html
prebuilt ones are assembled in a case.
i hope this clarifies it
boltwebAuthor Commented:
Hi - the devise you showed is a USB to IDE / SATA adapter howeer I already have a USB external drive  that does the same as the above adapter i.e connect externa drive to a USB port. The problem is not commecting a Hard Drive to a USB port - I can do this already. The problem is if the laptop hard drive is removed  then how can the PC boot of the HD connected to the USB port . There will be no op system in the PC powering the USB drives and therefore the external hard drive will not be recognized?

Can you clarify this please.

boltwebAuthor Commented:
The link you gave http://www.cooldrives.com/seatatousb20.html  gave will not do what you said.  why did you give a link to a device that will not do what you said it would do? that will only connect to a female connector on the hard drive NOT a male connector that is present  INSIDE the laptop!. If you are going to give advice make sure it is accurate before you start using exclaimation marks in your replies.   What I need is a connector that goes connects INSIDE OF A LAPTOP AND TO AN EXTERNAL DRIVE not the device you gave me a link to. Honestly, if you are going to give advice PLEASE at least make it accurate and stop using exclaimation marks when it is you that is giving advice that is inaccurate.
You do not understand what i'm saying at all!
i said to make an image on another disk drive that can be usb, networked, scsi...anything; it does not matter.(you only make sure it is the same type of drive the laptop accepts IDE or SATA - but that is obvious, no?)
Then you take  that drive, and insert it in the laptop
that is what i posted, and the link is only to clarify how you can connect such a drive to usb
I hope it is clear now?
boltwebAuthor Commented:
What is even easier is just for me to buy an identical hard drive to the one I´ve got in the laptop then I don´t need to buy mirror software, connectors or adaptors or make a mirror, all I do is swop the drives. However I had already thought out this myself even before I posted the question but as mentioned in my replies we do not have ready access to the laptop harddrive.  What I was looking for was a solution where we did not have to open up the laptop and  buy another drive and simply use the one drive that exists in the laptop.  therefore the nearest answer is carrzkiss.  I thought you were suggesting something different that could have used our external USB HD.   But that is not the case. Thanks for your help.

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