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how can I digitally clone one laptop hard drive to another laptop hard drive?

Posted on 2012-04-13
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
Hello and Good Afternoon Everyone,

              I am interested in knowing the exact steps in digitally cloning everthing from a laptop hard drive and transferring it to another laptop hard drive.  The "old" laptop hard drive with Windows XP, apps, games, mp3, jpg's, etc are on an 80GB laptop hard drive and needs to be transferred over to "new" 160GB laptop hard drive.  

              With respect to tools, I have a USB 2.0 to SATA/IDE connector which works with both, desktop and laptop hard drives.  Additionally,  I have Acronis 2011 Boot CD, Acronis True Image 2011, Ghost 11.5 Boot CD, and Norton Ghost 15 respectively.  If possible, I would like to stick with the tools I already have to carry out this procedure.  Unfortunately, I still need actual step by step procedures for carrying out this entire hard drive cloning.  My goal or end result is to make the new, 160GB laptop hard drive to boot up exactly like the old 80GB laptop hard drive without loosing any of the actual setup, apps, games, end user files such as documents, mp3's, jpgs, and so forth.  

               Of course, I will work with whatever tools are suggested if what I have is not recommended.  My main goal is to get through this project in the simplest and less time consuming manner as possiable.  

                In closing, I will look forward to reviewing whatever recommendations are shared to this post.  I am confident someone will know the logistics of carrying out what I have in mind.  

                Thank you

                George
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Question by:GMartin
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Accepted Solution

by:
rindi earned 450 total points
ID: 37844090
One thing to note, if your XP version on the original laptop is an OEM version (which is most likely as most PC's that have their OS pre-installed use OEM versions of the OS), then you can't clone your system to the new PC. OEM versions of windows (and also applications like Office) are licensed to only run on the original hardware they were activated on. They won't run on other hardware (and it would also be a breach of the M$ License and Eula if it would run...).

Should your OS not be an OEM version, then it shouldn't be too difficult. But as I don't use those tools you have I don't know whether you can use them or how...

I prefer using tools that are free for this. For example for cloning I use the PartedMagic LiveCD. Just boot the PC with it, then in the menu under System tools start CloneZilla, and then select the different options to clone from your internal drive to the one you have connected to the USB adapter.

http://partedmagic.com

When you are done with that put the new cloned disk into the new PC, and boot it using the "Adaptive Restore" CD from Paragon, also free. This tool will remove hardware specific options and drivers from your old PC, and if needed you can also already add new drivers. When that is done boot the new PC to the HD.

http://www.paragon-software.com/business/adaptiverestore/download.html

If your tools have cloning options just use those, they will probably be self explanatory and shouldn't need further help. You should still use the paragon tool I mentioned above after that before you boot to the new system, or you'll probably get Blue-Screens.

Another thing you should think of:

As most PC's come with the OS pre-installed, and you don't get Installation DVD's with them, you should, before wiping that laptop's HD and cloning to it, check that you have made a set of recovery DVD's for it. Most PC's have a tool included that allows you to make one such set. Just check it's manual or online on it's manufacturer's site for details. If you ever want to sell the PC the new owner would like to get it with the original OS...

Or you could also get a separate new HD and replace the original one, that way you will also still have the original configuration.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 37844539
Hi There,

              Thank you so much for the followup information.  By the way, I do not see a direct download link for PartedMagic.  Perhaps I am overlooking it within your link given.  With that in mind, could you provide more assistance on that part?  

              Thank you

              George
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LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:shahzoor
shahzoor earned 50 total points
ID: 37845093
You have Acronis and that all you need

First of all Create a Rescue Disk and Create backup of 80gb Harddrive

Now power off the laptop, change the harddrive to 160gb and again using rescue cd deploy the image of 80gb harddrive to 160gb harddisk
The process will complete successfully and then reboot the computer
Right click on My Computer > Manage > Disk Management
You will see the extra space will be appearing as unallocated
Right click on it and create a partition
Done :)
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 450 total points
ID: 37845717
On the PartedMagic site there is "Navigation", and then downloads, and then you can select the download you need or prefer.

But again, if your OS is OEM there is no point in even trying it, as then nothing will work.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 37867180
Hi Everyone,

             After reviewing the shared tips to this post, I follow everything except for Adaptive Restore CD from Paragon.  What exactly does this tool do within the grand scheme of things?  I am not sure I follow its role within the goal of digitally cloning one hard disk drive to another.

              Thank you

              George
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 450 total points
ID: 37867619
It removes the drivers and then allows you to install the correct ones for the new hardware. In the case of XP it also makes sure the correct HAL will be used on the new hardware. Without that you would most likely have blue screens after the cloning has happened, or the system may not run optimally.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 37868328
Hi There,

                  Thank you for the followup explanation of why Adaptive Restore CD from Paragon would be used.   I did understand the portion of the explanation making reference to the drivers.  Unfortunately, I am not clear on HAL.   If it would not be too much trouble, could you give more comment on that part of your explanation?  

                   Sorry for all of the followup questions.  I just want to make sure I am on the same page with everyone on this post.

                    Thank you

                    George
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 450 total points
ID: 37869289
The HAL is XP's "Hardware Abstraction Layer". XP had several such HAL's for different types of mainboards and CPU's, and during the Installation of the OS the correct HAL was selected for the hardware it was installed on.and that HAL copied to the Harddisk. If you just clone a disk and then start that cloned disk on another hardware, it is likely that you have the wrong HAL, and then things won't work, or they will at least not work optimally.

Newer Windows like Windows 7 use the same HAL file for all hardware, so with those that isn't an issue anymore.
0
 

Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 37879099
Hi Everyone,

            Thanks so much for the resourceful links given to this post.  I especially appreciate rindi going beyond the call of duty by explaining the behind the scenes things which happen and to be expected when carrying out a digital clone from one hard disk drive to another hard disk drive.   As to be expected, I certainly did learn a great deal from the feedback given to my question.        

           Thanks again for a job very well done : - )

            George
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