How to copy image of C drive to D drive and booting from the D?

WaterStreet used Ask the Experts™
I had a 2nd matching hard drive installed by Dell when I purchased the Optiplex GX620 with XP Pro. The XP OS is as fully updated as it could be.  lol

 That D drive has been slightly used, but my C drive is failing after roughly 6 years of use.  I already replaced that Dell with a Win 8 touch screen laptop.  The Dell unit has been extensively cleaned of viruses and malware, and will never be used again on the Internet or WiFi.  It will be my off-line computer for confidential stuff. I'll just use USB for backing it up, and also use a spare printer with it.

While my C drive is still able, I think I need to copy a full image of it to the D drive and then have the choice of booting from C or D at start up. I really don't want to put my hands inside the computer to swap or re designate the drives.

I heard that I could take an image of C:\ and restore it as C:\ to the 2nd HDD (I've already backed it up).

It seems like that would be my first step, but I need advice to tell me how to do that, how to alternately boot between the two, and maybe alternative suggestions.  Or, if my software works properly on the current D drive then I won't need to go back to C ever again.

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Assuming the D:\ drive is the same size or larger than the C:\ drive, you can image it over pretty easily using Clonezilla.

Download the stable i686-pae version in .ISO format. Burn the ISO to a disc, and boot off of it. You'll be walked through a wizard which will let you clone your disk. You want to perform a disk-to-local-disk clone to image one disk over to the other, byte for byte.

Clonezilla has lots of options and handles all the normal things you would have to worry about. It has an option to "rescue" the disk - e.g. keep copying, even if it encounters sector errors. It will only copy the parts of the disk that are actually in use (it will skip the free space), it will resize the partition to fit the size of the target disk. It will set the partitions flags, fix the boot loader, etc. to ensure that the system actually boots from the new disk after you finish the clone.

Remember that the notion of C:\ and D:\ are arbitrary - Windows assigns letters to partitions. They can be on the same disk, or different disks, and they can be changed around. Clonezilla won't tell you what disk is C:\ and what disk is D:\, it will require you to identify the disks using only physical characteristics, like serial number, model, and size. So make sure you physically examine the disks in your system, know what the the model, size, and serial number of the source disk, and your destination disk is. Make sure you KNOW which physical disk is the source and which is the target. If you mix this up you'll overwrite the C:\ drive and irrecoverably destroy your data, so be careful.
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014
I use XXCLONE to backup/clone my drives in Windows XP, have for years.  And I also have a GX620 I use it on.
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014

Note that everything on D: will be deleted in the process and you will have to connect it as C: when you are done.
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Top Expert 2013
i suggest using the free Paragon software for that  :
if you want to be able to choose either drive for booting, you can use Bootit-BM; it's the best tool for that
By far the easiest way to clone your original disk to a 2nd HDD would be using XXClone. Extremely user friendly.

Note: You will want to remove the original disk or at least disconnect the cables connected to it after cloning to the 2nd HDD (they will both be C: and it's at end of life anyway). To determine which HDD has the OS , shutdown the PC and disconnect the cables attached to one of the drives. Power PC back up. If Windows won't boot then you disconnected the OS drive. This is the drive you will disconnect after cloning is complete. Power down and reconnect it.

1. Download XXClone at (Click button)
2. Once downloaded, use a zipping program like 7-zip freeware to unzip it (Right-click > 7-zip > Extract Here
3. Install program using default settings
4. XXClone will most likely already have Source set to C: and Target set to D: or whatever 2nd HDD is called. If not, set them.
5. Click Start
6. Click Cancel at warning (make sure Source and Target disks are selected correctly)
7. Click Yes to start.
8. When it's done, the 2nd drive will be a clone of the first (including all data, programs,  settings, etc).
9. Shutdown PC and remove 1st hard drive.
10. Power up PC. You will be using the cloned disk.

The new drive will boot up and have Windows in C:\, same as original.
Paragon Backup & Recovery Free would be my choice for scheduling weekly backup images. It would also work for taking an image of the old drive and restoring to the 2nd drive, but is not as simple to use.
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009
I think you name C and D drive the Hard drives in your system. So your question is:  how to move system from HDD0 to HDD1.
That's simple. Take backp of C drive with Paragon backup tool and restore it to HDD1. Thrn swap drives in BIOS and boot from second hard drive.
Top Expert 2013

all the above do not let him choose the drive to boot from...
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014
No, they don't let him choose.  But that is probably a good thing since the current C: drive is failing and when it does fail, he won't have a choice either.  If he hasn't moved the cloned D: drive to be the C: drive, he may not be able to boot at all.  It would be best to clone and swap them.
Top Expert 2013

but his question clearly was " but I need advice to tell me how to do that, how to alternately boot between the two,"
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014
You're right, it was.  But that doesn't make it the right thing to do.
I like to keep things simple;

- current "C" drive is suspect and will be retired.
- current "D" drive is the intended replacement.
(You might ask yourself: if C is questionable then why is not D just as questionable given that they were installed at the same time and have the same amount of run time on them?  This does not mean that replacing the OS function on C with D is a bad idea but it may have limited life left.  Very hard to predict.)

Objective: Move everything from the current "C" drive to the current "D" drive and boot from that "new" drive hereafter.
(Forget about dual booting because that takes you nowhere and adds complexity that you don't need).

Here is what I would do:
Use a likely disk cloning program.  There are quite a few and all have their good points.  I tend to use Acronis True Image running from a boot CD.  Clonezilla will do the same thing but you may be a bit daunted by the interface.  Paragon is another good choice.

Here's how:

1) Assure there is nothing on the D: drive that you want to keep as it will be completely wiped out.  
2) Boot to the selected cloning program in your DVD drive.
3) Select the disk cloning (or copying) function from that program.  
4) Select to clone the ENTIRE C disk.
5) Select the D disk as the target.
[Just make sure that you are selecting the correct disk in each case because which is C and which is D can be different here!!!! You may be able to see the disk contents a bit using the cloning program you've chosen.  That should tell you. i.e. you can pretend like you're going to back up some files and figure out which ones come from which disk.]

6) Run the cloning function.
7) Go into the computer and remove the old C: drive / well at least disconnect it.
8) Restart the computer.  It should boot to C: which used to be designated D: .. that's the most likely scenario.
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014
A suggestion to check the health of both drives.  I downloaded HD-Tune and ran it on my drives.  On a system that seemed pretty slow, I found out that some parts of the disks were incredibly slow, probably due to replacement tracks.  I found a third drive that didn't have those problems and installed it instead.

HD-Tune also displays the SMART status which is the drives internal health check.  The Free version is listed after the Pro version on this page:
I agree with DaveBaldwin that checking the D drive is important if it's going to become the workhorse.

I've been using HDDRegenerator in a couple of ways:
- in some cases when I'm feeling a bit adventurous, the value of the install is relatively low and/or the customer can't afford a new hard drive AND the disk fails to pass a standard quick test like from the manufacturer, then:
Run HDDREgenerator to "repair" the drive and put it back into service.
- in other cases when the standard quick tests fail then I will:
1) image the drive as-is and as soon as possible without further operation - this for "insurance".
2) Run HDDRegenerator on that drive now that there's an image available.
3) Re-image the repaired drive.
4) Put the re-image onto a new hard drive.

HDTune can best be used to test the transfer speed.  On occasion, hard drives "fail" by being very, very slow but will pass all the tests.  In this case, the speed on HDTune may look like 5MB/sec instead of around 50MB/sec.  You just have to have those numbers in your head so you know what to look for.  These slow drives can be easily cloned (although it can take a weekend to do so).

One might ask: "Why bother?"  Why not start from scratch (an all new Windows install)?  Good question.  I assess them like this:
- if the system install represents an important investment in the owner's time and expense then recovering it intact is worthwhile.  This isn't always possible but it makes sense to pursue.
- if the system install represents very low investment to the owner then it makes sense to start from scratch.  This is "better" from an OS point of view for sure.  But is it necessary?  
- if a new install is too expensive for the owner (labor plus a new hard drive perhaps plus a new copy of the OS) then recovering it intact makes sense.
With this in mind I generally find the situation calling for an intact recovery.
In doing this using the same procedure as above, I've risked that something on the hard drive may have been clobbered that's critical.  When you think about it, the probability is low because the disk tests are comprehensive and the OS, etc. occupy actually a small part of the HD capacity.
So, getting 99.99% of the data onto a new hard drive is generally an effective approach.  Well, so far, so good.  I've never had one come back or in need of restoring a program install or ......

In this case I might run HDDRegenerator (with repair) on the D drive first.  Can't hurt and may be helpful.  But if the C drive is looking to be OK for now, I'd just make a single image.
Thank you everyone.  
Now I need time to digest everything that's been said and first take a (nondestructive) look at some of the alternatives suggested.
Top Expert 2013

dual booting is an accepted option for all windows installs - nothing strange about it
i suggest Bootit-BM, because he does not install anew system besides the old one, just using the image - and that's what it's made for
Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014

I'm under the impression that 'dual-booting' is done from the C: drive boot file.  So I would be concerned that if the C: drive fails it becomes a 'no-boot' system.
I agree that dual booting is an accepted option for operating system installs and not just Windows.  But there are plenty of things that get "strange".  No doubt some tools like Bootit-BM helps keep it simpler.  But, as DaveBaldwin points out, you are still stuck to the boot drive.  In that regard this is NOT a replacement for redundancy.

But, in this case, if D is a real clone of C then one would be advised to dual boot off of D because C is questionable.  And then, what the heck use is (questionable) C anyway?

So, I'll stick with my recommendation to forget about dual booting.  The need hasn't been established.  It's not a way to "feel good".  Here's why:

- if you clone the C drive and are reasonably careful you don't clone D onto C then C remains intact.  You can take it out of the computer and set it aside.  Here's how to "be very careful":  To insure the process, you can image C first onto something like an external USB drive.  Then you can put that image onto D after removing C from the system.  This keeps C intact.  Both steps would use a boot CD/DVD like Acronis or .... (your choice).
Thanks everyone.

I've made my decision, and have awarded those responses that were most helpful and understandable at my technical level.

I got a wide spectrum of suggestions and the good interaction between experts, which makes EE a great site for me.  I needed more time to digest everything and decide my course of action.  Remember, I've already backed-up all the important data and files.

Given that I have limited technical skills, anything I do also presents the reasonable possibility of a significant risk that would cause hours, if not days of tinkering to get things right.  I have two important projects that are already behind, because I still don't have my overall on-line/off-line configuration settled for supporting them in the way that makes me comfortable.  

I've done this type of cloning and boot changes a couple times about 10 years ago, and know how a half-day effort can expand into a couple of days.  I'm also 71, so it is more important to me that even a wasted couple of hours are hours I'll never get back for my own enjoyment  -- mainly the retirement projects that I mentioned.  My decision, after considering what you have said, my technical skills, the risks and the importance of my time, is to simply purchase a low-end Win 8 laptop as my off-line computer -- new hardware, warranty, current OS (the same as my on-line config.), and prolonged MS updates/support.  I'll periodically (only turn on the Internet to) check into the MS site for any important updates, If I cannot re-install my the MS Office 2003 version, I'll just have to bite the bullet and buy the matching 2013 version (which I hate) that is running on my on-line config.


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