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How to copy data to a new drive
Copying a partition without using a 3rd party utility
By Red Squirrel

If you just bought a new drive and you want to transfer your old files to it, this article is for you. The fastest and safest way is to use a 3rd party utility such as Drive Image. With Drive Image, you simply need to use it's user interface to copy the partition you want to the drive you want. However, this article will concentrate on showing you how you can transfer all your files with simply MS-DOS tools for when 3rd party utilities are simply not available. This method is long and can be error prone but if it's all you have, it works.

Getting ready
First, you need to have connected your new drive as master and your old drive as slave, so you should have a C (nothing on it) and a D (old drive) drive. This can differ depending on if you have more than one partition or not, but let's assume you only have one partition per drive.

You also need a windows 98 boot disk and at least one partition with windows 98 or lower installed (you need to be able to get access to format.com and xcopy.exe).

Preparing the new drive
When you buy a new hard drive, it is usually not formatted or partitioned. So let's start with that. Boot on the windows 98 boot disk until you reach the command prompt. You can skip the cd-rom access as we will not need it.

In the prompt, type the following:

C: [enter]
dir [enter]

You should get an error that it is not the right media type, if you simply get "file not found" you can skip the format step. But if you get another error it means you need to format it.

Now type:

A: [enter]
fdisk [enter]

You might get a message asking to enable large disk support, just put yes. Then you should see an option to select the drive. Select your new one which is C, assuming you set it as master. Then use the option to create a primary partition. It will go through an integrity check and ask if you want to use all space, just say yes unless you want to make other partitions.

After this is over, make sure to reboot and let it boot off the floppy disk again. Then do the check to make sure drive C is indeed the new drive and not your old one. (hey, it's better safe than sorry and end up formatting the wrong drive :P). If there's no "file not found" error then it's the new partition, which is not formatted. To format it, simply type:

format C:[enter]
y [enter]

And wait till it is done. Once it is done, you can now copy the files. To begin, we need to run an xcopy of all the files. This is where errors are possible since sometimes it will just error out for no reason, but in dos you're usually safer than windows, when using this command.

d: [enter]
cd windows [enter]
cd command [enter]
xcopy /e d:\*.* c:\*.* [enter]

You should see all the files being copied. This can take several hours depending on how much data there is to copy.

Before we reboot into windows, we need to do one last thing, and it is an important step. This is what makes using a program such as Drive Image way better, as it takes a "screen shot" of the drive, while this is simply recopying the files and they end up at different physical places on the disk. This affects it's ability to boot. Type the following in the command prompt:

sys a: c: [enter]

Then it will say "system transferred". Then you can remove the disk and boot into your "new" operating system. To avoid confusion, you might want to shut down and remove the old hard drive, or simply format it and use as a backup for files.

Also, during the formatting process, if you are scared to accidentally format the wrong drive, simply disconnect the old one and only keep the new one in. This will remove the chance of accidentally formatting the old drive instead of the new one.

I hope this article was useful to you, happy umm, formatting!

Red Squirrel
Owner/Webmaster IceTeks

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25228 Hits Pages: [1] 3 Comments

Latest comments (newest first)
Posted by Red Squirrel on September 09th 2003 (17:13)
Wow I already got 550 hits on this one em320.gif
Posted by Red Squirrel on September 09th 2003 (15:01)
Yep, figured I'd start moving it as for articles, will be releasing another one soon (maybe even today) on making rotational sigs. Got to stay ahead of the squirrel haters. em320.gif

Posted by rovingcowboy on September 09th 2003 (01:05)
ohmy.gif blink.gif rotflmao3.gif

talk about fast there red thanks will have to read over it more after i print it out. dont want to mess up when in dos or it might be dos all folks em320.gif roflmao.gif

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