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Clone Vista onto new larger drive




Hard drive is full, I've bought a larger new replacement drive,
changing from EIDE to SATA into the bargain...

In the old days I would have just reached for my copy of Norton Ghost,
a short while later I had an exact copy of my original drive on a
larger drive, swap them over, job done.

Now...Vista...where do we start with that ?

Anyone any recomendations on any cloning software to use with Vista.

I am aware that I may need to speak to Microsoft to get it re-
activated afterwards, but hey that's no great shakes is it.

What I'm after is a cloning program for Vista, ideally a free one..?


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You can still use Ghost (probably not your old copy, however) or Acronis
True Image (my preference) with Vista. I don't know why you think you
can't. It works fine. The tricksy bit will be to go from IDE to SATA. I
know it can be done, but someone else will need to tell you how.

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Bob Harris

If this were XP, you would need to do a repair installation of XP after the
cloning in order to install SATA drivers, since XP has not native support
for SATA. And, to do that repair you would need a retail XP CD, the same
one that installed originally, or a new CD with associated unused license.

Try a few newsgroup/google searches to see whether Vista is any smarter, or
how to procede

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Gary Mount

If you have Vista Ultimate, you could do a complete pc backup, then replace
your hard drive, then do a restore onto the new larger drive.

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I've got Windows Vista Business, so I am trying the Complete PC
Backup / Restore option.

So far so good.

I performed a Complete PC backup onto my external USB HDD.

Then shut down, removed my internal EIDE 80GB HDD and attached the new

Then inserted the Windows Vista DVD and booted to that and selected
the repair option.

Then selected the Complete PC Restore option.

Went throught the steps, not a lot you can change, most if not all
fields are locked.

Started the restore, and just as it was about to kick off it said that
it could not complete due to no drives being found or drives of a
different size to the original backup !!!! eh..????

So I went back a step and dropped down to the MS-DOS box.. Uhh..seems
that it's made my Maxtor external USB drive the C:\ drive ?

OK, restart without the Maxtor connected, then attached that after
everything has got going...OK that doesn;t work, now cannot see the
Maxtor drive at all.

Back to the original setup again...

...weird...this time it's doing it OK....though I think it's going to
restore the backup to an 80GB partition..I really don't want this, I'd
like the whole C:\ drive to be 250GB..

Anyone had any experience with Vista's Complete PC backup and more
importantly a Complete PC Restore.

Ideally I want the backup to restore onto the new drive but using the
entire disk.

Dontcha just love Vista eh !

Methinks I might be doing a fresh install and then doing a File and
Settings Transfer... :-(


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Then again I suppose I could always extend the disk partition to
include the remaining space with that new natty Vista tool.(perhaps
that's why it's included...) .would I trust the system after


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OK it's finished restoring...

At first it wouldn't boot so I turned off and booted back to the DVD
disk and ran the Repair option, selected the C:\Windows folder to

It said that I should disconnect my USB camera and try again ???? (no
camera connected obviously)

So I disconnected the external USB and also removed the DVD disk and
then it booted up OK.

Seemed to take a long time booting into my profile, but once it had
got in it said that it needed a restart.
Did that booted back up and then all looked OK, albeit it was on an
80GB partition as expected.

OK, lets extend the volume then using the new option in Disk
Did that, added the extra 159GB, job done. now have one single 232GB

So all seems to have worked, even went from EIDE to SATA as well, I
wasn't counting on that working !

Several trial reboots later all seems OK. Wonder how long that will
last ;-)

I've have a bit of a play around before I commit to using it.

Anyone think of anything to look out for ?

So seems that you can do it with just the native bits and bobs.


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the wharf rat

Ok, try this:

Install the sata drive on your motherboard, don't bother putting it
in the case. Format it the way you want. Now *copy* c: to whatever drive
letter windows assigns.

Turn it off, remove the current C drive and properly install the
new sata drive. Boot the windows cd and repair your installation.

If windows can't see the sata drive then you need to load sata
drivers which will be available from your motherboard vendor.

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Cameron Snyder

Is there a reason you didn't merely attach your new drive, then copy *.* old
drive to new drive, then remove old drive and boot from the new drive?

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Am I missing a trick or two here with you guys...what happens to the
literally hundreds of files that are going to come up with access
denied when you are doing this.

I take it you've tried this yourself ?


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Not Me

He wants a bootable 'clone' without reinstalling.
Copying the files from one drive to another (then sys'ing the drive) hasn't
worked in a long time.
I had a batch file that I could use in W95/98/ME for that, but it hasn't
worked in XP ever.

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Cameron Snyder

Your method worked, obviously. So I wouldn't presume to redo your effort. I
just wondered if you had tried copying (robocopy in Vista which took the
place of xcopy in XP) to quickly move all your files to the new drive,
system files included. It seems like you jumped right to the backup image
option since Ghost wasn't available without first trying what would seem
easier to me. Also, your method isn't available to those of us with lesser

My question has been answered though. You didn't consider it. So, in the
words of Rosanne Rosanna-Danna, "Never mind."

I haven't done it in Vista, I was just curious, since the repair install (or
sys-ing the drive) was part of the plan and required for either method I

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New Member
You can use norton ghost to clone the drive over. You will need to boot to your vista cd and run a very fast repair after you clone the drive and it will boot normaly after that. You won't even have to reactivate windows. I have done this meny times in my computer shop and it works every time for me. Note the windows repair is fast, only about 1 min.

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In order to clone a VISTA32 OR VISTA64 drive, edit the BCD (Boot Configuration Data) file in the following way:

a. Boot the Master drive and log in as a user with administrative rights.

b. Press the Start button (the Microsoft Orb) and type cmd.exe at the search window. The cmd.exe application will show up at the top of the box. Right-click it and run it as an administrator (or with elevated rights). A DOS window will open.

c. Now type the following commands in the DOS Window:

Bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device boot <enter>
Bcdedit /set {default} device boot <enter>
Bcdedit /set {default} osdevice boot <enter>
Bcdedit /set {memdiag} device boot <enter>

If you typed these correctly, with admin rights, the response will be successful in each case. These commands change the BCD file in a way that allows Vista to boot even if some of the drive’s geometry has changed. It will not cause a rollback, will not request the license key again, or perform a SID change pass.

d. Now shut down the computer and disconnect the Master drive. Your Master drive is now ready for cloning.

[FONT=&quot]It should not be necessary to repeat the above procedure, and your system will remain clone-able. (The commands shown above are scriptable, or can be placed in a .bat file for painless execution in the future, if you desire.)

You can use nearly any cloning program. I am using HDClone, but G4U, MaxBlast, etc. should also work.


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