Ghosting a HDD or WHatever It Is Called??

jedihobbitjedihobbit Central Virginia, USA New
edited November 2011 in Hardware
Okay time for another noob question concerning HDDs......

With the permanent and untimely demise of both Celtic Spirit and KestrelFlight it appears I will be venturing into the dark side with an Alienware M18X.

Now the hardware related question(s).....I want to replace the "stock" 350GB HDD (Primary) with the G. Skill 120GB SSD that had been slated for the H2O version of KestrelFlight. How does one move everything from the 350 to the 120?


  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited July 2011
    Make sure total partition size is less than formatted SSD, then use one of the following (both linux based solutions, others may chime in with something windows based and more palatable to you)

    Burn a linux live cd (ubuntu will work)

    If you want a GUI-only solution:
    • load the LiveCD
    • open the terminal
    • sudo gparted
    • copy the drive you want to copy
    • paste it onto another drive
    • hit apply

    Another linux based solution
    My easiest way is to put in a booting NetBSD or Linux CD, boot, and tell it to (from a root terminal)
    dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb

    (this is assuming that your old drive is in SATA-0 and new drive is in SATA-1)
    I then shutdown, unplug the first drive, and reboot. Just as my easiest way may not seem easy to you, I guarantee you that all these other easiest ways don't seem like it to me. The important thing here is:

    Your system is not running off of the disk you are cloning while you clone it.
    You get all of the associated data of the boot sector and the partition map.
    Because both disks remain bootable, you've got to switch them about or remove one in order to get the new disk to boot.

    You will need to resize the partition to max it out afterward. I'm not sure, and don't want to look right now, but I think there is some reticence about having the recovery partition on an SSD, but I could be mistaken or that could have been poor thinking on whoever I saw post that.
  • ardichokeardichoke Icrontian
    edited July 2011
    If I may chime in here.... What I'd do is to burn yourself a copy of SystemRescueCD. This will boot a live linux session to a command prompt. Type wizard which will launch an X session (GUI). Use Parted, which is included, to shrink the partition down to the appropriate size (or smaller) for the SSD.

    You can then use dd as Tushon mentioned to copy all data from one drive to another. If you want to go with something a bit more user friendly, you should burn a CloneZilla live CD which will walk you through copying an image from one disk to another. CloneZilla can also dump a disk image to a file if you don't have a way to hook up the SSD and the original drive at the same time. You can then install the SSD and use CloneZilla to restore the image to the SSD.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited July 2011
    There's that complete advice I was looking for
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indy Icrontian
    edited July 2011
    If you need any drivers to interact with the new drive....install them before the move. :)
  • boasistboasist Troy
    edited October 2011
    Here is the windows solution. Like the others, free and easy to use.

    I've used it for personal stuff when upgrading to SSD as well, no issues, boot up and go.

    Just plug in the SSD and you can fill it with what you want from your current drive.
  • edited November 2011
    If you are a Windows user, then Acronis True Image is the way to go.

    However, in my experience it is much better that you simply install a clean copy of Windows on the new drive and then re-install your programs and restore any personal data from the old drive to the new one. Especially if you are making a big hardware change, like a whole new computer...

    Also, have you shopped around for the SSD or bought the G-Skill one yet? There are better SSD drives out there than the G-Skill lineup. Also, make sure you know if your new laptop will have SATA3 or SATA2, that will make a difference as to what SSD you should get.

    And as for the Linux way of ghosting, the dd command mentioned above works like a charm. It takes quite a while but it works very well. I cloned my home Linux server's 73GB SCSI drive to an identical 73GB SCSI drive as a backup and it was smooth and painless.
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