General Question

Fred931's avatar

If I just copy-paste my C:\ drive onto a new one, can I just then replace the old drive with the new?

Asked by Fred931 (9404 points ) February 8th, 2013

I think way too hard about this stuff.

I have one 128GB SSD and 500GB 5400RPM drive from 5 years ago in my PC right now. The SSD is my primary and the other one has acted as a bulk container of sorts, for most games and downloads, etc… until now. Because I switched to Windows 8 for shits and giggles, everything is being directed to install on the SSD, rather than let me choose to save stuff on the D drive, etc. etc. My C drive is now left with 18/120GB left and I think I should just get a bigger SSD and deal with W8’s “attitude.” I don’t think I’ll be physically able to wrap my head around moving everything in the D drive onto a single partition.

My PC also has an ESATA port and I have the PSU/data cables where I can just plug a new drive in from the side and transfer everything before opening the case. Writing that out makes me realize, though, I’m opening my case up anyway, so that’s not important.

I also just had this idea (too damn tired to better organize my thoughts) where I can move some of the current D drive data onto the current C drive and use all three drives (once new one is bought).

So I’d like to know how to replace the entire physical C drive with a new SSD without reinstalling files or losing any data. The HDD has enough room to make a backup if I need to do that. Then, I’d like to know if I can move most of the stuff from the current D drive (mostly games and old files from the computer I yanked the drive from) to the old SSD, and call that old SSD the new D drive, and the HDD the E drive. I have enough PSU cables and drive bays to hold all 3.

What do I need to know? I’m gonna try to get rid of useless things now that all this is on my mind.

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6 Answers

Fred931's avatar

Better question: Could I setup RAID easily? I’m pretty sure my board supports it.

Fred931's avatar

Actually, since nearly all (90GB) of the old HDD is Steam, apparently just moving two big files does the trick, according to support. I don’t think moving that HDD data is really a problem then, since all the rest doesn’t really need to be on the faster drive.

blueiiznh's avatar

No. There is quite a bit more to it than copy and paste files.

SamandMax's avatar

No. There is a lot more to it than copy and paste files.
Now it might be possible to have the new drive installed, copy and paste the whole lot from one drive to the new drive, take the old drive out or assign it a new drive letter, and give the new drive the old drive’s old letter so it may fool the registry into thinking that nothing has changed, but I seriously doubt that would work. There’s also likely to be required permissions to copy and paste stuff into system folders and the like in mid-sway. I think you’re messing with something that sounds straight-forward in theory, but in practice could get awfully messy.

Lightlyseared's avatar

It is possible to copy the old ssd on to the new SSD but you need to use special software to make a disk image that will clone everything not only the files and folders but also all the other unseen info you need to make the system boot. If you just copy and paste when the PC boots it will just ignore the disk and you’ll get a black screen saying please insert disk.

Having said that I use W8 and it works much like 7 in that you can choose the default target for everything so I boot from an SSD, have my user folder on 1 HDD and steam on a second HDD.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Drives have system tracks that contain essential information. The proper procedures must be employed so that your new drive will function, particularly at boot time.

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