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Background

My computer gets stuck on the make and model screen after the BIOS screen, aka the Toshiba screen.

After some research I've realized that the problem is the hard drive. I'm using an old 250gb model that USED to be used for backup purposes, however I loaded windows 7 ultimate onto it

This hard drive has trouble getting up to full RPM therefore cannot boot correctly until its warmed up. meaning that my pc needs to be restarted several times before it boots (once it took my 13 reboots to get my pc on!)

From my research its either that, or lack of power supply, and I've tried multiple PSUs.

Question

I have my OS and all my files on this 250gb HDD...

If I were to literally open the explorer, and copy EVERYTHING (including hidden files obviously) from this 250gb, to a spare 500gb I've got knocking about...

Will it boot if I just copy everything?

I cannot be bothered to load another OS onto my PC so if there is a way I can just copy the existing one over from one HDD to another and have it boot normally. This would be epic!

I've heard about HDD cloning software. But before I purchase and/or download this software, I need to know if i can just copy the OS over through the windows explorer

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A few commercial backup utilities claim to be able to restore to "dissimilar hardware", in particular a larger hard drive. How well this works, I don't know. Just doing it from explorer is not gonna hack it, though. –  Daniel R Hicks Oct 13 '12 at 3:01

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can't just open up an explorer and copy everything, this will cause your to lose things behind like the boot loader and other similar necessities which you would have to place again using bootrec.

It's better that you use partition cloning software after which you just extend the partition to 500 GB. That way you will have an exact copy rather than one where your Windows is still writing modifications too, it will also be way faster as it copies everything at a block level rather than having to find the files all over the disks. Any disk / partition cloning software will do for that matter....

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thank you! is there any cloning software you recommend? –  AlexMorley-Finch Dec 11 '11 at 20:26
    
Clonezilla is a well-known free program, here you can fetch a LiveCD/DVD/USB/HDD/PXE version. –  Tom Wijsman Dec 11 '11 at 20:30
    

If you just copy everything through Explorer, it will likely not work.

  • By default, Windows 7 creates two partitions, one of which is hidden and contains important files required to boot the system. Explorer does not show the hidden partition by default.

  • Aside from files, the partition has a bootloader telling the BIOS how to start the system. The Windows bootloader can be recovered using bootrec and similar tools, though.

  • Many disks are sold formatted as FAT32. If I remember correctly, latest Windows versions cannot (refuse to) boot from FAT32 and require the partition to be formatted as NTFS.

  • NTFS has the concept of file "ownership" and "permissions". You must copy them too in order for Windows to work properly; Explorer in Win7 can do that only if it has sufficient privileges itself, and it probably won't copy ownership.

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The proper answer is no you cant. Unless its the exact same pc's. Cause you'll be copying the drivers over as well. Ati driver wont work for intel. So in fact you'll get a (BSOD) better none as a blue screen of death stating that a hardware mulfuntion exists

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More important is the chipset than any other hardware on the PC, but even then, it matters which OS. Many linux distros can be copied between chipsets and still will boot. –  MaQleod Oct 13 '12 at 3:31

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