I recently purchased a Western Digital 250 Gigabyte hard drive that I was going to just add to my existing computer system to augment the existing 100 Gigabyte drive that came with the box. But when I opened the package I saw that they had included this cool utility that would copy everything over to the new drive and even make it the active partition.
Since it would leave everything intact on my existing drive I decided to give it a try. I’m from an era where such utilities seldom live up to their promises and so I tend to be pretty hands-on in these cases and do everything manually. But I have a full backup of my data on two separate physical devices over and above my current desktop so I thought I’d go for the gusto.
Electronics today are so forgiving, I originally didn’t bother to change the jumper settings on the new drive ’cause I wanted to see what would happen if I added it to the slave end of the HD controller ribbon cable. The original HD was set up as a master and I figured I would get a bit of grief from the system by not manually setting the jumpers but I was pleasantly surprised by when everything came up just fine.
I installed Western Digital’s “Data Lifeguard tools” and saw the option to copy the info over to the new drive.
It wasn’t 100% obvious to me from the wording what was going to happen, but with two or 3 simple clicks I initiated a process that would partition my drive (one big ol’ partition for me), Format it with NTFS, copy over my data and then set it up as a primary, bootable partition. It seemed a little too good to be true.
It took a while to copy over all my data, I had about 88 Gbytes of data on the existing drive, so I just let it go overnight and resumed work in the morning.
The next morning, I decided to do things right, powered off my machine, properly set the jumpers on both drives, plugged the correct drive to the correct part of the ribbon cable and turned the machine back on. It started flawlessly. Here I am a week or so later and I’m at the point where I’m just about willing to blow away all the data on the old drive and start using it for other purposes. Mind you, with an additional 150 Gbytes on the new drive, there isn’t overwhelming pressure to do so.
Since I don’t run with a swap file, there was no need to point it over to my newly underused 100 Gbyte drive, but I did decide to completely uninstall and re-install Google Desktop search and then put its index files on the lesser used drive.
Some caveats that bear mentioning. While everything supposedly came over to the new partition, and most of my applications work perfectly you should be aware of the following quirks that I’ve found so far.
Activewords, Roboform, and iTunes all required reactivation or reauthorization even though nothing had *really* changed on the machine. This did surprise me somewhat. Activewords was automated and straightforward. Roboform claimed that I had exceeded 3 computers (I only have/use it on 2) and would need to purchase additional licenses – a quick email to their tech support resolved this with no hassle at all. iTunes warned me that I was now authorized on 3 out of a possible 5 computers. Apparently there is no way to singularly deauthorize a computer I will have to wait until I hit 5 computers authorized and then a button is supposed to appear on my account page that allows me to deauthorize all computers and start again. Not esthetically my favorite solution but at least I know there is a way to clean things up eventually.
I use Activesync to keep my iPaq synchronized with Outlook. This suddenly stopped recognizing that Outlook was installed. I was using Activesync 3.7 and so decided to upgrade to the latest version (4.2) to see if that would help. Uninstalling the old activesync and installing the new one yielded the identical results. So I uninstalled Activesync, used a cleanup tool provided by MS that would wipe out the Office registry entries (figuring these must be somehow dependent on my physical disk) and “repaired” my MS Office Professional edition and then reinstalled activesync again. No dice.
The eventual solution was to uninstall Activesync, fully uninstall MS Office, then reinstall MS office being careful to install the collaboration tools for Outlook. Then open up Outlook to make sure that it was working properly (even with a full uninstall pretty much all of my office settings stuck around which made me wonder what you’d do if those were causing your problems) and then install Activesync. Then everything was fine.
Then, while using google to register an account I found that the Quicktime plugin was not working in Firefox. I tried to just install the standalone version when I found that the Apple updater actually had my version at 7.1.4 while that available on Apple’s website was only 7.1.3. Go figure. So a repair of Quicktime resolved this problem.
Finally, even though all of my shares showed up on the new drive and looked OK under properties, I could not access them from the other computers in my house. I’m using XP Home on this machine. All I needed to do there was to to open the folder’s properties, chose the “Sharing” tab, uncheck the “Share this folder on the network” checkbox and immediately recheck it and click the “apply” button and the system chugged through all the files and folders setting the appropriate security and they worked fine.
So, as usual, not exactly something that you want to tackle if you’re nervous or unsure about PCs but much less effort than was required even 5 or 10 years ago. My little system is up humming and working fine.