Help with Hard Drive Problems

  Bigaddygun 15:02 08 Dec 2010

My current OS (Vista) is not updating and I cannot repair Vista, because my retail disk is different to the OS installed on the hd.

My plan was to buy a new hard drive to replace my old one in the system and start from scratch again.

However my current hard drive is full of important data. If I buy a hard drive enclosure and put my old hard drive in it (with the OS still on it, because if I uninstall it I will lose all of the data) can I still access my files on my old hard drive but now external hard drive, from my new hard drive running a clean vista?


  Diemmess 15:23 08 Dec 2010

Old HD in running in an external case should allow copying of all data files to their new home.

Installed applications will need to be installed again from scratch because previous installation has integrated with the operating system as part of getting them to run.

There is one small group of self executing files which can be transferred, usually a freebie to run some specific task, but often better to download the latest and start fresh.

Eventually when all is smooth you could wipe the old drive and use it as a store for data.
Also useful if you want somewhere to keep restorable images of drive C: using 'Acronis'
This will avoid having to scrap everything if your OS gives trouble again, but that is another story.

  Bigaddygun 16:26 08 Dec 2010

Thanks for quick reply.

All I really want to access is the saves for games, music, videos, pictures, My Documents etc.

So it should work?

  timsmith259 16:32 08 Dec 2010


You will lose the data unless you use acronis to copy the drive onto another drive

  Diemmess 16:49 08 Dec 2010

Reading your 2nd post-
"All I really want to access is the saves for games, music, videos, pictures, My Documents etc."

The saves for games is the only difficult one that I can see. That might need some juggling, but should be do-able.

Two things concern me.
1) to avoid the baby with the bathwater situation are you sure you can't repair Vista?

2) my personal opinion and some others differ..... Never pile everything on to drive C:
If you had a partitioned drive you would only need to backup (including Vista)whatever is on C:

Data like music and video in my opinion are best kept in another partition, they use Gigabytes of space, and make Aconis or similar backup programmes run correspondingly slowly

  Bigaddygun 19:24 08 Dec 2010

Definitely cant repair Windows Vista. The "language version" on my computer is different to my retail copy. (dont ask lol)

Thats the other thing, I have never really partitioned because I never knew the benefits and do not have a clue how to do it.

  Diemmess 10:10 09 Dec 2010

I have an old copy of Partition Magic which is not a freebie, but have a look at this site which is free.
click here

My own limited experience with partition magic which is very simple to use.
I simply boot fom the CD and follow the prompts.
Used intelligently this can be done any time without losing data etc. provided there is enough space left on the HD to size the partition/s to finish with what you want.
For instance (my personal preference) is to partition a 300Gb HD so that C: is 50Gb.
This allows me to load the OS and major apps.
The rest is allocated for one (or two) other drives for data and backups.

Perhaps someone else could add to this post?

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