Hard-drive duplication

  kentylad 21:39 19 May 2003

Hopefully, within a couple of weeks I should be the proud new owner of a laptop.

I intend to copy my current installation of WinXP Pro from my Desktop PC HDD to my Laptop HDD. Now, I have heard something about Norton Ghost, by which you can back up your existing HDD settings onto another - am i right?.

The only worries I have is whether my current settings will work? Upon changing motherboards, I incurred problems with using a previous configuration from an old Mobo. I now have an ECS K7VTA3 V3.0, and use to have a PCCHIPS mobo (cannot remember spec), but I did have problems with booting etc, whereby I had to reinstall Windows.
Is it likely that if I were to use Ghost I would incur the same problem?

As I said, I am currently running WinXP Pro, ECS K7VTA3 V3.0 Mobo, AMD Athlon XP 1700+ (Running @ 1.47GHz), 256MB 2700 DDR333 RAM.

The laptop Configuration is as follows;
AMD Athlon XP Mobile 2000+ - 512MB DDR RAM - 15" LCD XGA TFT Colour display (1024 X 768 Res) - 30GB Ultra-DMA HDD - DVD/CDRW Combo Drive

Kind regards


  DieSse 21:46 19 May 2003

Firstly - I presume you mean to uninstall your XP Pro from your desktop - having it on two systems is "verboten"

Secondly - you are right, the new system will not like all your motherboard and other system settings. You would be much better doing a clean install from the CD, then copying your work across - you'll get a much cleaner, more stable system this way.

  Despicable Desperado 21:48 19 May 2003

There can be major problems when copying hard drives. The worst that will happen is that the 'cloned' drive simply will not boot. Before running ghost make sure you change the IDE controller to standard rather than the motherboard manufacturers one (eg via or sis). Don't forget that you will have to purchase a 3.5" to 2.5" IDE converter so you can attach your laptop hdd to your PC in order to clone. If the worst comes to the worst and you can't boot from your newly copied hdd you can boot from your WIN XP CD and run a repair (not at the first R prompt but at the second) and this will do a virtual reinstall of XP but keeping your programs. You will lose any Win XP service packs or updates but you should be able to boot and then install your laptop drivers. Good luck!!

you will have all kinds of problems if you try to use ghost to clone the drive because the machines are completely different ( it will work one pc to another if the systems are near enough the same) why not load a legal copy of windows onto the laptop and use the native files and settings wizard in windows

If you use duplication software, I think you will run into problems because the laptop will require different drivers for the hardware.

Also, I wonder if XP will work on the laptop if you use the image file created from the desktop because it will probably detect hardware configuration changes thus requiring reactivation.

Not sure where you would stand leagally on this either.

  kentylad 22:14 19 May 2003

I cant see how it is illegal to merely transfer one Windows configuration to another HDD? Especially if the source HDD were to be formatted.

Thanks for the help, although some suggestions tangential


  Despicable Desperado 22:17 19 May 2003

Where kentylad will stand legally regarding his XP depends on whether he has an OEM or retail version. If my memory serves me right an OEM copy can only be used on the PC with which it was sold. However a retail version can be used on any machine as long as it is installed on only one machine. And yes XP will need reactivating.

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