Inspiron 6400 Hard Drive Replacement query

  Richard9832 10:21 09 Feb 2010


I've cloned the original 80GB HDD from my Dell Inspiron 6400 over to a new 320GB HDD.

When I swapped the drive over and booted the laptop, Windows is unable to load, producing a STOP 7B error.

BIOS shows the original disc size, and "changes cannot be made to these settings" is displayed in BIOS.

So, how do I get the Inspiron 6400 to accept the new, bigger hard drive?


  MAJ 11:15 09 Feb 2010

Operating System?

Try disabling the AHCI option in the BIOS see if it then boots.

  Richard9832 11:21 09 Feb 2010

OS = WinXP SP3 Home Media Edition

  Technotiger 12:32 09 Feb 2010

How did you make the Clone - what program did you use, are you sure you did an actual Clone, not just a full backup?

  retep888 12:33 09 Feb 2010

I found that to clone to a different HDD on a Dell laptop isn't always successful,I'd rather be using the image restore way.

1. Create an image of the original drive,put it on the same drive or an external device.

2. Put the new drive in the Dell laptop and use the Dell system disk(not restore disk) or an OEM/Retail version windows disk to install a fresh window after creating 2 partitions thru' setup.(Don't activate the windows)

3. From within windows thru' disk management, format the second partition. Reconnect the external device or the original HDD in a caddy and transfer the image onto the 2nd partition(I found that this is quicker and more reliable).

4. Install your Image program on the "new windows" and start restoring the image from the 2nd partition(you can disconnect the external device),you can resize the windows partition if you prefer.

  Richard9832 16:25 09 Feb 2010

Clone was completed with Acronis Easy Migrate.
I think the new 320GB drive now thinks it's an 80GB drive.

  Technotiger 18:00 09 Feb 2010

Hmm, I think you need to update your Acronis - the latest Acronis 2010 is excellent and has a Clone tool, intended for exactly what you are trying to do, upgrading to a larger C: hard drive from an old C: drive.

Easy Migrate is I belief quite old, like 2005 vintage - a long time in 'puter speak!

  canarieslover 18:32 09 Feb 2010

If you don't want to part with any more money then try Easeus ToDo Buckup click here
I have used it to clone a drive successfully and it also does incremental backups for your data should you want it.

  Simsy 05:42 10 Feb 2010

to do with the Dell System Restore facility...

This might help...
click here
I suspect that there might be an issue with the partition table because of resizing the partitions, but I haven't deciphered all of it yet.

Good luck!

(I'm in a similar position myself, trying to put a larger disc in a friend's Inspiron 6000 laptop).



  Richard9832 09:51 10 Feb 2010

Ok, this is a tricky one but it can be resolved.
The Dell Media Direct feature writes a drive sector which bypasses cloning. This makes a new drive think it's the size of the original drive, and with the now invalid sector, refuses to boot, instead giving the STOP 7B error.

The solution which worked for me is.
1) Create a boot CD from the iso download at click here
2) Create a boot CD from the iso download at click here

Put the new, non booting HDD in the laptop and boot from the Hitachi Ftools CD.

Re size the HDD back to it's manufactured capacity - there's a preset config in Ftools for this.

Eject the Hitachi Ftools CD and reboot, this time with Ultimatebootcd loaded.
From Ultimatebootcd, use PTS DiskEditor to zeroise absolute sector 3.
Eject Ultimatebootcd and reboot.

Fixed! my Dell Inspiron 6400 now boots to Windows and the new HDD shows proper 320GB capacity.
The only loss here is that the Media Direct button will no longer work, but having never used it it's no real loss anyway.

I hope this is of help to someone.
Any Questions - ask and I'll try to assist you.

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