Read the instructions

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I mentioned in passing that I spent more time than I intended last weekend trying to upgrade a PC to a bigger hard drive. The PC (a Dell Dimension 2400) doesn't have room for more than one hard drive, so I put the new drive in a USB enclosure and downloaded a copy of Clonezilla Live, an open-source disk cloning program that runs on a bootable Linux CD. The software itself was easy to use, but in trying to do a disk-to-disk clone, it would finish copying the data then fail on an fsync call at the very end. Next I tried the image backup method -- create a Clonezilla image of the old, smaller drive on a MyBook external hard drive, then restore that image to the new drive. After some trial and error, I downloaded another bootable Linux tool, gparted, to get the partitions right before restoring the image to the new drive. I then installed the new drive in the PC.

Result: The system booted, the data was all there, but Windows XP thought the disk was still the same old size. (40 GB instead of 400 GB.) Going into the Computer Management tool under Disk Management, I could see that the partitions were there and recognized as the correct size, but when I looked at Properties on the drive, it still showed 40 GB with very little free space.

Finally it occurred to me to look at the instructions that came in the box. Sure enough, the Seagate kit included a CD with cloning software from Acronis.

That didn't work either. The Seagate software, which was based on DR-DOS, could recognize the MyBook, but not the drive in the external enclosure. I then tried numerous ways to connect the second drive to the IDE controller, but cable lengths and connector locations defeated me. This box was simply not designed to have a second hard drive installed.

Last try: I downloaded an updated version of the Seagate DiscWizard software. This version, also by Acronis, was Linux-based, had no trouble recognizing the drive in the USB enclosure, and made it easy to partition and clone the disk. Windows XP now correctly recognizes the drive's full size.

So my weekend would have been much more productive if I'd read the instructions in the first place. Then again, since the Seagate CD in the box didn't work, I probably would have tried Clonezilla next, so in all likelihood I'd have tried all the same experiments, just in a different order.

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3 Comments

Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

Sometimes I just wish we just had No. 2 pencils and spiral notebooks. And a box of crayons.

David Van Author Profile Page said:

I love those usb external enclosers. I get them off ebay for around $16.

I'll remember your solution & try to avoid the previous steps.

....But then, I'm a guy.

Step one should always be "Download latest drivers or software". Then read the instructions. I still relearn this, even though I used to write those instructions.

Those new drive toasters are a swell way to move data from one to another. Although for desktops I just hang the new drive outside the open case until the copy takes.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 11, 2009 3:42 PM.

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