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Creating a new boot drive on new hard drive


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#1
Curious D

Curious D

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Hi. I recently purchased a 500GB HD for my Dell Dimension 8400. I am currently running out of space on my stock 160GB HD so I'm thinking of using the 500GB drive as my boot drive. There is a good amount of data on my 160GB that I don't want to lose, but boot up sometimes fails (necessitating a reboot) and I am thinking a fresh installation of XP is in order (rather than disc cloning which, I suspect, will give me the same boot hang ups that I encounter every now and again). I don't have an external enclosure, but I can remove my second hard drive temporarily until XP installation and data transfer is complete. I don't have an XP disc, but Dell provided a restoration disc with XP and SP1. I have SP2 downloaded. So my questions are:

1) How do I create a boot drive with XP when one already exists on the computer?
2) Do I have to set the pin to primary or secondary drive? Will there be a conflict if the pin is set to secondary drive vs primary drive (with respect to XP boot up)?
3) How do I test the new drive and have the computer offer me a selection between booting up the 160GB drive vs the 500GB drive (so I can update the new drive's XP to the latest security patches)?
4) Can I still use my restoration disc that came with my computer or will XP installed on the 160GB drive trigger some anti-piracy warning and prevent XP updates?
5) Is it easier to use an external enclosure for all this?

I'll eventually give my 160GB HD to my nephew for storage backup once the 500GB proves to be reliable. But at this time, I need to know how to create the boot drive and back up my data using my current resources.

Thanks.

Edited by Curious D, 13 August 2007 - 12:57 PM.

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#2
jaxisland

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I have never used a Dell Restoration CD, so I someone else will have to confirm this. But if it does contain a full install of XP than you can remove your current drive, set the pin on the new drive as primary and install XP. Do all your updates and get that up and running.
Then you can plug in your old drive as a secondary and copy the files you want over to the new drive.
You dont have to worry about piracy or anything like that.

Like I said first, I just am not sure whats on those restoration disks.
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#3
Curious D

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Thanks. I know that I can change my primary drive to a secondary drive, but is there a way to choose which hard drive to boot from and have both serve as potential primary drives during this process? It will take a while for me to reinstall everything (long, long while) and I would hate to be without my computer as it is (despite some boot up problems).
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