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Big hard drive upgrade and Acronis


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#1
andyrob

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Hi everyone.

I needed to get a bigger (500gb) hard drive for my Dell XPS1710 laptop. I did an Acronis disk copy of the old drive and ported the data across to the formatted new drive which was more than twice the size - I forget exactly. I'm using Vista and Acronis Home.

Anyway, from Control Panel/Computer management - Storage/Disk Management I now have Disk 0 with:

86mb Simple / Basic / Healthy volume with no drive letter allocated with a status of: EISA configuration, Capacity 86mb, Free space 86mb

plus

Volume C: Simple / Basic - NTFS, Status Healthy (System, Boot, Page File, Active, Crash Dump, Primary Partition, 136gb Capacity, 2gb Free Space (THE PROBLEM)

Both the above are highlighted with a Blue Bar - the key says Primary Partition though the Free Space is shown with a Green Bar.

Finally, to the right of the diagrammatic representation of Disk 0 I have a Black Bar above the box which has the information 327gb unallocated. (THE OTHER PROBLEM!)

From the colour key I have no extended partitions. Below is a screenshot of this information.

Partitions.jpg

Everthing I've tried to allocate this space for use has failed - usually because the options I read from help and elsewhere that I need to use are greyed out and can't be used.

I don't want to cause more problems than I have (just the lack of disk space) - can anyone spare the time to take me through the procedure please?

Thanks in anticipation
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#2
phillipcorcoran

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Start over by deleting all existing partitions on the new drive, so it's all 'Unallocated Space' like when it was new.

There is no need to format it if you are going to write a disk image to it, as the image is itself a formatted partition already.

When you write the disk image to the new drive, make sure you select the option to "Re-size the image to fill the entire drive" (or similar wording to that effect - I don't use Acronis but all good disk-imaging apps should have that option, mine does).

When it's done, the new drive should then have just one large partition on it containing Windows and other stuff from the image.

You might find you have a few Mbytes unallocated on it, but that's just down to the geometry of the hard disk and is negligible.

Edited by phillipcorcoran, 24 November 2010 - 04:53 AM.

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#3
andyrob

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Many thanks Phillip

Sorry for the delay in replying - my email notification was not set correctly so didn't realise I'd had a reply.

I'll try what you suggested this weekend and report back.

The Acronis help says:

You can resize and relocate a partition by dragging it or its borders with a mouse or by entering corresponding values into the appropriate fields.Using this feature, you can redistribute the disk space between partitions being restored. In this case, you will have to restore the partition to be reduced first.
Note
• These changes might be useful if you are to copy your hard disk to a new high-capacity one by creating its image and restoring it to a new disk with larger partitions. This way of cloning is used if it is impossible to connect the second hard disk to the PC.

I can't remember what I did now but I will back up the partition - still in its smaller size - and then restore as it suggests above.

I'd still be interested in why Windows disk manager seems not to allow something to be done that is in fact in its menu.


Many thanks again - Andy
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#4
andyrob

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Solved - I think!

As you said, Phillip, there as a way within Acronis.

Having backed up the partitions, I then had the option to restore just the partition with all the C: data (which it did within seconds after a DOS-type reboot so, presumably, as there was no data change, it didn't copy any).

The restore asked if I wanted to adjust the size of the partition, which I did, and now Explorer reports the full disk size, bar about 25gb which you said to expect - though it does seem a big hit, even as the proportion of the total disk (5%) - speaking as one who paid £10/mb for my first big-disk [30mb]upgrade), 30 years ago!

Interestingly, MS Disk Manager was still reporting the 350gb unallocated even though Explorer did see it. I didn't delete all partitions as you suggested - just restored the main one when I resized it. Maybe that's the reason.

Thanks again

Andy
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#5
andyrob

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Update

Today I realised that Windows had stopped recognising the extra space altogether but going into Disk Manager again within Computer Management in Vista was interesting.

Right clicking the small C volume I couldn't do anything with previously now gave me the option to extend that volume and within a few clicks and seconds Windows now sees the full hard disk.

Strange but true!

Andy
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