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Author Topic: Fastest/Easiest HDD to HDD transfer?  (Read 1018 times)

nite_monkey

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Fastest/Easiest HDD to HDD transfer?
« on: June 24, 2020, 07:51 AM »
So I have a smallish ssd as my boot drive, so I use a larger HDD to install all my apps to. Well that drive is about to crap its pants (about to die), so I have a new drive that should be arriving today. I was going to put two partitions on said new drive, and wanted to move all of my installed apps to one of the new partitions. I then was going to remove the old drive, and change the drive letter of the new partition to that of the old drive that is about to die. So my question is, what would be the easiest method to achieve this, preferably without having to uninstall all the apps from the old drive, and reinstall them on the new drive? The old drive is a 2TB drive and the new drive is a 6TB (being split into two 3TB partitions) if that info is needed.
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Shades

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Re: Fastest/Easiest HDD to HDD transfer?
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2020, 12:25 PM »
Do you have a hard disk enclosure in which the new drive fits?

If yes, you could use software like HDClone to transfer content from one drive to the other. The pay version can pump data from one drive to the other quite a lot faster than a standard copy action in Windows explorer can accomplish. Still, with a hard disk enclosure the transfer speed will be limited to the max speed of the (USB) ports on your computer. But Windows Explorer is in essence enough to do the transfer. There are also tools like Macrium Reflect and others that have free/licensed versions of their software available. All of these will make the transfer easier.

If not, do you have a laptop or desktop computer?
In case of a laptop: purchase a hard disk enclosure (USB) as most laptops only support one built-in drive. You should be able to get one for 20 or 25 USD,
In case of a desktop: open your computer case and find a free slot (which can be SATA or m2 (nVMe)) and connect the drive. You can then partition/format the drive to your liking and use Windows Explorer or HDClone or other tools to do the transfer. Now you are limited to the transfer speeds the hard disk controller in your system can manage. And these are much higher than can be accomplished by an enclosure. If you have the budget, go this route and reduce the transfer time from hours till mere minutes. Yes, HDClone can really pump data from one drive to the other that fast.


On a side note:
How sure are you that the hard disk controller on your motherboard is capable of supporting partitions >2TByte?  Because that happened to me with a now 6 year old motherboard (Asus and the Pro version of that model). Anything above 2TByte is not immediately recognized. I needed to get specific software from the hard disk vendor, install that and the remainder of my 3TByte drive became available. Still, it wasn't possible to have a partition bigger than 2TByte.

Yet I have older boards (all Asus with either Intel or AMD) which do not have this limitation. Switching to the latest BIOS, taken from the support section on Asus website for this problematic board, did not solve the problem.

It is unlikely you will encounter the same problem as I did, but I thought I mention it regardless.

superboyac

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Re: Fastest/Easiest HDD to HDD transfer?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2020, 12:37 PM »
So I have a smallish ssd as my boot drive, so I use a larger HDD to install all my apps to. Well that drive is about to crap its pants (about to die), so I have a new drive that should be arriving today. I was going to put two partitions on said new drive, and wanted to move all of my installed apps to one of the new partitions. I then was going to remove the old drive, and change the drive letter of the new partition to that of the old drive that is about to die. So my question is, what would be the easiest method to achieve this, preferably without having to uninstall all the apps from the old drive, and reinstall them on the new drive? The old drive is a 2TB drive and the new drive is a 6TB (being split into two 3TB partitions) if that info is needed.
I do this all the time.
There is no foolproof way to just transfer the contents and have it work flawlessly.  But you can get close, or good enough where you wouldn't even notice for a while.  I'd copy all the files over exactly as they are.  I wouldn't do all that partition stuff.  I'd copy from one disk to the other, swap them, and continue as if nothing happened.  After I saw that was working, then I'd consider some additional modifications to partitions etc.

But what I'd really do is install the hard drive and reinstall everything from scratch.  Not that bad, but will take some time.

Windows also has their own WIndows Easy Transfer or something.  Should be ok.  I've used it, it was ok, i can't remember any issues.

Bare minimum, you want to save all your custom data somewhere first before you try all this.  I usually save program files, programdata, all that user local roaming stuff, documents....frankly i'll just save the entire drive before something like this. 

nite_monkey

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Re: Fastest/Easiest HDD to HDD transfer?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2020, 12:50 PM »
Do you have a hard disk enclosure in which the new drive fits?

If yes, you could use software like HDClone to transfer content from one drive to the other. The pay version can pump data from one drive to the other quite a lot faster than a standard copy action in Windows explorer can accomplish. Still, with a hard disk enclosure the transfer speed will be limited to the max speed of the (USB) ports on your computer. But Windows Explorer is in essence enough to do the transfer. There are also tools like Macrium Reflect and others that have free/licensed versions of their software available. All of these will make the transfer easier.

If not, do you have a laptop or desktop computer?
In case of a laptop: purchase a hard disk enclosure (USB) as most laptops only support one built-in drive. You should be able to get one for 20 or 25 USD,
In case of a desktop: open your computer case and find a free slot (which can be SATA or m2 (nVMe)) and connect the drive. You can then partition/format the drive to your liking and use Windows Explorer or HDClone or other tools to do the transfer. Now you are limited to the transfer speeds the hard disk controller in your system can manage. And these are much higher than can be accomplished by an enclosure. If you have the budget, go this route and reduce the transfer time from hours till mere minutes. Yes, HDClone can really pump data from one drive to the other that fast.


On a side note:
How sure are you that the hard disk controller on your motherboard is capable of supporting partitions >2TByte?  Because that happened to me with a now 6 year old motherboard (Asus and the Pro version of that model). Anything above 2TByte is not immediately recognized. I needed to get specific software from the hard disk vendor, install that and the remainder of my 3TByte drive became available. Still, it wasn't possible to have a partition bigger than 2TByte.

Yet I have older boards (all Asus with either Intel or AMD) which do not have this limitation. Switching to the latest BIOS, taken from the support section on Asus website for this problematic board, did not solve the problem.

It is unlikely you will encounter the same problem as I did, but I thought I mention it regardless.
I've currently got a 3TB drive in my computer also, which windows recognizes the full capacity. I've run out of free Sata ports, so my plan was to temporarily use the cables from my internal bluray drive, and then play musical drives and swap out the old drive with the new one once I was done transferring everything. I might have to take a look at HDClone.

So I have a smallish ssd as my boot drive, so I use a larger HDD to install all my apps to. Well that drive is about to crap its pants (about to die), so I have a new drive that should be arriving today. I was going to put two partitions on said new drive, and wanted to move all of my installed apps to one of the new partitions. I then was going to remove the old drive, and change the drive letter of the new partition to that of the old drive that is about to die. So my question is, what would be the easiest method to achieve this, preferably without having to uninstall all the apps from the old drive, and reinstall them on the new drive? The old drive is a 2TB drive and the new drive is a 6TB (being split into two 3TB partitions) if that info is needed.
I do this all the time.
There is no foolproof way to just transfer the contents and have it work flawlessly.  But you can get close, or good enough where you wouldn't even notice for a while.  I'd copy all the files over exactly as they are.  I wouldn't do all that partition stuff.  I'd copy from one disk to the other, swap them, and continue as if nothing happened.  After I saw that was working, then I'd consider some additional modifications to partitions etc.

But what I'd really do is install the hard drive and reinstall everything from scratch.  Not that bad, but will take some time.

Windows also has their own WIndows Easy Transfer or something.  Should be ok.  I've used it, it was ok, i can't remember any issues.

Bare minimum, you want to save all your custom data somewhere first before you try all this.  I usually save program files, programdata, all that user local roaming stuff, documents....frankly i'll just save the entire drive before something like this. 
I was planning on splitting the new drive in two, because I was going to use the second partition as a new steam library location, because my current game drive is running out of space, and I don't have enough sata ports for two more drives, and can't afford a giant drive.
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Deozaan

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Re: Fastest/Easiest HDD to HDD transfer?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2020, 12:59 PM »
I [...] can't afford a giant drive.

* Deozaan eyes the 6TB drive suspiciously.

Kids these days... :P

nite_monkey

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Re: Fastest/Easiest HDD to HDD transfer?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2020, 01:45 PM »
I [...] can't afford a giant drive.

* Deozaan eyes the 6TB drive suspiciously.

Kids these days... :P
the 6TB drive wasn't super expensive.
Plus the larger drives were either designed for raids, nas, security cameras, or enterprise (no clue how those would work in a consumer build, or what makes them enterprise)

And second... I'm 29.
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wraith808

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Re: Fastest/Easiest HDD to HDD transfer?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2020, 01:56 PM »
And second... I'm 29.

To some of us on here... you're still a kid  ;D :Thmbsup:

Shades

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Re: Fastest/Easiest HDD to HDD transfer?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2020, 03:11 PM »
I [...] can't afford a giant drive.

* Deozaan eyes the 6TB drive suspiciously.

Kids these days... :P
the 6TB drive wasn't super expensive.
Plus the larger drives were either designed for raids, nas, security cameras, or enterprise (no clue how those would work in a consumer build, or what makes them enterprise)

And second... I'm 29.

More support, more time on guarantee, better quality engineering, better MTBF values, choice in how you wish to connect the drive to your other enterprise-grade hardware. Proper transport from factory to the location where the drive is being assembled into the enterprise-grade system. That is what drives make 'Enterprise'. And all those things come with an enterprise-grade price tag. If you know how consumer-grade hard disks are being shipped, you wonder how it is possible so many drives still work after shipping.

Raid drives are better equipped to handle vibrations....the vibrations other drives cause in a case with many other drives. Storage servers quite often have 40 or more drives built-in. And when all are powered, these cause quite a vibration in the server case and/or rack. Way more than you would expect.

NAS drives use CMR technology for reading/writing and have some of the anti-vibration features of RAID drives, but as a NAS generally uses a smaller amount of drives (4 or 8 drive models are common), they can get away with less.

Drives that store content from security cameras use the 'shingles' technology for/reading writing. First content is written to a cache and when that cache is getting full, the content is getting written in a special way onto the actual platter. By doing this, they can increase the capacity of the drive significantly. But this is not a good technology for use in consumer systems, as it is slow for random reads/writes.

About such things a "kid" usually doesn't know about.  :P

4wd

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Re: Fastest/Easiest HDD to HDD transfer?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2020, 10:16 PM »
  • Connect the drive,
  • clone the old drive to it using EASUS, AOMEI, etc partitioning software,
  • remove the old drive, install the new one,
  • boot the computer, if the new drive has the wrong or no drive letter, change it using Windows Drive Manager,
  • fire up the partitioning software again and resize the partition and create the second one,
  • reboot

Job done ... I've done this more times than I can remember, including 6 times within the last 2 months upgrading my own and friends drives.

Never had a problem with programs that have been cloned to the new drive, worst that has happened has been the drive letter is different, changing it to the correct one and rebooting has always fixed it.
Can always boot into Safe Mode at 4 to fix drive letters and repartition.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 10:27 PM by 4wd »

m9833

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Re: Fastest/Easiest HDD to HDD transfer?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2020, 03:59 AM »

2. clone the old drive to it using EASUS, AOMEI, etc partitioning software,


Thanks for the step by step walkthrough. I follow the same process, except the software I use and which has not failed me in the last 4-5 years is the freeware version of Macrium Reflect.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Fastest/Easiest HDD to HDD transfer?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2020, 07:24 AM »
For a quick-N-dirty option:

ROBOCOPY:
    Mirror source to target with source security permissions intact:
       C:\> robocopy [source] [target] /MIR /SEC /SECFIX /r:1 /w:1
   Create a log file of screen output:
      Add  /log:filename.txt /tee  to above command string.
Notes on switch options:
The /tee switch gives you console output also – otherwise it’s hours of suspenseful cursor blinking.
/R:x   Sets number of retries per file – default is 1,000,000 – Yeah… WTF?!?
/W:x   Sets number of seconds to wait between retries – default is 30 seconds – Zoiks!
/MIR   Mirrors source files/folders to target file system – However, it will also delete files/folders not on the source list, and skip files that kinda match existing files in the target location.
So if you’re restoring a burnt backup of the System or Boot partition, format it first… Then start the mirroring process. This also eliminates issues with the NTFS default System Information folder.



Ended up using this not too long ago during a ransomware recovery, that required a forced recovery from damaged backups.

It was a monolithic cluster :D ...But I got all of the clients data back minus only about 2 days of work.

(somebody opened an attachment..).

The ransomware had - somehow - managed to delete 3 years of versioned historical backups in the cloud, corrupt the local copy, and decimate the entire network … In less than an hour.

https://www.cybereas...bi-ransomware-attack

Yeah...that one.

Zoiks! What a  :D ing mess..

nite_monkey

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Re: Fastest/Easiest HDD to HDD transfer?
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2020, 11:13 AM »
I decided to give AOMEI a go, and am currently in the process of cloning the old drive to the new drive... which is taking forever, but is at 79% right now, so I am almost done.

I'm following 4wd's guide, because AOMEI had a free version of their software, and 4wd's guide seemed the easiest method that I can be the most laziest and not have to do much.

Side note: I ordered the drive from Amazon, and it arrived in one of their bubble mailer things, but inside of that was a Newegg box... so I guess Amazon resales Newegg drives. (was sold and shipped by amazon.com)


Edit: So everything seems to have worked. I now have a non-dying drive with two partitions on it. One of which has all of the contents of my old drive, and the other that currently has nothing on it, because I don't feel like moving one of my steam libraries today.

Also, for whatever reason AOMEI decided to make the partition on the new drive  MBR instead of GPT, and I didn't notice it until it was at 85%. Luckily I ran across a free tool called Minitool partition wizard which was able to convert the partition to GPT without deleting the contents of the drive. (AOMEI also could do the job apparently, however I didn't feel like spending $45USD just to convert a partition.
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« Last Edit: June 25, 2020, 12:43 PM by nite_monkey »

4wd

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Re: Fastest/Easiest HDD to HDD transfer?
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2020, 06:58 PM »
MiniTool was the other program I was trying to think of, really good software.

Since it was a clone of the old drive, if it was an MBR drive then the cloned drive would be also, should have mentioned it but most of my drives are GPT to start with so it's rare I have to convert them.

nite_monkey

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Re: Fastest/Easiest HDD to HDD transfer?
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2020, 09:31 PM »
MiniTool was the other program I was trying to think of, really good software.

Since it was a clone of the old drive, if it was an MBR drive then the cloned drive would be also, should have mentioned it but most of my drives are GPT to start with so it's rare I have to convert them.
The old drive was GPT, so it is possible that there was a setting somewhere that I missed when I started the clone or something. I'm just glad that I ran across minitool which was able to fix the problem in only a few seconds without me having to format the drive and start over.
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