I recently purchased a WD Caviar Blue WD3200AAJB (320 GB) internal drive to replace my old 40 GB drive in my Dell 4300 running Windows XP. My computer also had two additional drives, 120 GB and 160 GB that I use for backups and data. I rarely post in forums, but after the last 12 hours, I felt compelled to due to the issues I had that might help someone else out.
I only had the bare drive, so I went to the WD site to see what software was available for formatting, etc. I found that the Acronis True Image WD Edition Software v11.0 (Pub Date August 2009) could be used to clone my old drive to the new one. This would save me the hassle of reinstalling the OS and allow me not to have to reset everything up. Great.
I downloaded the Acronis software, installed the WD drive taking out one of the other drives (all bays filled) and proceeded to step through cloning. I wanted to do a manual clone because I needed to control partitions and size. When I got to the “Data moving method: As is, Proportional, Manual” and choose manual, my computer would shut down and reboot for no reason. It did this several times, same spot. I was getting frustrated and started to read other forums on the Acronis website. Someone mentioned try making a bootable CD which the Acronis software does. I tried that method and all I got upon boot up was that the software was looking for WD drive and wouldn’t go further (it was already installed).
I was stuck. Next I tried downloading the latest trial version of Acronis True Image Home 2010. I stepped through the version I installed on the hard drive and to my disappointment, in the new version it too rebooted my computer, SAME STEP as the other version. I then made a bootable disk and this time I was able to get through the “Data moving method: As is, Proportional, Manual” and started partitioning and specifying how much space was needed where. When finally it was ready to partition, I thought I was home free. Up popped a warning that the combinations of what I was doing in cloning was only available in the paid version. Come on!
I only wanted to clone a drive. How hard could this be? Back to forums. On the Acronis website, I saw somebody recommended partitionwizard.com . The Home Edition was free and a 6.7 MB download. The free bootable Home Edition was 38 MB. I didn’t expect much, but I was out of options. Was I wrong. This piece of software saved the day.
I was able to copy/partition the old FAT, C: (contained the OS), and another data partition (that I used for all the user data) off the 40 GB drive and put it on the new drive, same size for the FAT, OS would be in 60 GB, and the last partition using the rest of the new drive. Things looked good, so I took out the old drive and used the new drive, expecting to boot as normal. Unfortunately, no boot of the OS. I quickly found that I was missing a Master Boot Record (MBR) on the drive. So, using the BOOTABLE copy of Partition Wizard, the utility has an option to rebuild the MBR. Did that and was able to boot from the new drive. Yay! Only about 6 frustrating hours later.
Last thing to do was rearrange drive letters so everything would point correctly as is looked before the upgrade. Using a combination of the Disk Manager that is in Windows XP and the Partition Wizard on the hard drive, I was able to get all my drive letters back correctly and end up with a larger drive and everything else the same. Partitionwizard.com is a must have if you run into issues cloning a WD drive. Good luck. Will definitely make a $ donation to partitionwizard.com. Now, I hope the WD performs for me just as well as the Seagate did for the last 10 years.