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Thread: transfering Windows partition?

  1. #1

    Default transfering Windows partition?

    Hi -

    I am running 11.1, with a dual boot into Windows XP. In preparation for installing 11.2, I've decided what I really want to do is just buy a new HDD for my laptop, and install 11.2 on *that*. This will allow me the easiest fall back to 11.1 until the I am comfortable with how I have 11.2 configured.

    The trick is that I want to recreate the Windows partition as is. Is there a way for me to create an image of that partitian and transplant it onto the new HDD before installing 11.2? It is assumed that the partition will be the same size.

    Thanks!

    - John

  2. #2
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    Default Re: transfering Windows partition?

    Hi,

    I once wondered about doing the same (my old harddrive is loud and small). This link is pretty interesting. I wish you good luck!

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    Default Re: transfering Windows partition?

    Quote Originally Posted by JJMT View Post
    Hi -

    I am running 11.1, with a dual boot into Windows XP. In preparation for installing 11.2, I've decided what I really want to do is just buy a new HDD for my laptop, and install 11.2 on *that*. This will allow me the easiest fall back to 11.1 until the I am comfortable with how I have 11.2 configured.

    The trick is that I want to recreate the Windows partition as is. Is there a way for me to create an image of that partitian and transplant it onto the new HDD before installing 11.2? It is assumed that the partition will be the same size.

    Thanks!

    - John
    You can wire the new drive in, leave it unformatted. Download/create a GParted live CD. Boot of the Gparted live CD and use GParted to copy/paste the windows partition/s from the existing drive to the new drive. It's a two-click operation (more or less).
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  4. #4

    Default Re: transfering Windows partition?

    I'll recommend the System Rescue CD, which has partimage on it and other backup (DVD/CD, network & external disks) & maintenance tools, as well as gparted.

    The version I used has been updated, but I had to dump to 1 big file, not use multiple 2GiB files.

    I actually used the tools to re-size an XP FAT32 C: drive, then chose the OEM utility to convert to NTFS. I was more careful about image backup, because I don't have installation disk for XP so it would be real PITA to recover it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: transfering Windows partition?

    Quote Originally Posted by swerdna View Post
    You can wire the new drive in, leave it unformatted. Download/create a GParted live CD. Boot of the Gparted live CD and use GParted to copy/paste the windows partition/s from the existing drive to the new drive. It's a two-click operation (more or less).
    Perfect. A project for the weekend. I will report back.

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    Default Re: transfering Windows partition?

    Aide memoire: There's a file called boot.ini in the windows partition, you may need to edit it because it points to the windows partition (which might change).
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  7. #7

    Default Re: transfering Windows partition?

    OK. I installed the new HDD, used GParted to create a partition table and copy the Windows (HPFS) partition from the old drive. I marked the boot flag. The computer will now boot int XP from the new HDD.

    But then I got distracted. I decided to increase the Windows partition size, since it was only 7.5 Gb and I've been getting nasty disk space messages. So I increase it to 15 Gb. It still boots just fine, but it is still only recognizing 7.5 Gb, even though both GParted and the XP disk management utlity both say that the partition is 15 Gb.

    chkdsk /f had no effect - shows only 7.5 Gb. Does anyone have any idea how to get Windows to recognize the whole thing? Not really a SUSE question, I realize, but I want this partition to work before I start the install of 11.2.

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    Default Re: transfering Windows partition?

    I haven't experienced that before. But I'd do this to try to shake it loose:
    • defrag the drive (even if it says it's not necessary) in windows
    • shrink it with GParted, to a small amount less than the size it was when it was on the other drive, maybe 7450 or 7400
    • try it again in windows
    • then expand it again to what you want


    PS don't forget to click the "apply" button. maybe that was the problem.
    Last edited by swerdna; 15-Nov-2009 at 14:38.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: transfering Windows partition?

    Got it to work. I spent hours trying to solve the problem through Windows. Further analysis identified the source of the problem: growing the partition after copying it. It seems that there is come kind of discontinuity in the partition when you do that. One analytic tool that I was using showed the copied portion (7.5 GB) as a primary partition, and the second half as an extended partition with a 7.5 GB logical partition on it. It didn't show up this way in GParted, so I don't know what was actually on the disk - just that something unexpected happened at the juncture of the original space and the additional space.

    Anyway, the solution is to grow the partition at the same time you copy it. Thus, the process is to copy the old partition and paste it; but when you paste it you are given the option to resize it. Increasing the size at that time has the desired effect.

    So, with the Windows partition in place, I went ahead and installed 11.2, which went *very* smoothly. The installation process gets better with every version of opensuse. Now all that remains is customization.

    The great thing about this whole approach is that, since I didn't get finished with setting up 11.2 the way I want it, I just popped the old HDD back in the LT before heading off to work today. 11.1 continues to work well. All is good!

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    Default Re: transfering Windows partition?

    Dangerous territory.
    And well navigated, congrats
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