How can I copy everything off my old hard drive onto my new hard drive and use the old one as a backup?

by on May 13, 2013

Q: I have a Dell XPS 720 PC running Windows XP. I just purchased a 2nd hard drive. I want to set it up with many of the programs already installed on the 1st drive and then REMOVE it and put it away somewhere. If anything happens to the 1st I will use the 2nd as a back-up.
That being said, I have had zero problems with my computer. I removed the 1st drive and put in the 2nd. I turned the computer on and it said the it could not Boot. I put the Operating System CD into the disc drive, shut the machine off and restarted it. The progress bar went to the end but just before going on to the desktop the machine restarted itself. This happened repeatedly.
I removed the 2nd hard drive and the 1st back in. Turned the computer on and it started without issue.
What am I missing?


One Response to “How can I copy everything off my old hard drive onto my new hard drive and use the old one as a backup?”
  1.  
    Picked as best answer

    If you’re just interested in using the 2nd drive as a backup, just use it as a proper backup. Here are a few options for you:

    1. Clone your old harddrive with software like http://clonezilla.org/ This will create an exact copy of all your data on the first drive.

    2. Use your drive as a backup drive with free software such as http://www.crashplan.com, this will automatically keep a backup of your data.

    If you really want to have the drive removed and put in a safe place (at the risk of being out of date because it’s disconnected), go with #1. If you’re rather always have your data being backed up (with the risk of being hooked into the same computer), I’d go with option #2.