New Hard Drive as Master and Old as Slave

If you wish a clean start, but still want to keep your old hard drive to copy over data files afterwards and then eventually format it, you can hook up the new hard drive as Master and the old as Slave. This will require an extra drive bay and the appropriate cable connector on the IDE ribbon and an extra drive power connector. Take out the old hard drive (so you can see properly to change the jumpers and read the parameters) and install the new jumpered as Master (note that you may have to change the jumper on your old hard drive to reflect master with Slave). Install the old jumpered as Slave, and connect it to the second connector on the IDE ribbon cable. If you only have one on the cable, perhaps your old computer doesn’t support that or maybe you just need to purchase another cable. Go to the BIOS setup and detect the Master or enter parameters and do the same with the Slave (old hard drive). Save BIOS settings and exit and the machine will boot with the boot disk in the drive. Partition and format your Master, but don’t touch the Slave. Install Windows on the Master and you’ll have a beautiful clean install on a nice, fast, new hard drive. Install your applications. Copy over any data you want to keep from the old hard drive and then format it and be done with it. You now have your old hard drive to make use of for backups or data files/games or even applications.

Note that most modern computers have Dual IDE controllers, which means that you can have secondary Master and secondary Slave in addition to primary, but the secondary Master is best left for your CD-ROM drive so that it can be accessed simultaneously with the hard drive. Now, if you would rather be able to access both hard drives simultaneously, then configure your second hard drive as secondary Master.

Old Hard Drive as Master and New as Slave

What if you do not wish to reinstall your operating system and reinstall all of your applications? Well then you can install the new hard drive as Slave and just use it for data files or install any new applications or games there.

Alternatively, you can jumper the new hard drive as Slave initially and copy over the entire contents of the old drive to the new drive making an image of it, then change the jumpers and make your new hard drive bootable. You can then format the old drive and use it as Slave. There are a few ways to do this.

The easiest way to do this if you have a drive cloning utility like Norton Ghost or Powerquest Drive Image, you can install the new hard drive as Slave, and with nothing on it clone an image of your Master (old hard drive) to the new. Once the data is transferred, shut down the computer, change the jumpers so the new drive is Master and the old drive is Slave. Enter the BIOS setup and change the parameters for the Master and Slave drives (if not set to “auto”). Boot with a DOS bootdisk and ensure the primary DOS partition is active and type Sys C: to make the master bootable. Windows should boot.

There is another way to transfer your old hard drive to the New as slave. From a DOS Prompt within Windows you can use the XCOPY32 command to copy over your data. Note that long file names will be preserved if you do it from within Windows and destroyed if you do it from DOS. Assuming your old hard drive (Master) is C: and your new hard drive (Slave) is D: use the following

XCOPY32 C:\ D:\ /R /I /C /H /K /E /Y

Yes, the switches spell “richkey” which is an easy way to remember them and you can’t go wrong. Here is what the switches mean:

C:\ and D:\ are the source and destination directories (root directories of the drives)
/R means Overwrites read only files (not necessary here but…)
/I means If destination does not exist and copying more than one file, assumes that destination must be a directory.
/C means Continues copying even if errors occur (important when it runs into swap file)
/H means Copies hidden and system files also. (important!)
/K means Copies attributes. Normal Xcopy will reset read-only attributes
/E means Copies directories and subdirectories, including empty ones (Important or it will only copy files)
/Y means Overwrites existing files without prompting. (not necessary here but..)

Once the data is transferred, shut down the computer, change the jumpers so the new drive is Master and the old drive is Slave. Enter the BIOS setup and change the parameters for the Master and Slave drives (if not set to “auto”). Boot with a DOS bootdisk and ensure the primary DOS partition is active and type Sys C: to make the master bootable. Windows should boot.

A third way to do this is to install the new hard drive as Slave (note that you may have to change the jumper on your old hard drive to reflect Master with Slave), configure it in the BIOS and then boot Windows. Set Windows Explorer to show all files and extensions in Folder Options – very important!! – and copy over all directories and files except the Windows swap file Win386.SWP. You will encounter an error if you attempt to do this, or your computer may even crash. The reason we do this from Windows is that long file names will be destroyed if we tried this with DOS. Once everything is transferred, shut down the computer and change the jumper configuration the on drives so that the new one is Master. Enter the BIOS setup and change the parameters for the Master and Slave drives (if not set to “auto”). Boot with the boot disk and if you haven’t done it already, run the FDisk program and set the Primary DOS partition as active (but don’t change any partitions!) Restart from the boot disk and from the A: prompt type Sys C: to make the drive bootable. Remove the boot disk and start the computer from the hard drive. If you’ve done everything correctly Windows should boot.

Note: This method has been used by me several times successfully. However, others have reported problems using this method. Therefore I recommend trying the first two suggestions before attempting this third method.

 

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