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Posted: 7/22/2008 7:05:01 AM EDT
I have a Dell Latitude 131L. 60 GB Hard Drive. Running Windows Vista, 2GB RAM.

I use all of the normal applications plus photoshop. I take a lot of pictures.

Even with all of my excess files removed, I only have about 12 GB of space left. I'd like to upgrade the hard drive.

If I buy anothe rhard drive, I can "ghost" this system onto the new HD, right? So...I shouldn't need to reinstall all software, etc? What if I have this HD encrypted with True Crypt?

What about buffer speed? I see some HD's with 8 mb buffers and some with 16. What is the difference?
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:06:42 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:11:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 7:11:16 AM EDT by GonzoAR15-1]
Why don't you just get a 300GB external USB ide drive and enclosure and move all your extra shit there?

Updating the primary system hard drive is a pain in the ass because of OS migration, windows activation, and all that.

Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:13:46 AM EDT
go to newegg.com and get the biggest drive you can afford for your laptop.

The faster the RPM speed, and the more cache it has, the better it will perform and the faster your system will be. As a rule, RPM speed typically makes a more noticeable impact than cache (to me anyway).

On a side, you might want to consider an external drive (if you use your laptop mostly at home) for your pictures. Firewire would give the best performance here.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:15:38 AM EDT
I have done this many times. I have laptop to standard IDE adapters. I will plug the old drive and the new drive into a desktop. Ghost. Put the new drive in the laptop. Boot. Done. It's was really that easy.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:15:59 AM EDT
Yes, you can ghost it. It can be simple. It may help to defrag first, well, it does help.

Is the entire drive encrypted? It should clone, I have not used true crypt. Personally I would unencrypt it for the cloning if possible.

Bigger buffer means less searching the big honking(technical term) drive. Bigger faster buffer is supposedly better.

Make sure you get the right type new drive...sata or ide.

Hope this helps.


ByteTheBullet (-:
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:17:05 AM EDT
you could but its not worth it in my opinion. if i remember correctly with windows vista you only get 2 chances with the product key you are given. after the second chance you will have to contact customer support everytime you want to reinstall the os. an external drive is really your best bet. portable and pretty cost effective. you could ghost onto a new installed drive and not use one of your 2 key activations but by doing that you will void whatever warrenty from dell that you have. i don't know how much warrenty you have left on this laptop but if you have it use it since you paid for it. just do an external drive.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:18:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GonzoAR15-1:
Why don't you just get a 300GB external USB ide drive and enclosure and move all your extra shit there?

Updating the primary system hard drive is a pain in the ass because of OS migration, windows activation, and all that.



To ghost you need Nortons Ghost, but with the size to price, big external would be the best and easiest
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:19:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By boppie:
you could but its not worth it in my opinion. if i remember correctly with windows vista you only get 2 chances with the product key you are given. after the second chance you will have to contact customer support everytime you want to reinstall the os. an external drive is really your best bet. portable and pretty cost effective. you could ghost onto a new installed drive and not use one of your 2 key activations but by doing that you will void whatever warrenty from dell that you have. i don't know how much warrenty you have left on this laptop but if you have it use it since you paid for it. just do an external drive.


Will Vista activation monitor a drive replacement? XP never did. By ghosting you don't reinstall the OS so you never re-enter an activation key.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:24:09 AM EDT
I do use external drives. It's just that its faster to work with large files directly on the HD. I remove tem once I am done, but frequently I am working with batches of pics that are 5GB large. This leaves me with about 7 GB on my HD...
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:46:49 AM EDT
I've done this a few times, each time doing a full "clean" reinstall from CD. Yes, its a lot slower, and you have to deal with the product key thing, but you end up with a very clean, fast-running install without the slowdown from all those cumulative Windows Updates. Get a replacement HDD that is the biggest you can afford... bigger than you think you need now. Like a gunsafe, you WILL fill it up.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 7:53:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 7:53:41 AM EDT by GonzoAR15-1]

Originally Posted By Avenger069:

Originally Posted By boppie:
you could but its not worth it in my opinion. if i remember correctly with windows vista you only get 2 chances with the product key you are given. after the second chance you will have to contact customer support everytime you want to reinstall the os. an external drive is really your best bet. portable and pretty cost effective. you could ghost onto a new installed drive and not use one of your 2 key activations but by doing that you will void whatever warrenty from dell that you have. i don't know how much warrenty you have left on this laptop but if you have it use it since you paid for it. just do an external drive.


Will Vista activation monitor a drive replacement? XP never did. By ghosting you don't reinstall the OS so you never re-enter an activation key.


It does a hardware check with each boot up. If it detects that enough hardware has changed (hard drive along might not do I but I don't know with VISTA), it will drop the reactivation bomb.

What is the major data issue?

Hell, with broadband the way it is, you can put your photos on a VPN and store them at home.

Otherwise, a 2.5" 200+ gb firewire or USB external drive is a great place to dump all those photos, and there you go.

Link Posted: 7/22/2008 8:01:29 AM EDT
I put all my music and photos on a Western Digital portable hard drive.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 8:06:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By slash-5:
I do use external drives. It's just that its faster to work with large files directly on the HD. I remove tem once I am done, but frequently I am working with batches of pics that are 5GB large. This leaves me with about 7 GB on my HD...


Download a program called "JDISK report" which may identify additional avenues for space savings.

But 60GB is what it is, and VISTA takes a fuck load of space.

I think you will find that doing a complete reload and restore is better than trying to clone a disk. Just my opinion.

Link Posted: 7/22/2008 8:08:25 AM EDT
You can replace it and ghost it. Vista won't reactivate for something like an HD change.

If you want speed do NOT encrypt the drive. It won't matter how much cache you have it won't help you. Encrypting the drive removes the benefits of large caches and things like DMA that speed things along without processor involvement. With encryption every HD read and write will have to go through the CPU.


-Foxxz
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 8:10:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2008 8:13:09 AM EDT by NewFloridaEnthusiast]
I personally recommend backing data on something like an external hard drive or thumb drive.

This will also give you a permenant method to back up data in the future, and will save you the trouble of having to 'ghost' the drive.

Then you can reformat and with all of your data backed up on your external you won't have to buy a new hard drive.



Link Posted: 7/22/2008 8:20:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By boppie:
you could but its not worth it in my opinion. if i remember correctly with windows vista you only get 2 chances with the product key you are given. after the second chance you will have to contact customer support everytime you want to reinstall the os.



Dell uses a "Royalty BIOS" and requires no product key or activation.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 8:21:54 AM EDT
AVOID MAXTOR.

Every one of their products I have owned have been shit.

I used to use LaCie external HDD's when they used Western Digital internals, then one day one of my externals broke down and I cracked it open to find that LaCie had switched to Maxtor internals to save a buck.

There have been other stories as well, but I've never had a bad experience with Western Digital or Seagate.

The moral of the story is: Maxtor if you don't value your data, Western Digital or Seagate if you do.
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 8:22:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NewFloridaEnthusiast:
I personally recommend backing data on something like an external hard drive or thumb drive.

This will also give you a permenant method to back up data in the future, and will save you the trouble of having to 'ghost' the drive.

Then you can reformat and with all of your data backed up on your external you won't have to buy a new hard drive.




Ghosting the drive is truly not that hard, Just grab an extra hard drive. Faster and more buffer is better then the largest size. Try to find an equilibrium, the biggest with the most buffer and speed.

60 gigs is not much these days, but it is livable if you back up your files on an external drive. Its up to you, externals are nice because you can easily move your files around back and forth on your different pc's but if more space on the go is more important to you then just upgrade. I
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