How can I upgrade my hdd without screwing up my system?

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Cloverkill
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How can I upgrade my hdd without screwing up my system?

Post by Cloverkill »

Good morning. I am a fairly new Linux user and after trying Ubuntu and Ultimate Edition 2.9 I was pointed towards Linux Mint 10 which I have been actively using and enjoying for the last 4 months. I am running an Intel Core 2 Duo T9800 2.80GHz, 4GB DDR3 RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 9600m GT and two hard drives on a laptop. HDD1 (320gb) has Windows 7 and HDD2 (200gb) is where I installed Linux Mint 10. I was told by my friend who got me started that once it's installed I cannot remove it because if the GRUB loader is gone, my computer will no longer turn on. I am paranoid of this and am worried that if I get rid of my secondary hard drive containing Linux Mint 10, use my primary drive as a secondary drive, and putting my new 500gb hard drive in as primary that I will have this issue. I intend on keeping my OS lineup the same way. I use Windows 7 on primary for gaming, and Linux Mint on my secondary for everything else. I guess the question is, should I copy my secondary hard drive (Linux Mint 10) to my primary one (Overwriting Windows 7 or partitioning) then using it as the secondary and my new 500gb hard drive as primary? Or would I be safe just removing the secondary, leaving no Linux OS left on the computer, and moving primary hard drive to secondary and using the brand new one as primary?
rlindsey0
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Re: How can I upgrade my hdd without screwing up my system?

Post by rlindsey0 »

It's probably just me, but I'm having a hard time understanding exactly what you're trying to do. Which HDD are you trying to replace? Which OS?

I recently upgraded the single HDD in my laptop. Here's what I did:

1. Backed up my data to an external HDD, then unmounted and removed that external drive so I couldn't accidentally do anything to it.

2. Bought the new internal drive, put it in a DIFFERENT external USB/eSATA enclosure I bought, and hooked it up. (I forget if I formatted it at this stage, probably did.)

3. Downloaded CloneZilla (www.clonezilla.org) and burned the disk image to a CD.

4. Shut down the computer, then restarted it, booting from the CD so that the computer was running from the OS on the optical disk, not from either Windows or Mint.

5. Used CloneZilla to clone my entire internal HDD to the new drive in the external enclosure. (Make sure you know which drive you're cloning to which; you certainly don't want to clone an empty drive to a populated one.)

6. Shut down the computer, then switched the new drive from the external enclosure into the laptop to serve as the new internal drive, and finally put my old internal drive in the external enclosure to serve as a spare or extra storage.

7. Turned on the computer, and it booted up just as it had before. (If it hadn't, I could have just replaced the original drive and tried again. Or I could have reinstalled the relevant OS and all programs, then restored my data from where I'd backed it up.) If you're going to a larger drive, you may want to adjust your partition sizes, because IIRC they will be cloned in the sizes they were on your original internal HDD. On a bigger drive you'll have more room and may want to spread out more.

8. Once everything looked good with the new internal drive, I formatted my old internal drive--which, remember, was now in the external enclosure--so it would be empty for future storage needs.

This may work for you too. But by all means keep asking around and doing research. Naturally you don't want to risk losing everything you have if you can help it.
Sarah 18 Cinnamon 64, dual-boot Win 10 Pro 64 SP1, Clevo W150ER 15.6" laptop, i7 3630M, 16 GB RAM, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB/HGST 1 TB 7200 RPM, Nvidia GT 650M 1 GB, eSATA 3.0 HGST 1 TB 7200 RPM, HP Photosmart C5280
Cloverkill
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Re: How can I upgrade my hdd without screwing up my system?

Post by Cloverkill »

I am not worried about losing data as I back everything up on an external anyways. I am worried about my computer never turning on again because I heard if you remove a Linux OS then you will never be able to turn on your computer because of something to do with the GRUB loader. The hard drive I am removing is my secondary which is the one that has Linux Mint installed on it. I am then going to make my current primary hard drive ( the one with Windows 7 on it) the secondary and putting in a brand new 500gb as a primary.
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kindofabuzz
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Re: How can I upgrade my hdd without screwing up my system?

Post by kindofabuzz »

Cloverkill wrote:I am not worried about losing data as I back everything up on an external anyways. I am worried about my computer never turning on again because I heard if you remove a Linux OS then you will never be able to turn on your computer because of something to do with the GRUB loader.
Whoever told you that does not know what they are talking about. GRUB has nothing to do with your computer "turning on".
Cloverkill
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Re: How can I upgrade my hdd without screwing up my system?

Post by Cloverkill »

kindofabuzz wrote:
Cloverkill wrote:I am not worried about losing data as I back everything up on an external anyways. I am worried about my computer never turning on again because I heard if you remove a Linux OS then you will never be able to turn on your computer because of something to do with the GRUB loader.
Whoever told you that does not know what they are talking about. GRUB has nothing to do with your computer "turning on".
Alright, so say I install Windows 7 over Linux Mint or reformat the hard drive altogether, it shouldn't affect anything?
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kindofabuzz
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Re: How can I upgrade my hdd without screwing up my system?

Post by kindofabuzz »

Cloverkill wrote:
kindofabuzz wrote:
Cloverkill wrote:I am not worried about losing data as I back everything up on an external anyways. I am worried about my computer never turning on again because I heard if you remove a Linux OS then you will never be able to turn on your computer because of something to do with the GRUB loader.
Whoever told you that does not know what they are talking about. GRUB has nothing to do with your computer "turning on".
Alright, so say I install Windows 7 over Linux Mint or reformat the hard drive altogether, it shouldn't affect anything?
No. But why would you install Windows over Linux? Unless you're a hardcore gamer can be the only reason why that I can think of.
trollboy
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Re: How can I upgrade my hdd without screwing up my system?

Post by trollboy »

Well there are occasions where the Windows CD refuses to boot. In such case, booting a Live CD and running

Code: Select all

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1
where sda is the identity of the drive you want to affect will reset the mbr to zeros and allow the CD to boot.

As always, messing with these things can screw you over big time, so make sure that you have backed up everything you couldn't live without!
Gnome is dead. Long live XFCE
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