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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 08-26-2009, 07:54 AM   #1
Darth Gazak
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Advice on swapping hard drive while retaining Ubuntu setup


Hello,

I wasn't sure where to post this question, but since the computer in question is a laptop, this forum seemed natural.

I've been a linux user for a year now, exclusively Ubuntu 8 in a dual boot configuration with Vista. Both OS's are installed on the same 160Gb HDD, on different partitions. Recently i bought a new 250Gb HDD with a faster revolution speed, and i'm keen on replacing the 160Gb HDD already installed in my laptop.

I have no qualms with a fresh install of Vista (it gets slower every day) but i have spent many, many hours customising my Gnome interface on Ubuntu, with the typical desktop cube effects etc. to impress my friends

I really don't want to start again with Ubuntu, so i need to know if it is possible to migrate the entire OS over to the new hard drive, and boot it as normal from a partition distinct from the Vista one. To clarify:
  • Currently have Vista and Ubuntu dual boot on same HDD, different partions
  • Wish to replace laptop HDD with new one
  • Wish to retain entire Ubuntu configuration
  • Do not wish to re-install Ubuntu and go through the customisation adventure again
  • Do not care about retaining Vista install

I hope someone will be able to offer some advice on the matter. Thank you for reading,

Darth Gazak

EDIT: If a moderator believes this problem will receive more attention in another forum, please move it. Thanks.

Last edited by Darth Gazak; 08-26-2009 at 07:58 AM. Reason: More information
 
Old 08-26-2009, 09:04 AM   #2
kilgoretrout
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You have a lot of options for doing that. Do you have an external hard drive available for backup? You will probably want to get one of these devices as well:

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=2020&cpc=SCH

Either that or an external hard drive enclosure that can accept a laptop hard drive.

Do you have any imaging software available like Acronis True Image? If so, the most straightforward method is to just image the entire drive to the new one using the above device to hook up the new drive for the transfer then install the new drive.

If not, you would install the new drive, reinstall vista first, create your partitions for ubuntu, boot up with a linux livecd, attach your old hard drive to the above device, copy over the ubuntu partitions from your old to your new hard drive by any one of several methods, restore your grub bootloader using this howto:

http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-24113.html

and you should be good to go. I can go over the exact method to transfer the ubuntu files over to the new drive in detail as that can be a little tricky, if you are interested.
 
Old 08-26-2009, 10:09 AM   #3
Darth Gazak
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kilgoretrout,

Than you for your swift reply. I was expecting a blunt 'impossible!', it certainly is a pleasant surprise that the operation is really quite simple. I don't have an external drive, but the 250Gb drive is currently in an enclosure. So i have one drive in my laptop, and the other in an enclosure which works perfectly. Should i image my in-use drive onto the external one, then just swap them over? Which method would you personally advise?

Thanks
 
Old 08-26-2009, 06:07 PM   #4
kilgoretrout
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If you have imaging software like Acronis True Image, then imaging your current drive onto the new drive would be easiest. This assumes that your imaging software supports the linux filesystem you are using with ubuntu. IIRC Acronis TI supports ext3 and reiserfs; it doesn't support ext4 or xfs. What imaging software do you have? Note, Acronis is not free and though it is probably the best consumer imaging software out right now, I wouldn't spend the money on it for just one imaging operation.
 
Old 08-28-2009, 09:23 AM   #5
Darth Gazak
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I don't have Acronis, but i do have both DriveImage XML and Reflect, which are open source alternatives. I discovered that my current HDD in fact has three partitions: one with Vista system, another DATA partition storing music, video, images, and all vista program files, and a Ubuntu partition.

I'm now considering a straightforward hard drive swap with a re-installation of both Ubuntu and Vista, as i don't have the current version of Ubuntu and my Vista has become bloated and slow. I'll add an update on what i decide to do.

Thanks for your help kilgoretrout
 
  


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