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Old 07-09-2008, 11:29   #1
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Replace laptop drive, move OS

I have an old Panasonic ToughBook (P3/900) that I keep on the boat. It has a few different navigation programs installed, along with MS Office, and other installed programs it came with. XP Pro is the OS and it has a license sticker on the bottom. It had been a a comercial lease pc originally.

The drive is only 40G and is showing distinct signs of slowing down. I'd like to replace it with a new drive, 60G would be plenty. But I'll need to move the OS and installed programs over.

I've been building my own desktops for 16 yrs now. Moving info around, Ghosting or cloning, is no big deal there. I've also succefully created the partions, drives, and opied over and made it work. I just swapped a new motherboard on an XP Pro system and got it to accept w/o having to reinstall and re-authorize.

But a laptop is new to me for that. Are the disk connectors the same size as a standard drive? If so I could plug it in a secondary channel to a desktop, ghost the primary partition. Then swap the new drive, use Ghost again to place the primary on it. Then once installed in the laptop use Partition Magic to finish the process, resizing the primary how I want it, then and creating an extended partition and 3 logical drives.

But if the connectors are not the same size... I'd need a different procedure.

Suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:33   #2
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I have an old Panasonic ToughBook (P3/900) that I keep on the boat. It has a few different navigation programs installed, along with MS Office, and other installed programs it came with. XP Pro is the OS and it has a license sticker on the bottom. It had been a a comercial lease pc originally.

The drive is only 40G and is showing distinct signs of slowing down. I'd like to replace it with a new drive, 60G would be plenty. But I'll need to move the OS and installed programs over.

I've been building my own desktops for 16 yrs now. Moving info around, Ghosting or cloning, is no big deal there. I've also succefully created the partions, drives, and opied over and made it work. I just swapped a new motherboard on an XP Pro system and got it to accept w/o having to reinstall and re-authorize.

But a laptop is new to me for that. Are the disk connectors the same size as a standard drive? If so I could plug it in a secondary channel to a desktop, ghost the primary partition. Then swap the new drive, use Ghost again to place the primary on it. Then once installed in the laptop use Partition Magic to finish the process, resizing the primary how I want it, then and creating an extended partition and 3 logical drives.

But if the connectors are not the same size... I'd need a different procedure.

Suggestions?

Thanks

The disk connectors are definitely not the same size. It will be a bit more complex than doing it with a desktop. Also, they are a little more difficult to take apart and work with.

When I took my iBook apart recently to see what might be wrong, it was quite a process.
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:42   #3
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I've performed minor miracles moving OS's and programs on laptops using Norton Ghost and USB drives. If the old drive is just slowing down try a program called "Spinrite". GRC*|*SpinRite 5.0 to 6.0** It'll fix up that ole' hard drive in no time. Think I posted awhile back on how happy we were with it to restore the h/d on my son's laptop.
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Old 07-09-2008, 13:38   #4
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You will need an adapter to connect the existing drive to a desktop. Eg.:

http://www.excelcomputerinc.com/html/xldriveadapter.asp

Then you can copy/backup/Ghost it and restore to the new drive.
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Old 07-09-2008, 13:56   #5
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You can buy complete "transfer kits" for about $40, hardware and software included, to make the job easy. Typically they'll contain an external USB drive box, and software to make the drive imaging easy.

You put the new drive in the USB adapter, run the software, then swap the new drive for the old--and the old can be used as an external USB storage drive afterwards.

Things to watch out for:
1-What is the maximum drive size your BIOS supports?
2-What type of drive, SATA or PATA? (Probably PATA also called ATA or EIDE)
3-What size drive? Probably 2.5", maybe not.
4-What HEIGHT drive? 12mm? 9.5mm?

You may want to confirm some of that with Panasonic to be sure.

Drives have gotten way cheap, you may find that a 100GB drive is only ten bucks more than a 60GB drive. Don't cheat yourself.
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Old 07-09-2008, 14:14   #6
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Drives have gotten way cheap, you may find that a 100GB drive is only ten bucks more than a 60GB drive. Don't cheat yourself.
I would agree with hellosailor on this. Buying a 100-160GB hard drive would definetly be worth the money, and not that much more. Having that extra space is a good thing, versus sitting there staring at your 'think' light wondering why it's not doing what you clicked on 10 minutes ago.
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Old 07-09-2008, 14:14   #7
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Buy an external drive - dirt cheap- less than $80 for 500gb.
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Old 07-09-2008, 14:42   #8
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There's also an open secret about hard drives; The low capacity ones are made from rejects, where one side of the platter was rejected and the other side was OK.

A 320GB laptop drive using the newer technologies (vertical grain) has only two platters, four sides. That means an 80GB drive is the cheapest capacity (one side of only one platter) in that technology, and 160GB is two sides of one platter.

If one side was rejected, ask yourself, what are the odds that the other side really was "prime" manufactured? Maybe, maybe not.

The older technology will be less than 80GB for single side single platter, but the same quality control issue applies whenever you reach "one side one platter" minimum capacities. The newer technologies tend to have better bearings, less power consumption, higher throughput times as well.
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Old 07-09-2008, 19:33   #9
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Aloha Trekka,
I have a bunch of parts and pieces to two Panasonic Toughbooks. I think 3 of the battery packs still work pretty good and the screens and all work great. I can't get the OS to fire up properly on either machine and definitely one has more problems than the other. You interested in having more of the same?
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Old 07-09-2008, 21:43   #10
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Thanks everyone for the comments and suggestions.

I will check the BIOS, am sure it handles up to 60G but would be happy to have a larger drive in there if possible. The drive, btw, is easiily accesible.

I think I can boot to USB, will have to check, laptop on boat at the moment. If so, that makes things a lot easier.

SkiprJohn, what models do you have? Might be interested in batteries. Are they VZSU18?
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Old 08-09-2008, 13:24   #11
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Aloha Trekka,
No, sorry, they are VZSU09. Both toughbooks are CF-71.
regards,
JohnL
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