Go to Home Page GuidesHow to ArticlesReviewsForumsFrequently Asked QuestionsNewsLinksPotpourri

Site Search


Last updated: 07/29/03

PROCEDURE.  A simple solution to the problem is to "put the cart before the horse."  That is, Install FAT32 on the new hard disk before installing Windows.  Here's how (do the following steps at your own risk):

  Preferably, before buying it, make sure your computer will support the new drive (LBA, cable, drive bays,, etc.).  I am assuming here that both drives are IDE hard disks.

  Make sure your old hard disk is in good condition.  Run SpinRite, scandisk or chkdsk/f and fix any problems.

  Back-up your old hard disk, or, at minimum, backup everything that is important: accounting data, documents, Internet Favorites, etc.  In particular, back-up your CD-ROM driver, AUTOEXEC.BAT, and CONFIG.SYS.

  Make and test a Windows 98 Startup floppy.

This can be done from the Windows 98 Upgrade CD without first installing Windows 98.  Put the XCOPY files on the Startup Floppy (see my instructions) if you have Windows or Windows for Workgroups 3.x on your old hard disk, and you want to move the contents of the old hard disk to the new one and perform an upgrade on top of your old Windows (i.e., actually upgrade it).   XCOPY cannot be used to move Windows 95 from an old disk to a new one, but XCOPY should be handy for moving application and data files.

Unfortunately, the Windows 95/98 XCOPY command will not copy system and hidden files when used from the DOS prompt.  Also, in general, Windows 95/98 cannot be copied from one hard disk to another and work by simply copying files.  There are other programs which claim to have the ability to move Windows 95 from one hard disk to another by copying files, but I don't use them.  There are programs, such as Powerquest's PartitionMagic and Samantec's Ghost, which can copy an image of a partition on an old drive to a new drive and expand the partition on the new drive, and Windows will work if copied using this method.  Western Digital WD DIAGS has this capability, albeit limited, as well.

  Shut-down, power-off, unplug the power cord, and remove your old hard disk.  Install your new hard disk as a master, single-drive.

To avoid a serious mistake, I always remove the old hard disk before running FDISK or FORMAT on a new one.   I usually do not mount a new hard disk in a computer before completing the transfer of data from the old one. It's usually easier to plug and unplug cables when the drive is out of the case.  Be sure to protect the bottom of the drive from shorting-out when laying it on the case or lay it on the case up-side-down.

Also, I usually remove all expansion boards from the computer except the display adapter and disconnect Zip drives, etc.  Once Windows 98  and any motherboard-specific display adapter software is installed, I reinstall all of the expansion boards, etc., one-at-time.

Set-up your CMOS for the new drive.  AMI and Award BIOS "Auto" should work on most new IDE drives.

< Previous | Top | Contents | Next - fdisk and format >

Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.