Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Starting from scratch on OS X and Windows

Last night I began my quest to get rid of "OS Rot" on both my PowerBook and my Windows box. I bought new hard drives for both, so I wouldn't have to worry about losing any data. For the Mac, I bought a Lacie d2 (250GB) and for Windows, I bought an internal Maxtor 120GB. Thanks to everyone who suggested the Lacie.

To start, I cloned my PowerBook's drive to the Lacie drive using the free version of SuperDuper. It took about two hours and worked flawlessly. I then proceeded to format the PowerBook drive and install OS X. For the most part, I just copied a bunch of files back into place. I've been trying to restore my settings by copying individual folders from ~/Library to the fresh install - but it's not working so well. I'm thinking of just restoring my whole home directory (cruft in ~/Library and all).

The Windows install wasn't nearly as easy. Rather than backing up to an empty drive, I just installed the new disk as the primary and old one as a slave. I tried installing Windows on the new one twice (once w/ the slave installed, once w/o). After installing, when I boot up, it just sits there will a dark grey screen. So I gave up and put my old hard drive in as the primary. I think the disk might be bad. Regardless, I'm going to try again tonight. This time I'm going to use a ghosting/cloning program to backup to the new hard drive - and essentially go through the same steps I did on the Mac. I'll probably use Norton Ghost or PartitionMagic - but I'm open to other suggestions.

Posted in Mac OS X at Oct 13 2005, 09:01:57 AM MDT 8 Comments

I've had great success cloning a drive for backup/restore purposes using Acronis' TrueImage application: ( . It might be one you want to consider if you haven't purchased anything yet. Dave

Posted by Dave Macpherson on October 13, 2005 at 10:19 AM MDT #

I'm a little confused. I thought the reason u r doing all this is to get rid of the OS rot problem. If so, how would ghosting/cloning help ? aren't u just duplicating the problem by cloning ?

imho, to do what u want to do, u were on the right path, new drive as primary, old one as secondary. i m assuming u know the following steps already, but just in case:

  1. set the jumpers on both drives to the CS position
  2. hook the new drive to the end of the cable-now it will be the primary drive
  3. hook the old drive to the connector that is in the middle of the cable
  4. put the OS install disk into the CD-drive
  5. boot into bios, (on some machines it is by pressing <F2>, config the machine to boot up via hard drive, then via cd-drive
  6. save setting and continue booting

now u should be able to do a fresh install.
but if moving ur old system to the new drive is what u want to do, then i recommend either acronis trueimage or acronis migrate. cheaper than trueimage since it only do migration.

Posted by td on October 13, 2005 at 12:22 PM MDT #

Make sure to complain more about that powerbook, I sure wish I could be dorking with jumpers on mine :-)

Posted by Bill Dudney on October 13, 2005 at 12:39 PM MDT #

td - I want to clone my existing drive. That way, if anything goes bad in the format-and-reinstall process, I can always start over again. The ideal situation is I can clone it, format/re-install and copy over data I need - then get rid of the cloned drive and use it for backup. I could backup the whole drive and go that route, but then it wouldn't be as quick to start over again. Also, backing <em>everything</em> up on Windows is sometimes a chore.

I'm using "Cable Select" for the jumper settings instead of resetting them. This setting works on my current Maxtor drive, but not the new one.

Posted by Matt Raible on October 13, 2005 at 04:14 PM MDT #

Hi Matt,

I think I understand but I still don't see the need for cloning. You already have a "cloned" disk, that being the original drive itself. In the hope of saving some time by not having to reinstall some sw, I have done reinstalls the way you are planning to (i.e. clone, re-install over old installation) and have, invariably, had to redo the whole thing. For me, the only way to do it is to start with a brand new disk, fresh OS install with all updated drivers. Next, install an av sw (highly recommend kaspersky) and some type of spybot protection (spybot S&D), and then finally, other needed sw. Immediately, use acronis trueimage to capture a clean install to DVD (typically 1 or 2) and file that copy away. That way, if u ever need a clean machine again, just use trueimage and voila. After all this, you can now copy the old data from the old drive over to the new drive. Then, just unplug the old drive and store it (since HD are so cheap these days)

This setting works on my current Maxtor drive, but not the new one.

I'm confused ! this is a newer drive right ? r u sure? i've yet to see a drive made after late-1990 that doesn't have the CS jumper. btw, why 120 GB? compusa is having the 160GB for $40 after rebate.

backing everything up on Windows is sometimes a chore.

i use a combination of nero backitup and webdrive to back up only the data.

Posted by td on October 13, 2005 at 04:52 PM MDT #

one more thing,

u prob figured out by now that I do my dev on an MS box (not by choice, boss wouldn't allow linux box). for a quick installation and configuration of apache, mysql, posgresql, php, and other goodies, check out apache2triad. after dl, installations + configurations of apache2triad and tomcat should be under 20 min.

Posted by on October 13, 2005 at 05:48 PM MDT #

Might be down to a few things - jumper switching is one, another is the size of drive against age of BIOS (i.e. your BIOS may not support drives larger than a certain size) - I had that issue with a 160 Gb drive on an older machine. Last time I did it I found I had to Clone Drive A onto the new drive (Maxtor and WD drives typically come with drive cloning software to at least allow you do copy A to B). Confirm I could switch and boot from either drive. Then do my new Windows install on the old drive (the OEM Windows disk didn't want to run on the new PC configuration) - move the files I wanted to keep back onto the old, then clone back onto the new drive again. (Actually I had 3 drives involved - one of them is now sat in a safe place as my OEM Windows install no longer works due to upgrading the BIOS and drives).

Posted by JulesLt on November 11, 2005 at 06:49 AM MST #

Acronis TrueImage is a great program. I used id often in my sysadmin days, and I use it nowadays too for my personal backup. For me it is much less buggy than norton ghost (I've used both).

Posted by olegf on December 05, 2005 at 05:42 AM MST #

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