I am trying to "clone" my old Dimension 8200 to the new Vostro 420.
My plan isas follows. First, format the new drive, including all partitions usually utilized by Dell such as the 64mb fat16 Dell Service partition.
Second; copy my old windows xp install from the old Dell. I guess there are no hidden files that I need to worry about, so I would just do a straight copy.
Finally, I would do a Windows repair install using the system disc in order to complete the "clone:"of my old system.
Do you think that will work?
By the way, at what point should I add in the old PCI cards?
I use Ghost, which copies at the sector level, to transfer over hard drive partitions to new drives. No partioning or formatting is necessary on the new drive.
Here's how to recreate the Dell Diagnostic Utility Partition from scratch:
Method 1 - Cloning:
If you have a license for Ghost, you can use that to clone the partition (not disk)...however, there are a few caveats.
1) a partition of the correct size (or larger) must already exist, and
2) it must be in the correct location on the hard drive, which is at the very beginning of the drive.
3) cloning the partition often results in an unhidden partition, which may mess up your boot configuration file, if you have an existing operating system on the target drive.
You can use Clonezilla instead of Ghost, it's just a little more technical. If you're going to use CloneZilla, I'd recommend downloading the Parted Magic Live CD - it's pretty great, and it's an Open Source combination of Ghost and Partition Magic.
You can also use Odin, or Acronis True Image... I know that Seagate HDDs come with a free copy, perhaps others do as well.
Method 2 - DIY:
**This is how I do it, and it works every time.**
I like to create the partition from scratch, and then either "upgrade" the "existing" diagnostic partition - which means run the diagnostic tool for your model and transfer the tools to the 64 Mb partition.
I use MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Free Edition, and it works just fine.
1) create a 64 Mb Primary Fat16 partition at the beginning of the drive - hit "Apply"
**note** don't assign a drive letter, but if you do, remove it later
2) Right-click and "Modify" the partition - hide the partition - hit "Apply"
3) Right-click and "Modify" the partition, and change the "Partition Type ID" to 0xDE Dell OEM - hit "Apply"
4) use the Dell diagnostic utility for your model to "upgrade" the diagnostic utility partition.
Dan Goodells' Method:
This guy is the Obi-Won Kenobi of the Dell Diagnostic Partition...he shows you how to recreate it, customize it, roll your own, etc. His name even ends in "Dell"
Old School Method:
Create the partition with a Hex editor.
Have fun with that.
I hate the vostro 420 I put windows xp home in it it works fine but the memory goes down to near 534 MB on start up I have 3 GB in it I only have my anti virus on the start up on. I am going to put 8GB of memory weather it likes it or not. I am also going to get another sound card and video card for it. I will never buy another Vostro 420 as long as I live. I hate windows vista too.
Hell no I'm not wired my q 5000 works better than this damn thing I had mine for 2 years. I do not plan on buying windows 7 as of yet. I never used a machine that was as slow and choppy as this one. The sound skips on you tube videos. You can keep yours I'm going back to my Q