Upgrading Old to New Hard Drive on Win95 PC

Here is the procedure I follow to replace a Win95 PC's hard drive with a larger hard drive. Part of this info was adopted from the Oct 96 Columbus Computer Society newsletter. The rest comes from my personal experience and help from the people at Dramen.

  1. Insure you have a StartUp Disk for your computer. If not, go to Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, and select the Startup Disk tab. It's also a good idea to copy your CD-ROM drivers to this startup disk so booting from the floppy will also allow you access to the your CD-ROM and therefore your Win95 CD so you can recover your system in case of a crash.

    If your CD-ROM is defaulting to the next available drive (e.g. D:), then this may be a good time to force it to be a higher drive letter so its drive letter does not automatically change when you add new hard drives. I set mine to G: using the System/Settings for the CD-ROM under Control Panel.

  2. Power-off PC and install new hard drive. The new drive is added based on your current configuration:
    1. Current hard drive is hanging off the primary IDE port and cable has connector available for a 2nd drive.
      In this case, connect the new hard drive as a slave drive off the same IDE cable as the current drive. The current hard drive must have its jumpers set to be the master drive, while the new hard drive must have its jumpers set to be the slave drive.

    2. No room on primary cable, so check using secondary IDE port.
      1. If the secondary IDE port is free, then connect new hard drive as master (make sure you have an IDE cable to do this).
      2. Secondary IDE port already has a device (maybe a CD-ROM), so add new hard drive as a slave drive to this cable.

  3. Reboot your PC, entering the System Setup BIOS

  4. Use BIOS auto-detect hard drive command to configure new hard drive as the 2nd hard drive in the system. Save BIOS settings and exit so computer reboots from startup floppy.

  5. Run FDISK from floppy, select 2nd drive (i.e. the new one) as default, then create primary DOS partition (max size is 2G). Insure primary DOS partition on new drive is same/larger than C: drive on old drive. Create extended partitions for the remaining space on the new drive. Exit FDISK, remove startup floppy, then reboot PC so it comes up in Win95 using the old hard drive.

  6. From Win95 desktop, select MS-DOS Prompt from Start/Programs. Must use this Win95 MS-DOS window as opposed to restarting in MS-DOS mode.

    The primary partition on the new drive will be D: and any extended partitions will be E:, F:, ... If your old hard drive had more than one partition (e.g. C: and D:), then C: and D: are the primary partitions on the old and new drive, respectively, but the old D: drive becomes E:, the first extended partition on new drive becomes F:, and they alternate in similar manner for any extra drives.

    Format the primary partition on the new drive with the following command:

    format d:/s/v
    and format any extended partitions (e.g. E:, but see above for how drive assignments will occur) with the command:
    format e:/v

  7. Next copy the old primary partition (C:) to the new primary partition (D:) with the DOS command:
    xcopy32 c:\*.* d:\ /e/f/h/r/k/c
    This command copies everything from C: to D:, including the registry files and keep long file names intact.

    If you had extra partitions on your old hard drive (e.g. your old drive D: which is now drive E:), then use same copy command to move files to new partition:

    xcopy32 e:\*.* f:\ /e/f/h/r/k/c

  8. Shut down the PC, turn off power, remove old hard drive and put the new hard drive in its place. Remove to change new hard drive jumpers to master settings.

  9. Power on PC, enter BIOS Setup, then run auto-detect hard drive to assign new drive is primary drive and delete the secondary drive. Insert startup floppy, save BIOS settings and exit so PC will restart from startup floppy. Run FDISK to set the new drive as active, then exit FDISK and run this command to make the new drive bootable:
    sys c:

  10. Remove startup floppy and reboot PC. It should come up into Win95 from the new hard drive.

    If you run into problems getting it to boot, you may boot from the Startup floppy and run FDISK /MBR and then SYS C: again to see if that corrects the problem.

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