Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Upgrading a laptop hard disk: Addendum

In my summary of lessons learned, I think I failed to mention the most important lesson of all. That is, it's a mistake to think you can simply clone an 80GB drive to a 500GB drive, swap the drives, and go about your business. Next time I do this, I think I will do it like this:
  1. Make sure I have a good backup of all the documents on the old hard drive. By "documents," I mean my photos, databases, client invoices and contracts, etc.
  2. Make sure I can recover important settings from the old hard drive - installation licensing codes, passwords, preferences where they're really important, etc. Note that I don't care about having actual backups of these things.
  3. Make sure I have the installation disks or master installation files so I can reinstall the operating system and all my applications later. Exception: Don't need master disks for items that can be downloaded on the Internet (like Google Chrome and Picasa).
  4. Remove the old hard disk and set it aside in a safe place.
  5. Put the new hard disk into the computer.
  6. Boot computer from the operating system CD, format the new disk, and install the operating system fresh.
  7. When I'm able to boot the computer from the operating system on the internal hard disk, add necessary drivers.
  8. Reinstall applications and reconfigure as necessary.
  9. Copy the documents from the backup source to the new hard disk.
Had I done this in the first place, I would have spared myself at least half of the grief I've suffered in the last two days.

About Me

I am an event photographer living in Dallas, Texas.