How do I make an "image of my system"

I'm considering upgrading hard drives and I don't want to lose anything I have right now.  I currently have seagate 120 GB, a WD 250 and an external Iomega 250 GB.  My Seagate is the hard drive from my old computer but with the new MOBO and all, I lost everything I didn't have a disk for.  Can I drag and drop everything on to the external drive.  I want to get rid my old seagate, make the internal WD 250 the slave (currently master) and make the upgraded HD the new master.  Looking for for speed here (still not comfortable with Raid-0 though Callandor).  But I do like what I about the Raptor.  I guess this is a two part question.  So let's keep this one to the original topic question and I'll make another post on how what is the best (safest) way to install a new hard drive.
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Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
Short Answer:  Use Boot-It NG from
... a bit "geeky" but a superb, focused, to-the-task imager that works perfectly.

Longer Answer:  First, since you're effectively thinking of setting up a new system, read what I wrote here about how to structure it:

Second,  BEFORE you try to restructure everything to match what I wrote in that writeup, you should IMAGE your current system partition.   THEN restructure it, and move as much as you can (My Documents and any other data files) to the 2nd partition, etc. (i.e. get the system partition down to a manageable size); and then IMAGE the newly created system partition.

... THEN you can install a new drive (I presume that's the ultimate goal here), and simply restore the image to the new drive.   Perhaps sounds a bit complex -- but is really very simple;  you just have to take it one step at a time.
Don't bother with making an image of your old drive if your new mobo has an extra SATA or ATA (depending on your old SG120 connection) connection available...

Just remove your old SG120 drive, install the new one (or 2, if you're RAIDing them) instead of the old one, install/configure your OS, then just plug in the old SG120 into the extra SATA port I mentionned & you should be able to access your old files through your OS...

The only important thing when isntalling HDs is to not bang them around, ground yourself using static pads, & not plug in the power until the HD is firmly mounted in the case...

scrathcyboyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
remember, "images" rely on the software that made the images being installed and operating correctly, AND the image be flawless and not corrupted.  I do not rely on images for needed working OS drives, I do a direct file-by-file copy, that way I know I have got everything instantly.  See my response in your other question, Ive used direrct copy for years and have not lost a drive yet to bad images or software that will not work correctly when you need it .. just my preference, from many years of doing this stuff.
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