copying entire drive to another (different, larger) drive?

Posted on 2007-07-19
Last Modified: 2010-03-05
I've had this computer for years, set up just the way i want it, etc.  i probably have 150 programs on it, and i love everything about it EXCEPT for the space on the hard drive.  unfortunately it's running on a 120 GB hard drive, which was just about the biggest drive you could buy at the time, but i'm fast running out of space.  i'd like to basically copy everything to the new hard drive, but without having to install all the programs all over again.

if the only thing i'm replacing is the hard drive, and all the drivers, devices, etc. are going to stay the same, could i just ghost the hard drive to the LARGER hard drive?

how would i go about doing that?
Question by:Mystical_Ice
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    Yes you can.
    I've done it before no problems accrued
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    Yes, you can clone the hard drive image to the new one. You can even have the new drive as a slave and still have your old hard drive with Windows and other programs. By this way, you can install any new programs and data to the new drive while still retaining the existing programs to the old hard drive. This is much simpler that cloning.
    LVL 32

    Assisted Solution

    The best tool for this job is Acronis TrueImage:

    Accepted Solution

    Acronis TrueImage is a really good program and it will allow you to do a full image copy from disk to disk.  This is run from the operating system and means no need for boot cd's or any other annoying processes that can confuse the situation.

    There are others on the market and some are free to but I would use Acronis every time as it also will work as your backup software.  Some of the free software may have issues with cloning the disk and the MBR record I have seen this if the boot drive is on a seperate partition to the main windows drive.
    This is not something you will come across on a regular basis but as a matter of course I tend to have my home machines windows install of drive D: and the MBR on drive C:.  This mainly is to make the system safer from hackers and tools that look at C: as the main root directory.

    Author Comment

    OK, i just want to make sure that we're all on the right page:  i don't just want to have the FILES on the new hard drive, i want it to be able to boot just like the old one; seamlessly, to windows, with all my programs, files, etc. there... and the only 'difference' i want to be able to see is when i go to 'my computer' that the drive is a lot larger.

    this will do it?
    LVL 39

    Expert Comment

    Suggestions above regading cloning / image software that will work just fine for you.
    LVL 1

    Assisted Solution

    Most drives sold as "Retail" and not oem come with software and step by step instructions to transfer your old drive to your new drive. They will also make sure your system is setup to handle large hard drives which most likely yours is not since your old drive is only 120 gig. Try the software that comes with the new drive before you spend money on other software (Although I do like Acronis). Please note however you may have a problem with some software that requires internet activation like Norton. They can detect when they are installed on more than 1 system and it may think thats what you did and require a re-activation. I had problems with this and longer use Norton because of the hassle.
    Hope this helps.

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