I currently have a 120G Seagate drive in my Dell laptop: an Inspiron E1505 (Windows XP, SP2). I really need something larger.
I have recently used Seagate's own Acronis cloning utility and - over two very bad days - have converted two new Seagate 250G drives into unbootable 108G pieces of junk.
I am not a master PC guy unfortunately, so shorthand talk about BIOS upgrades and partition tweaking is pretty alien to me. I've only marginally been able to understand references to the one or two special/invisible Dell partitions that I've read about. I just know that there's trouble lurking there, thanks to Dell.
I can tell you is this:
* my current and new disk are each SATA and 5400rpm;
* I have a bunch of USB ports on this machine;
* I do not have access to a desktop machine. Is not having an intermediate host like that a showstopper?
The other interesting/sad thing is that I've tried two different PC Service places in town and collectively they've failed three times to do what I've wanted. They have each said that they needed more time to figure things out.
So I'll give this one more shot on my own.
Would someone please give me step-by-step instructions on how I should...
* prep my source drive (my current 120G disk) eg: does it need to be put it in an external enclosure or can it stay where it is?
* prep my destination drive (a new, empty 320G Seagate disk) eg: does it need to be installed in the laptop directly or not?
* seek out a solid, reliable cloning utility, and possibly prep a new bootable CD; eg: is Acronis worth sticking with?
* step through the cloning utility interface , and be on guard for key jargon;
* evaluate and appropriately upgrade BIOS stuff to reflect a new, higher disk capacity;
Thanks very much. I'd really appreciate the assistance.