What's the easiest solution for upgrading my OS drive for more capacity?

I am getting ready to update the drive that my Operating System is on and am wondering what the best way to go about it is.

I was thinking I would make an image of the entire disc and burn it to DVD's but I don't know much about the process. I was hoping someone could provide some insight and maybe recommend a good Disc Image program.

Or should I be going about this in a completely different direction?

Here's a few system specs to get started, let me know if anything else is needed:

Pentium 4 2.66GHz
Intel 82845 Chipset
Radeon 9250 Graphics

Current Drive is a Western Digital WDC WD800BB-98DKAO

It's an IDE interface and I'd most likely be going with another IDE. I'm not even sure if I have SATA capability but I'm not too concerned with it. This cpu isn't extremely high-performance by any means and it's used to do pretty basic tasks.

The current drive has an OS partition of about 15GB and a storage partition of about 55GB. I would like to continue to keep my program files separate from my storage files on the new drive.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Who is Participating?
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Simplest solution, since you already have an 80GB drive with only a 15GB C: drive ...

(1)  Install a new 2nd drive (of whatever size you want -- although you may be limited to 120GB if the system doesn't have 48-bit logical block addressing support.

(2)  Create and format a partition on the new drive (say E:)

(3)  Move all of your data from your current data partition (I'll assume it's D:) to the new E: drive.

(4)  Delete the D: partition.

(5)  Boot to a 3rd party partition manager (I'd use Boot-It NG) and resize the C: partition to the full size of the disk [With Boot-It, this operation would take a few seconds].

(6)  Boot to Windows and change the drive letter of your 2nd drive to D:  [Optional ... but this leaves everything the way you're used to it].

Done :-)

If you don't want to have two drives installed, your idea of imaging the OS partition; then restoring it on the new drive, will work just fine => you can also resize it either during or after the restore (but before you create a 2nd partition on the drive).
I did this a while back, and I just went an bough a larger drive.   Installed the new larger drive, and then placed the old drive in as a Slave and copied the data onto the new drive.  

As for the partitioning... I would recommend at a minimum 25GB for the OS and the rest for the Data.  Here is a question for you:  Do you backup that data?
With the OS and data on the same drive, if something hardware related to that drive fails, there goes your data.  Maybe you ought to purchase an external enclosure for that "old 80Gb" drive and use it as a USB backup drive.  Don't worry about coping the OS/ just get the data.
If you do that, i personally wouldn't bother with partitioning the drive, since it is the same drive you are not going to gain any performance speeds with a partition.

Hi quixys,

I would recommend using Acronis True Image 9, thats a very nice imaging software, also Norton Ghost 14 is great too. Here are the links: http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/
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A simple copy data from drive to drive will be fine but not for OS. As noted above, use cloning tool to clone the old drive to new drive.
quixysAuthor Commented:
My main concern is this.

If I clone the old drive to the new one with one of the above softwares, I WILL NOT have to reinstall XP & Updates right?

I don't have a copy of XP Home anymore and really don't want to go through the hassle.
Yes, if you clone your old drive to a new one you won't have to reinstall XP and updates. Here is something you'll mght want to check out. It's my Acronis, it's called Migrate Easy 7. Here is the link: http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/migrateeasy/

What I meant was Acronis True Image 2009 not version 9.
Wayne BarronAuthor, Web DeveloperCommented:
I would suggest that you install your os on the new drive.
And as biscuit3: had suggested, 25Gb would be great for the C:\ drive.
And then partition up the remainder of the drive as you see fit.

I would strongly suggest against doing a mirror of your original drive.

You have a brand new drive, and the worst thing (IMO) is to NOT do a Full install.
This makes it better on the drive and on you.
Faster and more efficient.

Install into a 35Gb C:\ drive.
And then install all programs, and then tranfer data as you need it.

Good Luck
Wayne BarronAuthor, Web DeveloperCommented:
sorry quixys:
Did not catch on to the part about not having XP home.

And the hassle would be well worth it in the long run if you had the OS CD.

If you do not mind me asking. What happened to the OS CD?
If you don't have install CD, and if you do not want have pain to install new system and all programs, then the best solution is cloning application. I agree that the Acronis is probably the best choice. Clone your entire old hard drive to new one, disconnect your old drive, making your new drive master and check that everything works fine. Do not touch your old drive until you are completly finished and safe with your new drive. Now you will have a new drive with a lot of free space on it. Take another app from Acronis to resize your new disk partitions to match your disk (Acronis Disk director), and your needs.

skywalker39 suggest using migrateeasy which I didn't use before but it will probably do the same as I suggest with two different software. I just know that I used this method many times.
Sorry, when you are sure that everything works fine then you can put your old disk as slave and format the disk. If something goes wrong during cloning and resizing you always have your old drive, and can start from beginning.
EasyMigrate from Acronis - part of Power Tools.

Plug both old and new drive into any PC to which you CAN attach both drives at the same time and at the same time as a CD drive.

Boot from the Acronis EM CD (note, youl'l have to create this CD first by instlling the power tools on a workstation).

You have a simple graphical display of the old and new disk. Create the new partitions however you like, so long as they're at least as big as the contents of the old ones, and then leave it to its work.

The real joy is, if you don't like the result or if for some reason it doesn't boot, you still have the original to go back to!

If you *can't* get both the old and new drives in the same machine at the same time, then uprate the answer to Acronis' workstation backup tool. Create the backup, move it to the new PC, (us a USB drive or similar) and there restore it, creating the partitions as you go.

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