Clone old hard drive and transfer contents to newer, larger drive?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Merlin A. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

With all the great holiday (and post-holiday) offers, I decided to upgrade my old 10.5GB hard drive to a much larger 160GB unit. From what I understand, I need to transfer ALL data to large drive and make it my primary ("c") drive but don't know to go about doing this. Can you please advise me on what I need to do? "

My response:

If you want to transfer the *entire* contents of your old hard drive and "clone" it to the newer drive, you will need a disk imaging program. After the "clone" has been completed, the newer hard drive will look identical to the old, except you will have more space (approx 150GB). Acronis True Image is an excellent disk imaging solution and is very easy to use; you can read a review on True Image in our newsletter.

If you don't want to use a disk imager (or similar utility), you can format your new hard drive, reinstall Windows, and then transfer your files from the old drive to the new one. This is not the preferred route and involves many more steps, including:

  • take out the old hard drive
  • install the new hard drive
  • format the new hard drive
  • install Windows on the new hard drive
  • once Windows is installed, insert old hard drive
  • boot into Windows from the new hard drive
  • search for all your data and files from the old hard drive
  • copy the old data to the new hard drive
  • reinstall all your programs
  • Note that when you copy applications (installed programs) from the old hard drive to the newer one, you will still need to reinstall the application from a setup utility -- otherwise, the application will not work.

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