Hard drive change question

I have a 120G hard drive that I want to upgrade to 300G. The problem is not so much that I’m running out of room, is that I don’t like the partitions. Sony put a 15G partition for C: and the rest on D:. I have all my documents, games, pictures on D, but C keeps filling up (< 200MB now).

If I buy a new hard drive and make it into two partitions (50G for C, 250G for D), is there a way I can transfer the files EXACTLY as it looks now? Without re-installing MS Office, Photoshop, my games, or anything like that?

As in, I boot up the computer with the new hard drive, and everything works exactly as it did before (albeit with larger drive space)?

Buy Norton Ghost.
If you have a spare drive, this will be easiet.
Image drive C to the spare drive
Image drive D to the spare drive.
Put the new drive in and set up the partions, then put the images onto the new drive the way you want them.
You can do this without the spare drive, but you’ll have to figure out how to change the drive letters when your done (since C and D are already taken, the new drive will go in as something else.

Or you can install the new drive and keep the old one, move everything on the D partition to the new drive. Then remove the D partition from drive 0, expand the C partition to the full size of the drive.

I haven’t used Ghost, but I can recommend Partition Magic (formerly PowerQuest, now Norton). It will do all this, no problem.

I’ll second that idea IF
1)There’s only data on drive D. If drive D has programs installed on it, that’ll make the process harder and more time consuming
and 2)Assuming it works for what the OP wants to do.

It can be done, and before you run out and buy Ghost (which I despise) consider using the 15 day trial download of Acronis True image.

Install second drive

Create partitions with partition magic or similar app

Image C: to first partition of new drive, acronis has a fairly simple method for this.

Swap plugs to make sure new C: is on primary master IDE slot set jumper to master.

Plug old C/D into secondary IDE, jumper to slave. This should prevent your computer from trying to boot to the old C: before the new drive.


Image old D: (probably reassigned to F: or something) to new D: partition

If need be use drive management under control panel — system administration to reassign second partition to D:

The computer should not care about the size of the partitions as long as the data in them is bit for bit identical.

If apps are on second drive plan on it balking and bitching, many of their installers will have specified D:.

Partition Magic has a drive-letter reassignment program that can fix that.

But if you do as I suggested, and have the program clone the D partition onto the new drive, not copy it, then the new drive will become D once the old drive is repartitioned as a single logical partition.

I should have mentioned, in response to the OP’s statement that “The problem is not so much that I’m running out of room, is that I don’t like the partitions,” that Partition Magic (and other similar apps) will let you resize partitions relatively quickly and easily. So if you really don’t need more room, forget the new drive and just resize the existing partitions.

I can’t quite imagine 120 GB being enough, though. I have two 120GB drives and one 300 GB disk in my main machine and am planning on expanding at least two of them to 500 GB fairly soon because I keep getting and creating new data.

I use Partion Magic and Drive Image. I don’t know how good or bad the new product is. Just be sure you have a working backup before you start messing with the partitions. Try connecting the new drive as a second drive. Open Computer Mangement, and use the Disk Management to format the new drive and Assign it a Drive letter. Copy all the files from D: to the new drive. Using the Disk Management change Drive D; to a letter not used like Z:. After that is done Change the new drives letter to D:. Shut down the computer. Start the computer again, and the new drive should contain all the data of D: and now be D:. Now you can use the Partition majic to enlarge the original boot partition of C:

The alternative is to Use a program to copy C: and D: to the new drive and resize the partitions on the new drive during the transfer. Disconect the original drive and use the new one. Upon the new drive being verified that all is well. You can reformat the old drive, which was never in danger of losing it’s data. This is the safer way to go.

As Harmonious Discord indicates, safety first.

You might consider buying two drives: one for C: and one for D:.