Hard drive cloning question

i have a 80 gig hard drive with 2 partitions, (15gig&65gig). i want to copy the 15 gig portion to a 40 gig hard drive WITHOUT making the 40 gig hard drive have two partitions. Can you do this? the 15 gig part has the operating system(xp home sp2) installed on it, and the 65 gig part is storage.

Hi [B]ktnhell[/B], welcome to CDFreaks! :slight_smile:

The answer depends on what it is you’re trying to accomplish.

Do you want to clone your 15 GB drive for backup purposes, so that you can restore the drive later, but without the need for accessing individual files within the backup?

Or do you want to have a backup of the files on your 15 GB drive, but without the need for the backup to be usable as a bootable system drive?

Or do you want to have a backup that can be used as a bootable system drive with all of the files directly accessible whenever you need them?

Or do you want to move your system drive from one disk to another?

Or something else?

Please give more detail on what you’re trying to do, and it will be easier to give you a good answer. :slight_smile:

As long as you haven’t got part of the OS on the second partition you should be OK. I have cloned a lot of partitions and as long as you use good software it usually works without a problem. Just keep in mind most of your software will be looking for data and storing to a non-existent place.

i want the 40 gig to be the system drive, and then reformat the 80 gig, install and use it for a second drive

Many cloning utilities allow you to sh<dummytag>rink/expand a partition during cloning so that you could e.g. expand the 15 GB partition to use all available space on your 40 GB harddrive.

I know that Ghost and Drive Image (not available anymore) can do this, and I would assume that other disc cloning/imaging tools such as Acronis can do the same.

So if you use the appropriate tool, then yes you can clone your 15 GB system partition to your 40 GB drive with the cloned partition being the only partition and using all the space on your 40 GB drive.

In order for your computer to boot from the 40 GB drive, you will have to swap the drives in your computer (in some cases it can be done in BIOS).

thank for your input

HD Clone 3.2 will copy small to large, even the free version. The free version can’t copy partition to partition, but… it might treat your current 15 gb partition as a drive, letting you go from small partition to bigger drive. Maybe. For free, it’s worth a shot. The free version is slow, though. Set aside some time.


Even if the free version doesn’t do what you want, the basic version is $25, which beats spending $70 on Ghost.

One other option you might look into is using the cloning software you have on hand and then using a partitioning tool to resize the partition after the cloning is done.

I haven’t tried it myself, but Norton Partition Magic will do this. Along with Partition Magic, here is some freeware that will perform the same function:


I haven’t used any of these programs, but Ranish Partition Manager seems popular. Ranish can be used both to clone the partition and resize it/append the extra unpartitioned space.

Btw, you’re going from PATA to PATA, correct? PATA to SATA can get a little hairy. I’m sure there’s some software can do it, but I’ve tried just about everything with no success. I stick with PATA to Pata and SATA to SATA.

You haven’t said what make the drives are. Most manufacturer’s have free software available on their web site for just this purpose. I have some Maxtor drives and use maxblast 5 which is excellent.