Larger hard drive

I have two internal hard drives in my system. The larger one (60 gigs) is my C drive, and the smaller one (10 gigs) is my D drive. I have been backing up my data to the D drive. Now, the C drive is full. I would like to buy a couple of larger (100-500 gigs) hard drives and install the larger drives in place of the 60 gig ang 10 gig drives and use the larger drives as I have been using the existing drives. Question: What is the sequence of events which must occur in order to end up with the new C drive being an
exact mirror image of the old C drive (same operating system (I am running Windows XP Pro), same programs, same data, same everything) plus considerable additional space? And then, what will I need in the way of software in order to main tain a backup mirror image of the C drive on the D drive? I really do need some knowledgeable advice on the matter for I am going to be sailing in uncharted waters! Thanks to anyone who responds.

First you will need some disk imaging software. If you want commercial (pay) Acronis True Image is pretty good. If you want freeware, Driveimagexml,, or Clonezilla,, are two that will work.
As it is now, your C drive is the boot drive (where windows is installed), yes? Since you don’t give any computer specs I am going to guess that both drives you have now are IDE and I don’t know if you have them setup as master/slave or if they are on their own ide channel. If master/slave, uninstall the the D drive, install one of your new drives (be sure you have the master/slave jumpers set correctly), partition and format it, use whichever imaging software you decided to get to clone you C drive to the new drive. If your C and D drives are on separate channels now, just disconnect the D drive, hookup the new drive (check master/slave jumpers) and clone the C drive to it. Now, remove the old C drive, set the jumpers on the new drive and install it. Try to boot the system, if everything went correctly, you should boot into XP. Whatever you plan to do with your current D drive is up to you. Clone it to a new drive, format it, etc. I don’t know.

What ever hard drive you decide on, go to the manufacturers web site and download their utility software.
This will allow you to ‘clone’ your current hard drive C. The software is free.
Put the new hard drive in the slave position after removing the 10Gb drive, after cloning set to master and remove the old C drive, replace the 10Gb drive and copy all the files you want to a folder on the new C drive. Remove the 10Gb drive and put your second new drive set to slave and copy across all the files that you had put in the folder.
Job done.

Thanks to each of my responders!

Current question: The hard drive replacements I am considering talk in terms of a Serial ATA 300 interface connector. How can I determine if this will work in my machine; and if it won’t work as is, is there some kind of convertor hardware available that I could buy and make it work?

Thank again for your responsiveness.

If you know the make and model of your motherboard look on line at the spec’s and it will tell you what you want to know.
If you bought a branded machine look in the manual supplied when you bought it, again you should find out what you want to know.
If the motherboard doesn’t support SATA then you will have to upgrade or buy PATA drives.

Something like a Promise SATA controller card added to an available PCI slot in your older MoBo would allow you to add as many as four additional SATA HDD’s.

But you’d still need to power them, because SATA drives not only use a different data/interface connector, but a different power connection as well.

There are adapters that adapt from the older white four pin Molex plugs to the new SATA power connection.

You can often find those adapters on ebay for ~$1 from some dealer in china.

MY strong advice is to PLAN on adding TWO additional drives and frankly with newer sata drives anything smaller than 320Gb is
not as good a deal ($/GB) as the 320/400/500Gb drives generally are.

Trust me you’ll put long consideration into how much you think you “need”, but when you actually start putting stuff on the drive you often discover (frequently within 24hrs) that the drive NEEDS to be 50% larger than whatever you bought.

But don’t feel bad if you make this mistake, because I’ve made it several times.

And I have SEVEN active HDD’s on my Desktop.


Got it! Thanks!
The questions never seem to end.

Question: When cloning old hard drive to new and larger hard drive with Norton Ghost, must new drive be formatted before cloning proceeds?

can’t get a much better deal than this @ newegg right now: WD 640GB for $59, free shipping. i just got one when they were $69 and thought I got a pretty good deal. at $59 I’m going to have to pick up another one, or wait a little until they go down even lower. :cool:

You’ll usually need to F-disc first…

frankly, I’d clone/ghost your current boot drive to a small partition
on your new HDD, REMEMBER to defrag the drive first!
but leave the current drive as the boot drive.

but make it a point to relocate all data from that drive
I’d recommend running Ghost your boot drive to copy it to your “backup” atleast once a week, but rescheduel your backup
so that when you add anything new you are adding it to a system that you have JUST backed up.

That way when an installation “goes wrong” you don’t lose everything.

Then when your boot drive eventually dies all you’ll need to do is go into startup and change the boot device to “restore” your system.

I use a small (15Gb) drive as my boot drive and my boot setup is
copied/cloned/ghosted to a 6.4Gb drive weekly.
I actually have TWO of those 6.4’s and I alternate which one I
make my backup to, so even if the operation somehow “Fails” I have an undisturbed backup that’s two weeks old.

My entire boot setup (including 12 years of archived e-mail)
only takes 5.6Gb and one of those 6.4Gb drives is only
connected for my routine sunday afternoon backup operation.
(my 40Gb “E” drive is in a removeable drive tray)

THE question people fail to ask is “Am I paranoid ENOUGH about protecting my system setup and data?”

HDD failures are something everyone should expect, bt there is no predicting when they will arrive.

If you operate your computer expecting your HDD to fail in the next 7 days you won’t ever lose all that much.


I’ve used partiton magic in the past, good software for this task