OT, but relevant

computer question

I have a 20 Gig system HD, with windows and all my programs etc. And I have an 110 Gig audio HD that I use for recording.

So, my system HD is becoming too small.

How do I put a bigger HD in?

I can burn an image of the system disk onto DVDs, but…what then?

(Windows XP Home SP2), and I don’t have a spare IDE.

IDE0 master = system HD.
IDE0 slave = DVD burner
IDE1 master = audio HD
IDE1 slave = not physically possible to use, the cables won’t reach.

Do I have to re-install XP onto the new system HD then write the image file onto it or what? :(

There are several Free/cheap utilities on the 'net that will do this for you in-situ - ie without the need for copying to a DVD (how ya gonna get 20Gb on to a DVD?). Stick the new drive in (with the old drive), boot from a floppy containing the clone program, clone the drive, remove old drive. Done! A little bit of jumper fiddling may be required but that’s all.

I used one of these tools myself a while back to do the self-same thing on my wife’s PC. Can’t remember what it was called. Try a google search for “free disk clone”. I researched a few freebies when I did it. When I get some more time I’ll try to give more info.



Most Harddrives come with install software that will clone your system drive and make it bootable. No need to reinstall any software but sometimes you have to reactivate windows.

YOu might have to temporarily swap one of your drives with your new drive in order to clone the system drive. Then swap back.

And I have some software that I have to reinstall because it has a copy protection that doesn’t like changing hardware.

Otherwise it is pretty easy to do.

Dave T2

XCopy (that comes with Windows) will also do it, but you have to know all the parameters. I have them at home somewhere and will try and post them after I get home.

I don’t do that anymore. By the time it comes to changing drives, because of lack of space, it’s time to blow it away and do a clean install, then slave the old drive and copy over the data files, etc. It takes a lot more time, but well worth it in the end.


Xcopy doesn’t copy all the boot partition stuff though does it? I remember you could use it to xcopy a Win98 disk but I’m not sure about the NT/2K/XP product line.

Anyway, I went here:


and used Drive Image XML and HD Clone free edition. I tried both - can’t remember which one I finally settled on - to put a new disk in this PC I’m currently using. Pretty painless.



Thanks for the information guys. I’ll look into it.

Come to think of it, Mark, you might be right. I haven’t used the Xcopy trick since the Win98 era. Thanks for the link.

Thank You Mark A:
That’s a “Link-and-a-Half”… Mabey two… :O :;):