I bought a new 300GB SATA disk to replace my existing 40GB disk which was at capacity. I’m admittedly somewhat clueless when it comes to basic PC hardware stuff. I deal with servers all day long and that skillset doesn’t map well to my desktop PC (or anyone else that wants to ask me my opinion on whether they need more memory and what kind). When it comes time for any sort of upgrade other than just buying a new PC I’m usually bugging my friends on IM on what brands, speeds, bus types, etc I need since it’s all totally foreign to me more or less.
I used Acronis Disk Director Suite to do the harddrive copy and it couldn’t have taken me more than half an hour including the time to do the actual hardware installation. The GUI is extremely simple (looks like Windows Explorer) and it worked flawlessly. I ran the copy and then shutdown and changed my new disk to be on the primary SATA channel and decomissioned the old one. As part of the process I enlarged my C drive volume to 50GB leaving me roughly 250 as another data partition/volume. The Disk Director software also produced an ISO which I burned and tried booting from and found the entire GUI replicated in, so if I didn’t have an extra port and had to unplug the boot harddrive, I could still do any operation I needed to. Acronis appears to have a cheaper product which is geared simply towards a harddisk copy which I’m sure is based exactly on this technology.
Check it out if you need a good partition management tool, need to copy a harddrive, etc: www.acronis.com.