I need to "clone" my current hard drive onto a new hard drive. My hard drive is in two partitions. I have no idea how it works and so I was wondering if anyone that has ever done it before could give me some tips or precautions so the process goes smoothly.
Also, how long would it take if I have about 200GB used?
Well, here's an article that might help you clone step by step: http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3680/
Basically when you do the cloning, it will clone the whole HDD. It doesn't matter how many partitions you have on your drive.
Also I found an article that can help you estimate the time to clone the drive. You can read more here : http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5207765_long-clone-hard-dr...
After you are done with the cloning you just need to switch the HDDs and boot the PC. You maybe need reboot it one more time and then you should be good to go with your whole system on a new drive.
However, I'd advice to back up your larger files on some other external media device. This will speed up the whole cloning process because the amount of data will be less.
Acronis also gives you the option to remove stuff and data you don't need from the cloning process, so you have that as an option as well.
One other note - I do a few reboots, as Super noted - and I'd try to do a Windows Update. Even if nothing's added, do a Reboot after that. This is a fairly extensive "communication session" between Microsoft and your computer's Registry, and that can be as fragile as any file aboard.
Next, I usually hold my old HDD aside for a few more days, even a week. If my new HDD dies, they tend to die early - within hours or days.
Which is good. I'd rather them 'die' when I have a ready replacement easily available, than wait for months or a year after I've got them substantially changed!
If I don't have any other use for the Old HDD, I often re-insert it as a 2nd (3rd? 4th?) drive after a week, and wipe out the partitions, reformat it and I can use it to do "System Images" of C: Drive, which can then be used to rebuild that New HDD if it should decide to "betray" me. That's what they do - it's always personal, I think!