I read the faq but I have some questions. When I am using the DOS utility (I will create it with True Image) can I partition my new drive? the reason being I want to do the following, if it's possible.
my current XP installation is on an 80GB IDE Maxtor and I am getting a 160 GB SATA Barracuda 7200.10 so I would like to partition the SATA in 2 partitions of 80GB each (one as system partition, the other as extra space)so that after the SATA becomes my system drive, I can in future make a back up of the SATA system partition (of 80GB) onto the 80 GB IDE.
If my SATA fails, can I set the IDE as boot drive and be able to boot ?
PS: by the way, why do I need to use a DOS utility instead of just cloning the IDE onto the SATA, initially?
Yes, you can partition the destination drive however you'd like.
You could boot from the IDE upon failure of the SATA drive if the backup of the boot was imaged to the IDE drive as a bootable partition. Different imaging/backup programs back up in different ways. If the backup isn't a cloned image, but is instead a compressed file, then you can't boot it directly.
I've never used Acronis True Image, so you'll have to check the documentation on it and see what types of backups it makes.
You can probably use the Windows-based clone instead of the DOS mode utility as long as you've made sure that all the drivers are in order. i.e. Make sure the drivers for the SATA controller are installed before cloning the image to the SATA drive.