How to enlarge C drive

hi folks;

I have 2 hard drives in my computer. One is the C drive (80g) and the other (640g) which is partitioned into four drives. Through my years of useing, my C drive is filling up and only has 9g of space left. Since i did not want it to get too full, I thought i would buy a new drive and add it to the computer.

Can I set the drive up to make my C drive larger or would it be better to just buy a new drive and have the info on the present drive tranferred over to the new drive ?
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  1. There's no way to extend your C drive but you can replace it, it would require a reinstallation of your OS though. Or you can just keep your current C drive and continue to add more drives, it doesn't really hurt anything as long as you have room in your case. 80GB is kind of a waste nowadays so I'd probably replace it if you are running out of case real estate.
  2. What you are looking for is a utility for CLONING. It can make an exact copy of your old HDD onto a new one - complete so that it can be your bootable new C: drive. Then you remove the old one, plug the new one containing the clone copy into the same place, and your machine boots and behaves exactly as it did before with one significant difference - the C: drive is suddenly MUCH bigger.

    Now, there are a few things to note about all this, so let's go through them.

    1. If the new HDD and the old one are the same in terms of connections to the mobo - that is, both IDE or both SATA - you really can just plug the new one into the same cables as the old one and it will work. But that is AFTER you have made the clone. In fact, what you have to do is:
    (a) obtain (see later) and install the cloning software on your existing system. It does NOT have to be on the existing C: drive (short of space) - just any place you can install an application.
    (b) install the new HDD on an unused port of your machine in addition to everything else you already have. This will require a few checks and maybe settings in your BIOS Setup screens.
    (c) run the cloning utility (see below for hints) to make the clone copy from Source (old) to Destination (new) with adjustments.
    (d) Shut down, remove the old HDD, disconnect the new HDD and then re-connect it to the same place as the old one was.

    2. On the other hand, if the two drives are different (old is IDE, new is SATA, for example), you just have to make a slightly different adjustment in BIOS. Once the clone is made you cannot swap cables around - in fact, just leave the new one hooked up as you first did it. BUT you can disconnect your old HDD, then go into BIOS Setup and change the Boot Priority Sequence so that it makes no reference to that old unit, and DOES use the new drive as the boot device. Then it will work.

    3. There are several good cloning utilities around. IF it happens that you buy your new HDD from Seagate or WD, they each have free downloadable tools you can get from their website. Other HDD makers may have something similar - it is in their interest to make it easy for you to buy their drive for your upgrade task. Seagate's is called Disk Wizard, and it has the limit that it will only make a clone TO a Seagate HDD - they don't care whose old one you are abandoning. Similarly, WD has Acronis True Imaging WD Edition which will clone only TO a WD unit. In fact, both appear to be customized versions of a VERY good product, Acronis True Imaging. It does MUCH more than just cloning, so be sure to get and read the documentation that should come with it.

    4. You do NOT need to Partition and Format your new HDD before proceeding. Those tasks will be done as the first stages of the cloning operation sequence.

    5. One important thing I've found to watch out for. When I have used it, the utility tends to default to making the clone copy the same size as the original HDD. That is, it makes the first bootable Partition on the new drive the same size as the old drive, then puts the clone copy there. In general this is NOT what you want. So read the manual on the cloning process and find the place where you take control instead of letting the defaults happen. You can set the size of the new Partition being created to anything you like, up to the full size of the new HDD. Most of the other defaults are OK. (If you make your boot Partition smaller than the whole drive, this same utility can be used later to make additional Partitions if you like.)

    6. When you start making the clone, be VERY careful that you identify the SOURCE (your old drive) and the DESTINATION (new drive) units correctly, because anything on the DESTINATION will be completely destroyed! Since its a new empty HDD, who cares?, right - as long as you identified the right one!

    7. When you do this, I advise you disconnect (and maybe remove) the old HDD from the computer and leave it alone for a while as you verify that everything is working perfectly. That unit is a perfect backup, up to the point of making the clone and swapping drives. Later you can decide how to use it.
  3. @ djsprinkle - thanks for a respomce

    @paperdoc - thanks very much for your respomce. after djsprinkles' responce that is exactly what i wanted to do. thank you much for your explanation on how to go about it.
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