How to copy OS drive and make it boot.

So I got my new 2TB drive hooked up. I am now running a 250, 500, 750GB Seagate 7200.10, Hitachi(?) 1TB, and a WD 2TB green drive for data storage. Here is my plan. Pull the 250 and 500GB 7200.10. My OS sits on the 250GB however. I need to copy/clone it over to either the 750GB or 1TB drive once I figure out which is faster. But I'm not sure of which program is best to transfer an OS drive, nor how to change the boot.ini file so that windows will boot. Btw the 250GB has three partitions on it. I think they are a 70GB which has the win7 OS, a 30GB which has my old XP, and everything else in a general partition that stores god only knows what. I checked the stickies and did a fast general search of the forum but nothing jumped out at me. Anyone with a name I know want to shoot me some links that would be great.

When I clone the OS drive, do the partitions needs to be the same size? Meaning if I clone the 250GB onto the 750GB, do I need to keep the same 70GB/30GB, everything else? I'm ok with that, just need to know if I need to set it up that way.
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  1. There's many tools to do this actually. however the best and simplest tool with many advance features is called Acronis true image. It is a program that can be installed on the OS and it can create a bootable CD that has all of the features of the Installed version and used the same GUI so its easy to pop back and forth.

    Acronis can Clone your drive exactly which for windows 7 is normaly all you need to do. It's smart enough to handle being transplated without any effort on your part. If not Acronis also has whats called a Migration feature. It will prepare any version of windows to be moved to completly new and different system and set it back up with little to no effort on your part. You can try their free trial or buy it. I'd buy it its very usefull. I worked at a computer shop for 4 years and we used many clone programs this is the only one that just worked all the time.
  2. Oh and your thought on partition size is NO. they can be expanded to fit the entire drive. Acronis can handle that for you automaticly aswell or you can manuly tell which partitions to enlarge. Which is easy.

    As for the boot.ini file leave it alone you don't need to do anything to it. You usualy will only mess with that if you have multiple Versions of windows on the drive otherwise forget what sombody told you about editing that file.
  3. Try out EaseUS Todo Backup software, download from CNET. It is free and has a GUI that is friendly. I found it when a company I was working for wanted to image computers without Norton Ghost/Acronis.

    It turned out we had a site license for Norton Ghost so we never had a chance to implement EaseUS as the primary imaging software. I made one image and applied it to two successful HDD clones.
  4. Thats just it, I do have multiple OS's on that drive. First 70GB is Win7, next 30GB is XP. I realize the sizes don't need to be the same, but I've seen a boot.ini file and I it works by accessing Rdisk(0)partition(0) or in the case of XP partition(1) as its the second partition on the disk. Thinking about this more if I put the new OS drive in the same sata port on my computer this should prevent anything "odd" from happening.

    Any other tools out there, preferably free? I'd rather not buy something if I'm only going to use it once.
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