One of my computers has a 30GB HDD... Suppose I get a 80GB HDD and want to give the 30GB HDD to a friend, is there an easy way to transfer all the data to the larger HDD? Will it work hooking it up the the computer as a slave and coppying the files over? Is there a correct way to do this?
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While just "copying files" can be made to work it is not something that really should be done. (There are issues with hidden, system, and otherwise protected files, etc.....)
Generally, I rely on Norton Ghost.
I have been pretty happy in it's use, but I do have a friend who "hates it"! I never really bothered to delve into why he hates it, but he does.
Often when you purchase a new drive, there are several configurations it can be sold in. Seagate, Western Digital, and Matrox, all have a configuration that comes with software that while enable you to copy the files from one drive to another. Often, if you buy the "bare drive" configuration then this software does not come with the drive. (The have names for the configurations, but I don't really know. "OEM", "BARE DRIVE", etc.....)
At least in Western Digital's case, you can just download the software from their website if you purchase a "bare drive". (The Data Lifeguard Tools v11.0 has drive to drive copy capability.)
Does software from the manufacturers for copying hard drives work right or good? I don't know.
Like I said, I use Ghost.
One thing on Ghost!
There is a Personal version and a Corporate version! I NEARLY ALWAYS use the Corporate version. So while I have booted up and used the personal version a couple of times I am not talking about that version. (In reality it's the same program with some features turned off.)
I use Maxblast software, it can mirror one drive to another keeping everything intact. Unfortunately newer versions require you have a Maxtor or Quantum drive in your system, I use an older version that doesn't (version 1.27).
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I'd definitely add to the reccommendations of Norton Ghost. Used it many times and been very happy with it.
Of course, if you *do* use Ghost to clone the 30gb drive to an 80gb drive, you'll have to fdisk the new drive first and create a 30gb partition and then a 50gb partition (or 2* 25gb etc). Otherwise you'll just waste 50gb of your new drive.