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My current problem is that my Windows 7 system drive is unstable. I would like to try to clone this drive to the same type of disk (OCZ Vertex 2 120GB to OCZ Vertex 2 120GB) and replace the system drive with created clone.

My installation doesn't have Program Data and User profiles on the system drive. Later on (after warranty replacement of problematic drive), I would like to copy ProgramData and User profiles to different disk (Samsung SpinPoint 750GB to OCZ Vertex 2 120GB) and use the new disk instead. Note: data have only few GBs so there should not be any problem with the disk size.

Is it possible? What is the best way to do that? Is it better to simply reinstall the system from scratch (I would like to avoid it)?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You could try making an image of your drive with DriveImage XML - a free tool...

DriveImage XML is an easy to use and reliable program for imaging and backing up partitions and logical drives.

Image creation uses Microsoft's Volume Shadow Services (VSS), allowing you to create safe "hot images" even from drives currently in use. Images are stored in XML files, allowing you to process them with 3rd party tools. Never again be stuck with a useless backup! Restore images to drives without having to reboot. DriveImage XML is now faster than ever, offering two different compression levels.

Some articles regarding DriveImage XML from Lifehacker:

http://lifehacker.com/204644/ghost-windows-for-free-with-driveimage-xml

Tutorial: http://lifehacker.com/326086/hot-image-your-pcs-hard-drive-with-driveimage-xml

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+1 - see superuser.com/questions/32164/… for a ton of other suggestions too. –  Kez Feb 6 '11 at 17:15
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