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I have an old laptop with a 20 GB hard drive, a spare 60 GB hard drive, and I'd like to convert the laptop to use the new larger drive by copying an image of the 20 GB drive onto the new drive and expanding the partitions.

Once I get the image of the old drive onto the new drive I can manage the re-sizing of the partitions, but I'm not sure how to create the image of the hard drive, or how to copy that onto the new drive.

One slight trouble is that I don't have my desktop machine here (I also don't have a laptop-drive to IDE converter) and so I'm going to need to do all of this using a live CD and an external USB hard drive.

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2 Answers 2

Create a BartPE CD with the EASEUS ToDo Backup plugin.

Tutorial: Run EASEUS Todo Backup from BartPE based boot CD-ROM

  • Connect your external hard drive
  • Boot into BartPE and clone your disk to the external drive.
  • Replace the old HDD with the new drive.
  • Boot into BartPE again and clone your external disk back to the new HDD.

You can also use Clonezilla, but you must clone to image file if the external HDD is larger than 60 GB, as it will not allow you to clone driectly to a target drive smaller than the source.

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For this scenario, assuming SATA drives, here's what's been working for me:

  1. Duplicate the disk by plugging both old and new disks into this $20 USB3 hard disk dock and disk duplicator. I think it's $40 now, but was on sale for $20 when I got it. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=17-821-011 New hard drive must be bigger. With it NOT connnected to a computer, all you do is stick both drives into the SATA connectors, power up the dock unit (power button), and press the "DB" button ("Duplicate Button", I think it stands for) for 3 seconds, both drive lights blink green. Go away for a few hours/overnight.

  2. Take out the "new" drive, connect it up to the computer it will be used in. Boot Windows or whatever OS, to make sure it works. (It always does, but there may be CHKDSK or whatever that gets run as part of this process). Shut the PC back down.

  3. Run the GPartEd "Live CD" and resize the primary partition to use the unallocated space that is now available on your new drive. See www.GPartEd.org to get the current version of GPartEd.

  4. When GPartEd finishes, shut it down normally (the Linux screen has a button to click). Remove the CD, reboot your computer to whatever OS is on the new hard drive.

  5. Enjoy! (And keep your old hard drive around for a week or so as an emergency backup to make sure everything is running properly)

  6. Make a backup image of your new drive.

  7. Enjoy the extra space!!

I just used this process successfully yesterday to go from a Crucial 256GB SSD to a Samsung 480GB SSD.

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