I want to transfer my current system hard drive to a larger hard drive. Doing so, I thought of creating an image of my system hard drive which is 320 GB in size.

Would I be able to restore this image on a larger hard drive? I plan buying a 1TB hard drive.

If yes, how? I prefer no data loss.

I am using Windows 7

  • What software created the 320 image? – Moab Jul 6 '11 at 2:41
  • @Moab none yet. depends on your advice – Aivan Monceller Jul 6 '11 at 5:22
  • Most image utilities will have no problem moving an image to a larger drive, if there is more than 1 partition on the hard drive some software is better at re-sizing the C partition automatically, I like Acronis 2011 build 6857. – Moab Jul 6 '11 at 13:38

Would I be able to restore this image on a larger hard drive? - Yes, you can do this. I suggest you get your new drive, use something (see below) to migrate your data and then only destroy the original data once you've confirmed the copy worked perfectly.

CloneZilla is a decent option.

I also like to use GParted for these kinds of things.

If you happen to be dealing with OSX, then the Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility) is profoundly helpful. Note that "Disk Utility" is also available on the OSX installation Disc, so you can boot from that and run it, if you launch it before clicking too far in to the installer.

If you like to spend money on things, you may also want to look at Norton Ghost for this.

  • If you're dealing with MBR booting, you may discover how flimsy it can be. If you get in to booting challenges, try the "Super Grub Disk" to get your machine booting temporarily while you resolve that. If you're using Windows Vista or Windows 7, I find EasyBCD to be a really really snazzy boot manager with excellent support for all OSes I've encountered. – James T Snell Jul 6 '11 at 0:26

Probably. Although it can depend on many factors, and may have some caveats. You don't tell us which OS or filesystem you're using, so I'll try to provide a general answer.

  1. In most cases, you can restore the 320gb image to a larger hard drive to a 320gb partition. This would leave roughly 650gb of un-partitioned space that you could then partition as a second drive.

  2. Many file systems these days can be expanded. In Linux, this is possible with most of the popular filesystems. I believe NTFS supports this, as well. In this case, you could restore the 320gb image to your 1tb drive, then expand the filesystem to use the remainder of the disk.

  3. Some disk imagers (Norton Ghost comes to mind) are intelligent enough to do the resizing of the filesystem for you at restore time. I've used this in the past when doing mass automated installs on computers with different disk configurations.

  • The OSX Disk Util will grow/shrink your copied partition as needed (where possible). GParted can non-destrutively resize basically any partition type you'll use (NTFS, HFS+, etc). – James T Snell Jul 6 '11 at 0:56

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