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how to upgrade from a small hard drive to a larger one and keep OS, files ? Answered

 I have an HP Compaq DC5100 SFF with a 40G hard drive. I want to switch to a lager hard drive and keep the operating system, file & setting and all data (drive image) and put them on the new (larger) hard drive


Many drives these days come with "clone" software that will help you copy the old drive to the new one if you can hook them up at the same time. Or you can get this from the manufacturer.

Back in the days of OS/2, it was possible to do this without any special software by just using XCOPY with the correct options to make sure all the hidden/system files got copied and all the attributes/timestamps/whatever were preserved. I haven't tried that with recent versions of MS operating systems, but it's probably still possible. Not as efficient, I expect, but it might suffice.

If your HP came with its typical vampiric software, it offers a method to <a href="http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?lc=en&dlc=en&cc=uk&docname=bph08097">make a "recovery" disc</a>. <a href="http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?lc=en&dlc=en&cc=uk&docname=bph08097">Follow the instructions on the hp website about how to make it</a>. Then, after you get your new HDD and plug it in, use the recovery discs and it will reinstall your system.<br />I don't know whether the recovery discs back up your personal files, though. I'd make additional backups of those if I were you.<br />

It doesn't back up personal files.  It reinstalls everything just like it came from the factory.

I would use the second drive in addition to the 40G instead of changing it but you can use any of the software on the following link to "clone" the original<br /><br />http://www.downloadsquad.com/2008/09/05/5-free-apps-to-clone-your-hard-drive/<br />Of course do all of the following with the power off and make sure to ground yourself o the chassis of the computer to eliminate the possibility of static.<br />.<br />Your hard drive cable should have a plug in the middle that can be used for a second drive.<br />set the jumper on the new drive as a "slave" or "cable select" depending on the setting on your main drive.<br />run the cloning software according to the instructions. this should create an exact copy or the original.<br /><br />Then remove the original,<br />Change the jumper to "master",on the new drive.<br />Put it in place of the 40G,<br />and you're good to go.<br /><br />

Can you run two hard drives on this computer?  If so then you have several options.

1.  Install larger drive and use it as drive #2.  Move some of the software you use onto it and use it for all new software and keep you date there.  That frees up the original drive and window works better now.

2.  Install the larger drive and use it as #2 temporarily.  Use a disk ghosting or cloning software that will move everything to the new drive including the os and hidden files.  Then remove disk #1 and install the new drive as your main disk.  Most of the time this works.

3.  If your computer won't support two drives then you might be able to turn the new drive into  a usb drive by installing it in a usb case.  Cost $20 or so.  But this method is going to be very slow.  But better than nothing.

4.  Just switch out the new drive and reinstall everything.

Good luck.

1.5. open up your computer
2. find the Hard drive(hdd)
3. find the cable connected to the hdd
4. follow it to a disk/floppy drive
5. unplug the cable on the drive
6. plug in the new hdd to the cable you just unplugged
7. turn on the computer now you can either keep teis setting and use the knew hdd as "extra" storage.
8. or you can goto my computer right click on the new hdd and select back up, click everything and ok.

9. this will not back up the OS so you will need to get a new one. 
10. linux's are free.