Hein (fub) wrote,
Hein
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How to upgrade to a larger-capacity harddisk without reinstalling WinXP

Mostly for my own reference -- but perhaps it will help somebody else too. Here is how to upgrade to a larger capacity harddisk without having to completely reinstall WinXP! This uses some WinXP-specific tools, which may or may not be available on later versions of Windows. Not an idiot-proof guide -- don't come crying to me if you break something!

- Make your new drive accessible to your PC -- either plug it in a spare IDE/SATA-slot, or buy an IDE/SATA-to-USB box and plug that into a USB port;
- Right-click on 'My Computer' and select 'Manage';
- Use the 'Disk Management' interface to create a partition on the new drive -- as large as, or larger than, the partition on your current drive;
- I'm not sure it's necessary, but I always format the partition as well;
- Install DriveImage XML, a free drive imaging and backup program from Runtime Software;
- Use DriveImage XML to do a 'Disk-to-Disk' copy. Follow the on-screen instructions. Fetch a cup of coffee. Go read a book;
- When it's done, check that the new drive contains the same things as the old drive;
- Run checkdsk on the new drive;
- Use the 'Disk Management'-interface to 'Activate' the partition on your new drive;
- If the filesystem misreports the amount of free space (that is: if your old drive is, say, 100GB, and you upgraded to a 250GB drive, chances are that Windows will still tell you that the capacity of the filesystem on the new drive is 100GB, even if you cloned to a partition of 250GB), then:
    * Open a command prompt and run the diskpart tool;
    * Select the correct volume of your new drive;
    * Issue the command 'extend filesystem';
    * Close the diskpart tool and verify that the size has been adjusted.
- Put your new drive in place of the old one. You can either reformat the old drive and use it as extra storage, or, if you bought an IDE/SATA-to-USB box, you can use the old drive as removable (backup-)storage.
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