Are there any folk out there who have had experiences with upgrading a single harddrive with the Vista OS and data on it to a single bigger harddrive? What tools to use? I am thinking Acronis Disk Director or Acronis Drive image?
I am actually contemplating between two choices. The PC's harddrive is big enough for all programs and the OS but it's the data I want to store elsewhere. So it either seriously upgrade my pc's hard drive or have an external solution.
As I already have a quadrillion (read 7) external USB devices (all below 500Gb) to the point that it just is ridiculous and is clogging up all USB 2.0 ports and some firewire ports I think it is easier/better to put a network drive of about 1 Terabyte or more on my LAN - replacing those quadrillion USB Drives. But what devices are good and integrate well?
Stuff I want to store on it:
Yes CloneZilla is open source, the CD boots into Linux. I used it when I upgraded the hard drive in a laptop (with Windows XP). I put the old drive in a USB enclosure and used CloneZilla to clone the old drive to the new one. It worked OK, Windows booted up as if nothing changed. There is an option to re-size the partition to make it fill the larger drive, but that didn't work for me. So I ended up with one partition that is the size of the old drive, plus another partition for the remaining space... you may have better luck.
One other thing, some copy protection or DRM schemes might notice that the hard drive is different, and require you to unlock them again.
By the name it looks to be an open source package. I'll delve into that as well as I love to have many bootable resque cds / dvds to help out myself and family/friends in case of computer disasters. For some reason they always come to me - even my sis with her Macs
I've used a bootable CloneZilla CD. It works fine but you really have to know what you're doing.
I opted for less cable, less power bricks and upgraded the internal HD to a terabyte model. I used Acronis True Image 2009 to clone my drive - it worked great as even the hidden Acer system restore partition was cloned. I did have to manually adjust the partition sizes and it only worked properly when I booted from a bootable cd-rom created with the Acronis software.
I connected the new drive on a sata/ide/usb 2.0 adapter and performed the clone-procedure with the original drive in situ and the new drive outside the pc connected to the adapter. Then I shut down the system and changed over the drives.
After rebooting Windows did install other drivers and a second reboot was necessary. An then I had to re-activate Windows - it wasn't a big deal and it worked flawless but the reactivating Windows thing I do have a problem with. Probably happened because a recently installed a 8600 Nvidia card and now I changed the hard-drive. Anyways - the old drive will be tossed in a drawer and will function as a 'resque' device if the terabyte drive crashes.
I have Acronis Drive Image but have not used it since getting it over six months ago. I plan to use it first on the arcade machine as my time permits.
I also have this network storage solution, which is plugged directly into my wireless N router: http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en/products/NAS200
I presently have two 500GB 7200RPM eSATA hard drives in it and nothing on the two USB ports (in fact, my Linksys router also has one USB network storage port, so I have three "bays" for USB hard drives). It's very easy to set up and I have it set up as a media server (just specific directories), which systems like the Xbox 360 and PS3 see for photos, videos and music. The biggest downside to the device is that it's very, very slow, but I use it for all of my media storage and to offload backups to. It's easy enough to set up the hard drives in a RAID 0 or 1 configuration, but right now I have them operating individually and just manually back up one drive to the other. Personally, I recommend network attached storage that has these features, just not this particularly model due to issues with performance. For what I use it for though, it's fine.