Paul from NW Chicago Suburbs writes:
What is the best way to copy all the information on one hard drive and put it on another when upgrading to a larger hard drive, including the Windows XP Pro operating system. I want to go from a mechanical hard drive to a SSD.
If you want to upgrade your hard drive from a mechanical hard drive to a SSD (solid state drive) and keep your information, you’re going to need a program to clone the hard drive. Cloning the hard drive will copy all of the information from one drive to the other. The trick to cloning a hard drive is that you will need another hard drive at least as big as the original drive in order to copy successfully without advanced methods like resizing partitions.
EasyUS Disk Copy Home Edition, provided by EasyUS, is the best software I have found to do this. You can download it by clicking here. Once you download and run the software, you’ll be prompted for either a USB flash drive or blank CD (CD’s tend to work better) to create the boot disk to perform the copy. The software will guide you through this process.
Once the disk has been created, you can install the new SSD (make sure to leave your old hard drive connected for now) and boot your computer up with the “Disk Copy” disk. Make sure to change your BIOS settings to “boot from CD” first or, if your computer has a boot options menu key (may be Esc or F2 key), to select your CD/DVD drive as your boot option. Disk Copy will open and you will select “disk copy”, then press “next.” Select your source hard drive as your old hard drive and press “next.” Select your destination drive as your new SSD and press “next.”
You will receive a confirmation screen to verify what you are copying. Click “proceed” to copy the disk. The disk copy can take many hours to complete, depending on the speed of the hard drives and the amount of information to copy. Once the process has been completed quit the program. Unplug your old hard drive and start your computer with the new SSD.
EasyUS provides a great FAQ section you can access by clicking here to learn more.
P.S. If you would rather copy your hard drive inside of Windows (plus have a great backup program) a fantastic software for disk imaging and copying is Laplink Disk Image. WorldStart offers it by clicking here.