I have recently upgraded my hard drive in my main pc from a tired 320 gig Hitachi drive (recycled into my ubuntu server!) to a nice 1tb Samsung model. I wasn’t looking forward to the big re-install, and wondered if there was an easier way!
Well, it turns out that Windows 7 has a quite nice in built system image tool. Once I’d got over the fact that my original drive had some errors (easily fixed) that was causing the system image to fail, it was quite an easy process. I just ran the system image tool and made the image (256 gig of it!) to my external usb backup drive. Then installed new 1 tb drive and ran the System Restore disk that I’d made before (you have made a System Restore disk, haven’t you???) using the system image to re-install all my settings etc. Final act is to use disk management to resize the partition up to the full 1tb and job done. Took me 2 days of intense head scratching, but I reckon it’s a real life and time saver. Next up is my laptop, as that gets a free upgrade to a 250 meg hard drive, ex server!!!