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HD upgrade/swap question - can this be done?

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Greetings all!

My current 120G HD (Dell E1505 Inspiron) is almost full (99GB of 107GB) and I just purchased a 320G to replace it. Right now, I only have one primary partition that I am using. There are two other very small system partitions as well (47MB and 3.42GB). Unfortunately, I do not know their purpose.

I want to create 3 large partitions on the new drive and have all my current contents reside in the first one. Later I will move the "My Documents" folder to partition 2. Partition 3 will be used to house backup files of the OS and personal files.

I am using Acronis True Image trial software for the migration. Now if I try to clone the drive, I can only resize the current (3) partitions. That doesn't help me. If I try to create a whole disc backup then recover it in the first partition then I am unsure if the two small partitions on the original HD will work properly.

Does anyone have a solution for my problem? Thanks in advance!
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What brand is the drive? I know that Western Digital (and I think Seagate as well) make software that copies everything from the old drive to the new one, partitions, Windows, Data, programs, etc. I believe it also expands the primary parition to fit the new drive

btw...I would say that the 3.42GB partition on your current drive is a recovery partition. I have no idea what the other one would be tho...

Hope this helps! :)
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Hi Finleyville,

The hard drive is currently set up into three partitions, in order from first to last, they are your diagnostic partition (accessible by holding down the <Fn> key as you turn on the laptop), your C:\ drive, and the D:\ drive, for recovery (accessible by pressing <Ctrl> + <F11> during POST). If you use Acronis TrueImage, the partitions will technically still be there, but not accessible through <Fn> + <Power> or <Ctrl> + <F11>. So they'll just sit there taking up space.

The diagnostics are available by downloading the Dell Diagnostic Distribution Package or from the CD that was originally sent with your computer that says "Drivers and Utilities" on it.
The recovery partition you don't need, since you're going to have a good image using Acronis TrueImage.

That said, I would recommend using the DriveImage XML plugin for BartPE to backup your data. You can select the drive you want to back up, and restoration is easy. It isn't as feature-rich as Acronis TrueImage, but it's what I recommend. Plus, you can browse individual files and restore them from the image, which I'm not sure you can do with Acronis.

You will need the XP CD or a GParted LiveCD to create and resize the partitions before moving your data onto the new hard drive.

Good luck!
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