Quick plug for some great free software

I recently ordered a hard drive upgrade for my main PC, and needed a quick way to clone my OS drive. Typically when I upgrade my PC, I tend to reinstall Windows. It gives me a nice reboot to my desktop – but I didn’t want to lose some of the files on my current drive, didn’t feel like searching for – and backing up – those files. You know how it goes. So I decided to google around for free disk cloning tools. Since I was upgrading to a 1TB from a 250GB drive, I didn’t know how the clone would work. Would it create a ~1TB partition and copy the contents? Would it create a partition the same size as the source drive? I figured I had best grab some kind of partition management software.

For disk cloning, I grabbed Clonezilla and burned it to a CD and gave it a shot. It uses a text based interface that is probably familiar to anyone with a Linux background, though the boot manager claimed a 800×600 GUI. Anyhow, it gave me the option to clone via using a disk image or via a straight up device to device copy. I opted for device to device. I told it NOT to load GRUB, as I am booting Windows only right now and have no need for a boot loader. It took about 70 minutes to clone my 250GB drive, which had about 40GB free. Clonezilla created a ~250GB partition on the 1TB drive, so I did indeed have to use a partition manager, which leads me to –

Easus Partition Master Home Edition. I installed this handy little program, and fired her up. It has a somewhat similar interface to what I remember of Partition Magic. You can slide the drive sizes back and forth to quickly queue up a resize operation – which is what I needed. It took about 5-10 minutes, and I was back up and running after a few reboots, with my system drive now expanded to take up the full ~1TB. I had never heard of this company or program, but I just had to give it a shout out as it came in very handy, especially when I am also tending to my newborn son.

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