A Larger Drive for the Windows PC (With Linux Help)

From assela Pathirana
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Your computer's hard drive can not take it any more. Information has flooded the disk and is about to overflow! Of course if this is data (like photos, documents, etc.) they can live in an external hard drive. But what if you need one more program than the disk can take in? Our primary home computer is a HP slim tower of yesteryear that has a 2G Athlon XP processor, 512MB memory and 40GB (yes 40!) of precious hard drive space. The hard drive is always more than 80% full and this caused the computer to be extremely slow. We decided its time for a hard drive swap.

It is possible to install Windows XP from scratch in the new hard drive -- but then one needs to re-install all the software too. With about 30G of software already installed in the old disk this was not going to be a pretty picture. I needed a shortcut. Computer shops and corporate support groups routinely do what is known as 'Ghosting' with the ubiquitous Norton Ghost and many other tools. But, I did not want to shell out money to by a software for one-off use. Therefore went the 'open-source' way and were pleasantly surprised by how easy the whole thing ended up being!

Partimage -- A 'Ghost' for the rest of us!

Before we go any further, there are many Linux-based tools to do what Norton ghost does -- saving a partition to a file and later extract the data to a different partition. It just happend that the tool I came across was the PartImage. It is a very user friendly tool.

I downloaded the CD image