Friday, 11 April 2014

Cloning my desktop hard disk

I guess that I am one of the very last few people here that actually uses a desktop computer, but it's true, I still use one. Although I have a laptop computer, a notebook computer, a Macbook computer and an iPad2 in my possession, my main fall-back equipment is still the trusty desktop computer. I use it for almost everything, including as a media player since the desktop is connected directly to my home hifi system.

I've been using a desktop computer since the early part of the 1980s. It was powered by an Intel 286 chip then. Pretty fast in those days but with technology breezing by so quickly nowadays, I can't keep up with the changing knowledge. All I know is that my current desktop is running on an antiquated i3-core Intel chip. I think "antiquated" is the right word to use as the motherboard doesn't even support USB3.0 devices.

When I assembled this desktop some four or five years ago, I had bought a 1TB internal hard disk and thought that it would be sufficient to last me. Boy, was I wrong. About a year ago, I began realising that the capacity wasn't enough. My hard disk space was filling up fast and that, even after transferring most of my data to a 2TB external hard disk.

Two days ago, I decided finally to buy myself a new internal hard disk. And this time, I chose a 2TB one. Maybe it is still too small but well, my existing 1TB hard disk, once reformatted, will become an additional storage to the new 2TB hard disk. Won't be so bad after all, I should think!

The problem is to install the operating system into the new hard disk and then go through all the program installations again, which I know is a BIG chore for me. It was not something that I would like to do. The alternative was to try something new, like a hard disk cloning program that would copy everything from the old hard disk to the new hard disk.

I found such a program on the Internet, which was called EaseUS Todo Backup Free (free for personal use on one computer). Installation was very quick and it created a boot-up disk. Having done that, I shut down the computer, fixed the new hard disk into the casing and booted the computer from the optical disk drive. The program kicked in and all I did was to follow the on-screen instructions to clone from one hard disk to another. The only drawback was that the cloning was done sector-by-sector, and it took almost five hours to complete. In the meantime, I sat twiddling with my iPad.

There was another problem. When cloning from a smaller hard disk to a larger hard disk, it left me with a huge amount of unallocated space on the new hard disk and I had to search the Internet again for a solution. Found a free program from the same website, called EaseUS Partition Master. The process of moving and resizing the partitions went very smoothly indeed but it took another two to three hours before I could use my desktop again.

Anyway, it's all done and finished. I've a new hard disk installed on the desktop computer but everything else remains the same under the hood. If I don't mention it at all, nobody will know the difference....

My next project, short of buying a new mother board and new processor, will be to open up the casing again and fit in another 4GB of memory space to speed up the processing time. But that will be another time, to be considered once I replete my funds.

(Note: Nobody is paying me anything to promote EaseUS. It is just that I am so very satisfied with using these two software programs from the company. You want to know more about them? Just do a search and find out for yourself. I'm not even going to link to their website.)

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