This article describes how to replace the HDD of your computer using Windows 7 with a new bigger one. If you run out of space and need a new HDD or upgrade your PC with an SSD, this guide helps you.
First, boot from the Acronis boot CD with an external USB HDD plugged to your computer. Make a full hdd backup (including MBR, ...) from your hdd to your external HDD. It will create a ".tib" file. Include the date in the filename.
Shut down your computer and remove your old HDD. Plug in the new HDD. With this method, its always possible to plug back your old HDD if you encounter any problems.
Restore the backup
Now boot again from the Acronis boot CD with the external USB HDD connected. This time, restore the earlier back up file to the new HDD. Take care to not mistakeably write the backup to the wrong HDD!
Enlarge partition, fix boot problem
After restoring, you should be able to boot from the new HDD. If not (eg. you have a blinking cursor), you might need to copy the MBR. If the partition is still the same size and your new HDD is bigger than the old one, there are some additional steps.
First, obtain a copy of Gparted live CD (I chose gparted-live-0.25.0-1-amd64.iso). On a computer running Mac or Linux, you can easily write this image to a bootable USB stick using the command "dd".
To fix the booting issue, boot from gparted live CD with both the new and the old hdds attached. Use the command "dd" to copy the MBR from the old HDD (/dev/sda in the example) to the new one (/dev/sdb in the example):
dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=512 count=1
Take care to chose the right if (input HDD) and of (output HDD). If you are not sure, use fdisk -l
to see which is which. The above command will copy 512 bytes (MBR) from sda to sdb disk. This will only work if both discs have identically sized partitions.
To enlarge the partition, first boot from the new HDD and run CHKDSK (right click on the HDD in Windows Explorer and somewhere within this menu the check can be performed). After the check (usually is performed at the next system restart) restart the system again (don't ask why, it's gparted specific!) Then boot with Gparted live CD and extend the NTFS partition size (in Gparted GUI).
More info: http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/howto-copy-mbr/