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Replacing a Hard Drive and Keeping Everything the Same

From a recent post on LinkedIn:

Q: Looking for a reliable hard disk cloning software.

I want to make an *exact* copy (a clone) of my hard disk(os+apps+data) so that when it fails I can install the second disk as the main disk and continue working. The disk is already making unhappy noises! Dell 8400 desktop with Windows XP SP 3.

Have researched Norton Ghost, Shadow Protect, but would like a solid recommendation from a satisfied user. Thanks.

A: If you haven’t bought the hard drive yet, Seagate and Western Digital provide free tools for their drives that make perfect copies. Especially if you are upgrading the drive for an older machine that cannot take advantage of the full size of modern disks as you can create partitions on the new drive with your old drive cloned to the boot partition.

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