At some point in the life of your computer you may find that you want to replace the hard drive. A couple of possible reasons for this are that you are running out of space and want to replace the drive with a bigger one or alternatively the current drive may be giving errors and you have decided to replace it before it decides to fail totally.
With the computer where I actually replaced the hard drive it was the latter of these two that provided the reason. The hard drive occasionally gave errors while trying to boot Windows and the only way to get the computer to boot when that happened was to insert the Windows CD in the DVD drive and boot from that to run a repair of the drive.
I was delayed in being able to actually perform this drive substitution because surprisingly the drive I purchased turned out to be totally dead and wouldn't even show up when first booting the computer with it connected to the computer. I had to return it to the store and have them replace it with one that worked (they tested both drives in the store while I was there to confirm that the original was actually dead and that the replacement worked).
The first step in transferring your data to a new working drive is to connect up the drive while the computer is turned off. At this stage we are not yet ready to replace the original drive and so we leave the original drive alone and connect the new drive to a different connection. If you don't have a spare power and data cable to connect the new drive up in addition to what is already connected then you can temporarily disconnect the DVD drive (assuming it is one that connects the same way).
Next turn the computer on (it should show both drives while booting up) and log into the computer using an account with administrator access. From there you can then start the Partition Manager program. The program should show both hard drives with the second showing as unformatted. Click on the partition showing on the first hard drive and select Copy. The program should then run a check of that partition and once that is done will ask you where to copy it to. That is when you select the second drive. I recommend at this point that you do not attempt to resize the partition at the same time as you copy it. Let's copy it at the same size first and make sure we can get it to work before we try to resize it.
The one other thing that you will need to do with this particular program is to click on the copied partition on the new drive and go into the Advanced option to set the partition as Active. If you do not do this then when you swap the drives you will not be able to boot the computer from the hard drive.
This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.