Dear Computer Lady,
My Computer is about five years old and runs WindowsXP. It runs well thankfully but the 2TB Harddrive is almost full.
I can’t afford a new machine and besides I’m not sure I want windows7 yet.
I’ve been thinking that the best way to fix this issue would be to get a larger Harddrive and move everything to the new drive and make that my new C drive, but I’m not sure of the steps required. I can not afford to lose my current files.So I would please need the steps to do so.
Thank you as always for the help, Phil in Boston
It is possible to install a new, larger hard drive in your computer, and create a mirror image of the old drive on the new one, then run the computer from the new, imaged drive.
I have done this before, and it has worked well, however, I have a couple of concerns about your computer. First is the fact that your old computer has completely filled a 2TB hard drive. That is a lot of space and unless you are storing tens of thousands of photos, or hours and hours of video, I would suspect that some kind of problem is causing your drive to fill up. There are viruses that create tons of junk files that fill up a hard drive, or perhaps the drive is old and developing bad sectors and the remaining good sectors are running out of free space.
Next is the fact that your computer is 5 years old. The average computer gets replaced every 5 years, so in computer years, yours is nearing the end of its life. If you install a new, larger hard drive, you still have 5 year old hardware in the rest of the computer, and while it could run for another 5 years, any one of those 5 year old parts could go in the coming weeks or months.
In addition to purchasing a new hard drive, you would also have to either purchase drive imaging software, or hire a computer shop to transfer your files from the old drive to the new one. Since you want to be able to boot the computer from this new, larger drive, you need to do more than just copy the files, you need to make and image. Both Nero and Roxio have programs that will help you with this
No matter what you decide to do, it is wise to backup your files. You never know when a computer hard drive will crash, and when it does, your files that you can’t afford to lose will be gone. You might be able to get them back with a data recovery service, but that will cost you thousands of dollars. Be sure to back up your files now, before disaster strikes!
My ideal solution for your situation would be to purchase a larger hard drive, install Windows XP on it (a clean install, not a copy of windows on your old drive) and then copy your files over to the new drive. This will speed up your computer, and correct any problems caused by software rot. This will give you the longest possible life for your older computer.