Now might be a great time to swap. If you’ve ever switched out hard drives before, perhaps you recall what an arduous task it is to a) obtain the original drivers and version of Windows, b) install everything and try to remember all the special settings you’ve changed, c) reinstall all the little utilities and browser plug-ins, d) reinstall all your applications, e) restore all your data, files, pictures, music, etc. Shew! No wonder people dread it.

Dread it no more. Last week, as I was getting ready to lose about 2 days of productivity (attempting all the jobs above), I asked our I.T. guy if he had any last minute tips for me. Shew. Smartest thing I could have done. He told me about a free utility application called Self Image

Basically, you buy a $20 pig-tail that connects your PC’s USB port to the data connector & power plug on the new hard drive. Bam. The new hard drive shows up as a new additional drive on your PC. Then you just tell Self Image to create a new copy of the primary hard drive (probably c:) onto the new additional drive (probably e: or f:). It copies everything: Windows, operating system, utilities, even *partitions*, even if they’re hidden! So about 20′ later, I had upgraded from a 100 gig drive to a 160 gig drive. Even as I write this tonight, I’m still shaking my head in disbelief. It was so easy. I can’t understand why hard drive manufacturers don’t give away a CD with this program on it with every hard drive they sell. Their customers would spread the word and their sales would triple over night. Highly recommended. And free. (To our I.T. guy at Team Expansion, whose name is Greg, I give my full measure of gratitude. You’ve earned *high* respect for finding and telling me about such a helpful resource.)