I just had a very pleasant experience upgrading the hard disk in my Thinkpad X200 laptop, and wanted to share how I did it with you. (This article was an inspiration.) I run Linux, but this should work for any OS.
- Purchase a Seagate Momentum XT with 4GB NAND Flash cache – many of the benefits of SSD, but without the cost – plus a cheap USB 2.5″ hard disk enclosure
- Place new disk in the enclosure
- Make a backup (I missed out this step, but recommend it)
- Download a CD image of Clonezilla and burn it
- Reboot into Clonezilla; clone your drive with the “proportionately increase partition sizes” option, and the “check source filesystem” option. Make sure not to mix up source and destination!
- Swap the drives over (screwdriver required)
- Find that everything works absolutely fine but df still reports your drive as 100GB.
- Do a lot of Googling
- Find a thread on UbuntuForums showing exactly your problem
- Run resize2fs to resize your ext3 filesystem up to the partition size. This works for ext3 even when the drive is mounted :-)
The process was almost trouble-free. The only difficulties were I had to redo the clone with the “check source filesystem” option, because my filesystem had an error or two, and finding out what the problem was with df and how to resize the filesystem. But all in all, this was really painless. And I now have 5 times as much space, plus a handy external 100GB backup drive (using my old drive and the enclosure).