I believe Seagate Wizard is based off Acronis True Image. Basically you just take the pc case apart hookup both drives. Boot off the CDROM Seagate disc. Clone the old to the new drive. Replace the new drive with the old drive. Reboot the system so the bios detects the new drive. Piece of cake.
This is something that's similar to what I do as a routine cloner (I do it for a complete backup HDD periodically).
I've cloned with 3 tools:
- Acronis (2011 ver)
- Macrium Reflect (free ver)
- Clonezilla freeware
I've been cloning for about 2½ years with no issues seen so far (all cloned HDD's boot up, run ok).
I've only cloned once from a smaller HDD (500gb) to a larger HDD (1 Tb). I did that using Acronis when I bought a new 1 Tb HDD. It worked ok.
Here's my Desktop PC cloning routine:
- Delete partitions on the Target HDD before starting the cloning process. I do that mainly for ease of identifying the Target HDD when I'm running the cloning tool. This way, the Target HDD will appear (in the cloning software tool) as the "unallocated" HDD. This is convenient if one is cloning periodically with 2 identical HDD's, same size, manufacturer, Seagate, WD, etc.
I usually delete the partitions from Windows' Disk Management console. Occasionally, Windows won't let me delete the "System Reserved" partition (user-protection reasons), so I'll use "Diskpart" within CMD to delete that partition with the "override" parameter.
Pre-cloning partition-deletes and formatting aren't necessary since the cloning process will overwrite existing partitions and data during the cloning process. I'm only doing it to eliminate any ID issues during the Source/Target HDD selection process in the cloning setup steps. It also saves me a setup step when using Acronis since it will automatically select the correct Target HDD if the software identifies one of the HDD's as "unallocated".
- Shut down PC.
- Boot up with one of my cloning tools from bootable media ("rescue" cd's, etc). I realize that I can clone within my OS (Windows 7) with Acronis and some other cloning tools but I like to test the "worse-case" methodology, loading the cloning tool into memory with a wiped HDD, no OS, etc.
- Clone HDD. In my case, cloning takes about 35 minutes using Acronis 2011. I clone every couple of weeks.
- Boot up on the Target HDD to verify a working bootable spare HDD.
- Resume normal PC activities on my Source HDD. Sometimes I'll run on the Target HDD and swap back to the original Source HDD the next time I clone.
I don't do any pre-cloning partition creations or formatting since the cloning process will create the partitions (as well as copy the MBR) from the Source HDD during the cloning process.
I don't Image as often as clone but I do that occasionally, storing the full-HDD images on an external HDD.
A couple of things regarding my HDD setup's:
My Desktop PC is a custom-built PC, so my HDD's are bare OEM drives, no brand-specific (Dell, etc) recovery partitions were present, etc. I use Seagate Barracuda HDD's since I wanted to stay with one brand of HDD's.
My Windows 7 Desktop (X64) install is the default 2-partition installs, the "System Reserved" partition and the OS/data partition.
I also clone my Toshiba Laptop PC which did come with a Toshiba recovery partition. I clone the same way with the Laptop as my Desktop PC except I'm using a SATA/USB Enclosure with the Laptop PC.
One thing that's of interest regarding Laptop cloning practices: I've read, over at the Acronis forum that it's required to clone with the Source HDD in an Enclosure and the Target HDD installed in the Laptop.
That's how I cloned for the first year or so but I thought I'd try it in reverse, with my Source HDD remaining in the Laptop and the Target HDD in my Enclosure. It worked ok this way so I'm not sure about the issue with regards to the location of the Source & Target HDD's when cloning Laptop's. Perhaps that's required with certain vendor Laptop's.
I've also test-recovered full-HDD Images with the Target HDD installed in my Enclosure, both with my Desktop PC and the Laptop. All test-recovered Images booted up and tested ok.