Review: Apricorn's EZ Upgrade For Notebooks Makes Hard Drive Swaps Simple - InformationWeek

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Review: Apricorn's EZ Upgrade For Notebooks Makes Hard Drive Swaps Simple

I used Apricorn's EZ Upgrade Notebook Hard Drive Upgrade Kit to change out the 60GB drive in my trusty Toshiba Satellite M35 in favor of a Seagate 160GB drive.

Say your laptop is still functioning, but you're running out of disk space. What should you do? An obvious answer would be to replace the old drive. Right—just pull the old drive out, and slip in a bigger drive. If only it were that simple.

As a matter of fact, it now really is that simple. I used Apricorn's EZ Upgrade Notebook Hard Drive Upgrade Kit to change out the 60GB drive in my trusty Toshiba Satellite M35 in favor of a Seagate 160GB drive.

Since I was approaching the limits of my 60GB drive, the prospect of replacing the drive, installing Windows, reloading all the applications and data seemed like a lot of work—especially since some of my applications were downloaded, and their installer files had been deleted long ago. I shouldn't have worried. The Apricorn Upgrade Kit made it easy.

As a safety net, my first move was to make a backup of my data to my desktop computer by simply copying the folders using my network connection. Once my copies were in place I was ready to start the drive replacement process.

Components

I opened the Apricorn upgrade kit that included a plastic case, USB cable, and the software on CD. I also unboxed the new Seagate 160GB drive. The Apricorn enclosure supports drives up to 12.7mm in size, which was exactly what both the existing and replacement drives were. The enclosure is secured with a single screw that holds the top and bottom together. I separated the two halves and slid the Seagate drive onto the contact pins then closed the enclosure.

The Apricorn unit can be powered either by an external power supply (not included) or directly from a USB connection. The kit includes both a USB data cable and a PS2 power adapter. This arrangement allows you to power the drive from the laptop's power rather than connecting to a separate wall adapter.

apricorn I installed the Apricorn applications on my laptop and plugged the external drive into an available USB 2.0 port, then initiated Apricorn's Clone EZ software, which lead me through the process of making an almost duplicate image of the laptop's 60GB drive on the new 160GB drive. An important feature of Clone EZ is that it duplicates the existing drive, but to a larger partition. The software can automatically create a larger partition on the destination drive, so that rather than the new drive having two partitions (one containing the original drive data and another, empty partition that would need to be addressed as a different drive letter) my new drive contained my 50GB of data and about 110GB of empty space.

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