For this solution, we are assuming that you have a bootable Windows 7 installation on your working C: drive, and that you want to put a newer/faster/larger drive in as a new C: drive with the same Windows and programs. To clone the C: drive to another drive, you’ll need either to install it internally in the machine (if it is a desktop) connected to an available SATA connection, or if it is a laptop or a machine without room for a second SATA drive internally, use a USB / SATA drive enclosure or a technician’s USB / SATA adapter cable. Note: to clone a bootable Windows drive the target drive must be installed internally on the SATA bus. The original source drive must be in the USB enclosure.
The first place to look for cloning software is the manufacturer of your new hard drive.
Western Digital provides a free version of Acronis True Image here. See Section 15 of the User Manual PDF file for transferring a system automatically.
Other software options are:
Acronis TrueImage – this is a commercial program, and is our go-to tool for drive cloning and it includes backup and restore tools for continuing use.
EaseUS ToDo backup, which is available in a variety of versions, (EaseUS ToDo links from Download.com) and is an easy solution to maintaing backups of your files.
XXClone (XXClone from Download.com) can create a bootable clone of your drive.