I have never seen a direct copy work. You need to create a complete "mirror" of the partitions on the drive, including the bootsector. The only way I know how to do this is with software. Norton Ghost can do the job for you.
If you don't want to spend any money, put your new drive in as the master drive and the old drive as a slave, install the OS to the new drive, copy over the files that you want from the old drive, and then format the old drive.
Is there a reason why you can't use the old drive as is and add the new drive as additional storage? If you tell me exactly what your wanting, I might be able to provide you with better solutions.
The new hard drive is 120 gigs and about 70 gigs used with stuff I don't need. I want to wipe it clean and put another os in it. All I have is upgrade disks. If I wipe the new one clean, I don't have an operating system to put in it other than transfer my old hard drive to it. Then I would like to take my old hard drive back out.
create a system restore disk(s). Use windows backup to create a back up of your software and important files. Install the new hard drive as the master and use the system restore disk to install the OS. Then use windows backup to restore your software and files.
There are several free utilities that will copy it for you. I suggest that you download and generate UBCD4WIN (Ultimate Boot CD For Windows). It uses your OS to create an image of a CD that you can burn to a CD and boot from. It gives you applications to duplicate disks while resizing partitions along with many other cool tools.
This thread is from five years ago... Don't resurrect old thread anymore because the solution may not applicable to latest solution available. If need help or offer a solution, create new thread on right forum.
Warning: This method requires nerd gparted experience.
I have dealt with similar circumstances before and will explain how I went about doing it. For my method you will require an external harddrive or a giant flash drive. To do this you need to buy or download a linux disk which comes with the gparted software preinstalled. To download it simply find a linux iso image (any linux variation with gparted part of the package bundle) then burn that iso image to a cd. After that insert the cd into the cd-rom drive and reboot the computer. When the computer reboots you will see a new menu. From this menu you will want to boot from the cd. After booting from the cd, open gparted and format the external harddrive or flash drive as the same file system as what the drive you are going to copy too is and during the process give it the label temp. After that you may close gparted and open the linux equivelent of explorer. Now copy all of your files from the drive your going to copy too to this external harddrive or flash drive (remember all of this is in linux and non of this will be in windows). Now in gparted check the two internal drives and write on a piece of paper every piece of information gparted can report about their file systems, partitoning, boot sectors etc. You will need to program all of that information back in later. After writing down every detail you can find on those two drives, format the drive you want to copy the operating system too and setup the partitions (except to one main partition size of drive C which won't be named drive c in linux) along with the boot sectors partition every detail to be exactly the same including the label. After that copy all of the data from the original operating system drive to the new operating system drive which is bigger. Then format the old drive as the same file system as the external harddrive and the same label as the old second drive. Then copy all of the stuff from the external harddrive to the old operating system drive which is now the new data drive. After that format the external harddrive as the ntfs file system and give it the label "external" (without the quotes). Then reboot windows and at first you will get a blue screen of death. This is a good thing however because it means that windows recognizes that there is extra space so what windows does just this one time is bring up the blue screen and do a full check of the harddrive to recognize the extra space then after that disk check and the bootup take out the cd the blue screen should not occure again if you didn't make any mistakes. If you did make any mistakes the original setup should be on your piece of paper and can be adjusted on gparted. That is how I swap my harddrives at least.