[I]t's a mistake to think you can simply clone an 80GB drive to a 500GB drive, swap the drives, and go about your business.
An old friend who is a fan of the Mac writes to say that, on a Mac, assuming the drive was not corrupted and the clone itself isn't corrupted, then this is exactly what you could do. Maybe. It would seem to be possible to do this on a PC, as well. At least, that's what the Apricorn product that I used to clone my old drive seems to be saying it will do.
But, you know, if you're going to buy a new suit, you might as well shower and shave before putting it on. In other words, when moving from an old drive that has been in use for a couple of years to a spanking new drive, it makes sense to do things right, not simply to clone all your old problems. If instead of trying to take the easy way out, I had done what I outlined in my last post and installed a fresh copy of Windows from the start, and then reinstalled my apps, I would have saved myself a lot of time and trouble. I would have ended up with what I have now, a nice clean installation of everything. And I would have saved myself a few dollars, because the Apricorn enclosure + software package was a lot more expensive than an enclosure alone.
And I committed the sin of laziness not once here, but twice, because when I did finally decide to reinstall Windows, I didn't format the hard disk.
I should add that, of course, I do not know for sure that my old hard disk was okay, nor do I know that the clone wasn't somehow imperfect. I won't ever know what exactly went wrong. One of the Dell techs who helped me suspected that there might be something amiss with my bluetooth card, so he sent me a new one; it arrived today.
I seem to deal with one computer catastrophe on this scale about every 3-4 years. And just for the record, the last catastrophe was on a Mac.