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The great reinstall: Worth it or not?

Reinstall or clone?I've got a bit of a stumper on my hands. Tomorrow, UPS willing, a brand new hard drive (and a couple other choice upgrades) will be arriving on my doorstep. The new drive is a 250GB SATA number--not a monster, but much bigger and much faster than the ancient 80-gigger I've relied on the for far too long, so the new drive is taking the throne as my system drive ASAP. Here's the stumper: Should I be lazy and just transfer the contents of my C: partition over to the new drive, or should I put a daisy-fresh Windows XP install on it and go through the dance of installing all my apps and tweaking all my settings again? With the former I'm up and running again in a matter of hours right where I left off, which is both good (everything is exactly where I left it, including all my settings and shortcuts) and bad (everything is exactly where I left it, including my bloated registry and debris all over my system folders). With the latter I blow the weekend on installing and configuring stuff and doing the inevitable troubleshooting, and the next two months tweaking it until it feels comfortable again. So which is the lesser of two evils?

Or is there a third option I'm not considering? Oh, I could take the easy way out and install Ubuntu or Vista RC2, but I'd still lose days and weeks on tweaking--even more, since both are less familiar to me than good old XP. Sorry, but I'm sticking with XP until now (though be assured I'll be rocking the VMware a lot more with my newfound hard drive space). At any rate, I want to hear about DLS readers' best kung-fu hard drive swapping and/or Windows reinstalling techniques. Pipe up in the comments below!

Tags: hard drive, HardDrive, microsoft, news, reinstall, windows, windows xp, WindowsXp, xp