It says my hard drive is about to fail and that it's reached temperatures of 93F, so i want to have everything backed up and ready for if or when it fails. i know of ways that i can save a back up copy to the hard drive, but i'm not sure about a USB or how i would go about reuploading it to a new hard drive.
In my opinion the easiest tool to achieve this task is Clonezilla
For that purpose you'd need:
- One smaller USB stick or a CD or some other storage device to boot Clonezilla from - the website has pretty good instructions and there are numerous instructions on the web how to do it;
- One large USB stick, external HDD, NAS or a similar storage space to store the image of your hard drive on.
You then boot Clonezilla, choose "Device to Image" option and run the backup.
You can then replace your hard drive with a larger one and reverse the process: boot Clonezilla, select "Image to Device" and restore backup.
The PC should start normally and you would not see any differences. You can then use GPartEd to enlarge the partitions to use the extra space.
The process is pretty straightforward.
Note: cloning to a smaller drive is not supported and, although possible, is rather hacking and I'd highly discourage it. Especially if the drive is actually failing.
Do not bother spending the time to back up an operating system. Operating systems can be downloaded for free anytime, and are reinstalled in less than an hour.
What you need to bother about, is your personal files. These are unique and irreplaceable. Once lost, these are lost forever. Therefore, you should, anytime, have good backup copies of your data (on external USB, in the cloud, ...). Once that is in place, a heating hard disk is a relatively minor problem.
A backup can be as simple as copying your personal files to a backup medium. To restore them, you copy them back. That, however, may take a long time, preventing you to backup regularly. Therefore, invest in an incremental backup system. There, only changed files are updated in the backup.