One of the best computer upgrades you can buy today is a solid-state drive (SSD), which offers benefits like faster booting, lower power consumption, less heat, and so on.
But as with any storage upgrade, half the challenge lies in moving everything from old drive to new. Not many drives come with the software to aid in such a move.
Thankfully, there are third-party options, and for a very limited time, you can snag one gratis: Today only, BitsDuJour is offering Paragon Drive Copy 12 Compact (PC) for free. It normally sells for $29.95.
(Note that as of around 10 a.m. ET, the site was operating very slowly, perhaps due to heavy traffic. But after my "order" went through, my confirmation e-mail -- with the necessary download link -- arrived almost immediately. When I clicked that link, I had to refresh the page once to get the download to start, but ultimately it worked fine.)
Update (9/4/13): Looks like the deal has been extended for a second day to accommodate users who weren't able to connect yesterday.
The software will work with any kind of drive migration, even if you're just moving to a larger platter-based drive. It effectively creates an image file of the old drive, then copies that image to the new one. That means you get everything: Windows, applications, settings, data, and so on. I've used similar utilities to move from a HDDs to SSDs, and each time the process went flawlessly. (Keep in mind you may need a USB-to-SATA cable to connect the new drive externally so you can perform the copy.)
Paragon Drive Copy 12 also has the option of copying physical drives to virtual ones (P2V) and back again (V2P), though it's not clear whether this version of the program actually supports virtual drives. Indeed, looking at Paragon's somewhat outdated product page (it still reflects a similar BitsDuJour deal from last May), there's some discrepancy in the software's features. Although the initial description mentions "wide migration options," including support for P2V and V2V, when you scroll down to the comparison chart between the Compact and Professional versions, it appears that only the latter supports V2V and V2P.
In any case, that's not a feature most users will need. At the very least, Compact does support basic partitioning, partition alignment, and, of particular importance these days, Windows 8.
If you're planning a drive migration, either now or in the future, this is probably a utility worth snagging. There's no registration code to worry about; the version you download is unlocked and ready to roll.
Bonus deal: A sound bar can vastly improve the audio that emanates from your TV. Today only, and while supplies last, Woot has the Sharp HT-SB20 sound bar for $49.99, plus $5 for shipping. It's new, not refurbished, and it's designed to pair with TVs 40 inches and larger. This is one of the more stylish-looking speaker bars I've seen, but be sure to check out the user reviews at Amazon for some important details about its inputs.
Bonus deal No. 2: get the Empire Strikes Back table for free. And the other two available tables (Boba Fett and The Clone Wars) are now available for 99 cents each, down from $1.99 each. If you've never tried a pinball game on your iPhone (or, even better, iPad), you're in for a pleasant surprise.(iOS) may sound like a desperate attempt to wring more dollars out of the beloved franchise, but it's actually a surprisingly fun game. And for a limited time, you can
Bonus deal No. 3: Speaking of games, Amazon has BioShock and BioShock 2 (PC) for $4.99, one of the lowest prices I've ever seen for this bundle. (Usually they go on sale for five bucks apiece.) I realize most of you probably have them already, but if not, you're in for some of the most compelling first-person/RPG entertainment ever created.
Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.
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