[Lisa says, "You probably wanted to go anyway, because you so much like Popeye's fried chicken at the TA truck stop at Donald, and we both like playing the pinball machines." Well, she's right, and we did play several games on the new Batman pinball machine there.]
Several hours later, we returned with 250 GB drives in place. One of the drive clones failed. Thinking that it might be that the older version of the cloning software couldn't deal with larger drives, I downloaded the trial version of DriveClone 5 and tried again.
I then began to check out the newly purchased drives. I was most unhappy when they wouldn't initially recognize when I plugged them in to the USB external hub. After several unsuccessful attempts, I was about to conclude the drives were bad when I realized that the external power supply had come unplugged from the hub. The hub couldn't pull enough power back down the USB connector from my laptop to power both the laptop cooling pad and the external drive. When I plugged the hub's power back in, the new drives came right up.
The new version of DriveClone seems to run faster than the old one, and seems to have fewer problems with larger drives.
At the beginning of the day, my primary machine had a 120 GB drive and my secondary machine a mere 30GB drive. By the end of the day, after multiple clones and confirmation that the cloned drives would indeed boot properly, my primary machine was upgraded to 250 GB (with a 250 GB backup drive) and my secondary machine to 160 GB (with a 160 GB backup). The older 120 and 30 GB drives are now retired from use with my computers, but should be able to go on to a happy second career playing games on Lisa's "antique" Toughbook and IBM T30 laptops. And given that the Toughbooks' drives were as small as 4 GB, even 30 GB is going to seem particularly spacious.
Next job, for later this week: reinstall WinXP from scratch on at least one of the Toughbooks. If that goes well, we might be able to get away with merely cloning the one good installation -- I'll put it on the smallest drive -- onto the larger drives, saving me having to go through the pain of installation over and over again.