I`ve just finished cloning my primary disc to an external hard drive, not to replace it but to have a back-up in case the old one conks out.
At the end of the process Acronis TI 11 Home advises consulting the HDD manufacturer`s handbook concerning connecting up the replacement if that is what you intend to do.
The Acronis Home user`s manual also has advice on installation of a new hard disc.
I too used the "automatic" function, the HP Recovery (Windows XP) is in FAT 32, and programs and files in NTFS. Acronis partitioned the new one using this function and they now appear in My Computer as drives J and K.