If you want to make a ghost image of the operating system installed in the old harddrive so that you do not lose all the softwares installed in it, you can do it by making a ghost image using Norton Ghost which will backup all the contents of your harddrive in a single file. Then all you will have to do is to extract that file again by using Norton Ghost in to your new hard drive. This way all your data will be back including your old installed softwares to your new hard drive.
Yes, you can copy all the data from one hard disk to another hard disk. Just check out the sides of your hard disks. You'd find a little lock on each of them as soon as you'd remove the locks the disk will become a slave disk. So first of all you need to make a disk master disk from where you can send the data and you should make the other disk slave disk to send data to it. After you'd attach these two disks making one disk a master disk and the other as a slave disk you'd be able to send all data from one disk to other.
Yeah you sure can duplicate all the data by connecting your old harddrive with your computer but you may face some issues while connecting your old harddrive. If you have installed the new harddrive as a primary master(which is usually done when a single hard drive is used), then connect the old one as a primary slave, secondary master or secondary slave. All this is done by changing the jumper configuration( which is usually drawn on a sticker pasted on a hard drive).
I forget to mention that what I really need is the softwares on the old drive.because I don't have them in CDs.