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My Boss's HD is Dying, Any Way To Clone & Boot?

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Posted

So my Boss's HD is about to die, He said it is just clicking incredibly loud, and he can tell it is on it's way out. This is his families shared computer. He came to me asking if I knew of any solution, and I was stumped. I mean I know of Norton Ghost, etc., as he does, but was wondering if there was anything else (preferably free). He really wants to avoid starting over from scratch and reinstalling windows if there is any way at all possible to do so.

So is there anyway he can just copy the contents of his old HD to a new HD and then boot off that new HD?

I have a Thermaltake BlacX which I am thinking would make his life easier.

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TIA for any help. Much appreciated.

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Posted

if the drive is fully readable, or the parts that are not are just user type files and not real important to the booting of the OS.. then sure a clone will work - pick your clone tool.. There are plenty to choose from. Look in the freeware list, google -- there are pretty much hundreds of different cloning/imaging tools out there for FREE.. Most makers of hard drives give you a way to clone your drive to your new drive right, you can download from website, etc. So whatever new drive he buys should provide the means to clone over his system from his old drive.

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Posted

If it still works atm, use something like Acronis True Image, their trial will allow a free full imaging of a drive (last time I checked) and gives you a boot disk to clone it back onto another new drive

If it doesn't work enough for that, spinrite might give you enough life back to image it, but clicking generally means the heads are dying and I don't think spinrite can do anything about that

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Posted

For quick backups/copies, I've used Macrium Reflect (free).

All you do is take an image of a drive that you want to clone.Save the image and then dump the image on another drive. Very simple.

Best thing about this software is that I can clone my primary drive while booted into Windows!

http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

Edited for link inclusion.

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Posted

I recommend using Acronis True Image 2013. You can try it for 30 days which is more than enough time to backup and restore your boss's data. Unfortunately, you can't use the clone disk feature in the trial version which would make things a little easier. Instead, you'll need create a rescue media (bootable CD/DVD/USB drive). Once you do that, you can use it to restore the backup on the new hard drive. Just make sure you change the boot order in BIOS so it boots from the rescue media first. It's explained in the User Guide (PDF) on page 79 (see 4.1.3 - Recovering your system).

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Posted

dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb conv=sync,noerror bs=4M

That assumes /dev/sda is the dying disk, and /dev/sdb is the new disk. Use fdisk -l to get all your disk info.

The advantage of this method is you don't need to be running from the dying disk's OS. You can run a live cd/usb pen of Ubuntu (for instance), and run those commands from the terminal.

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Posted

Awesome thanks everyone, quick question, I was just informed the older drive is 320GB, new one is 1TB, that should not make a difference right? I am thinking worse case scenario is it would just make a partition?

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Posted

Awesome thanks everyone, quick question, I was just informed the older drive is 320GB, new one is 1TB, that should not make a difference right? I am thinking worse case scenario is it would just make a partition?

Acronis can resize the partitions if you clone

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Posted

yeah moving to larger disk is never an issue, taking a image of say a 1TB drive and trying to get it onto a 320 would be problematic ;) Would work as long as your data is less than 320. But is a bit more complex than going to a larger drive.

What new drive did you buy, all of the makers of drives provide tools to move your system to their new drives. Why use a trial and have to use recovery boot, etc. when you can just use the offical method of the maker to move to the new drive.

What drive did you buy and I can point out the instructions and url for you to get the tools need if they did not already come with the disk you bought. If you buy a retail version of the drive they normally come with the software to do what your asking.

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Posted

For a moment I read the topic header incorrectly, I thought your Boss was dying and that you wanted to clone HIM! :D

Good luck, hope that you come right!

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Posted

If you use the 'dd' method simplezz mentioned from an Ubuntu or GParted Live disc, which I would recommend, you can quite easily use GParted to expand the partition from 320 GB to 1 TB. It should cause no problems at all.

No matter which method you choose for cloning the drive, you will probably want to do a chkdsk on the new disk once the clone is complete and the partition has been expanded. If you suspect that the file system is dirty, you may even consider using chkdsk immediately after cloning the disk (before expanding the partition) just to be safe. If you don't want to boot into Windows, you can use a Windows Vista, 7, or 8 install disc to check the disk offline. (Unfortunately, the NTFS utilities for Linux don't yet have a chkdsk equivalent.) Assuming the disk is drive 'C', which you will have to check after booting from the disc (it may not be the same as in Windows), you can open a command prompt and run 'chkdsk C: /r'.

If possible, you want to do a chkdsk from Windows 7 or 8, even if the version of Windows you are cloning is older. Microsoft drastically improved the performance of chkdsk in Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2.

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Posted

@ Budman - I think he said he purchased a Seagate drive from Best Buy, I did not purchase the drive for him and this is all pretty much outside of the work place. But pretty sure he said Seagate. So that should include something in the box he can use?

As far as having to boot into Linux or what have you, trying to keep this as simple as possible for him. He knows his way around a computer, but not sure if he has ever touched Linux to be honest. Unlike a lot of you, I do not work in the IT department. :laugh: So while those options may be the best, most thorough options, keeping it a Windows based solution (he is on 7) that is as simple as possible is the preferred method.

Thanks again all. (Y)

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Posted

If its segate, retail should of come with CD with the tools on it sure. If not you can always grab them here

http://knowledge.sea...US/FAQ/201991en

How can I copy / transfer all the data from my old boot drive to my new Seagate drive?

You can grab discwizard here

http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/discwizard/

guide on use is here

http://www.seagate.com/files/www-content/support-content/downloads/discwizard/_shared/docs/dw_ug.en.14382.pdf

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Posted

^ thats pretty slick method, and sure that would do the trick. But unless your going to be duplicating disks on a somewhat reg type basis, cost seems prohibitive when what he wanting can been done for a few minutes of his time vs forking over $70 and then same few minutes of his time.

But sure that would be a nobrainer way of doing it to be sure.

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Posted

You can always use ImageX which is Microsoft's cmd line imaging tool. Its part of the WAIK.

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Posted

Macrium Reflect Free is the way to go. After having cloned the HDD to a disk image on an external drive, your boss will need to burn a Linux-based restore CD from within Macrium and then restore the disk image on the new HDD.

Oh, and before the cloning/dumping process I'd let Spinrite perform some of its tricks on the failing HDD, just to be sure that the data will be fully readable by Macrium.

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Posted

@ Budman - I think he said he purchased a Seagate drive from Best Buy, I did not purchase the drive for him and this is all pretty much outside of the work place. But pretty sure he said Seagate. So that should include something in the box he can use?

As far as having to boot into Linux or what have you, trying to keep this as simple as possible for him. He knows his way around a computer, but not sure if he has ever touched Linux to be honest. Unlike a lot of you, I do not work in the IT department. :laugh: So while those options may be the best, most thorough options, keeping it a Windows based solution (he is on 7) that is as simple as possible is the preferred method.

Thanks again all. (Y)

Budman's suggestion should be the easiest method. All it requires is one reboot for the cloning process and a shutdown to remove the old hard drive.

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Posted

Budman's suggestion should be the easiest method. All it requires is one reboot for the cloning process and a shutdown to remove the old hard drive.

Yep, just got home and wanted to say thanks again to everyone, and thanks in particular Budman. This is indeed the method he is going to try as it does seem to be the most user friendly overall.

If I hear from him with a text over the weekend I will report back how it went, if not I will on Monday when I am back in the office.

Thanks again for all the replies. (Y)

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Posted

Just an update, my Boss followed Budman's instructions and said things could not have been easier doing so. Thanks again all. (Y)

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Posted

Good to hear, this is great time to MAKE SURE that critical files are backed up. Its one thing to not want to have to reinstall from scratch, etc. And its another thing to loose say kids 3rd birthday party blowing out candles on his cake, or your grandkids first steps on video, etc..

All things fail - disks can die without notice. He was lucky this time, but make sure those non replaceable videos and pictures are BACKED UP!!!

You can always reinstall an OS, worse case software can always be repurchased -- but you can never get back family pictures and or videos. Please make sure these kinds 0f files are safe, multiple disks, multiple media, multiple locations!

Never a better time to go over this, when there has been a scare of of loss.

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