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Sir Topham Hatt

How to Clone Main Hard Disk?

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I need to swap a hard disk but it's partitioned. One part has some files, the other has Windows.

Can I just split the drive to the same sizes as the original and copy the stuff over in Windows? Then use Acronis Disk Director to merge the old one and change the letters? Then connect it to Slot 1 after it's restarted?

Thanks for any guidance.

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Hello,

I need to swap a hard disk but it's partitioned. One part has some files, the other has Windows.

Can I just split the drive to the same sizes as the original and copy the stuff over in Windows? Then use Acronis Disk Director to merge the old one and change the letters? Then connect it to Slot 1 after it's restarted?

Thanks for any guidance.

CloneZilla is the best solution :)

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I need to swap a hard disk but it's partitioned. One part has some files, the other has Windows.

Can I just split the drive to the same sizes as the original and copy the stuff over in Windows? Then use Acronis Disk Director to merge the old one and change the letters? Then connect it to Slot 1 after it's restarted?

Thanks for any guidance.

 

You need to use Acronis True Image (or any other partition backup/cloning solution) if you want to preserve your Windows installation. It won't work if you simply copy the system/windows files over to your new drive.

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Macrium Reflect Free version will do what you need. http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

 

Boot off the rescue disk that you build and use the clone option.

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Hello,

Both are free and run within windows.

The problem is that if he runs that program with Windows on drive 1 and he wants to clone drive 1 to 2, its not gonna work because some files are in use/locked so...

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Hello,

The problem is that if he runs that program with Windows on drive 1 and he wants to clone drive 1 to 2, its not gonna work because some files are in use/locked so...

 

That's why I said to boot off the rescue disk for the clone.

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Thanks.

I'll take a look at these solutions and see what happens.

 

I only need it as the main Windows drive isn't very healthy.  It's been that way for a while but I would prefer to swap the drive.

I can't remember what it's called and I'm on the other PC at the mo (maybe sectors... weak ones?) but in order to sort it out, a full format is recommended.

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Acronis True Image is great it also gives you a option to remove the drivers so you can use it with virtualization software.

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Well, what a rollercoaster that was!

 

Tried Acronis True Image, which sort of worked but didn't copy the 1Tb+ of data from one partition.  It also made a new viewable hard drive for "system reserved".  Then when booting Windows using the new drive, it wanted to repair.  As the PC doesn't have any CD/DVD drive then I had to use the old pen drive trick wit BIOS but forgot to add the stick as a hard drive.  By the time I had realised what I'd (not) done, I had already got rid of the windows and "system reserved" partitions.

 

So I went on to CloneZilla.  Immediately gave up on this as I was reading that I needed to install yet more software to put the files on a pen drive.

 

Tried CloneHD which seemed great to begin with.  Then when I saw it was going to take 17 hours, I cancelled it.

 

Went back to CloneZilla and got through to the setup (not in Windows).  I got worried as it seemed to start doing things by itself, a lot of writing on the screen, then superseeded by yet more writing without giving me the chance to read what it was saying!

In the end, I set it going.  It told me it would take about 6 hours, so I left it to it and watched Top Gear.

 

After a three or so hours I checked it out.  The program was reporting an error saying it couldn't read some data due to the pending cycle count, which is the reason I started this whole thing to begin with.

 

I just accepted the error and the PC restarted into the "new" Windows.

 

It had cloned some of the videos (part of the 1Tb+ - not porn!) but they were all messed up.  Some failed to play, others played a completely different video.

Formatted that partition, then copied the data from the old hard drive after bringing it online through Acronis Disk Director.  All in all, only one file lost that couldn't copy, which has already been replaced.  While I haven't gone through every file (over 3000), I am sure they will be okay.

 

What a mess, but a good couple of days!

 

Now I am just running the old drive through Western Digital's extended test program, which will take about 6 hours to complete.

I hope they will take it back and replace it, possibly for an external version that isn't powered so I can use it with my TV (my powered hard drive spins up every time I turn the TV on - annoying!).  The snag?  The disk is 3 years old....

Maybe Amazon will be kind enough to take it back after my efforts with WD.

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It isn't clear to me if the HD is a traditional platter-based one or an SSD, but I would seriously consider buying SpinRite (https://www.grc.com) not only to use with this HD, but for future maintenance or help with other drives.  That said, you would run SpinRite at a lower level if the HD is an SSD than you might if a platter-based drive.  I say all of that coming from a point of view to try and fix the drive (help the drive fix itself), correct errors, recover bad or flaky sectors, and so on, not backup the data.  Backups are important, but it might be better to run SpinRite first on at least Level 2, if not higher, and let it work with the drive to fix the issue(s).  Afterwards, if the drive is better or completely "fixed" as far as you can tell (for example, you aren't getting the same errors or warnings), then jump on getting a good backup ASAP.

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If you have a western digital drive (either the source or the target) you can use the free Acronis True Image WD Edition Software.

http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp?swid=119


It isn't clear to me if the HD is a traditional platter-based one or an SSD, but I would seriously consider buying SpinRite (https://www.grc.com) not only to use with this HD, but for future maintenance or help with other drives.  That said, you would run SpinRite at a lower level if the HD is an SSD than you might if a platter-based drive.  I say all of that coming from a point of view to try and fix the drive (help the drive fix itself), correct errors, recover bad or flaky sectors, and so on, not backup the data.  Backups are important, but it might be better to run SpinRite first on at least Level 2, if not higher, and let it work with the drive to fix the issue(s).  Afterwards, if the drive is better or completely "fixed" as far as you can tell (for example, you aren't getting the same errors or warnings), then jump on getting a good backup ASAP.

 

I want to use SpinRite, I've heard nothing but good things about this software. It would not work with my motherboards SATA controllers.

Have they updated it to add more SATA support? I really do want to use this utility. 

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SpinRite 6.0 came out in 2003 or 2004 and has never been updated.  Maybe Steve released a tiny update shortly after releasing 6.0, but as far as I know, the released code is what we have.  SpinRite should have been updated before now, but has done quite well considering how long it has been released.

For those motherboards that are configured in a way where SpinRite will not work, in some cases you can simply go into your BIOS and change the storage/HD/etc. controllers from using Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) mode to IDE mode and SpinRite works fine.  Then, when SpinRite is done, go into BIOS and change mode back to AHCI before going into Windows or whatever OS you are running.  I have an Ivy Bridge i7 PC that I have to do this for.

 

I and many others on the GRC newsgroup GRC.SpinRite.Dev were helping Steve for a few months with the work on SpinRite 6.1, but Steve felt he really owed the world to document and help out with his idea that he came up, what is currently referred to as SQRL.  It was hoped that he would only leave SpinRite 6.1 development for a few weeks or a couple of months while he documented and got SQRL off the ground.  However, about 4 months have passed since SpinRite 6.1 development was paused.  That said, based on the progress made with SQRL, I think SpinRite 6.1 development will resume in the next month or two.  SpinRite 6.1 will have full AHCI support, which should allow it to work quite well with newer PCs, Macs, etc.  Also, along with this SR 6.1 development, the amount of data that SpinRite will be able to read and write is drastically being sped up.  SpinRite 6.1 should be able to "process" a large HD (like 1-4 TB drives) in hours instead of days in some cases. 

 

I forget what the plan was exactly, but I think the goal is still to have SpinRite 6.2 with full USB support, or at least as much USB support as can be achieved while allowing SpinRite to do what it does.

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Hello,

After a three or so hours I checked it out.  The program was reporting an error saying it couldn't read some data due to the pending cycle count, which is the reason I started this whole thing to begin with.

You never mentioned this...

IDK about other programs but CloneZilla copies blocks (groups of bytes or bits). It doesnt care what the data contains....

I would HIGHLY recommend a format of both drives; The reason is that later on blocks that may seem good, might have also been copied over. Save your good files and format!

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Should do a scandisk before cloning.  I think Acronis True Image has a very good error correction to fix bad sectors during cloning.  Do not know about other cloning software.

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