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Dying HDD to transfer / clone?


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#1 Kiminoto2223

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 06:10 PM

Disclaimer: I have no knowledge of what I'm doing! Please advise!
 
After many years, my HDD is finally starting to pack in.
 
I am no longer able to use backup software, because apparently there is corruption on the drive. I'm scared to shut down / restart the system in case that's it, and it doesn't boot again. I've had issues restarting in the past, I guess I should have taken the warning signs. Oh well, I didn't.
 
I have made a manual back up of all my files by clicking and dragging them onto an external drive, so now they're safely on my other computer. But the problem is, I don't want to lose all my drivers or other stuff I've installed to the system in the past, which I no longer have access to anymore. I know what a pain reinstalling drivers can be. Also I have some software (my AV) that, stupidly, I've lost my license keys for.
 
I'm also worried about my components not working when I reboot, like the graphics card, etc. Is that a thing?
I don't even know if I'll be able to continue using my OS license key (which originally came preinstalled), but if there was a way to clone the internal system over to the new HDD, that would be great?
 
I have a new and completely blank HDD, ready to use. I also have an HDD to usb cable, if necessary. What do you recommend I do? 
 
Edit: Also, if I were to clone an entire disk, would the bad sectors cause a problem?

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 06:41 PM

FWIW:  Attempting to clone a hard drive...after it's apparent that it or the file system has problems...has only resulted in a clone which was unreadable or useful...the times that I've tried it.  The time to clone a drive is when it's in good working order.

 

Of course...you can try it.

 

A clone is an exact copy...garbage in, garbage out.

 

Louis



#3 Platypus

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 06:44 PM

To add to Hamluis' observation, from my experiences it will depend on just how bad the problems are that the current drive has. If there is sufficient corruption to disrupt backups, the same can certainly occur with cloning or imaging. If you manage to complete the cloning process, it's possible that the copied file corruption may continue to cause troubled operation, although it would not then continue to get worse, as it will if you keep using the failing drive.

 

I mostly use the cloning and imaging software supplied by the HDD manufacturers where feasible, and the limited versions of Acronis TrueImage provided by Seagate and Western Digital for the drive brands they support does include an option to ignore errors. I normally use a USB adapter as you have mentioned.

 

If either of the drives you have is one of the brands supported by Seagate or WD, then the software can be downloaded from them:

 

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

 

http://supportdownloads.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?p=119&lang=en

 

There are also third party products which can be used with any brand of drive, and would be the way to go if, say, both drives were something like Toshiba. The one I see referred to most often, and the one I tell myself I must try out, is Macrium Reflect Free:

 

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

 

Really the only way to find out if cloning will succeed is to give it a try. If the source drive has many errors, the process can take a very long time though...

 

Considering that it may be better not to install cloning software onto the failing drive, one approach would be to download suitable software onto another computer and use its option to create bootable recovery media, then boot that in the target system.


Edited by Platypus, 07 February 2016 - 06:53 PM.

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#4 Kiminoto2223

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 06:52 PM

Thank you for the extensive information!

I haven't experienced any file problems with the old drive, I just occasionally can't boot it up without it needing to check itself for an extensive duration, and I'm unable to make a backup. 

There were no issues transferring the files manually, it's just the backup software can't seem to handle it.

 

If it's going to copy all the garbage onto my shiny new drive, that doesn't sound optimal. I might have to brave a fresh install >_>

I'm not worried about putting software onto the failing drive, I've been using it right up to this point!

 

I'm looking at an article that says you can perform a fresh boot from a USB, that sounds good. If I put the windows 7 iso on it, and make it bootable, am I likely to run into any problems? Does the windows iso come with the main drivers to get everything up and running?

 

Side question, why can't I just copy paste the windows folder, that would make everything so much easier!



#5 Platypus

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 07:09 PM

There's something to be said for a fresh clean Windows installation, and drivers can usually be sourced for any hardware that Windows doesn't have suitable native drivers for, It's just the time & complexity of doing it all - Windows 7 currently does over 150 online updates after a fresh SP1 install...

 

If as you say the only indication so far is the drive at times needing to be checked at boot-up, then you may well be able to do a successful clone, and it might be the last chance to do a smooth transition if you like your system just how it is,

 

The NTFS file system is robust, and your description suggests the errors may be small enough that they are being coped with at the file system level, and the drive is just having a "dirty" status corrected from time to time, mapping out bad sectors. This will get worse, but if it hasn't got bad enough yet to corrupt files, a clone will likely be quite successful.

 

Edit: if it was me, I'd give it a try. If it doesn't clone well or bombs out and can't finish, then you can start again and do the fresh install.


Edited by Platypus, 07 February 2016 - 07:13 PM.

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#6 ranchhand_

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 07:10 PM

+1 Platypus........

First thing right off test that HDD (hard disk drive) as Platypus suggested; he already recommended Seatools, this is just a canned "how to":  It may be that there is nothing wrong with the HDD, just corrupted.

Second thing: back up your system drivers. Double Driver can help you with that; there are those who have had it not work, others have had great success. But it's free and worth a shot. It worked for me once.

[EDIT]:  I just checked the URL link and they are having problems with their site; try Here instead.

 

SEATOOLS FOR DOS tutorial

Go here and download Seatools For DOS (free)
http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/

Accept the EULA and download the ISO file.
When download is complete burn the ISO to a CD or DVD.
Make sure your BIOS is set to:   1st Boot Device = CD drive, 2nd Boot Device = Hard Drive.
When the program opens, click the upper left corner for the Long Test.
> Note: if you get a pop-up window telling you that SMART has tripped and asking if you want to continue, choose Yes. Be sure to post that in your next reply along with the result of the test.
At the end of the test, you will get either a Pass or Fail notice. Post the result in your next reply.
Be sure to have your hard drive directly installed internally to the motherboard, not in an external case.


Edited by ranchhand_, 07 February 2016 - 07:27 PM.

Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#7 Platypus

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 07:27 PM

One difference in the sequence that I'd suggest, ranchhand, since a long test can be arduous for the drive, is for first action to be getting a copy of the drive (clone or image), I always try to first take an image of a suspect drive that comes into my hands. That way if it chooses halfway through testing to go belly-up, the image is there to work from. :)


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#8 ranchhand_

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 08:51 PM

Good thinking!


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#9 Kiminoto2223

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 12:17 PM

Right! Well I ordered my HDD via amazon prime on Saturday, was kinda hoping it would be here by today!
Regardless, I've started doing some of the tests on the main drive. 
 
Apparently, my drive is manufactured by MSI (MS-7641), I don't know if that will affect the results.
When I go into my devices list, it has a warning sign next to my HDD. So I went into troubleshoot, and it says this:
GNEiyod.png
Could this be the underlying issue?
 
 
Anyway here are the results from Seatools
 
SMART: Pass :o
Short DST: Fail :(
Short Generic: Fail :(
Long Generic: Fail  :unsure:
 
I have made a backup of all my drivers with double driver, thank you for that! There were 721 of those, so probably a good idea to back them up!
What about all my software, is there a failsafe way to simply transfer them over? Like for instance just copy their data in program files and appdata?

#10 hamluis

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 01:02 PM

FWIW:  MS 7641 is the motherboard for your system.  MSI has never made hard drives, AFAIK.  But I do see where they market hard drives with MSI labels slapped on them...which probably means that one of the Big 3 (WD, Seagate, Toshiba) supplies all the hard drives installed/used in MSI laptops/netbooks, IMO.  I just took a closer look at one and I see that Toshiba is the real manufacturer.

 

Louis



#11 Kiminoto2223

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 02:17 PM

Oh haha my bad! Yeah I should have known that, I see an MSI screen on each boot ;)

 

As for the seatools results, is that looking like a definite hard drive fail?



#12 hamluis

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 02:46 PM

Yes.  That doesn't mean it will fail totally today, tomorrow or whenever...but it's going to fail based on historical data from other drive situations. I would replace immediately or at least make sure that I had backups of anything deemed valuable which is on that drive.

 

Louis



#13 RolandJS

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 03:01 PM

While users [user acct] adddata can be copied from source to target, usually without troubles,

attempting to copy windows folder[s] will lead to problems on the target end; many folders and

files probably will not copy over -- unless Puppy Linux boot and copy is attempted; I believe a

fresh install of Windows onto your new HD is your best bet.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#14 Agouti

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 04:10 PM

Since you know you have to replace the hard drive, the first thing you should probably do is back up your Windows activation.  For that, you can download Advanced Tokens Manager.  It is portable so you can put it on a flash drive and run it from there.

 

Next, if you have any paid programs installed you may want to back up their license keys.  Download Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder and run it.  Again, I have linked to the portable version so you can put it on a flash drive.  Magical Jellly Bean Keyfinder will also retrieve your Windows key.  In any case, double-check and make sure it has backed up all your keys.

 

As for copying your programs' data from AppData, I have heard it can be done but never tried it.  I suppose there is no harm in trying.  Nevertheless, I always believe it's best to do fresh installs in situations like this.

 

Make sure you keep all the aforementioned on a USB drive in case cloning doesn't work.

 

Good luck.

 

...attempting to copy windows folder[s] will lead to problems on the target end; many folders and
files probably will not copy over -- unless Puppy Linux boot and copy is attempted...

Roland, copying Windows folders with Puppy Linux will not work.



#15 RolandJS

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 04:55 PM

that's I added what is best to do:  make a fresh install.  Copying Windows folders and files

will only work for a very few out of the many.  I only do that for a specific "micro" fix.attempt

that has a roughly 50-50 odds.


Edited by hamluis, 08 February 2016 - 05:36 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)





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