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HDD failing bought new larger WD but how do I move everything over?


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#1 Aargghh

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 04:24 PM

I apologize but my computer knowledge is minimal.

 

My Cyberpower desktop PC with i7-4770K processor, 8 GB memory is running Win 8.1 and has a failing Toshiba 2TB HDD ( DT01ACA200 ) judging by startup noises and frequently high disk usage (often 98-99%)

 

New HDD is a 4TB WD Black ( WD4004FZWXSP )

 

I understand that WD provides a free Acronis program to clone the old to the new HDD but I'm not sure of several things.

Am I correct in thinking this is how to install the new drive and clone the old one:

1) Power down and install the new drive

2)Turn computer on and install WD's Acronis program to the old HDD, then run it to automatically clone the disk --OR will that install disk partitions that are too small for the new 4GB disk

 

What I would like to know....

 

1) Do I need to first partition the new WD HDD in order to be able to clone it and to utilize all of my new HDD ?

 

2) I have read that a fresh install of Windows is best but time is of the essence, as the present HDD is making evil noises upon startup and the HDD usage (as per Task Manager) is often at 98-99%

     Can Windows 8 be fresh installed on the new HDD at a later time?

 

3) I don't have any recovery disks (I know it's stupid.) . Should I create a Windows recovery disk before cloning or afterward?

      How do I do that?

 

 

 

 



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 04:49 PM

Cloning a failing hard drive is not a good idea. If you are having Windows issues then you will have them on the cloned drive. If Windows is operating normally then it may work.

 

If the drive is indeed failing I would not try to install software to the drive. 

 

If you can afford to do clean install to the hard drive then I would do the following on another computer.

 

If you do not have the Windows key download Produkey to a flash drive. Run it to obtain on the computer with the failing drive to obtain your Windows 8 key.

 

Create a Windows 8.1 install disk or USB flash drive using the Media Creation Tool.

Boot the install DVD/USB flash drive and do a clean install.

 

If you wish to do a clone I would download Macrium Free on another computer. Create the bootable media in other tasks. Boot the computer with the failing drive and create a complete disk image to a USB external drive.Remove the failing drive and attach the new drive. Boot the Macrium disk or USB flash drive and restore the disk image from the external USB flash drive. Reboot after the image is restored. 

 

If you do not have an external drive then you would need to attach the new drive and do the clone with the bootable Macrium CD/USB. After cloning detach the failing drive before booting the new drive. 

 

When cloning or restoring an image you do not need to partition the drive before hand. This is done automatically during the clone or the restoring of the disk image.

 

Yes, you can do a clean install later. The Windows 8.1 install created with the MCT can be your Recovery Disk.

 

If you do a clean install then I would recommend you create a complete disk image with Macrium to an external drive after installing your programs and doing any security updates. Doing this you could restore the image from the external to a new hard drive and be back up in minutes. This would also work if Windows no longer booted because of file system corruption or malware infection.

 

Edit: After the clone or image is successfully completed I would run a disk diagnostic on the hard drive to confirm if it is indeed failing. Use Seatools for Windows and attach the drive using a USB enclosure or adapter.


Edited by JohnC_21, 23 February 2017 - 04:51 PM.


#3 britechguy

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 05:06 PM

Cloning a failing hard drive is not a good idea. 

 

John,

 

          I really think you need to carefully qualify this statement.  It has been standard procedure for many technicians to clone a hard drive where imminent hardware failure is suspected for a drive.  It's the fastest and easiest way to get your existing system copied over to a new drive before the original drive crashes and data recovery would be needed (if backups were not being taken, that is).  If you've got corruption of the data, but on sectors that are fine otherwise, that's a whole different kettle of fish and relatively rare unless an infection of some kind has created the situation.

 

          I do not know of a single cloning program that does not omit bad sectors if those already exist on the drive that is being cloned.

 

          I have never had an issue when I cloned a drive that was "on its way out" to a new drive.  When the new drive is bigger I deal with repartitioning it either at the end of the clone or after it's been installed to replace the dying drive.


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#4 Aargghh

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 05:13 PM

Thank you for your helpful reply.

I don't see Produkey on Bleepingcomputer.

Is this the actual Produkey site that is safe to download it from?

 https://produkey.en.softonic.com/

 

By cloning the failing HDD and reinstalling Win 8.1 later, would that  correct any Windows issues?

Do I really need to get an external enclosure or can I just hook up the HDD to a USB cable and a power connection from the PC's power supply, as I've seen suggested in a few places?

 

What do you mean by,"If you can afford to do clean install to the hard drive then I would do the following on another computer."

Isn't it free to move my present copy of Win 8.1 to a different HDD or does Microsoft now charge a fee for that?

 

Essentially, the best idea is to move all the data to a new HDD and then move things over at my leisure?

I honestly don't know that I would be able to figure out how to transfer over all my programs manually from the backup to the new HDD.

Not being obstinate--and I'd like to run as trouble-free a copy of Win 8.1 as possible--I'm just giving a realistic assessment of my computer ignorance.



#5 Aargghh

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 05:17 PM

 

Cloning a failing hard drive is not a good idea. 

 

John,

 

          I really think you need to carefully qualify this statement.  It has been standard procedure for many technicians to clone a hard drive where imminent hardware failure is suspected for a drive.  It's the fastest and easiest way to get your existing system copied over to a new drive before the original drive crashes and data recovery would be needed (if backups were not being taken, that is).  If you've got corruption of the data, but on sectors that are fine otherwise, that's a whole different kettle of fish and relatively rare unless an infection of some kind has created the situation.

 

          I do not know of a single cloning program that does not omit bad sectors if those already exist on the drive that is being cloned.

 

          I have never had an issue when I cloned a drive that was "on its way out" to a new drive.  When the new drive is bigger I deal with repartitioning it either at the end of the clone or after it's been installed to replace the dying drive.

Thank you for your helpful reply.

Would you recommend Macrium Free or the Acronis WD ?

Can I just hook up an HDD externally with a USB cable and a lead from the PC power supply?

I don't presently have an external HDD.



#6 Aargghh

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 05:24 PM

I do have an unused 240GB Crucial M500 SSD still in its box and my present HDD has 1.71 TB free out of 1.81 TB



#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 05:26 PM

Thanks for the clarification britechguy. On a failing hard drive I personally prefer to create a sector to sector disk image. 

 

@Aargghh I would download Produkey from the author's site here.

 

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html

 

Personally, I would clone to the SSD and use the 4TB for your data drive. After the clone you can move data from the SSD to the HDD. I think britechguy would agree but I would wait for his opinion. 

 

You will need to initialize the 4TB drive as GPT in order for Windows to use the full disk. 


Edited by JohnC_21, 23 February 2017 - 05:32 PM.


#8 Aargghh

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 05:55 PM

Thanks, John C for the download site and for the addl info.

Sorry but I'm a bit confused (still)...

Do I use a second PC to download and install Macrium Free's bootable media onto a CD, then simply plug the SSD into a SATA and power cable of the computer with the failing HDD ,  then boot from the Macrium Free bootable CD to clone the failing drive onto the SSD?

 

 

 

JohnC_21, on 23 Feb 2017 - 5:26 PM, said:JohnC_21, on 23 Feb 2017 - 5:26 PM, said:

 

You will need to initialize the 4TB drive as GPT in order for Windows to use the full disk. 

 

How is that done?


Edited by Aargghh, 23 February 2017 - 05:56 PM.


#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 06:10 PM

The reason I advised downloading and installing Macrium on another computer is because you say the drive is in the process of failing. I would not trust the install on a failing drive. Once installed on the other computer you can create bootable media that can boot on another computer to do the clone. Macrium will advise on what PE version to use. 

 

Do I use a second PC to download and install Macrium Free's bootable media onto a CD, then simply plug the SSD into a SATA and power cable of the computer with the failing HDD ,  then boot from the Macrium Free bootable CD to clone the failing drive onto the SSD?

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvTIAxVvd_0

Yes. See the above video. Remember to remove the HDD after the clone and before booting.

 

After successfully cloning the drive and testing to see if Windows is acting normally attach the 4TB drive. Download and install Partition Wizard on the SSD. Select the 4TB drive and initialize the disk as GPT. After initialization click Apply. Create a primary NTFS partition in the unallocated space. You also have the option to create multiple partitions if you wish.  I doubt there are any exiting partitions on the new drive. If there are then delete all partitions before initializing as GPT.

 

All steps in Partition Wizard are virtual and require you to click Apply in order to complete.






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