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Ghost/Clone HDD

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October 9, 2006 5:09:29 PM

I've got a HDD that is seriously lagging my comp down, every boot takes longer and has more errors. I need to know how to clone/copy it (it's my boot drive) so that i can place it's contents on a new drive I just ordered.

Please, I desperately need to replace my boot drive and I have lots of software on here that I can't get again, I do have another drive with some space on it to maybe store an image to put on my new drive.

Would new drive need to be connected in current system with crashing dirve to then ghost/clone it. Can i image onto my other HDD, swap out and copy over in DOS or something.

I need some help as my comp is vital to my school work, online physics homework and organic chemistry homework. PLZ, help me out dudes, show everyone why Tom's is the best site.

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October 9, 2006 10:25:27 PM

Quote:
I've got a HDD that is seriously lagging my comp down, every boot takes longer and has more errors. I need to know how to clone/copy it (it's my boot drive) so that i can place it's contents on a new drive I just ordered.

Please, I desperately need to replace my boot drive and I have lots of software on here that I can't get again, I do have another drive with some space on it to maybe store an image to put on my new drive.

Would new drive need to be connected in current system with crashing dirve to then ghost/clone it. Can i image onto my other HDD, swap out and copy over in DOS or something.

I need some help as my comp is vital to my school work, online physics homework and organic chemistry homework. PLZ, help me out dudes, show everyone why Tom's is the best site.

What type of errors are you getting with your drive? What type of drive do you have that is failing? Have you used manufacturers tools to diagnose the drive?Windows repair? Safe mode diagnosis? There may be a better resolve that trying to clone a system that could have corruption.
October 10, 2006 5:15:18 PM

I have a seagate 120gb ata 133 HDD with 2 partitions one being my C: drive wiht 10 gigs and the other with the rest for storage.
It's platters spin very fast making a loud revving noise and then the comp freezes. Sometimes when i power on the comp says it had to repair the registry b/c it was damaged. I had posted a while back and ppl said that it's deffinetly failing.
I ran all possible scans, checked for a virus just in case, nothing found. Ran scandisk, had to reboot to have ful access, found nothing.I tried to get some diagnostic software, found HD sentinel. It says everyhting is fine. If you know of any diagnostic tools or methods I am all ears dudes and dudettes, I am a desperate college student.
I don't know what windows repair is, but i assume it's using the installation disk to repair the directory if there is a corruption. I don't think thats it, but it may just be. As far as safe mode diagnosis, that's what I did right, had to reboot before loading windows drivers in order to run scandisk, or am i wrong. I take conscrutive criticism well, so let me have it I'm posting cus i need the help.
BTW thanks for posting, and the helps appreciated.
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October 10, 2006 5:42:44 PM

I just recently bought a new hd, and cause it was faster I wanted to transfer my boot partition (around 60gb's) to the new one without having to reformat. What I did is used partition magic 8 and copied the partition to new hd, and problem solved. I guess you could do the same. I used my older hd(well 1 year old isn't really that old) for general storage purposes.
a b G Storage
October 10, 2006 5:43:54 PM

Download and install SpeedFan. This utility is meant mostly for temperature and voltage monitoring, but it also has an excellent hard drive S.M.A.R.T. analyzer. Use that and post back what it finds.

Also, you can download and install a trial version of Acronis True Image 9 or use Seagates Seatools to clone your hard drive.
October 10, 2006 6:08:40 PM

If you've got any important data at all on the drive unplug the PC until you can get hold of a second one. If it is about to fail you're playing Russian Roulette every time you switch on.
October 10, 2006 6:16:29 PM

If its a seagate drive the best utility would be seatools.

A failing hard drive is not the only problem that would present as file corruption.

Running Prime 95 (priority 10 large FFTs) and memtest 86 would also be prudent.

You should probably do the testing outside of windows. Download the Ultimate Boot CD as it will have all the utilities you need (except for True Image)

Bet utility to move your OS partition in my option would be True Image 9, cheapest utilty would be the free one provided by the manufacturer of your new hard drive.
October 10, 2006 7:18:25 PM

I use Norton Ghost 10. It is very easy to use. I haven’t used other brands, so I do not know how other work. :) 
October 10, 2006 10:29:46 PM

Ghost 10 works well.

If you have problems with True Image recognizing your hardware then you should switch to Ghost, and vice versa. They both have very similar features and either one will get the job done.

When I compared Ghost 9 with True Image 8 I found

Ghost 9 was slower.
Ghost 9 didn't handle incremetal backups as well.
Ghost 9's recovery CD took more than twice as long to load.
Ghost 9 wouldn't let me backup my OS from the Recovery CD.
Ghost 9 woudln't restore from backups made to the hard drive them manually copied to DVD.

True Image 9 added folder level backups and differential backups.

I hear Ghost 10 still doesn't have differential backups.

Also True Image is cheaper.

I read a few reviews comparing True Image 9 and Ghost 10 and while Ghost 10 is much better than Ghost 9, True Image 9 came out slightly ahead.

All things considered either is an excellent choice. The only foolish choice is to use nothing and just hope your OS never repaired.
October 11, 2006 1:07:56 AM

Quote:
All things considered either is an excellent choice. The only foolish choice is to use nothing and just hope your OS never repaired.

Agreed, sounds like your OS became corrupt and the current partition is failing, not the drive itself.
October 11, 2006 2:16:36 AM

I had to use Nortan Ghost on a group of computers once. I believe it has the options your looking for such as ghosting to another drive or media. But I would still make sure. Before I buy it. I also agree with one post that said that everytime you boot up you risk your hd. I would unplug it until I get ready to ghost it. I also should point out that I never had trouble with nortan ghost. But then again all I was doing was backing the OS with all its contents on a cd.
October 11, 2006 3:17:06 PM

Ok guys, I decided not to turn my comp on until necessary, as suggested, (I'm at school now). So, what would be more prudent.

It would seem, as the general consenus, that my HDD is indeed failing. However, I've received many ppl's suggestions that the OS may be corrupted. I guess my Q is how would I know it's corrupted. By running the suggested torture test it will tell (Prime 95) I'll learn if my memory, Mobo, CPU are the issue but not my HDD or my OS (i think anyway). IF OS crashes, program won't say why it'll just crash. If my HDD freezes same.

This would let me know if something else is the issue, but I guess my question is just to ask, WTF should I do. Right now I'm freaked to fire up unless necessary. But a proper diagnostic is worth a fire up.

My next expected boot is when my new HDD comes in to copy using True Image onto disc and then onto the new HDD.
October 11, 2006 3:57:17 PM

Quote:
If its a seagate drive the best utility would be seatools.

A failing hard drive is not the only problem that would present as file corruption.

Running Prime 95 (priority 10 large FFTs) and memtest 86 would also be prudent.

You should probably do the testing outside of windows. Download the Ultimate Boot CD as it will have all the utilities you need (except for True Image)

Bet utility to move your OS partition in my option would be True Image 9, cheapest utilty would be the free one provided by the manufacturer of your new hard drive.


No one can tell you what to do in what order, but Smtih's post here is a good start with the Seatools or similar manufacturer utility to test the the drive out for sure.

You'd be a fool to at least not start there to see what it is your dealing with. OS corruption can happen a zillion ways and be trudged with out device failure, rather data integrity failure.
a b G Storage
October 11, 2006 4:15:42 PM

Clone your hard drive first. If it appears that there is OS corruption, you can simply do a repair installation of your WinXp to fix the OS. Most programs don't have a problem with a repair installation, but some make you reinstall. What really is of concern is whether or not your data is corrupted, you can't fix that. You'll need to rely on backups.
October 12, 2006 1:36:19 AM

Whenever I need to fix someones PC cheap I go with a repair installation.

About 75% of the time they are back within six months with worse problems.

Then they pay me more to do a clean install followed by a full backup.

Next time I only charge them $10 to restore from the backup image and they are very happy.

Occasionally they pay me $20 to teach them step by step to do to their own backups, then I never hear from them again, unless they need hardware upgraded/replaced.

--
Anyway my point is that unless you don't have the time, I advise doing a clean install and making regular backups.

It will save you an enormous amount of time in the long run.

BWT I also try to get them to use Firefox, Thunderbird and Avast 4 Home.

I am a very poor business. On the plus side I get a lot of referrals from the people who are not paying me to reinstall/repair their OS over and over again.
October 13, 2006 3:28:15 AM

Woops

Sorry guys, not a Seagate,

Western digital caviar actually. I tried windows repair, asked for admin password. I tried my windows login password, only one account on the pc, but it didn't do much.

I tried speedfan, said all is normal but drive failed SMART scan in the past. Ironically enough suggested copying drive contents.

Tried Data life tools from WD, but doesn't offer a diagnostic or anything. Just got my new drive in, I'm thinking of copying over tomorrow, tonight's study time for physics.

Any diagnostic scans to run, Ideas about default windows admin password for the repair?

True Image on the comp tomorrow I burn my partition onto some DVD's copy onto new drive.

Every boot is lagging more. Every time I click something in Firefox the Platters spin crzily and the comp lags. I'm usto browsing in no time with my cable connection and speedy comp. Preety sure it's HDD not OS.
a b G Storage
October 13, 2006 2:10:20 PM

Quote:
I tried windows repair, asked for admin password. I tried my windows login password, only one account on the pc, but it didn't do much.


You didn't go to the right place I'm afraid. The Windows XP disc is confusing with the repair. When you first boot up to the cd, there's an option to go to the "recovery console" which takes you to a DOS prompt that asks for admin password. It sounds like that's where you went, but that's not what you need. You need to select "Install Windows" then it will look for any existing installations. When it finds one, it gives you the option to do a clean install or press "R" for a repair installation. Repair installation is what you want.
October 13, 2006 3:55:53 PM

From your description it sounds more like the drive than the OS and getting the drive cloned is first priority. I use Acronis True Image, but other tools work as well.

If you are not able to get the clone completed because of errors, take a look at SpinRite (http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm). I have used this to recover data from unreadable/unbootable disks. It has worked for me when nothing else I tried did.

Good Luck
October 13, 2006 11:56:19 PM

Do not attempt to do the backup first.

If your hard drive isn't failing the order doesn't matter as tests and backup s don't modify the drive.

If the hard drive is failing the backup operation will fail.

---

Don't bother running recovery software first.

A full drive test will read from the drive for maybe 2 hours, running Get Data Back for NTFS will read from the drive for maybe 16 hours.

If testing a dying drive will kill it, it won't survive the recovery process either.

--

My advice.

Only proceed to the next step if the previous step was completed without error or complication. OTHERWISE STOP AND ASK FOR HELP

1) Download Ultimate Boot CD 3.4, Autopatcher XP, Avast 4 Home, Adaware, Spybot and any service packs if your install disc isn't SP2.

Theses are all free programs which I use, but feel free to substitute them which whatever alternatives you prefer.

2) Booting from the Ultimate boot CD, run full diagnostics on your hard drive using the utility provided by whoever manufactured the drive. Run memtest 86 and prime 95 as well.

3) Backup your OS with True Image 9 to an image file.

4) Do a clean install of your OS if you have the time, a repair install if you don't. Google and you will find instructions on doing a repair install.

5) Virus scan everything and fully patch your OS and install all security software before connecting it to the Internet.

(FYI disable Avasts Web shield if you encounter Internet problems while also running Zone Alarm).

6) Backup your OS with True image.

If you did a clean install mount the image and recovery any files you need from the old OS partition.

Again, if you something tests bad, or doesn't work immediately stop and ask for help.
October 14, 2006 12:43:58 AM

I agree with some posts above and not others, but what the h e ll do I know.

THE FIRST thing to do is to save your important data. This DOES NOT include the programs and base files that your are running in your current operating system.
What it does include is the papers you have written, pictures you have stored, and perhaps even video or music. You know, the things that you personally added to the computer.
NONE of these require a "cloning" of the drive.

You need to get yourself a flash drive, or just use a CD/DVD burner to make copies of your important files.

Once these are safe, you can do whatever tricks you like to your PC.

If you succeed and get things working, that is great!
If not, you will be very happy when reinstalling a fresh copy of windows, knowing that you have all of your personal files intact. These can later be placed back on the new drive once you have reinstalled word processing programs, photo programs, etc. from the original discs. You cannot recreate the personal files.

ps: I use Ghost, and although it works great, it sure seems like a bloated piece of coding. It reminds me of AOL applications (shudder).
October 16, 2006 4:45:24 PM

OK dudes, just updating, I finished everyhting and heres's what happened.

Git my Drive in an I was prepared to do what must be done, I was gonna log on ancd check what you all said.

Go to boot, Error loading windows such and such a file is missing BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Connected new drive installed windows on it, booted from it, copied over .doc files and reinstalled all other prgrams fro scratch (the one I could still "find" anyway).

Just wanted to thank you all for the help, I appreciate it.
!