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Dying OS HDD, need advice for transferring data


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15-Oct-2011, 05:38 PM #1
Question Dying OS HDD, need advice for transferring data
My main hard drive where my OS (Vista x64) is located is dying. It's been making weird noises and last week after a power outage, I would get BSODs upon boot (in any mode, normal, safe mode, repair mode, etc.) because there was a problem reading NTFS.SYS. I tried again two days later and managed to boot to Windows, but I know I'm living on borrowed time and want to act sooner rather than later (although I do realize I'm already pretty late on this...).

The problematic hard drive is a Samsung Spinpoint F1 Series HD103UJ 1TB SATA2 7200RPM 8.9MS 32MB 3.5IN Hard Drive OEM bought in August 2008.

I ordered and received the following drive as a replacement:

Seagate Barracuda XT 7200.12 3TB SATA 6.0GB/S 3.5IN 64MB Hard Drive OEM

Now I'm looking for tips/advice for transferring my data from the faulty drive to my new one! Once the new one is plugged in, what utility do I use to copy over the data from my current 1TB (as much/well as possible, since there are bad sectors on it) to my new 3TB and have it be a 3TB partition rather than a 1TB one. Can you give me any tips/lead me to any pointers about this? Should I use Norton Ghost, Acronis True Image or something else? I figure it has to be something that's to be used upon boot and not in Windows itself since I need to copy my system drive!

In the end, the idea is that I go back to my current situation, however with a non-faulty (well, for the time being anyway) and reliable drive that can handle 3TB (well, technically less since they use base 10 for calculation, but that's not the point) on its unique partition while having the same files on it as the old 1TB used to do.

Thank you very much in advance for guiding me through this!
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15-Oct-2011, 08:32 PM #2
Are you wanting to clone your existing drive to the new one OR do you intend to clean install windows then copy the work files/data files?

Before buying a 3tb drive, you had better check that your mb/bios will support a drive of that size and in addition support booting from that drive. Being that you are using vista, my guess is that your bios will have problems booting from that size of a drive.
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15-Oct-2011, 08:39 PM #3
I want to clone my existing drive to the new one!

I didn't check, but is there any reason that a motherboard would support a 2TB drive but not a 3TB one? MY motherboard is the ASUS P5Q Pro. Where do I find that out?
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15-Oct-2011, 08:42 PM #4
A 3 TB drive cannot be MBR-partitioned and must use GPT. I wonder if that drive will work, too.
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15-Oct-2011, 08:47 PM #5
Sad news, how do I make sure it will or won't work? I was kind of short on money and shelled out 200$ for that drive (I had asked for opinions on whether it was a good drive or not on another forum, but got no answer). It saddens me a bit now seeing that it most likely won't work... What are my options? I figure I now need to order yet another hard drive. What would be the best fit for what I want to do? (System drive, 7200rpm, reliable)

I haven't been following computer-related advancements I the last few years, I realize that now...

Thanks for the help!
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15-Oct-2011, 08:56 PM #6
Well, apparently you can only boot to a GPT drive if you have EFI boot rather than BIOS boot. But the drive can still be partitioned as GPT to get the full 3 TB and used, though I don't think from what I have found that you can boot from it. So, nothing wasted since the drive can be used and it will still be good for your next computer. I don't know what boards support EFI.

The drive can also be partitioned as MBR if you use a max size of 2 TB.

But as of now, Windows 8 will, by default, only come as an OEM product on machines without a BIOS. We're finally getting rid of that monstrosity. EFI is coming.

Until I find something definitive, all we can do is have you try it.

(Windows only supports GPT disks up to 256 TB as of now, so don't buy any larger than that. (LOL) Eventually, it should be 18 exabytes.)
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Last edited by Elvandil; 15-Oct-2011 at 09:06 PM..
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15-Oct-2011, 09:12 PM #7
There is a discussion here about a modded BIOS that will support GPT boot, if you are into that sort of thing.
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15-Oct-2011, 09:25 PM #8
First of all, thanks for being comprehensive and not rude, it's hard to find this nowadays on the internet!

Before getting into the more complicated options, do I gather correctly that the following is a possible option:

With the 3TB drive make a 2TB MBR partition (let's call it A) and make a 1TB partition (let's call it B). Then, clone my current C: drive to the new 2TB MBR partition (A), and use the B partition in Windows to store other data.

If that is not possible, I reckon using only 2TB out of the 3 on the new drive for the time being would work? I wouldn't need to mod the BIOS or anything?

Thanks a lot again!
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15-Oct-2011, 09:48 PM #9
You have it except - MBR limits the total drive size to 2 TB, so that other 1 TB will remain unused. I'd still be happy to have the drive, though, if I were you. Like I said, it can always be used.

Or, you can use the GUID partition table, use the 3 TB's, and use a different disk for booting and the OS.
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15-Oct-2011, 09:55 PM #10
I think I will take the 2TB + unused 1TB (though not lost for the future) route for now, since it's the option that allows me to do what I want without spending further (money that I don't have, for now!).

So how would I go about doing that properly? First I have to create a 2TB MBR partition on that new drive I figure, what tool do I use to do that? (I doubt that if I reboot I will be able to get back in Windows, so I would need to use some sort of bootable utility to do that) Once that's done, how do I move all data from my 1TB to that new 2TB partition and make it bootable? (While ignoring unreadable sectors)

Thanks!
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15-Oct-2011, 10:08 PM #11
You connect both drives at once and then either copy the data or copy the entire partition if the number of bad sectors does not prevent the OS from booting.

Use cloning software. I recommend one that uses a boot CD so that Windows is not running during the process. But...some people here have had good luck with XXXClone running in Windows.

You could also make a disk image and then restore the image to the new drive, but that would require yet another drive for the image.

Some of these have an option to "ignore bad sectors", but I don't know offhand which ones. You'll need to read.

Then, before booting to Windows, place the new drive on the connector that the old drive was on. Since it is a "clone", it needs to have the same hardware setup as the old drive.

The cloning software includes partitioning so that a partition can be "cloned" to a larger partition and not necessarily to one of the same size (Some allow smallr partitions, too, so long as they are large enough for the data on the drive).

Free Drive Cloners/Imagers:

Easeus Disk Copy
O&O DiskImage Express
FOG (a free cloning/imaging solution)
Redo Backup & Recovery
Terabyte CopyWipe (Can securely remove a drive's contents, or it can copy an old drive to a new one)
Disk Wizard (reduced, free Acronis for WD drives)
Runtime Shadow Copy
Dr. Freeware boot CD (also has file recovery, Avast scanner, and partitioning tools)
EASEUS Todo Backup (Partition and drive imaging)
EASEUS Disk Copy (Partition and drive cloning)
Farstone Driveclone Express
Macrium Reflect
Paragon Drive Backup Express
G4U - Ghost For Unix (Platform-independent, floppy or CD)
Clonezilla (Bare-metal restoration from image)
Partimage
Dubaron Diskimage
SystemRescueCD
EaseUs Disk Copy (Copies disks or partitions)
XXClone
CloneZilla GParted LiveCD (Complete partitioning and drive imaging/restoration tools)
Drive Image XML
Partition Saving
PCI CloneMaxx
HDClone
DriveClonerXP
Self-Image
copyr.dma (Copies disk with bad sectors for recovery)
DiscWizard (For Seagate or Maxtor drives - contains reduced version of Acronis)

Commercial Apps:

EMC (Dantz) Retrospect
Casper
NTI Backup Now (Image Edition)
XXClone Pro (One of the fastest incremental backups)
JustBoot Disk Backuper
ASIS Backup (Bootable disk image)
Paragon Drive Backup
DT Utilities PC Backup Pro (formerly, Migo PC Backup)
Easy Image
Active@ Disk Image
O&O DiskImage
Acronis True Image Home
Farstone Drive Clone (Drive image, snapshots, file/folder backups.)
EAZ-FIX Professional and Easy Image
Drive Snapshot
ShadowProtect (Also online backups.)
Keriver Image
Avanquest Copy Commander
Paragon Drive Backup
NovaBackup
R-Drive Image
Norton Ghost
HDClone Pro or Enterprise
Terabyte Image for Windows
Terabyte Image for DOS (can directly access FAT, FAT32, and NTFS partitions)
Spotmau Disk Clone & Backup

Need any more?

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Parted Magic disk partitoning tool (Bootable CD image)
If you prefer a bootable USB key, download and run Linux Live USB Creator. Choose the Parted Magic distro, and it will download it and automatically create a bootable USB key.

This CD (or key) contains many useful tools. You can partition, recover files, recover lost partitions, copy partitions, make disk images (by several different methods), transfer files between media, scan for viruses (It can serve as an Alternative Trusted Platform for search and elimination of rootkits and bootkits), examine and benchmark hardware, access the internet, and much more.
*******************************************

Last edited by Elvandil; 15-Oct-2011 at 10:14 PM..
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15-Oct-2011, 10:12 PM #12
Woah, that is a lengthy list! Is there one you recommend (amongst the free ones), for my needs? I was looking at clonezilla earlier but it looked like it was made for more advanced users.
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15-Oct-2011, 10:27 PM #13
I always recommend the last one, the Parted magic. It is under active development and the bugs are pretty much all found and removed. It has umpteen uses, as you can see, including copying partitions. And you can easily make a bootable USB stick or CD.

But that "ignore bad sectors" thing is the only thing I wonder about. Not sure if it does that. Nevertheless, having it will prove useful to you and yours now or later. You'll be a hero when you pop that in and save someone's pics to a USB drive on a machine that won't boot. You can even use it to make a copy of your system for the next drive failure. Or use it to surf the internet in complete safety since it runs in RAM and all is gone after the machine shuts down. It will boot up and run fine even on a machine with no hard drive at all. I carry a bootable copy of it on a micro-SD card USB connector on my keychain.

When you clone, or do anything else on a computer, never use drive letters to identify partitions. They are not intrinsic to the partitions but are assigned on boot, and therefore changeable according to the OS. Use size, location, or contents to identify drives or you will format the wrong one someday. You can even have multiple Windows installations on the same physical drive that are all on the C: drive (partition) when booted.

Last edited by Elvandil; 15-Oct-2011 at 10:36 PM..
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15-Oct-2011, 10:37 PM #14
Alright, thanks for the extensive explanation!

So, to recap:

-Plug in my new 3TB on one of my SATA cables (it should be recognized correctly by my P5Q Pro from what I understand).
-Format a 2TB MBR NTFS partition on it using the Parted Magic live CD.
-Clone my actual 1TB drive to that new partition using Parted Magic too.
-Plug the 3TB drive in place of the old 1TB one (while leaving the latter unplugged).
-Reboot and enjoy as if nothing ever happened (while having one extra 1TB on my system drive).

Is that correct?
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15-Oct-2011, 10:43 PM #15
All right except #2. No need to partition or format. The cloning operation copies the entire partition, so it erases anything that is there anyway (though some may not do it that way, that is the most common). So you just clone to the blank drive. There is an option for partition size in the cloner. But again, they may not all be the same and some may need the partition ahead of time. It won't hurt to make it, either. You'll find out soon enough if the program insists on making its own partition because the one you made will not be available to clone to.

This is a time where multiple failures have no bad results. You just start over. So long as you protect that original and don't format by mistake, there is a high margin of safety.

(It may not hurt to put the old drive in plastic and in the freezer before the cloning. That has helped some people read the drive when it could not be read at room temperature. No real idea why it works, but it has helped before.)

Last edited by Elvandil; 15-Oct-2011 at 10:54 PM..
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