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Best way to reinstall

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by bj nick, Oct 15, 2008.

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  1. bj nick

    bj nick Thread Starter

    Jun 10, 1999
    I have a computer that was built at a computer show last year. It is running Windows XP Pro. I have had recent problems with the machine frequently refusing to boot, messgaes like "serious system error," and other weirdness; too much to go into.

    I asked a local expert and he said that most likely it would be a hard drive problem and I should get a new one and reinstall a new one. Well, I'm willing to do that, even though it's a big pain- but the problem is, we were evacuated due to a fire this summer and all of the major programs I had carefully packed away, are not to be found.

    So I am wondering if there's a way I could make a disc image and then transfer that to a new hard drive....? maybe that won't work? Is there a way to replace some of those key programs? (I imagine I could see about replacement CD's from Windows, Dreamweaver, et al?)\

    thanks for any advice...
  2. Elvandil


    Aug 1, 2003
    Clone the drive, or make an image with Macrium, create the recovery CD, and restore the image to the new drive. Try free ones since you will have the original and can keep trying till you succeed. I have had the best luck with HDClone (of the free ones). People here have had good luck with XXClone, too. If the old drive is not too bad, you should be able to copy it. Just don't use up its precious minutes before you clone by running it and accessing it needlessly.

    Free Drive Cloners/Imagers:

    Macrium Reflect
    Clonezilla (Bare-metal restoration from image)
    Dubaron Diskimage
    EaseUs Disk Copy (Copies disks or partitions)
    CloneZilla GParted LiveCD (Complete partitioning and drive imaging/restoration tools)
    Partition Saving
    PCI CloneMaxx
    Drive Image XML
    copyr.dma (Copies disk with bad sectors for recovery)

    Commercial Apps:

    [email protected] 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
    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


    Once cloned, if you have problems with the new system, you can run a repair and still keep all your files and settings (if you find the CD :D).


    If you want to test the drive yourself, use one or two of these. But keep in mind that intensive testing can send a borderline drive over the edge, so make your clone or image before you do anything else.

    Free Hard Drive Testing Applications:

    Manufacturer's Tests
    Victoria for DOS
    Victoria for Windows (Both versions of Victoria are among the best and most thorough tests available.)
    HD Tune
    CheckDisk 1.03 (Marks bad sectors as unusable.)
    HDAT2 (Diagnostics and bad sector recovery)
    MHDD Low-level Diagnostics
    Bootable Hitachi Drive Fitness Test Floppy or CD Image (works on most drives)

    Hard Drive Manufacturers' Diagnostic Utilities Links:

  3. bj nick

    bj nick Thread Starter

    Jun 10, 1999
    Thanks for your response. Two questions: is there an issue with cloning an image and then installing it on a new drive? And, of the commercial applications, which would be the most reliable/easy to use?

    I would rather do it right without having to go through the procedure a bunch of times with all the attendant frustration. Thanks!
  4. Elvandil


    Aug 1, 2003
    Replacing hard drives is a common and easily-accomplished task.

    The newest Acronis True Image Home (v.12), about which I have commented in the "Tech-Related News" forum, is the best all-in-one application for this job. It will not only create images on regular, scheduled times, but can copy an old drive to a new. It has quite a few other features as well.

    Having periodic drive images is the best form of backup that you can have. All your drive is backed up, operating system, files, folders, and programs. The image can be restored to any drive if one fails or is destroyed by malware. The images can be mounted as drives and accessed as such to retrieve files and folders that have been backed up, too. It is a complete solution, and well worth the cost the first time you need to use it and you realize that you have not lost your entire system. If everyone used it, there would be very few posts in this forum.

    But if all you want to do is make a one-time image on an external drive and use a boot disk to restore it, Macrium Reflect is a good program for that.
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