Solved: Restoring backup made on failing HDD...chances of success?

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Ms. Mia

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Jul 2, 2005
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Hi, I have a new Lenovo (IBM) 3000 C200 notebook on which the hard drive is apparently going bad already. Very suddenly the other day, it started making a "hiccup"/knock noise (a quick higher then lower "note") about every four seconds. (FYI, it doesn't sound like any of the HDD failure .wav files posted on Hitachi's site.) It's done that about 80% of the time ever since. Lenovo sent me a new (well, refurbished is probably more like it) hard drive, and I also have to wait for some special restore CD from Microsoft to go with it.

I had customized this machine for my technologically-clueless parents to take on a 2 month RV trip in about a week. We will be running out of time before all the parts are here and I can start over. So, I used the Lenovo "Rescue & Recovery" partition to burn a DVD backup of the system in its current, tailored state. Tech support told me I am correct that the backup DVDs could be used in the new HDD to put it back to our preferred customized state... UNLESS these "hiccups"/knocks caused errors in the backup (which took 3 DVD-Rs total).

It "hiccuped" *at least* six times per DVD while backing up, mostly when the discs were finishing/closing. (The knock seems to happen less when the HDD is spinning fast/working hard.) My first question is... Do you think there's a good chance that it still produced a usable backup? I need hope!

Second question: Under the circumstances my parents might prefer to take the laptop in its knocking/hiccuping state on their trip, and just hope that failure will hold out until another time. Whereas, I don't think I'll be able to resist "going for the gold" and trying to install the new HDD and backup before they depart (would have very little if any time by then to start customization over from scratch anyway). So -- could I test the integrity of this backup by trying to install it now into the current failing system? Meaning, if it's bad I will simply get a message telling me so, and I'll be able to cancel that operation and keep the existing customized system? OR -- if one is restoring a bad backup and (for example) two of the three DVDs go in ok and the third has errors and won't work.... Will it be too late to just cancel out and turn back to their previous tailored version of the system?

I hope that made sense!!! Thanks so much for any opinions.
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2000
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9,185
The best answers are maybe, maybe and maybe. With a failing hard disk, it's just a crap shoot. I would think that if you imaged the drive and it completed without error messages, chances are better than 50% in your favor.

That's about as good as it gets.
 

Ms. Mia

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Messages
232
Hi Alex, yup, it completed without any error messages at all, despite the knocks. Well that's encouraging, thanks! And it just hit me, if the backup doesn't work on the new hard disk, I can probably just put the old one back in if we are out of time and my parents want to go ahead and take the laptop in that condition. I will have used that mysterious CD that Microsoft apparently burns for each individual case of this (for Lenovo machines anyway), but I assume that couldn't change anything about the ability to put the old disk back in.

But I hope it won't come to that, I live in another state and need to be done with this. And want my parents to be able to properly "bond" with their new machine on the trip lol, without being scared and suspicious of it like they are now.

Wonder if an external HD would have made a better backup, since the knocks happened mostly while the discs were finishing and closing. But I already have one way back home, and wouldn't buy another one that would never be needed again after this.
 
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