Replacing OS hard drive

vbimport

#1

Hello all,

I have a computer running windows 7 64 bit that has a failing hard drive. I have already copied over the important files to a back up drive.

I would like to make a 1:1 copy of the OS drive so that I do not have to reinstall windows on the new drive and I can simply pop the new drive in once it’s copied and that’s that.

I have tried once with Norton Ghost. I selected to copy the hard drive and then made sure the “set drive active” and “copy mbr” was activated. As per this guide on Norton’s website: http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/powerquest.nsf/docid/2004111701520562

After the copy was completed, I tried to boot of the new drive but I got a “MBR could not be found” error.

Did I do something wrong? Is it possible to do what I want with Ghost or should I try a program like Clonezilla?

Thanks in advance!

adict2jane:cool:


#2

Ok,

First Norton Ghost will NOT make a workig clone of a windows 7 partition.

So you didn’t do anything wrong, other than believe it would work.

IF you originally installed Windows7 (any version 32 or 64 bit)to a virgin
drive and let the installer create a partition the windows7 installer created a 100mb unlettered “System reserved” partition BEFORE the primary (C:) partition and Norton is simply not capable of copying it.

Most versions of Acronis True Image will not copy it (the latest versions have been reported as working)

Aside from the original recommendation I received from someone here
for “Clonezilla” (which is free unlike Acronis), I have also personally seen it recommended on the Microsoft forums by Microsoft employees
as well as by Dell and HP personel.

You can read several discussions (most of which I have been a participant of) about Clonezilla but it DOES correctly copy that 100Mb partition.

I have never used Clonezilla to do anything other than copy “from local drive to local drive” in “Beginner mode” and always between drives of equal size OR to migrate to a larger drive.

The thing is while clonezilla is a sophisticated and powerful tool and has capabilities that I haven’t used, I’m of the belief that if it can drive nails you tend to use it as a hammer.

In short I needed a tool to migrate and backup windows 7 installations
It gets the job done.

Clonezilla can be downloaded HERE:

http://clonezilla.org/downloads.php

Have a blank CD-R handy because the downloader will trigger your default
Disc burning software.

Clonezilla unlike many other cloners natively recognizeds USB, eSATA and Firewire attached drives without any special input

This is particularly useful if you are cloning a backup of a notebook hard drive…

IF you are working between two identical drives (Make, Model & Capacity) it is EASILY possible to confuse your source and destination drive with catastrophic results…

My backup drive on my Desktop is NOT the same MFG as the primary drive
On my Notebook I attach the backup drive via eSATA, this avoids potential confusion

AD


#3

I used Acronis true image 2011 to do a cloning of a hard drive to another hard drive without any problems and it was able to boot as though it was the original hard drive itself. It doesn’t matter on the size of the original but the new hard drive must be the same size or larger then original to work. But if you went from let say 160G to a 250G new cloned drive just let Acronis auto partition to the drive and when you reboot windows will detect and install the drive itself and then when you reboot it will act as though that was the original drive in the computer itself. I done this quite a few times and it has worked to save a dying or moving to larger drive but didn’t want to go through the long process of reinstalling from scratch. I ran Acronis from a cd when doing the cloning process so that I wouldn’t have to install my software on the drive I was trying to save but you could do that so that you could initially create a bootable Acronis cd for future use without having to go and reinstalling the software again.


#4

Hey Allan and coolcolors,

Thanks so much for your replies. I am going to give Clonezilla a shot and report back.


#5

I don’t know why everyone is always afraid or hesitant to start from scratch. I build and work on computers all the time, and I have always loaded the OS on the new HDD then build from there. When you clone, you have to rely on the clone HDD information, if it has junk or useless programs and bad System Files all that is coming over. I believe in a Clean Load, then you load the latest Programs you want and your Data. :cool:


#6

I too prefer to start from scratch. There are only a handful of drivers, and this way you get the very latest ones from manufacturers, fresh firewall and antivirus, media software, etc.


#7

Clonezilla worked perfectly!
Really easy to use, just make sure you READ CAREFULLY as to not clone the incorrect drive and erase all your data.

Honestly, the reason I wanted to do this was because I am sick to death of installing microsoft updates. With my internet connection, it takes an eternity to download them all and then installing them seems to take an entire day.

I like to start fresh with a new installation every so often but I had just installed everything on this drive and the thought of doing it again was pretty painful.

Thanks again guys!


#8

Look for someone with a faster connection, then download all necessary updates and build your own update CDs and DVDs by using WSUS offline updater.


#9

[QUOTE=adict2jane;2623450]
I like to start fresh with a new installation every so often but I had just installed everything on this drive and the thought of doing it again was pretty painful.
[/QUOTE]

I was thinking, HDD’s do go bad but Windows 7 is not that old so you must have loaded this on an old HDD and computer. I hope the new HDD is either a Seagate or Western Digital, and your computer holds up. :cool:


#10

[QUOTE=adict2jane;2623450]Clonezilla worked perfectly!
Really easy to use, just make sure you READ CAREFULLY as to not clone the incorrect drive and erase all your data.

Honestly, the reason I wanted to do this was because I am sick to death of installing microsoft updates. With my internet connection, it takes an eternity to download them all and then installing them seems to take an entire day.

I like to start fresh with a new installation every so often but I had just installed everything on this drive and the thought of doing it again was pretty painful.

Thanks again guys![/QUOTE]

I find using Acronis and with its GUI to navigate more user friendly when trying to do a image and restore a image. But again it’s a paid program and you do get what you pay for.


#11

Once you’ve cloned successfully with Clonezilla several times you get used to the text based user interface.

Frankly for the $40 I DID NOT spend on Clonezilla as opposed to Acronis
I can live with the user interface.

I find myself running clonezilla a minimum of three to four times each week
and pretty much do so while mentally “on auto-pilot”

as for “Windows updates” they are largely necissary (most are security related)
and either locking them out or being annoyed by poor user setup of update settings is foolish.

ALL of the computers I set up are set to check for updates and install them automatically
DAILY at a time when the computer is not in use, even on a computer where the owner/user
does not leave it running 24/7/365 leaving it on overnight just one night a week
will get all the updates when the computer is otherwise idle.

but your complaining that updates is “slow” makes me wonder, what anti-Virus are you running?

Because every time I’ve had a user complaint about windows updates slowing down their
computer the user in question is running Norton-AV.

I personally consider Norton Anti-Virus to BE a Virus and a particularly nasty one at that.


#12

Get a Seagate or WD hard drive and get Acronis for free. It doesn’t even have to be the source or destination drive, as long as it’s connected (even by USB). I just cloned an OCZ SSD to a bigger one and a Hitachi drive to an OCZ SSD, just had to plug my WD external to run it.


#13

that is if you spend the extra money for a “Retail packaged” drive rather than being a cheap SOB like me who only buys "OEM or “bulk packed” drives.

AD


#14

[QUOTE=AllanDeGroot;2624456]that is if you spend the extra money for a “Retail packaged” drive rather than being a cheap SOB like me who only buys "OEM or “bulk packed” drives.

AD[/QUOTE]

Uh, no. WD’s is here: http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp?swid=119 and Seagate ‘disc wizard’: http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/discwizard