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Old 11-04-2013, 07:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default laptop hard drive?

i bought a used Dell Precision M90 laptop. it has a tiny little 40 GB hard drive in it, which is roughly 75% full. i have no idea how much of that is normal software that the computer needs to function. it has Windows 7 professional o.s. on it. it looks like the hard drive just pops right out the side of this machine, which will make it easy to swap. but how do i get the o.s. and other software back on a new hard drive? can i burn all the software to a disc? or will i have to buy a new o.s. from a store?
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: laptop hard drive?

You can attach the new drive via USB (with an adapter) and then use free software such as Macrium Reflect to clone the contents of the older drive to the new drive. It's quite common and not difficult to do. Once the cloning is complete you just need to remove the old hdd from the laptop and install the new.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: laptop hard drive?

Use something like CloneZilla or Acronis to create an image of the drive onto a secondary drive. Then, once the image is done, apply that image onto the new HDD.

It takes longer yes, but it is much safer in regards to the possibility of losing data.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: laptop hard drive?

It's not really any safer for your data but it gives some people a warm fuzzy feeling because they feel that having the image available somehow gives them added protection.

To me, it makes more sense to clone the drive directly, then, once the cloned drive is verified to be good, do an image backup of the cloned drive. In either case, no changes are made to the original drive so you can always redo the cloning operation if it isn't successful for some reason.

Cloning only reads the original drive so what chance is there for data loss?
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strollin View Post
It's not really any safer for your data but it gives some people a warm fuzzy feeling because they feel that having the image available somehow gives them added protection.

To me, it makes more sense to clone the drive directly, then, once the cloned drive is verified to be good, do an image backup of the cloned drive. In either case, no changes are made to the original drive so you can always redo the cloning operation if it isn't successful for some reason.

Cloning only reads the original drive so what chance is there for data loss?
Sorry, but no. Like PP and I told you in the other thread, its much safer to do a Disk -> Image -> Disk. It DOES give data security because the original drive remains untouched.

I already said in the other thread also that I learned from experience that something can indeed go wrong when doing a direct Disk -> Disk.

Yes, It may make more sense to do Disk to Disk directly, but its less safe than doing an image intermediate between the two.

Like I said, I know from experience. I messed up a friend's drive on accident when a disk-to-disk failed, and I spent 6 hours recovering it to get it bootable again. Now, when I clone something, I always do disk -> image -> disk. Yes it takes longer, but then you have that untouched drive, and the image.

Plus, if the drive is dying, its much better to get an image of it right away rather than do a direct disk-to-disk.

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Old 11-04-2013, 03:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: laptop hard drive?

I know you explained your reasons to me in another thread. That doesn't mean you're right.

Can you explain what the difference is between doing a direct disk->disk clone and doing an intermediate image save to another disk? What makes you think it is safer? In both methods the identical thing is happening, data is read from the original drive and written to a 2nd drive. Think about it, THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE IN REGARDS TO THE SAFETY OF THE DATA.

I worked in IBM's disk drive business for 20 years and never once heard of a situation where copying data from a disk somehow corrupted the data on the original disk. If copying directly to the clone drive would effect the data, so would copying to the intermediate drive.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: laptop hard drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by strollin View Post
I know you explained your reasons to me in another thread. That doesn't mean you're right.

Can you explain what the difference is between doing a direct disk->disk clone and doing an intermediate image save to another disk? What makes you think it is safer? In both methods the identical thing is happening, data is read from the original drive and written to a 2nd drive. Think about it, THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE IN REGARDS TO THE SAFETY OF THE DATA.

I worked in IBM's disk drive business for 20 years and never once heard of a situation where copying data from a disk somehow corrupted the data on the original disk. If copying directly to the clone drive would effect the data, so would copying to the intermediate drive.
Depending on the disk imaging software, different things can happen.

In my case, I'll be as detailed as I can for you since you don't remember from the other thread.

My friend bought a new SSD. He wanted his drive cloned to the new SSD. I shrunk the partitions with GParted so they would fit on the new SSD like he wanted them to be, and then I loaded up Clonezilla. I started the direct disk-to-disk copy because i figured "hey, it's just a direct disk-to-disk clone, so it should be fine." It asked if I wanted to make the new drive bootable as well. I answered yes to this prompt, and continued with it. It was copying fine, and somewhere during the copy, something went wrong (could have been a bad sector and I forgot to add the "ignore bad sectors" option, could have been something else - not sure since I wasn't watching it at the time). So I figured, "well I'll try again, but let me make sure I can still boot into the original drive." Tried to boot - failed. No OS detected. Tried to repair the bootloader - couldn't do it. Tried rebuilding the bootloader / bootsector from scratch using a Win7 disc. No dice. Tried making the old partition active in diskpart - still wouldn't work. After several hours of attempting to get it to work (couuldn't reinstall fresh because he didn't have install discs to some software he had on there anymore), I finally managed to get it to boot again (can't even remember how I did it). Then, there were a bunch of registry settings that got ****ed up somehow, and the program files path and several other system paths were pointing to the wrong drive letter, so I had to manually change those. Finally got it fixed and working fine after about 6 - 8+ hours of working on it continuously. Then we decided to try cloning to the SSD again, this time making an image. So, created the image onto an external of his, and then applied the image from the external to the SSD. Rebooted, and guess what? Worked fine and he was happy as a clam.

So, yes, theoretically doing a disk-to-disk is just fine. Hell, I used to to disk-to-disk when I had to clone drives. BUT, it just takes that 1 time that something goes wrong, where I had to spend that much time fixing the issue that could have been avoided by simply doing Disk-Image-Disk.

So, there you have it. May not be "safer for the data" in a data integrity sense, but it's safer in a "you won't **** up your drive and have to spend hours recovering data" sense.

Also, you're misinterpreting what I'm saying. I'm NOT saying it's CORRUPTING the data. I'm saying it's safer from the standpoint of TIME and the possibility of something going wrong, such as what happened to me. Yes, it was probably a fluke that something wrong happened. BUT, that's enough for me to do it a safer way.

So there you go, you now have a "first" for your 20 years about disk imaging.

And just because you do disk-to-disk, doesn't mean that's right either. You can use your technique, and I'll use mine. Doesn't matter to me - I'm just giving my opinion and experiences to people that ask for help in regards to how they should do an image of a HDD, and I've had many many people agree with me that doing disk-image-disk is "safer".
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: laptop hard drive?

What is there to prevent the same thing happening as happened to you with your friend's ssd while creating the system image? It's essentially the exact same procedure. If it will muck up during the disk->disk, it will be just as likely to muck up during the imaging. That's why I'm telling you that it is not any safer because you're doing the same thing, copying sectors from the original drive and writing them to a second drive, no difference. In both cases, the original drive remains unchanged.

I can't explain why or how things got mucked up during that one time for you. I have cloned dozens of drives and created system images of even more drives and have never encountered what you did because the operation only involves reading data from the original drive.
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