dying main drive- I need help on what to do next

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by rxtian, Mar 16, 2007.

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  1. rxtian

    rxtian Registered Member

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    ironically, this morning I did a new TI 8.0 (last build) Full Image of my main drive. I then started to do my normal two uncompressed backups of the contents in My Documents onto the 2nd drive in the Computer, and onto an external drive. The copy of My Documents stopped in the middle of My Pictures with an error, which I failed to write down. Subsequent use of the Dell "Hard Drive Diagnostics" gave me a "Fail" with "Return Code 7".

    If I now reboot, I get a new Black Screen that says "Loading PBR".
    "A Disk Read Error Occured". Press, Cntrl, Alt, Delete to reboot. If I do that, it just reboots into the Read Error.

    I am assuming my main Drive (Sata 80GB) has bad sectors. I have not been able to do a Scan Disk. I do have an Acronis Boot CD that I made when I first installed TI 8.0 on this computer. I have used it successfully to Restore the image I made this morning from the computer's 2nd internal drive ( Sata 160GB).

    Ok, my question/problem :
    After searching the Forum, and the TI Help Files, I am not sure if I should buy a new 80 GB Drive ( new drive same size as the old, if I can actually get an 80GB Seagate, to make things easy?) and then
    1). Clone the old disk to the new using the Acronis Boot CD.
    2). Restore the Full TI Image I made this morning to the new disk
    3). Use Add New Drive on the TI Boot CD, and Restore the Full Image.

    In other words, I am very confused as to what steps and which plan to use to replace the failing disk with a new one, and I am also a bit worried about "Bad Sectors" on the Full Image I made this morning being transferred to a new disk.

    Any help, such as instructions, links to a guide that I can follow for my problem will be appreciated. Tomorrow, Friday, I'll buy a new hardrive, so I am ready to go. I just don't want to screw it all up. THANKS
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Is the HD working now? Have you restored an image?

    Definitely DON'T buy an 80 GB HD. A big one is far more cost effective if you actually need another HD.
     
  3. rxtian

    rxtian Registered Member

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    Brian :
    1). the main 80 GB drive that has Windows XP Home on it is working, but seems to be failing - re: the Return Code 7, Hard Disk Read Error and problems copying files from the main drive to the 2nd drive or an external drive. I did restore the Full Image to the main drive from the 2nd internal drive that I made this morning before getting the failed drive symptoms. It didn't help. I also have a TI 8.0 Full Image made on March 10th, and one from March 3rd. All on different drives, as I am a big believer in redundancy.

    2). From reading posts on this forum, I had thought that getting a bigger drive to replace the failing main drive I have now, would create partitioning problems whichever method I wind up using to replace the old drive. If it doesn't make my job harder, I'll get a 120 or 160 GB. I do have 1 internal 160 GB 2nd , and 4 160 GB external drives now. I'm not hurting for space. I don't like "all my eggs in one basket" type of thing.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    rxtian,

    I don't think this necessarily implies a pending HD failure. It means Windows can't find the startup files. Did you change SATA ports at all? For example..

    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=293

    I know you don't have BootIt but it's an example of a non failing HD. However you did receive that message on the Dell Diagnostics.

    Any size will work. 500 GB would work but you don't need the space.

    Very sensible.

    1 or 2 should be fine. I'd prefer 2. Not sure about 3.

    I assume your Dell is the same as mine. 30 MB Diagnostics partition and then a WinXP partition with a boot.ini referencing Partition (2).
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  6. rxtian

    rxtian Registered Member

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    Brian : I read that thread yesterday, and again just now. I am having trouble understanding partitioning a new disk.
    I was hoping to buy a new disk, connect it to the Power and Data Cables from the 2nd Internal Drive, and then either Clone the failing Disk.
    Or connect the new disk to the Power and Data Cables to the old main drive, and Restore the Full Image I had made yesterday morning that is on the 2nd Internal Drive. In the back of my head, Iam hoping that this will be easy (dream on).

    I just loaded the Acronis Boot CD, to look at the partitions of my main drive using Disk Management. At the part where TI is Anaylzing C: Partition, I got an Error stating "Failed to Read the Sector 6,454,940 of hard Disk 0.
    That's new. Also, TI is not seeing an external drive with a TI Full Image I made on March 10th.

    I'm confused in part because it looks like TI shows three partitions in one place, and five in another. I'm kinda lost here. You know, the point where you are not sure what you are looking at, or what you have seen.

    Oh well, I will go get a new hard disk this afternoon. If I should Restore the TI Image I made (if I still can) in order to look at Disk Management, I will do that.

    btw: I appreciate the time you are taking to help me.
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    rxtian,

    If you are happy with your partition structure then you don't need to partition the new HD prior to the restore..

    I would advise against the cloning approach as you would likely be cloning from a HD with bad sectors. Better to restore a good image. Initially I'd try restoring the most recent image but if that OS doesn't work properly you can then try restoring an older image.

    That's what I'd do. It should be easy. I don't use whole disk images but I think there is a menu to resize up the partition sizes during the restore so that the whole of the new HD is used.

    Could you run chkdsk /r on the C: drive and let us know about the bad sectors. How many partitions are showing in Disk Management (right click My Computer, Manage, Disk Management)? What is the order of the partitions? How large is each partition and how much data in each?

    Do you have a BartPE CD? Not needed for the current procedure but handy to have.
     
  8. rxtian

    rxtian Registered Member

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    Brian : I went out and got a Seagate 160gb drive. I had the courage (sort of), but your last reply gave me confidence (lots).

    I took the power and data cables out of the failing drive, attached them to the new drive, started up the Computer w/ the Acronis Boot CD, and simply restored the TI Image off the 2nd drive onto the new drive.

    The only problem I thought I had was when I saw that Acronis identified the file system as Fat32. It turns out that the File system is NFTS. After I took the old drive out of the cage and replaced it with the new, I rebooted and everything so far is working fine. I'm doing a disk error scan on the new drive, I forgot I had the software to do it on the old drive. So I didn't do an error scan on the old drive, ti's now sitting in a drawer awaiting a format and the Hammer.

    Many Thanks to Acronis True Image, and yourself Brian. I did not think it would be this easy.

    Not including the time to research the problem. it took less than an hour and a half to go get a new drive, hook it up, restore it, put the new drive in it's proper place.

    One last (I hope) question. My Computer show the new 160 GB drive as having a capacity of 71.2 GB. IE, the capacity of the old 80 GB drive. Now I'm thinking I didn't do something right.

    I appreciate your help Brian, perhaps more than you realize.
    The next bewildered TI User will profit from my experience, your expertise,
    and the plain fact that Acronis True Image WORKS.
    Thanks,
    Robert C.
     
  9. rxtian

    rxtian Registered Member

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    I went to Disk Management, saw that there were 4 partitions.
    1). 39MB Fat32 (EISA Config),
    2). 71.29GB NTFS (system)
    3). 3.16GB Fat32 (unknown partition)
    4). 74.55GB (unallocated).

    Do I do some Brian Magic with Disk Management and assign a Drive Letter to the 74.55GB unallocated space?

    I've gotten this far with your help, I don't feel like making the wrong decision now.
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Robert, very pleasing. It was easy, wasn't it?

    Yes, it seems you slipped up on your resizing. But that may be a blessing in disguise. Have a look in Disk Management and I'd expect you will find around 75 GB of Unallocated Space at the right end of the graphic. I'd turn this into a Logical Drive as outlined in the other post. Don't worry if you mess up. It's a simple matter of deleting the logical drive and doing it again. A 5 minute job.

    Any questions?
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I just saw your Post #9. Yes, do as I indicated above.

    Right click in the Unallocated Space and click New Partition
    The Wizard commences, click Next
    Select Extended partition, Next
    Leave the partition size alone as it should be the remainder of the drive, Next
    Finish

    Now you have a partition with a green band above and it is called Free Space
    Right click in this space and click New Logical drive
    The Wizard commences, click Next
    Dot in Logical drive, Next
    Leave the partition size alone as it should be the remainder of the drive, Next
    Put dot in Assign the following drive letter and accept the letter, Next
    Put dot in Format this partition, Accept NTFS, Default Allocation Unit size, Type in a Volume name eg DATA,
    Next
    Finish
    Wait for it to format
     
  12. rxtian

    rxtian Registered Member

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    Brian : I followed your instructions, and "Perfecto".

    I learn from the Master * Thanks Again *
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Thanks for the compliment. I'm glad I was of help.

    Now that you have a data partition you need a reason to use it. This article by Dan Goodell is how a lot of us approach backup. Separating data from the OS and backing up differently. When Ghost or Drive Image is mentioned, just mentally substitute True Image.

    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/notes.htm#13

    And for moving data from the OS partition to the Data partition, this explains how to do it.

    http://www.windowsbbs.com/showthread.php?t=49222

    You can easily move these folders..

    - Move the My Documents folder
    - Move the Favorites folder
    - Move the Store Folder location for E-mail in Outlook Express
    - Move the Address Book
    - Move the Outlook .pst file

    Data needs to be backed up more frequently than the OS and this can be done with partitioning. It's more efficient (as Dan points out) to image the OS partition and use a Data backup approach for data.
     
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