Restore procedure

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by EdP, Nov 23, 2011.

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  1. EdP

    EdP Registered Member

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    My brother has a Dell with a HD that is making some noises, so I want to replace it before it goes kablooie. Is there any reason the following procedure might not work?

    As long as the drive is still working, use Paragon 2010 to create an image to an external HD
    Using another PC, restore the image on the external HD to a new drive (same size) also mounted externally.
    Replace the old drive with the new one and go.

    This seems a bit simple, so there just has to be something wrong with it. ;)

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.
    EdP
     
  2. rdgrimes

    rdgrimes Registered Member

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    His Dell probably has additional ports for HDD, so you do a simple clone operation in the Dell, to the new drive. You can download a cloning tool from the drive maker or use Paragon. I'd think it's prudent to have the extra backup for plan B. The Paragon boot discs should also recognize an external USB HDD as long as the Dell is set up to allow that.

    Dell usually uses a hidden partition with an image of the original OS partition, so you may have an option for using that too. If you copy the entire drive instead of just the boot partition, you'd also get that. Be aware that the Dell might have an odd MBR because of the hidden restore partition, so there may be issues related to that if you opt to just copy the OS partition.

    I usually look at a drive replacement as an opportunity to start fresh with either a fresh install or a restore to the original state via image. Cloning an old drive to new just carries over all the accumulated junk.

    Hope that all makes sense.
     
  3. EdP

    EdP Registered Member

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    Thanks for the response, rd.

    I downloaded the manual for his PC - it does have a second HD bay.

    Until I was able to access the PC (Thanksgiving Day), there was some doubt as to what hard drive was in it. He had purchased a returned PC which had a different HD (Seagate) than the one listed in Dell's original configuration page.

    In any case, I followed your suggestion and found that Seagate has free cloning software (based on Acronis True Image) and detailed step-by-step instructions to complete the process.

    I have a 500GB Seagate sitting around that I'll give him instead of buying a new drive at the current high prices. I ran the Seatools Long Generic test against it and it passed. I was surprised that Seatools was not able to identify the serial number nor provide a log of the test - presumably because it was connected externally via USB.

    My concern at the moment is whether his drive will gasp its dying breath during the cloning process. I don't know for a fact, but based on what I've read, I think the cloning process also copies empty sectors which will make for a lengthier process.

    Thanks for the advice and guidance; I appreciate it.
    EdP
     
  4. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    If the drive is in very poor shape, I'd make sure I have all the important data files backed up first before starting a process that could spell the end of the drive. Just copy them off with Windows Explorer to an external or flash drive. You can always reload the OS and apps if it comes to that.

    I'm not sure about the Acronis clone process doing the un-used sectors. I used to use Acronis TI but don't anymore. However, I always did everything by imaging, not cloning.
     
  5. EdP

    EdP Registered Member

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    Thanks, Seek ...

    >all the important data files backed up first<
    That's my intent.

    Fortunately, unlike my garbage dump of a drive, my brother's drive has a relatively small number of files to back up.

    EdP
     
  6. rdgrimes

    rdgrimes Registered Member

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    If the drive is in really bad shape, there's always the question of whether it's best to get the cloning done sooner rather than later, and using the drive to back up or copy files might hasten it's demise. You can also run Windows checkdisc on it and repair any errors, but do not use "scan for bad sectors" as this is labor intensive and can start a cascade of failures.

    You can use the Paragon boot CD to first image the entire drive, (not just the partition), then do the cloning from the same Paragon software, That will require a third drive to store the image or a second partition on the second drive.
     
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