Hard Disk Replacemenr

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I've had several "BSD"s, some of which are attributed to drivers, the
last just a crash without any detailed info.
I ran the Dell diagnostics from their partition and two HD tests
failed on the same block. I assujme I will need to replace the disk,
and I hate the idea of starting over and reloading everything. I'm
looking for advice on the process of transferring the contents.
I have a secondary disk that I've been using for backups, etc. It's
bigger and newer that the old one, so I would like to use it.
I've done some searches, but am unclear as to the steps to take and
the software (imaging?) to use, so I will welcome any suggestions that
offer any sources of info or detailed steps to follow.
I'm not a novice, but this is a new problem for me.

Re: Hard Disk Replacemenr

On Sat, 19 Sep 2009 17:03:50 -0400, Jim T.

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The replacement disk has backups, that may need moved if you
do not have an empty partition at the beginning of the
drive.  Actually you don't need that partition to be at the
beginning but for performance reasons it is highly advised.

Since most people who use a drive would start putting their
backup data on the beginning (partition) on the drive, to
proceed you will have to make that space available and
backup the data elsewhere.  In some cases it is possible to
use repartitioning software to move the data but it is
risky, if it crashes during use which isn't all that
uncommon, it can leave all data practically unrecoverable.
Examples of paritioning applications include Powerquest
Partition Magic and Acronis Disk Director.

After you have an empty partition on the target replacement
drive you can check on whether the old or new drive brand,
manufacturer offers a drive cloning application on their
website.  For example Seagate/Maxtor offer Acronis Trueimage
which can duplicate the old drive partition to the new drive
providing you have that brand of drive in the system.
Acronis Trueimage is fairly popular and a fuller featured
version can also be purchased separately.

However, now that you have an operating instability where
some file/data was potentially lost due to the old drive
failing, the best a  partition cloning operation can do is
copy over what is still salvageable.  It could leave the
operating system in the same state it is in now, requiring
you to track down what file and/or data was lost or do a
repair install or reinstall of windows... which will be
necessary isn't easy to know until you reach a point where
it fails to proceed further or resolve the problem.

Ultimately the best solution would be to keep the backup
drive as-is, buy a replacement hard drive then decide
whether to make it the main system drive or make the backup
drive the main system drive and it the new backup drive.
Then you have no issues with  making a free empty partition
on a backup drive holding data already, and you also end up
with both a system and a backup drive again should either of
them fail in the future.

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