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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Windows C: Boot Drive Swap-out Tips?

    After two failed Seagate hard disks in the past month I purchased HD Sentinel. It now rates my four year old C: boot drive as critical and gives it a 9 percent reliability rating and says it could fail at any time. The disk currently has over 65 thousand bad sectors.

    So I am about to replace it with another hard disk, either from the WD RE4 or Seagate ES series.

    The process I intend to folow is:

    1. Format the new disk as bootable,
    2. Clone the old C: drive to the new disk using a command level application (without Windows' presence),
    3. With my PC switched off remove the old and replace it with the new,
    4. Boot up with the new disk.

    I anticipate a number of possible problems. The new disk will be physically different to the old and so the cloning may not work correctly, which I probably won't know about until I try and boot for the first time with the new disk. Additionally Windows (Vista in my case) will de-activate itself and render my PC unusable.

    I can't afford any significant downtime or problems, so I was wondering if anyone who has done this already and knows the pitfalls can advise. Also advice on the correct cloning tool to use in these circumstances would be invaluable. Many thanks.

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger chowur's Avatar
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    I would run a series of test from,Seagate first;http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.js...00dd04090aRCRD
    I personally don't like to rely on third party programs for such a important situation myself.Only some advice from past experience.
    Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. -Albert Einsten

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I have used Acronis True Image Home to do this. I did not Clone, but used an Image. I created a Boot Disk for the Acronis app, booted to the Acronis app and created an Image on an Ext HD (using an Image you will always have the Image. If a clone fails, I do not know what you will have) The Image is created outside of Windows in this manner (It can be created inside or outside Windows, your choice, I have used both methods). You can then install the new HD, insert the Boot disk, attach your Ext HD with the Image and restore to the new HD. You will know in less than 10 minutes how successful you have been. I suspect things will be fine. Windows will not care about the new HD.

    I use Acronis 2010 and 2011 for our PC's. I have not used the 2012 version. I cannot discuss this new version. I have also read of good results with Macrium Reflect for this chore.

    Cloning makes a one to one copy. If something fails, then all you have is the original drive. Once you create the Image you always have the Image. Plus you can create new Images whenever you make changes to your system (I recommend this) to keep your Image Up To Date. You can store as many Images as you have space for. Images are compressed whereas a clone takes up as much space as the original OS. You can only store one clone as a backup. The above apps will also do the cloning thing as well.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  5. #4
    Gold Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by WSLfan View Post
    After two failed Seagate hard disks in the past month I purchased HD Sentinel. It now rates my four year old C: boot drive as critical and gives it a 9 percent reliability rating and says it could fail at any time. The disk currently has over 65 thousand bad sectors.

    Also advice on the correct cloning tool to use in these circumstances would be invaluable.
    WSLfan,
    Hello... A good free Imaging \ Cloning program is avalable Macrium Reflect FreeI would stay away from the newer versions of Acronis True Image Home, If you can still and want to stick with Acronis 2010 and stick at version 7046 .This works with XP , Vista home premium and "7" Home and Pro.I have used Macrium as well many times to do what your planing ... Just make sure that you burn the Macrium Recovery Disk and make sure that your PC BIOS is set up so you can boot from it (CD\DVD)The only downside is with Macrium you should burn the WinPE (WAIK, Windows Automated Installation Kit) version of the recovery disk (1.7GB download) but not a big deal really... Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  6. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I have found the older versions of Acronis on both eBay and Amazon for reasonable rates. I have not used Macrium Reflect in a couple of years but have read good things about it. The free version is limited on single file recovery I believe, but does full HD Imaging very effectively.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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  7. #6
    New Lounger
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    Many thanks for the tips. It sounds like the the upgrade should proceed with fewer problems than I was anticipating. I'm just waiting for the new disk to be delivered, then I will be under way.
    I too have had problems with Acronis TI 2012. I uninstalled it am currently back at version 11, albeit with a few lockup problems. I am currently experimenting with Macrium Reflect version 5 and have created the WinPE WAIK boot DVD. So I will give it a go.

  8. #7
    New Lounger
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    So now that I have swapped out my C: drive and installed a new hard disk, how did I get on? Here is my experience following the arrival of my new Seagate Constellation ES replacement drive.

    I used Macrium Reflect 5.0, the free version. The process I used to swap out my old C: drive on my Windows Vista PC was as follows:

    1. Create the WinPE WAIK boot DVD.
    2. Boot using this DVD then use Macrium Reflect (MR) to create an image backup. Make sure to verify it!
    3. Power down the PC, disconnect the old C: drive interface and power cables and reconnect the new disk using the same cables.
    4. Boot up using the same DVD. Restore the same image backup to the new disk.
    5. Remove the DVD and then boot up again, hopefully this time using the new disk.

    And my result? It worked first time, perfectly, no problems whatsoever. Wow! It took me just 1 hour and 20 minutes (steps 2 to 5). I am currently successfully running the updated PC and can't believe how straight forward the process was. Thanks to the good folk at MR for producing such a reliable product.

    So what did I learn? Let me summarize as follows:

    The good bits:

    - I now have a PC that boots about 30 percent faster! Its a faster disk with a 64 MB cache, the old one was just 8 MB.

    - My C: partition is now 120 GB instead of just 30 GB - plenty of space for the WinSXS folder now!

    - No bad sectors on my C: drive. Previously there were over 656 thousand.

    - The new disk is SATA-3 (6 Gbps). I didn't have to reconfigure, format or set jumpers despite it being connected to a SATA-2 (3 Gbps) header on my motherboard. It just worked the first time.

    - MR performed perfectly and reliably. I liked the bit where I had to drag and drop the old C: drive onto the new disk from where I could resize it.


    The not so good bits:

    - My Logitech wireless keyboard doesn't work in WinPE, nor does it work in Linux or the Windows recovery environment. So I have to remember to keep an old wired keyboard handy when I am working outside Windows.

    - At step 4 after having disconnected the old C: drive, booting up again resulted in MR jumbling my drive letter assignments. But I eventually found my just completed backup on the F: drive instead of the M: drive. Quite logical really.

    - Windows requires re-activation again. OK, I am given 3 days to do this before it presumably locks me out completely. But why in this day and age can't it work out that it's the same PC, only the hard disk has changed. The CPU, motherboard, memory, 4 other hard disks, graphics card are all still the same.

    Thanks again to all contributors for their advice. Hopefully my experiences here will inspire others to be able to do this sort of upgrade themself.

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  10. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I am so glad your experience was mostly positive. I did expect it to be. Glad you are back up and running with minimal effort.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


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