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    Adding new hard drive and cloning all files to it

    I recently had to do this, and several knowledgeable folks on this forum gave me good advice on how to do it.
    I did up the following guide and I am posting it here, just in case it may be of assistance to others who need to do this.
    Addendum: It is a good idea to have all your data backed up before proceeding.

    Adding and Preparing a New Hard Drive (Window 7 and Vista)

    1. With power off, physically install the new drive and hook up power and SATA cables.

    2. Boot up and the system should install the driver for the new drive.

    3. Restart and open the bios. The new drive should be detected as a SATA drive. Save & exit.

    4. Once windows has started up again, click Start, and right click on Computer.

    5. Click on Manage, then click on Disk Management in the left side tree. A window will open up and should show the original drive as disk 0, as well as the new empty drive as disk 1. It should also show any other drives (such as cd-rom’s) all sequentially numbered.

    6. Right click in the open space of the new drive, then click on New Basic Volume.

    7. A utility will open and guide you through assigning a drive letter (the next available), then a file system (default is NTFS), then volume label (default is New Volume), and an option for a quick format (full format of a new drive is recommended, later), then finish. Click Finish and wait until complete. This won’t take very long.

    8. Back in Disk Management the new drive should now show the assigned letter, the drive label, plus “healthy primary partition.” If you re-open Computer the new drive should show up, along with the original. It should be completely empty. We are making progress!

    9. If the drive is brand new, it should be fully formatted before use. To do this, in Disk Management right click on the open drive space. In the window that opens click on Format. The next window allows a choice of a volume label. Make any desired changes.

    10. Leave File System and Allocation Unit Size at their defaults. The next check box called “Perform a quick format” needs to be un-checked so as to force a full format. Then click on OK.

    11. A window will open warning that any data on the drive will be erased. Just click on OK since we know this is a new drive.

    12. Formatting will now begin as shown in the Disk Management window as a percent complete number. This is a slow process, so go grab a coffee. A 500 GB drive can take upwards of an hour, and a 1TB drive upwards of 2 hours. You can minimize the window and do other work as needed, since it uses very little processor bandwidth.

    13. Once formatting is finished it will show in Disk Management as a “healthy primary partition”, (which is no different than before.) It is now fully ready for use.

    14. If the new drive is to replace the original, you will need to clone the original drive to it, including the system boot sector. To do this go to the drive manufacturer’s site, and download the applicable drive copying utility. (In the case of Western Digital, the utility is actually Acronis True Image.)

    15. Install the software and open it. Select the option for cloning or making a complete copy of the existing drive, including operating system. A window will open that allows you to select the source and the destination drives. Do this carefully! Once selected, click on finish. The system will ask to restart, then the cloning will begin. This may take anywhere from a couple of minutes to an hour or more depending on how much data is on the original C: drive.

    16. Once the copy is complete, shut down the system, unplug and remove the original drive.

    17. Restart and enter the bios again. Go to the boot order and select as desired. Save & exit.

    18. Windows should now start up from the new drive. All folders and files should be intact.

    19. If you open Computer, you should now find that Windows has re-lettered the new drive as drive C: automatically, since C: is the Windows default boot drive.

    rstew
    Last edited by bbearren; 2015-05-03 at 15:45.

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    >>> edit—OP has been edited and revised for clarity <<<

    Nicely done. One change I would suggest is in step #7, do not use "Quick format", but do a full format instead. Even a new HDD can possibly have bad sectors and a quick format will not detect them, because it does not run a scan. A full format will run a sector-by-sector scan. It takes longer, but better safe than sorry. It is much like running chkdsk /r from within Windows, but without any files written on the disk.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2015-05-03 at 16:03.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    Nicely done. One change I would suggest is in step #7, do not use "Quick format", but do a full format instead. Even a new HDD can possibly have bad sectors and a quick format will not detect them, because it does not run a scan. A full format will run a sector-by-sector scan. It takes longer, but better safe than sorry. It is much like running chkdsk /r from within Windows, but without any files written on the disk.
    Good point on the format. I changed my original post accordingly.

    Thanks,
    rstew

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    ??Make this a sticky??

    Zig

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    .... do not use "Quick format", but do a full format instead. Even a new HDD can possibly have bad sectors ....
    I would have said highly unlikely because the factory format is far more likely to detect errors and mark them off than the OS, 3rd party app (assuming it uses something other than the OS' format), or the hard drive firmware ... but then that new drive spent how long bouncing around in a jet, truck, sorting facility and delivery vehicle before arriving at its final destination?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fascist Nation View Post
    I would have said highly unlikely because the factory format is far more likely to detect errors and mark them off than the OS, 3rd party app (assuming it uses something other than the OS' format), or the hard drive firmware ... but then that new drive spent how long bouncing around in a jet, truck, sorting facility and delivery vehicle before arriving at its final destination?
    New HDD's are "RAW"; they aren't formatted at all, other than the track boundaries that are part of the platter production process.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zig View Post
    ??Make this a sticky??

    Zig
    I agree.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    do not use "Quick format", but do a full format instead
    [Anecdotal evidence/]
    I have never run a full format on a new modern drive and have never had a problem with data loss due to bad sectors.
    [/Anecdotal evidence]

    Modern hard disks have built-in error correction and checking to prevent such problems affecting your data.

    cheers, Paul

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    [Anecdotal evidence/]
    I have never run a full format on a new modern drive and have never had a problem with data loss due to bad sectors.
    [/Anecdotal evidence]

    Modern hard disks have built-in error correction and checking to prevent such problems affecting your data.
    Well, I have anecdotal evidence that contradicts your anecdotal evidence, which is still just anecdotal evidence. That being said, running a full format on a new disk will indeed format the disk. It also assures one that the disk has in fact been checked specifically for bad sectors.

    And why rush anything that you really, really want to get right the first go, like a new build, or replacing a failing hard drive?

    I try never to advise taking "shortcuts" of any nature, simply to avoid "He said .... and it pooched my PC!"

    The other meaningful point is that bad sectors won't show up (assuming a "quick format") until after they have been written and an attempt has been made to read from them. Then the "file missing or corrupt" error pops up. The full format will mark any existing bad sectors so that they will never be used at all.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2015-04-28 at 09:32.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren View Post
    The other meaningful point is that bad sectors won't show up (assuming a "quick format") until after they have been written and an attempt has been made to read from them. Then the "file missing or corrupt" error pops up. The full format will mark any existing bad sectors so that they will never be used at all.
    That's not how modern hard disks handle bad sectors. The disks have spare space internally and bad sectors are automatically mapped to the spare sectors. It's only when you run out of spare sectors that the disk reports corruption problems to Windows - it does report SMART errors which indicate potential problems as you use up the spare sectors. A full format that reports bad sectors is reporting a disk that needs replacing.

    cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    That's not how modern hard disks handle bad sectors. The disks have spare space internally and bad sectors are automatically mapped to the spare sectors. It's only when you run out of spare sectors that the disk reports corruption problems to Windows - it does report SMART errors which indicate potential problems as you use up the spare sectors. A full format that reports bad sectors is reporting a disk that needs replacing.
    It's the OS that remaps bad sectors, not the HDD. The only way a bad sector can be detected is through read/write, and modern HDD's of 1TB or 2TB or 3TB don't do full disk scans during computer idle time.

    "Your hard drive may have shipped from the factory with bad sectors. Modern manufacturing techniques aren’t perfect, and there’s a margin of error in everything."

    "When your computer notices a bad sector, it marks that sector as bad and ignores it in the future. The sector will be reallocated, so reads and writes to that sector will go elsewhere." S.M.A.R.T can read the reallocation log to see that bad sectors have been detected and reallocated by the OS

    Seagate offers "SeaTools for Windows" and "SeaTools for DOS" to perform diagnostics on their modern hard disks. One of those diagnostic tests is a full surface scan to check for bad sectors. Seagate has replaced a fresh hard drive for me because of bad sectors, based on their diagnostics. The software connects online, issues the RMA and offers to print an address label as well.

    In the past Maxtor has done the same thing. That is my point in suggesting a Full Format on a new drive; it has saved me some headaches. The possibility exists that it may do the same for others. So I don't recommend "shortcuts".
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    See attribute ID 05 in this Wikipedia article.

    Hard disk self correction.
    http://ask-leo.com/what_does_it_mean...t_to_fail.html

    cheers, Paul

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    See attribute ID 05 in this Wikipedia article.
    Header above ID 05: "This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (September 2007)" ID 05 has no citation.

    From Google's "Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population":

    "After our initial attempts to derive such models yielded relatively unimpressive results, we turned to the question of what might be the upper bound of the accuracy of any model based solely on SMART parameters. Our results are surprising, if not somewhat disappointing. Out of all failed drives, over 56% of them have no count in any of the four strong SMART signals, namely scan errors, reallocation count, offline reallocation, and probational count. In other words, models based only on those signals can never predict more than half of the failed drives."

    . . .

    "We conclude that it is unlikely that SMART data alone can be effectively used to build models that predict failures of individual drives."

    This is just me, but I prefer an in-depth statistical analysis of failed drives from a company that buys hard drives by the train load over a couple of lines in a spec sheet. For these and other reasons, I always advise using Full Format on a new hard drive. YMMV
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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    In thinking further about all this, I wonder why Windows does not include a utility to walk the user through new drive intializing and set up; once it detects a new drive?
    Seems like it would be easy enough to do, since all the utilities to do the job are already in place.
    This would be a big help for people who don't do this everyday, since it is by no means intuitive.
    Thoughts?

    rstew

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rstew View Post
    In thinking further about all this, I wonder why Windows does not include a utility to walk the user through new drive intializing and set up; once it detects a new drive?
    Seems like it would be easy enough to do, since all the utilities to do the job are already in place.
    This would be a big help for people who don't do this everyday, since it is by no means intuitive.
    Thoughts?

    rstew
    Too many unknown variables. The user may well be installing a new drive in order to dual boot Linux, for example.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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