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  1. #1
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    Do I need a Hard drive disk copy, disk image, disk clone, disk backup or recovery disc?

    My problem is that the motherboard on my Windows 7 64bit computer is dying but my hard disc and everything else are fine. The nearest computer shop means driving over 100 km on poor roads.
    Being the older side of 70 I am not as tech savvy as younger members and I am having trouble deciding if I need to make a
    Hard drive disk copy,
    disk image,
    disk clone,
    disk backup,
    recovery disc, or
    a “simple” old fashioned data files backup and then “simply” re-install every bit of software (including the patches, etc) - !@#$%^.
    I see plenty of evidence that if my hard drive was failing or I wanted to change to a bigger hard drive making a clone on an external hard drive would have me operational with the minimum of fuss.
    I can see nothing to say that this would work equally well when I change the motherboard but keep the same C: drive and every other component. I believe the C: drive will not work when put in another computer or even once the motherboard has been changed
    I have bought another motherboard (I could not get the same make and model though) which takes the same CPU and RAM and I intend to use the same C: drive, graphics card, etc.
    Can anybody enlighten me with the simplest fix for my problem? Preferably something that is “oldie-proof”.

  2. #2
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    1. In "Control Panel\Backup and Restore" click on "Create a system repair disc" (left panel) and follow the prompts to create a repair disc that can be used for recovery purposes.

    2. Connect an external HDD to use to store the system image then (also in "Control Panel\Backup and Restore") click on "Create a system image" (left panel) and use the controls to tell Windows to create the image on the external HDD.

    3. After you have created the system image fit the new motherboard.

    Usually Windows will work with a replacement motherboard but you will have to install the necessary device drivers.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

  3. #3
    jwoods
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    Definitely do a full disk image backup.

    It is prudent to do them on a regular basis, and especially if you are making major changes to your system.

    You might consider using Macrium Reflect Free...

    http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

  4. #4
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    I too would have recommended making a full disk image using Macrium Reflect Free on a backup drive.

    But I am always suspicious of people who say the MB is bad because it usually isn't. So how did you determine the MB was bad?

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    +1 for "are you sure it's the motherboard".

    It is unlikely that you will be able to persuade Windows to run on the new mobo without some significant alteration, because Windows needs a disk driver to be able to access the disk and a mobo change means a different driver that won't be available at boot time.
    You can get around this in 2 ways.
    1. Boot from a Windows install CD and re-install Windows.
    2. Use the "bare metal restore" feature of a backup product like Macrium - this will mean buying a copy, it's not available in the free version.

    If you do change the mobo, make sure you clean the CPU/heatsink and re-apply thermal paste before turning anything on. Otherwise you may be replacing the CPU as well.

    cheers, Paul

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fascist Nation View Post
    I too would have recommended making a full disk image using Macrium Reflect Free on a backup drive.

    But I am always suspicious of people who say the MB is bad because it usually isn't. So how did you determine the MB was bad?

    Three people say it is bad - two diagnosed it by discussion and one by inspection
    My son is a senior Google techo and lives in California but is not a Windows person
    My son-in-law is an Amazon techo and lives in Seattle and is not a Windows person
    My "local" techo who has seen the machine and is a windows person, but as mentioned that involves a long drive which I would rather avoid and would also involve leaving the machine with him for several days (and the return trip to collect it).

    Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
    Shut down the computer and all the lights stay illuminated, fans keep running, external drives stay powered - every time
    During boot windows may find all the HDD and DVD drives but usually cannot find at least one
    Has 8 gb ram and control panel MAY say Installed memory (RAM): 8.00 GB (8.00 GB usable) or may give a different answer - right now it is saying 3.19gb usable
    MAY start and shut-down normally or may stop for 90 seconds after POST before booting and may take five minutes to shut down with no updates installed.
    MAY print a PDF or may just totally lock up instead.
    Etc

    I am no ace but I think the other three can be trusted to know what they are talking about
    Last edited by MiTasol; 2015-11-05 at 04:45. Reason: clarity

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    ...It is unlikely that you will be able to persuade Windows to run on the new mobo without some significant alteration, because Windows needs a disk driver to be able to access the disk and a mobo change means a different driver that won't be available at boot time...
    That might have been true with WinXP, but since Vista and later it is simply not the case when replacing a motherboard using the existing CPU, RAM, and VGA ("graphics") card.

    I have replaced motherboards (using same CPU) in customers' desktop computers more than 100 times since about 2005. In a couple of cases w/ XP Windows refused to work w/ the new motherboard. In other cases w/ XP I was able to get into Safe Mode to uninstall whichever drivers were causing the problem.

    Vista and later versions of Windows have disc drivers built-in that will work with any SATA or PATA HDD, even if the motherboard has a HDD controller chip that requires a vendor-supplied driver for optimum performance/features.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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  8. #8
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    If Windows says your system has less RAM than it actually does, the RAM may be faulty. Make sure that the sticks are properly seated and if your PC has multiple sticks, try each separately.
    Before you change the MOBO, download Puppy Linux, create the CD and boot from it. If the PC then behaves itself, the problem is not with the MOBO (or a failing PSU, which can also cause some of the symptoms).

    http://puppylinux.org/main/Download%...ase.htm#winEXE

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    MiTasol (2015-11-05)

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    Sounds to me like your power supply is going bad, I'd try replacing that first. I've had motherboards go bad, but that usually results in the PC not even booting up. Weird random changes to the system configuration could point to a power supply that was randomly dropping voltages.

    As far as replacing a motherboard, a couple years ago I replaced an iBit motherboard running a Core 2 Quad CPU with an Asus motherboard running and i7 and the system booted into Windows 7 just fine. I don't recall if I had to call Microsoft to get Windows activated or not; I do know that a few months earlier I had replaced my hard disk with an SSD and that required a call especially since I reinstalled Windows.

    But I agree with the other posters that making a drive image is always a good idea, especially just before doing a major change to your PC.

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    MiTasol (2015-11-05)

  12. #10
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    Does your mobo BIOS screen show hardware voltages? That will give you an idea of the power supply status.

    cheers, Paul

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    MiTasol (2015-11-05)

  14. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Does your mobo BIOS screen show hardware voltages? That will give you an idea of the power supply status.

    cheers, Paul
    Thanks for suggestion Paul
    I will check the documentation after work and see if I can monitor voltages

    Paul and Cafed00d
    My original thought was too small a power supply because I am running 4 internal HDD, 2 DVD, 2 fans (always on in tropics) and up to 6 usb devices on 420w
    The local techo did the sums and said it was not overloaded but it will be nice to check it at full load if the bios will give me that data.

    Calimanco
    Techo checked the RAM and it passed with flying colours
    I will try puppy linux after work as well

  15. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Does your mobo BIOS screen show hardware voltages? That will give you an idea of the power supply status.

    cheers, Paul
    Thanks Paul
    Voltages are as follows from the BIOS

    Vcore varies from 1.144 to 1.184 and is never stationary. I cannot determine from the internet what variation is considered normal both for voltage and stability

    The rest are well within the 5% tolerance for the ATX spec and seldom change for even a second
    3.30 = 3.36
    5.00 = 5.088
    12.0 = 12.196

    Core Voltage in CPU-Z is greyed out and I have yet to find a similar program. Too much cloud around for the VSAT internet connection

    Temperatures
    CPU = 70C/158F
    MB = 41C/105F
    Room temp over 30C

    Paul and Cafed00d
    Found three online power supply calculators and all agree I have 25% surplus wattage in worst case loads

    Calimanco

    Puppy linux download times out - will try in morning and hope for no rain or cloud to slow download speed
    Last edited by MiTasol; 2015-11-06 at 06:12.

  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Does your mobo BIOS screen show hardware voltages? That will give you an idea of the power supply status.

    cheers, Paul
    Hi Paul
    The 3, 5 & 12 voltages are all well within the ATX motherboard specs and stable
    The Vcore voltage varies from 1.144 to 1.184 and is very mobile and I cannot see anything on the net that says this is normal or abnormal. I do see references to Vcore instability being normal and related to loads but not what is considered normal during a BIOS voltage check

    Paul and Cafed00d
    I searched the net and found three programs that calculate power supply load and all three came up with under 360watts with every USB port connected to something so that leaves a good load margin.

    Calimanco
    Techo checked the RAM and it passed with flying colours. I will do an on line check or download a ram test program today and see what results I get but it is Patriot RAM and less than six months old
    I am downloading Slacko PAE linux at present.

  17. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiTasol View Post
    ...Techo checked the RAM and it passed with flying colours. I will do an on line check or download a ram test program today and see what results I get...
    MemTest86 from: http://www.memtest86.com/
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
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  18. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calimanco View Post
    If Windows says your system has less RAM than it actually does, the RAM may be faulty. Make sure that the sticks are properly seated and if your PC has multiple sticks, try each separately.
    http://puppylinux.org/main/Download%...ase.htm#winEXE
    Hi Calimanco
    mdsched.exe says the RAM is ok
    Have not had time to try puppy yet

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