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Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

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Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

Old 12-30-09, 10:41 AM
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Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

I walked into my basement office on Christmas Eve to be greeted by the blue screen of death. "Hard Drive failure, contact your manufacturer, blah blah blah". I shut down, turned it back on and the machine loads up through windows but when I go to open a program, the blue screen comes up again.

This drive is the C drive on my main PC. All of my data resides on a 2nd HD so I am not worried about losing any of that. That is then all backed up to multiple externals.

My C drive contains all of my systems files/software, and a lot of it. From Office to Lightroom to various media software, etc.

I have been using MS Windows OneCare as my back-up solution for this drive. OneCare is not supported anymore by MS but I was still using it. OneCare is not a mirror back-up but uses a proprietary file structure for back-ups. OneCare backs up to an external 500gb drive I use.

I have a copy of True Image lying around that i have not installed.

I can not find my copy of Windows XP right now but will probably locate it in the next day or so.

Someone recommended this to me:
- Buy 2 500gb drives. Remove the original drive and format the 2 500gb drives to run RAID.
- Partition the C drive to 50gb and 450gb.
- Install XP on the 50gb partition
- Install OneCare on the 50gb partition
- Use OneCare to recover the original C drive to the 450gb partition
- Delete the 50gb partition with the 2nd XP install on it

1- Is there an easier way to do this? Can I partition, install XP and True Image and attempt to make an image of the dead C drive? Is it worth it?

2- Can I install Win7 on the 50gb partition, install OneCare and then recover the dead C drive to the 450gb?

3- In the future, should I RAID the 2 500gb drives or just use a single 500gb as my C drive and use a program like TrueImage to run regular back-ups to a 2nd drive?

4- After I recover the original C drive can I install Windows 7 over it and retain all of my software installs from my XP drive?
Old 12-30-09, 12:31 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

if this drive just had your os and apps.. is it worth the effort to try to recover.. or just format and rebuild?

if there is app data on there that you want to preserve.. boot off a boot disk or boot cd and copy the contents of C over to your other harddrive.. blow out this drive, and then low level format and scandisk, then rebuild on it..

or get a new drive.. put the old one in as slave.. and copy your data off that way.

either way.. sounds like a good chance to get a fresh build.. trying to do much recovery just muddies up your 'clean' build.
Old 12-30-09, 12:34 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

as far as your questions on raid..
i like to mirror my data partition, to make sure my important data is safe.. (although i typically just stick to backing up to an external drive).
but mirroring OS on my workstation isnt all that important to me.. but does eliminate downtime, so if its worth it to you, go for it... (hardware raid, not software)

if you are moving to win7.. do it clean.. dont try to salvage data and install over it..
at the most.. install 7 on a new drive.. and then pull what you actually need from the other once its slaved.
Old 12-30-09, 01:25 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

Originally Posted by twikoff View Post
if this drive just had your os and apps.. is it worth the effort to try to recover.. or just format and rebuild?

if there is app data on there that you want to preserve.. boot off a boot disk or boot cd and copy the contents of C over to your other harddrive.. blow out this drive, and then low level format and scandisk, then rebuild on it..
I consider myself an advanced user level person but you actually just lost me a bit.

Can I literally copy over the contents of c/programs to my new drive?

Ideally I would like to install Windows 7/64 on my new Hard Drive, copy over all of the contents of my C drive (excluding the Windows install) to my new drive and run with it from there. I don't even need to install RAID as I can use TrueImage to run weekly, even daily, mirrors.

If it is possible to copy this over, will I be able to do it with a damaged hard drive? I would love to not be bothered with OneCare and trying to recopy everything back over.
Old 12-30-09, 02:24 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

OMG too much for one post


Originally Posted by SoSpacey View Post
... blah blah All of my data resides on a 2nd HD so I am not worried about losing any of that.
\o/ yeah, someone that backs up their data. You get a cookie.


My C drive contains all of my systems files/software, and a lot of it. From Office to Lightroom to various media software, etc.

I have been using MS Windows OneCare as my back-up solution for this drive.
This is where I am worthless, I never used one care. I am not sure what type of backup that provides (image or file) and it does matter with your OS and boot partition.

uses a proprietary file structure for back-ups.
This is most likely not important as long as you can re-install onecare to decipher the files and restore them.

What is important is the backup type, image based or file based (if file based did it include system state)

I have a copy of True Image lying around
You get another cookie

that i have not installed.
You lose two cookies

I can not find my copy of Windows XP right now but will probably locate it in the next day or so.


Someone recommended this to me:
- Buy 2 500gb drives. Remove the original drive and format the 2 500gb drives to run RAID.
- Partition the C drive to 50gb and 450gb.
- Install XP on the 50gb partition
- Install OneCare on the 50gb partition
- Use OneCare to recover the original C drive to the 450gb partition
- Delete the 50gb partition with the 2nd XP install on it
Can I have the cliff's notes?

1- Is there an easier way to do this? Can I partition, install XP and True Image and attempt to make an image of the dead C drive? Is it worth it?

2- Can I install Win7 on the 50gb partition, install OneCare and then recover the dead C drive to the 450gb?

3- In the future, should I RAID the 2 500gb drives or just use a single 500gb as my C drive and use a program like TrueImage to run regular back-ups to a 2nd drive?

4- After I recover the original C drive can I install Windows 7 over it and retain all of my software installs from my XP drive?

Do NOT complicate this recovery process with upgrades (why do people always want to do that?)

Let's just focus on getting your stuff back, then worry about upgrading (or it might make sense to install windows 7 if your backups are not going to help you any, but we aren't at that decision tree yet.



What I would do if I were you (and I had some time, going into a holiday weekend is good)

First you need to figure out what failed. You assume it is the hard drive, it most likely is, but what type of hard drive failure it is, logical or physical or just some stupid windows corruption.


If One Care is an image backup, you just need a new clean drive to restore to and you are done.

If One Care is a file backup, you need a clean drive, install XP from CD, install One Care and restore all files.


If you don't want to mess with One Care and try another route

Do you feel like investing a little money in a software tool?

Hard Drive Regenerator has worked wonders for me on certain type of drive failures.

http://www.abstradrome.com/hdd.html

If you do not hear a physical grinding or screetching noise coming from the drive, this is worth a shot.

# 2 in line is Spinrite, similar software, but IMO HDD regen is better.

IF HDD regen certifies the physical drive as clean, then you know you have a software/logical failure of some type to try and troubleshoot (booting in safe mode or doing a recovery install might be an answer if the problem is just windows)

**IF** you can get something like HDD Regen to fix your drive long enough to make a copy, you can then use the Acronis to image it to another drive. This is a good outcome for you if it works.

Then you can look at designing a new plan or doing upgrades.

Last edited by 4KRG; 12-30-09 at 02:26 PM.
Old 12-30-09, 03:11 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
\o/ yeah, someone that backs up their data. You get a cookie.
If that's the only copy of his data it isn't a backup.
Old 12-30-09, 03:35 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

Originally Posted by X View Post
If that's the only copy of his data it isn't a backup.
All of my data resides on a 2nd HD so I am not worried about losing any of that. That is then all backed up to multiple externals.
I think he's okay.
Old 12-30-09, 03:40 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

Originally Posted by TheMadMonk View Post
I think he's okay.
Oh, ok. I didn't read the massive original post.
Old 12-30-09, 03:55 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

he had an external drive backup as well, RIF
Old 12-30-09, 04:47 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

Sorry for the long original post. I actually reread it before hitting submit but couldn't figure out a way to shorten it and make sense.

In terms of my data:

Internal:
C: = OS/software/programs
P: = internal data (music/movies/11k pictures)

External:
E: = external OneCare back-up of C drive only
F: = external back-up of data (music/movies/11k pictures)

I also have a NAS box with 2 drives that back-up the P drive as well.

The C drive failed and XP was on that machine. I have no copy of XP or any of my drivers but I do have a copy of OneCare, Win7 and TrueImage.
Old 12-30-09, 04:49 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

And I am pretty sure OneCare is a file back-up but it seems to be proprietary in that it does not make a replica of the original file structure.
Old 12-30-09, 06:41 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

Originally Posted by SoSpacey View Post
I consider myself an advanced user level person but you actually just lost me a bit.

Can I literally copy over the contents of c/programs to my new drive?

Ideally I would like to install Windows 7/64 on my new Hard Drive, copy over all of the contents of my C drive (excluding the Windows install) to my new drive and run with it from there. I don't even need to install RAID as I can use TrueImage to run weekly, even daily, mirrors.

If it is possible to copy this over, will I be able to do it with a damaged hard drive? I would love to not be bothered with OneCare and trying to recopy everything back over.
nope.. cant just copy your c over and be good to go.. (well, technically, alot of apps can just be copied.. but thats trial and error, and less likely to work if going 32 to 64bit)
but reading your post.. i didnt see alot of purpose in trying to do a full scale recovery

my suggestions were either.

if you plan to reuse the same drive that crashed.. copy all the data off it over to another source.. (may not be necessary, since you have a backup).
scandisk and low level format the old harddrive.. then install windows 7 on there and reinstall your apps. then pull any app data you need from your backup to regain your settings and such.

if you plan to get a new drive regardless... i would start by just installing 7 on the new drive.. then manually recovering what you actually need for your backup or from temporarily slaving out your 'bad' drive..

personally.. i would use this as a chance to just go with a clean win7 build.. rather spending much time trying to get back to xp before upgrading.. wasnt that alot of the point of putting all your important data on a seperate drive/partition anyways.
Old 12-30-09, 07:39 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

Originally Posted by twikoff View Post

personally.. i would use this as a chance to just go with a clean win7 build.. rather spending much time trying to get back to xp before upgrading.. wasnt that alot of the point of putting all your important data on a seperate drive/partition anyways.

The only reason I am not agreeing with you is that it looks like he does not want to install all his applications from scratch.

If he wanted to install all his apps from scratch, then yes, new hard drive, fresh win 7 install, then fresh app install is the only way to go.

If he wants to UPGRADE his XP to windows 7 (which is how I read it) then he should get the XP running again on a new drive and then run the win 7 upgrade path on it.

IMO of course
Old 12-30-09, 07:44 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

if i have 32 bit XP and i am installing 64 bit Win7, will I be able to upgrade or will I have to do a fresh install?


also, i have a laptop and another desktop at home. will I be able to put OneCare on the laptop, stick the dead C drive into an external box, put a new HD in another external box and try and recover it that way?
Old 12-30-09, 08:47 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

Originally Posted by SoSpacey View Post
if i have 32 bit XP and i am installing 64 bit Win7, will I be able to upgrade or will I have to do a fresh install?
There's no option to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 unless you upgrade to Vista first, and there's no option to upgrade from 32-bit Windows to 64-bit Windows under any circumstances. You have to do a "custom install", which is Microsoft's euphemism for a clean reinstall.
Old 12-30-09, 09:34 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

so here is where i am:

i took out the bad c drive and put it in an external. hooked it up to my laptop and copied over the few things i really needed (itunes data, LightRoom metadata, etc.)

i am burning an ISO of Win7 to disk right now. changed the hard drive in my main PC to a new one. will burn the iso image to disk and do a clean install of Win7 to the new HD/PC.

i have an old Dell desktop that i am going to pick up an ide to sata converter and after i recover the old hard drive i will just install the recovered one into the old desktop and use what i need from there.
Old 01-03-10, 01:54 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

In regards to OneCare, MS has released a free backup restore tool:
http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/e...8-bfb93f911e57
As part of the end of life for Windows Live OneCare, Microsoft has made a tool available to restore OneCare backups when OneCare is not installed on the PC.
It can be downloaded from here:
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=165528
Old 01-04-10, 08:55 AM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

Install Linux which has a better File System of ext2/3/4 than NTFS
Old 01-04-10, 08:03 PM
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Re: Hard Drive Crashed - Options?

install linux

yea, that helps

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