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Back up question - transfer hard drive question

Old 02-19-12, 09:01 AM
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Back up question - transfer hard drive question

Here's the scenario: Bought my son a Dell Studio 1737 (Vista) laptop a year or so ago. During a flight the corner of the case was cracked. The airline agreed to pay to fix so we used the $200 Dell out of warranty offer to get it fixed. When it came back from Dell everything worked fine but not the the HDMI port, (same corner of the airline damage) so back to Dell it went. They returned it last week saying they replaced the motherboard but the hard drive is inoperable. I called and they said it was a bad drive. (worked fine until they replaced the motherboard) Dell wanted to sent a new drive for us to reload the operating system. We balked and they agreed to do this themselves.

Waiting for a box to send it back to Dell again I went to Best Buy and bought a Black Widow hard drive docking system and pulled the hard drive from the laptop. I opened the drive and it seems fine to me. Using my PC I can access all the files and programs.

Two questions:

I want to back this whole laptop drive on to a portable WD drive so no files are lost. My son saved some files originally but not all and none of the programs. I'm thinking of using a free program such as synch back. Good idea or a better suggestion?

I have another Dell laptop (a 13" XPS) and thought of taking out the XPS drive and try to boot with the Studio drive. Would that work?

Thanks!
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Old 02-19-12, 10:54 AM
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Re: Back up question - transfer hard drive question

I'm reminded of those word problems they started throwing at us in junior high where there was a bunch of irrelevant info, and the hardest part about solving them was sorting out the important stuff. I guess what I'm saying is, I really recommend my Samsonite case for keeping my laptop safe when I travel.

How'd I do?
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Old 02-19-12, 11:30 AM
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Re: Back up question - transfer hard drive question

@ stevet - I will give you a "C"

and I will explain my work\translate this

Originally Posted by kayak99 View Post
Here's the scenario: Bought my son a Dell Studio 1737 (Vista) laptop a year or so ago.
I have a year old dell

During a flight the corner of the case was cracked. The airline agreed to pay to fix
the 1 year old dell was damaged

so we used the $200 Dell out of warranty offer to get it fixed. When it came back from Dell everything worked fine but not the the HDMI port, (same corner of the airline damage) so back to Dell it went.
I sent it to dell for repair and the HDMI wasn't working when they returned it to me. Everything else worked as expected.

They returned it last week saying they replaced the motherboard but the hard drive is inoperable. I called and they said it was a bad drive. (worked fine until they replaced the motherboard)
I sent it back to Dell a second time and they replaced the motherboard in an effort to fix the HDMI issue.

Now, my hard drive does not work


Dell wanted to sent a new drive for us to reload the operating system. We balked and they agreed to do this themselves.

Waiting for a box to send it back to Dell again
Dell agreed to repair the laptop a 3rd time (this time for the hard drive)

I went to Best Buy and bought a Black Widow hard drive docking system and pulled the hard drive from the laptop. I opened the drive and it seems fine to me. Using my PC I can access all the files and programs.
The Dell techs are wrong and the hard drive is actually fine even though it won't boot when inside the laptop.

Two questions:

I want to back this whole laptop drive on to a portable WD drive so no files are lost. My son saved some files originally but not all and none of the programs. I'm thinking of using a free program such as synch back. Good idea or a better suggestion?
How should I backup a hard drive that works fine? I need the data and the programs.

I have another Dell laptop (a 13" XPS) and thought of taking out the XPS drive and try to boot with the Studio drive. Would that work?

Thanks!
I am now just throwing random ideas into the wind


______________________________________________________


After that translation, here is my take on it.

Your hard drive is not really bad. They new motherboard Dell installed in your laptop has a different enough hard drive controller that your hard drive will just no longer boot (this is most likely a software problem and most likely not a physical problem)

I would just do a repair install of the OS on the laptop and the "dell stated bad drive" and you will most likely be fine.

If you want to buy backup software, buy Acronis true image home w/universal restore, use the emergency boot cd to backup the 'dell stated failed drive' to the external drive.

Use the universal restore option to restore the same data back to the same 'dell stated failed drive' and odds are that the universal restore feature will detect the new hard drive controller and your drive will boot again.

You really can't trust everything the Dell techs tell you

Did you run hard drive diags on the machine yourself to confrim 100% the drive really has a physical failure? You can download these diags right from dell or if you want a better tool, get a copy of Hard Drive Re-generator..
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Old 02-19-12, 01:32 PM
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Re: Back up question - transfer hard drive question

Originally Posted by stevevt View Post
I'm reminded of those word problems they started throwing at us in junior high where there was a bunch of irrelevant info, and the hardest part about solving them was sorting out the important stuff. I guess what I'm saying is, I really recommend my Samsonite case for keeping my laptop safe when I travel.

How'd I do?
Poorly actually. I recall posting a simple question here once and was asked for so many details I almost forgot the relevant question! Thought I'd save time and offer the irrelevant minutia first!

I'd explain how it was damaged by the airline but that might be too much information for you.

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post

I would just do a repair install of the OS on the laptop and the "dell stated bad drive" and you will most likely be fine.

If you want to buy backup software, buy Acronis true image home w/universal restore, use the emergency boot cd to backup the 'dell stated failed drive' to the external drive.

Use the universal restore option to restore the same data back to the same 'dell stated failed drive' and odds are that the universal restore feature will detect the new hard drive controller and your drive will boot again.

You really can't trust everything the Dell techs tell you

Did you run hard drive diags on the machine yourself to confrim 100% the drive really has a physical failure? You can download these diags right from dell or if you want a better tool, get a copy of Hard Drive Re-generator..
I ran no diags. As it is, the laptop does not recognize an operable drive. All I get is the black startup screen with a couple error messages. (I can't recall what they said, the drive is out of the laptop at this time)

Thanks
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Old 02-19-12, 06:01 PM
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Re: Back up question - transfer hard drive question

Originally Posted by kayak99 View Post
I ran no diags. As it is, the laptop does not recognize an operable drive. All I get is the black startup screen with a couple error messages. (I can't recall what they said, the drive is out of the laptop at this time)

Thanks

The drive does work in the Black Widow hard drive docking system, right ??
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Old 02-19-12, 06:05 PM
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Re: Back up question - transfer hard drive question

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
The drive does work in the Black Widow hard drive docking system, right ??
If you mean can I open the drive and view all the files, yes.

I put the drive back into the original laptop and am trying to do a repair from the installation disc but it appears that will not work. I tried all the repair options except to reinstall Vista.



P.S. The two messages I get at startup (DOS screen) are "Media Test Failure, check cable" and "Operating System not found"

Last edited by kayak99; 02-19-12 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 02-19-12, 08:27 PM
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Re: Back up question - transfer hard drive question

Originally Posted by kayak99 View Post
If you mean can I open the drive and view all the files, yes.
yes, that is what I meant.


I put the drive back into the original laptop and am trying to do a repair from the installation disc but it appears that will not work. I tried all the repair options except to reinstall Vista.



P.S. The two messages I get at startup (DOS screen) are "Media Test Failure, check cable" and "Operating System not found"
It could be that the motherboard has a bad hard drive connector or a bad hard drive controller. Just about any time Dell replaces a motherboard, they use a refurb part. My record on consecutive dell mobo replacements on the same machine is 4 (one immediately after the other )


With the hard drive back in the machine, go into the BIOS and look at the hard drive setting, does it tell you there is no hard drive installed?

One last ditch effort would be to try the different hard drive settings and see if you get a different result.

IDE, AHCI, IRRT, SATA, there may be others, try all the options you have for the hard drive controller field in the BIOS, try them one at a time and try to boot on each one. Then when you are done testing, find the option that says to restore the BIOS to defaults and invoke it.
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Old 02-20-12, 02:13 PM
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Re: Back up question - transfer hard drive question

BIOS setting says there is no hard drive but I've found the problem. You were correct, its a bad connector between the hard drive and the motherboard. I opened another Dell, pulled the connector from it, put that connector on the "bad" hard drive and it boots fine. Not sure why Dell could not figure that out themselves but then again it was probably them who bent a pin or something. Thanks!

Last edited by kayak99; 02-20-12 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 02-20-12, 03:06 PM
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Re: Back up question - transfer hard drive question

cool, glad you found it

Dell didn't find it because no one that works on your machine there gives a crap about doing it right. Support there is all about speed, volume and keep costs down, and less about fixing it right the first time.

Just about all IT support is like this now days.

I think Dell advertises a 95% satisfaction rate on their warranty support. You just fell into the 5% and no one cares because that 5% is within spec
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