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Need bootable utility that can copy entire hard drive to new hard drive

Posted on 2006-11-18
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Last Modified: 2016-08-29
I am working on a HP Pavilion PC with a failing hard drive.  It has the C partition, 8 MB of free space and then the Recovery Partition.  I want to copy the entire hard drive (all partitions) to a new HD.  I cannot, for the life of me, manage to disconnect the SATA cable from the failing drive.  There is something wrong with the clips/connectors.  Therefore, I cannot remove it and slave it in another machine.  I need to install the new HD in the same PC and then boot to a utility that will do the copying.  I've tried BootIt NG but the Recovery Partition does not work after copying and creating the 3 partitions.  I believe that Norton Ghost 9 will copy an entire hard drive but only when running in Windows.  When I boot to it, I don't get the option that I want.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.
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Question by:marathonman330
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by:irwinpks
ID: 17973224
It should be fairly straightforward process to remove the clip...press and pull..

use brute force if need be. If it breaks, just get another cable.
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by:jamietoner
ID: 17973620
can you unplug the cable from the motherboard?
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by:burrcm
ID: 17973788
SATA cables generally fall off by themselves. To avoid this some will use a glue gun or other method to hold them fast. Check for this. Hot melt will be obvious, but super glue (cyanoacrylate adhesive) will not. Take care, lest you damage the mobo connector.

Chris B
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Author Comment

by:marathonman330
ID: 17974254
I can't unplug the cable from the motherboard.  It's the same.  This cable has a clip on the connector that you squeeze to release.  No matter how hard or gently I squeeze I can't get it loose.  I've broken the clip on the connector on the hard drive end.

I'm not sure but I don't see any signs of glue.  This is an HP Pavilion about 4 months old.

I haven't tried brute force yet.

I had given up on the idea of getting the hard drive out of the machine.  That is why I'm asking about bootable imaging utilities.

Thank you.
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by:nobus
ID: 17974323
so your C: drive does not boot?
install a second disk, install Xp to it and do what you want.
you can also use the ubcd4win :  http://www.ubcd4win.com/            to access your drive, and run tests
can you put a picture of the connectoer on ee-stuff so we can see ?
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by:nobus
ID: 17974327
...it contains also some recovery soft - look under disk tools
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by:marathonman330
ID: 17974505
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by:nobus
ID: 17974817
from img0452 it looks like you have to press on the long sides, near the connector
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by:garycase
ID: 17975434
Whoa !!  Let's not break anything else :-)   The system has L-type "clamp and latch" connectors -> the newer, more-secure way to connect SATA devices.  I don't have one here to look at, but have used them on a recent system I built; and they release by simply sliding the latch on the connector on the cable (I don't recall if you "push" or "pull" on the latch --> just carefully try it and it will release.  It is NOT difficult to unplug).

If you copied the 3 partitions IN ORDER with Boot-It, the new hard drive should work fine --- including the Recovery partition.   What's probably wrong (since it's not working) is simply which partition is Active.  Look at the MBR for the original disk; and then for the new one; and be sure the same partition is active on each.  (Just use "View MBR" in Partition Work)


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Author Comment

by:marathonman330
ID: 17975478
I will try unplugging it again.

I did copy the 3 partitions in order.  The first partition is active.  I can boot to it.  But when I boot up the machine with that drive connected and hit F10, it doesn't go to the recovery.  It just goes to Windows on the first partition.
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garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 17975488
What happens if you make the 3rd (recovery) partition active?

By the way ... there's no NEED for the Recovery partition with Boot-It.   Just take an image with the system working well and store THAT in a spare partition -- and you can always recovery to that by simply restoring the image ==> which will have all the updates you've done; all the programs that have been installed; etc.  (much better than a factory-restore that the recovery partition would do)
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Author Comment

by:marathonman330
ID: 18029805
I made the recovery partition active and that did the trick.  I was never able to disconnect the SATA cable.  I left it in there with the power cable unplugged.  Thank you!
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by:garycase
ID: 18030075
You're welcome.   Strange about the SATA connector ... but better to leave it connected than to break it trying to get it out :-)
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