How to reimage a HDD

Posted on 2008-11-10
Last Modified: 2012-05-05

I have a HDD that is starting to fail so the manufacturer is sending me a new one.  I would like to reimage the new drive with the contents of my old HDD.  How do I do this ?  I do have a 300G USB external drive if that helps.  Thanks !
Question by:Bloxsom
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    Norton Ghost is a great product for this.
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    Acronis makes a great product for imaging.  78.00 per workstation.  They do have fully functional trial licenses as well.  
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    I assume you are running XP. :-)
    Try to use whatever LiveCD linux distro, and try to boot it up in your PC and be sure to find your local HDDs. If you would issue command "cat /proc/partitions", it should show something like this:
    devel:~# cat /proc/partitions
    major minor  #blocks  name

       8     0       8192 sda
       8    16  732421120 sdb
       8    17      64228 sdb1
       8    18   19535040 sdb2
       8    19   97659135 sdb3
       8    20          1 sdb4
       8    21    1951866 sdb5
       8    22    9767488 sdb6
       8    23    4883728 sdb7
       8    24   19535008 sdb8
       8    25  579022731 sdb9

    If it is SCSI, SATA it shows sda/sdb/sdc disks,
    If it is ATA / IDE disk, it shows usually hda/hdb/hdc disks.

    If you can see any disks, check layout and size by "fdisk -l/dev/sda" (sdb/sdc etc) which shows the layout of partitions. If you can see the source disk, then shutdown, put the new one disk into PC, and start over with LiveCD.
    If once again running, check, if you put the disks correctly.
    I assume, that old disk is the first on bus, then it still is in /dev/sda
    The new disk is on second SATA connector, it's mapped on /dev/sdb. To be sure, check with fdisk layout of the new disk "fdisk -l /dev/sdb", which should print something with "no valid partition table" (I have no brand new handy :-))
    If everything is okay, then issue
    dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb
    Please, bear with it, that during the run of program it prints no message until it is finished. Depending on disk size and speed of PC, it can run whole night for 250GB.
    LVL 15

    Assisted Solution

    If your drive is stable try Clonezilla. It's free fast and rock solid...

    But if your drive is damaged then try ddrescue, it's similar to dd as mentioned above but designed to operate on damaged drives.


    Author Comment

    If I am cloning a HDD from a laptop with a USB drive (like Clonezilla).  How does it get all of the data off the orginal HDD to the new one ?  My external USB drive is 300G so it's probably enough to read all the data off the original HDD but what if this wasn't the case, how would it work ?
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    You'd need a product that allowed disc spanning

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