Cannot clone "working" partition - Need to clone but ignore read errors

Hi,

My laptop hard drive fails the Seagate tools test and needs to be replaced. However it currently actually "works" in that I'm actually using my laptop now to write this posting.

I've followed my plan which was to purchase another hard drive of the same size and then use Acronis Backup and Restore to clone the hard drive. Then I coud just use the new hard drive and send back the old one.

However, the clone operation fails with read errors on my original hard drive (thus confirming there really is an error)

How can I go about cloning the hard drive, and just make Acronis ignore the read errors. I mean the fact that that hard drive can actually boot and as far as I know seems to work as normal means surely if it cloans and ignores the errors it will be OK?

I did also try using Acronis just to create an copy of the main partition, but this also did not work and Acronis reported the hard drive is probably faulty.

I welcome any suggestions on how I can acheive a copy to a working hard drive.

Many thanks


afflik1923Asked:
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someone0Commented:
If you are trying to clone it with in Windows, then yes it would fail.  You pretty much have to boot it off from other source other than the harddrive, ie: cdrom.  Then connect the new harddrive to the usb port, using something like USB to ide/sata adaptor.  Then the cloning software should be able to see both harddrive.  Then you can clone from drive to drive  That should be the correct way to do it.  Then you basically swap out the drive.  And then test to make sure you can boot the new drive and see all the data you need.  Then if the information on the old drive is important, I recommend format it first before sending it back.
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afflik1923Author Commented:
NOTE: Acronis reboots into Dos mode to attempt the copy, so it is not being done from Windows. It restarts itself and then tries to copy. So in a sense I am already doing this.

I have the new hard drive is a USB hard drive enclousre. Acornis starts operation, says reboot is required, eventually a DOS style screen starts the clone operation.

But fails with read errors (all partitions are copied accept for one - the main one that I need).

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nobusCommented:
i suggest to run HDD regenerator over it -  it repairs many disk problems.  http://www.dposoft.net/
then try Acronis again !
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edbedbCommented:
I use Acronis True Image 9 and there is a setting to ignore bad sectors.
Look under Tools>Options>>Default Backup options>Error Handling
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afflik1923Author Commented:
hmmm I can't find ignore bad sectors in the latest edition.

As for HDD regeneraor, I'm a bit scared to run a tool that changes teh source hard drive, just in case. I will do that as a last resouce and when I have made sure all my files are backed up and up to date but I will be cautios for now just in case HDD regenerator made it worse.
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edbedbCommented:
Version 9 will ignore bad sectors but not other disk errors. Have you checked the drive for errors?
Also, you could try Seagates Disk Wizard to clone the drive.
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?locale=en-US&name=DiscWizard&vgnextoid=d9fd4a3cdde5c010VgnVCM100000dd04090aRCRD
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
You can take backup of this drive using another tool even free trial: http://r-studio.com/
Then restore the drive image to new HDD using another tool from the same vendor: http://www.drive-image.com/
Also trial version will do the trick.
And finally, if the drive is bad - copy out your data via Windows Explorer and reinstall Windows from scratch to new HDD. This will save your nerves in future as problems from bad drive could transfer to new HDD too.
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nobusCommented:
>>   I'm a bit scared to run a tool that changes teh source hard drive   <<    it does not change anything - where did you get that??
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Dan KennedyBusiness System AnalystCommented:
You could also use the NTbackup utility included in Windows to run a copy of the faulting HDD to an external HDD.  This utility utilizes a shadow copy so the entire disk, including open files will be copied.  It will also preserve the attributes of each file.  This backup could them be restored to a new HDD.  This should be a fully functioning , bootable copy of the originial HDD.

*Side Note - What ever method you use, if you move a Windows OS to a new HDD, you will almost certainly have to re-activate the OS with MS.
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ocanada_techguyCommented:
Sounds like the Arconis True Image is intended to deal with cloning and has the needed ignore errors setting whereas perhaps the Arconis Backup and Restore is more for backups and considers such errors to be failure.
I myself use an old copy of gHost, by default it would error out on read errors so you had to provide command-line options to tell it to ignore read errors and/or increase the threshold.
I understand what you mean about being leery of changing, or perhaps more accurately phrased would be pushing the drive over the edge of catastrophe before you have it copied
@nobus to be fair it's not outside the realm of possibility that trying to recover bad sectors on a truly "crashing" drive could in fact precipitate greater crashing, the risk is possible depending on the nature of the disk crash
@afflik1923 so, does it seem like the drive makes really bad noises alot?  At errors there will be some noise as the heads reset back and forth to track 0 when trying, perhaps in vain, to read the bad spots, but if you hear grinding or scraping, that would be more, um, perilous.
All this is not to make you overly dejected, I think your original quest is exactly on point

I've used SpinRite 6 and gHost to try to deal with such events, they're not free but perhaps you could "find" them.  I suspect nobus' suggestion of HDD regenerator and Acronis TrueImage are pretty much funtional equivalents, but I cannot say for sure not having seen HDD regenerator myself.  I will say SpinRite 6 is terrific and I swear by it (although I ran into a bug recently in it dealing with a drive larger than 400G and said bug has yet to be fixed).  It does a way way better job or trying to recover data from bad sectors. whereas chkdsk mostly gives up quickly and loses your data as it badtracks.

I highly recommend at a minimum you go to the SpinRite website and read about it, just to get some ideas.

When my laptop drive was on the verge of failure with scraping noise, my three attempts to gHost image clone it were failing, even with high ignore read errors threshold, as the drive was getting worse just in the process of trying to clone it.  I finally had to resort to SpinRite badtracking it without having been able to clone it yet, knowing that the full backup I had from a month earlier might have to suffice.  I repeated SpinRite four times over the area of the drive that kept throwing errors, and then I was able to gHost clone it sucessfully.  Upon booting the cloned drive it autocleaned since it was a tad messed up, and no question some things were corrupt due to data loss, some parts of Windows were throwing errors.  When I did THEN was do an in-place re-install of Windows.  If you're unfamiliar with that, it is installing windows on the existing windows such that the existing registry and programs et al are retained, but all DLLs and bits of pieces of Windows are recopied overtop.  And THEN you have to reinstall all the hotfixes and service packs.  I also had to reinstall Office, but... in the end... I got my system 99.9% back, and in the several subsequent years I think I encountered maybe one corrupt data file.  Be forewarned, SpinRite will say it's going to take X hours to scan the drive, but, when it encounters bad sectors, it retries up to several hundred times, taking several more hours which are not included in the time estimate.  I've seen estimated 3 hrs take 23+ hrs.  My laptop recovery I described all in all took about a week.

One thing about the suggestion to copy with Explorer, um, if it encounters so much as one error it'll likely crap-out.  You might look at SyncBack, even thre free version will nicely log all the copying and any file errors BUT keep right on going with copying the rest of the files.  That said, I have to say this is not the route to getting your windows system partition backed up, a backup or clone is far batter.

Oh, @dankenn  unfortunately NTbackup is NOT included/functional in all editions of Windows, Home XP editions for example.
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ocanada_techguyCommented:
I looked here http://kb.acronis.com/search/apachesolr_search/ignore%20read%20errors
If it's a registered Arconis product then I'd see what their support says?
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Actually I do not trust to what is written by vendor but trust in what I have experience with. I had very good experience with R-STUDIO and R-Drive Image. They both proved to be a solid combination of tools for imaging failing drive. At the same time Acronis and Ghost failed on the same set of drives. That is the fact =)
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afflik1923Author Commented:
actually of course the windows backup optoin is a good one. When I've had other issues liek that I've had that still work when others have failed.
All I want is it for it to compelte once to the external hard dirve then I'm laughng, so next attempt, The inbuilt windows 7 backup.
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ocanada_techguyCommented:
@noxcho good to know.   yes at first I was frustrated with gHost UNTIL I found that in order to ignore read errors (and ignore the resulting CRC checksum errors) I had to change the setting from the default
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afflik1923Author Commented:
windows backup reported success so that looks promising. however, I don't have anothr GB hard dive to recover it to. So looks like I'll end up buying two 500GB hard drives just to recover my own.

But hopefully it will work.
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Dan KennedyBusiness System AnalystCommented:
Yeah, you;ll have to get another drive to hold the backup data
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afflik1923Author Commented:
Thanks for all the comments. In the end solved by using the Windos7 built in image maker which completed OK and then I was able to restore to another hard drive and all is well it seems. Many thanks again.
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