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Program to clone a failing drive

Posted on 2013-01-21
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
A customer gave me a Gateway laptop with a failing hard drive. It initially fails to boot and warns that the drive has failed SMART testing and should be replaced (reallocated sector count). Its a MD1600BEVS 160 gb drive  which I am replacing with a MD3200BEVT 320 gb drive.

I was considering using rawcopy under UBCDwin. What is the best program to clone the hard drive from the old drive to the new drive.
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Question by:dovidf
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dmwynne earned 100 total points
ID: 38802267
I use clonezilla.  Free and good.  I'd recommend cloning another machine 1st so you know exactly what to do.
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by:shahzoor
shahzoor earned 100 total points
ID: 38802926
you can use trial version of Acronis True Image
or Paragon Backup and Recovery FREE recovery Disk
Connect the failing harddrive to the computer externally using usb and then clone the drive.
Choose the option to ignore bad sectors and error messages
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by:dovidf
ID: 38803493
Acronis requires an operating system. What operating system does Paragon use?
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by:noxcho
ID: 38803741
Paragon uses Linux or DOS on its boot cd.  
For failing drive clone have a look on Drive Image tool.
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by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 100 total points
ID: 38803764
Depending upon drive vendor (Seagate,WD),you can download a free migration tool from their website to image the old disk to the new.

http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp?swid=119
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by:dovidf
ID: 38803981
pgm554

I don't want to download anything onto the failing drive since it may cause more damage.

Shahzoor,

Why can't I clone from the damaged drive on the laptop to the new drive on USB using the Paragon boot?

dmwynne,

Can clonezilla be loaded onto a boot cd?
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by:shahzoor
ID: 38804192
there is no need to install it on failing drive
you can install paragon or Acronis on some other machine and then using the software burn a recovery cd
use that recovery cd in the laptop with failing harddrive
and clone it to external healthy usb HD to be used a primary HD later
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by:nobus
nobus earned 100 total points
ID: 38804344
i would make the boot cd for the paragon Backup & rescue disk : http://www.paragon-software.com/home/db-express/      

then from boot the rescue cd -  and make th image
an other way is slaving the disk to a Working PC, and runnint the image tool from it
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by:profgeek
profgeek earned 100 total points
ID: 38805422
Have you considered a hardware alternative?  Cloners are inexpensive and simply clone one drive to another without being connected to a computer.

http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-SATA-Hard-Drive-Duplicator/dp/B003WV5DLA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358862277&sr=8-1&keywords=hard+drive+cloner

Note that if there are damaged sectors on the original, the damaged data on those sectors may also be cloned to the duplicate.  But those could likely be fixed later on the new drive.
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by:pgm554
ID: 38805915
pgm554

I don't want to download anything onto the failing drive since it may cause more damage

It does come with a standalone iso that you can burn and boot from,so you don't need to install it on the failing drive.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 38806053
make the paragon cd on a working PC!
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by:dovidf
ID: 38806126
How resilient are Acronis, Clonezilla, Paragon to errors on the source drive?
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by:pgm554
ID: 38806206
You just set it to ignore errors on the source and it does a pretty good job,but you never know what it may skip on the old drive.
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by:nobus
ID: 38806432
to answer that, you should inform us on the type of errors, and the magnitude
if a couple of sectors are bad, chances are you recover 99%
if you have several 1000 bad sectors...you can picture it for yourself?
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Author Closing Comment

by:dovidf
ID: 38828329
Thanks for the input.

I actually ended up using ddrescue off of a Parted Magic cds. I heard from a number of computer repair professionals that they like it because of its sophisticated error handling. It initially found 10 mb of bad data and reduced it to 1 mb out of 160 gb.
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by:nobus
ID: 38830033
tx for the feedback
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