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How to try to repair a windows 7 hard drive?

I have a machine that uses a Windows 7 Operating system.  The hard drive is setup to work with some specific software and that computer is not on our network, it is a one-off situation.

Well We have been asked to create a cloned hard drive of these hard drives and I have not had much success,  Apparentely these drives do not have the plug and play drivers installed on them and that prevented me from using the Windows 7 Disk Recovery option with an external USB drive to create an image.

It seems whenever I try to create an image of the hard drives when connected our imaging software the hard drives get corrupted and a repair needs to be done so the original hard drive can boot properly.  What happends is the hard drive is just rebooting itself over and over.  I am not familiar with the repair process and I asking for help.  I have seen my manager repair the drive once by booting to a USB Windows 7 Sp1 installation CD and then entering safemode with networking.

What must I do to run a repair on the corrupted hard drive?  I can only guess at this point because I am not sure what the correct steps are.

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I suspect, I must do the follwoing:

1).  Physically Connect the corrupted SSD hard drive (That reboots continuously) to a PC that has no other hard drive in it.

2).  Boot the PC-Chassis from a WIndows 7 Installation CD and enter Safemode with networking.

3).  from a command prompt, navigate to the C: Drive and run >sfc /scannow<enter>

Will the above process fix the boot issues on the drive?  How will I be able to test?
Avatar of rindi
What imaging/cloning software are you using?

I would connect a 2nd disk of at least the same capacity to the PC, then boot to CloneZilla, which is free & Opensource. then use that tool to clone the disk to the 2nd or make images of the original. This will have nothing to do with any drivers. Cloning doesn't change anything on the original disk

If you are trying to boot the cloned disk on another PC, then you get driver issues, as well as Licensing/activation problems, & that will often result in BSODs.

I would also look at replacing Windoze 7 with something current. Software that runs on Windoze 7 normally also runs on later OS's, so that shouldn't be a problem. Even if the PC isn't connected to the LAN, because it isn't properly patched it can still get infected with malware/viruses etc.
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We use Zenworks the newest version.  Apparently making an image does screw things up on the original hard drive and I have heard that with Windows 7 it is common.

I have used Ghost, in the past and never had any problems.  Then I used symantec Ghost and did not have any problems and then I have not used any imaging software for 8 years and now I have problems.  Desktop support and imaging is not my background.

But my question is how to run a Windows repair on the corrupted hard drive?  Please answer that question.
I thought you were able to repair that before, as you say

"whenever I try to create an image of the hard drives when connected our imaging software the hard drives get corrupted and a repair needs to be done so the original hard drive can boot properly".

To me that sounds like you tried it several times & then got the same problem, so I assumed you got it repaired & tried again.

What is the error you get when you try to boot? Have done a chkdsk /f on the Disk's partitions? That will fix any filesystem errors.

The sfc /scannow would only work if you were able to boot to the installed OS.
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My Manager got it repaired; but I do not remember what he did.  Hence that is why I created this question.  When he repaired the hard drive we were trying several different things and it was difficult to keep track of what he was doing. Hence, why I creates this question here.

I wanted to do some research and get some background regarding how to run a repair when booting from a Windows 7 Installation CD.
The install DVD will not be of much help.

What is the error you get?

The file-system can be repaired easily as I mentioned above. Other Repair methods can be more problematic.
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"If you are trying to boot the cloned disk on another PC, then you get driver issues, as well as Licensing/activation problems, & that will often result in BSODs."

That is exactly what we had before and now I just see the hard drive rebooting itself in an infinite loop.  The hard drive is taken out of 1 unique PC setup and placed into another computer case.  That is probably why we are seeing driver problems and why a repair was needed before we ran the image/clone process.

But it appears that the repair must be re-done and I do not understand how to do that.  Can anyone assist.  'Rlinid' you stated to file system can be easily repaired with>chkdsk /f<enter? correct?
If yes, how do I get to a safe mode command prompt with networking enabled?  I always thought I needed to boot to the Installation CD.
The problem is if you boot the disk on another PC, then the installed drivers don't match, & the OS won't be allowed to run on that PC, as M$ regards that as piracy.

You just can't clone an M$ OS disk & boot that disk on another PC. But there are backup tools which have a "universal restore" option. Those will allow you to install the new drivers during the restore, but again, that won't solve the license issues.

>> system can be easily repaired with>chkdsk /f<enter? correct?

Never run chkdsk on an original drive that has issues - chances are that the /f will make things worse.

If you do want to try repairs - clone the drive to a new drive (or 2), then put the original drive aside (physically remove it from the PC). Then place a cloned drive in the PC to try and repair it.

That isn't true. Running chkdsk is never a problem, unless you run it on a FAT partition. If it is run on an NTFS partition there is no problem at all. If anything uses FAT (besides the required EFI partition to boot via UEFI), then that is irresponsible.

Since asker has issues it is best to stay away from trying to fix the original drive and work

with a copy. If your experience is chkdsk does not cause issues then that's good knowledge to share.

@Pkafkas - What file system does your Windows 7 system have?

But that s what he us trying to do, fix the original disk. Normal installations use NTFS as Filesystem.

windows 7 does have a fully functional backup program t hat creates a vhd of the original disk. 

You say management fixed the disk but you want to create a backup for in the future to restore

To clone a drive you do not need to boot from
The issue you might be facing is that this drive can only be accessed in this system, ebcrypted?
That said the has to take place on the same system.

Not sure how one off the setup is.

Prior interaction,  did it clone the drive or.merely repair it such  that it worked again for a time.
i would like to know what disk model this is about, and especially if it is HDD or SSD or raid or what
if it is a single HDD i recommend the following :
1 - run a short disk test from the manufacturer's diagnostic, to ensure it is working OK
2 - then run HDDRegenerator ( not free)      
           i have repaired many not booting dik drives with it; after the repair, i have never seen a disk fail again
I have run into issues with older PCs with custom apps, especially those used to control machines or robotics.  I understand your situation.  Outfits that wrote custom machine control software often cripple some windows functionality to prevent updates or installation of other software or drivers (that could affect their software) or to prevent modifications or piracy.  

The last resort you should try is connecting the hard disk to another fully functional Windows PC.  Repairs from that PC could place newer incompatible files on the old disk.  Nor should you boot it on another PC (I'll mention an exception to that below).  And absolutely do not run chkdsk /f.  If chkdsk repairs file errors, you might lose an application critical file that could have been recovered.  

First, before you try to fix anything, make sure you have a copy of what now exists.  Its unlikely any Clone/image product you install on the target machine will work well (if you can even install anything).  
I use LazeSoftSuite.  Its free (pro version is available but not functionally needed to handle your issue).  It has multiple ways to fix, clone or image older or newer drives.  It can clone drive to drive or copy images to other local (internal or USB) or remote storage.  

Once installed (on any win 7, 8, 10 or 11 PC) it has a function to create a bootable USB or DVD.   Boot the target windows 7 PC(s) from those USBs and create hard drive images or or clone the hard drives as needed.  

The software is pretty much intuitive, but take care to read the screens presented.  For example,  If you select disk clone (or image), make sure all the partitions to include are checked.

Once you have a good copy, restore it to a spare drive and install that on the target PC. You are then safe to try to repair the boot issues or any other problems using the copy.  

Lazesoft has some built in tools to fix basic boot issues on the same bootable USB/DVD.  If those don't get the PC booted up, its likely something beyond the MBR and boot files.  

If it does get it to boot into windows, report back any remaining problems.  We can try to help.

@Pkafkas - Any update to share, do you need more information from us?

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What appeared to have worked it to have a PC case that is similar to the Machine that the hard drive was configured to work with.  BY luck we had a machine that 'fell off a truck' and the department that runs that machine kept that machine for spare parts only.

I extracted the computer that was inside that machine and then I used that computer to plug in new hard drives and initiate the create image process of the good hard drives.  I ended up then restoring that image to a blank hard drive from that same machine (The one that fell off a truck) to create replacement hard drives for those machines.  

I ended p running check disk on the original hard drive to repair that disk and that worked.  I guess I as lucky in that aspect.
you do not need to have access to teh same system to clone a drive. If you capture an image, as long as you do not have data that is retained on it...
You could redeploy the image.
The other part, if you can why not use an SSD, though here if the SSD dies, ..

Look at setup of a regular imaging of the Harddrive as well as a regular backup of relevant data.

SSD performance to boot/reboot is much faster. Access to the data stored is also faster whether it will or will not improve your performance, that is another matter.

Set a Schedule, rather than replace and forget until the next time the issue comes up whether it is eight months based on the age of the replacement drive or a couple of years.

The system slated for spare parts, one thing you could take advantage while parts are not in need, is to see whether it can be setup with a set of Two drives functioning as one, i.e. the system MB has a fake raid (SATA raid) This could provide some additional sense of .....
Though, it may be a false sense if no one checks and one drive fails while the system continues to run until the second one encounters issues...

Are you in a state of Failure Mitigation HW, Power supply, memory, etc.
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These are SSD hard drives.

The plan is to create a copy of the original and test it to verify that the copy works just as well as the original.

Then make another SSD copy and put one of the 2 hard drive imaged SSD drives into the machine and have 1 copy as a backup.  Then Keep the original hard drive set a side for future images.
Why not test:
1) use the HArddrive with Vendor tools like acronis disk image to create an image stored on a file system.
2) Use Acronis and the Image to create a HD from scratch.
3) test the Drive to make sure it is functional in the system.

Why rely on a device, HD which has shown to be failing, as a backup? It is like having repaired a partial blow out in a tire, placing said tire as the spare might only expose an issue when you are in a real need.
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Seems like you have the handle on the issue.
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I figured out on my own and I am not sure if I should provide rewards on effort.  I have been spoken to about this in the past.
IMHO, You should only mark solutions that work... like yours above.  Folks researching similar problems down the road need to know what actually worked.
Or helpful on your way to get there.