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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Ontario, Canada
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    1,750

    Software to copy HDD Boot Sector & all partitions

    Help!

    My hard drive is about to fail in my computer so I want to buy a new one and copy everything over before it stops working.

    Is there some software that I can use that would let me clone everything from my bad hard drive over to the new one without having to reinstall all my software from scratch?

    I'm running Windows 7, 64bit on my system.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Scotland, UK
    Posts
    719
    You could try clonezilla ( I have never used it so do some research before you try it) http://www.clonezilla.org/

    http://www.sevenforums.com/software/...ge-backup.html

    or use windows 7 imaging to backup to a usb drive then restore that image to the new drive.

    http://adacosta.spaces.live.com/blog...DB!24799.entry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    187
    I can strongly recommend Acronis TrueImage Home. I've been using this suite of applications for years and have moved from drive to drive with multiple operating systems, changing volume and partition sizes and also done an "oh my god, SMART says this drive is failing" transfer of Windows 7 to another drive without any issue. It's quick, clean and doesn't require any technical knowledge.

    The only thing to note is that you'd want to do a drive clone from within the tools menu rather than a backup and restore as the clone will do it directly from one disk to the other (the backup and restore functions build and use image files).

    ... well that's what has worked for me.

    - Anzahl

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    270
    You can also use the software Norton Ghost

    http://www.symantec.com/norton/ghost

    This can create hard disk images onto another drive

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    115
    I'll give my vote to Acronis True Image. I've used both Ghost and Acronis and personally liked Acronis better.

    Also, if the drive is a Western Digital, you can get a free version of Acronis True Image. Western Digital got rid of their
    old Data LifeGuard tools and instead are offering Acronis.

    Acronis True Image WD Edition Software helps you to completely clone your current system drive onto your new WD hard drive. Cloning makes an exact copy of your old system drive on your new WD hard drive, including the operating system, applications, data, preferences, and email settings. Everything will be present and operate exactly as it did on your old hard drive.
    http://support.wdc.com/product/downl...19&wdc_lang=en

    Not sure if it's limited to Western Digital drives and if the drive has to be a system drive but it's worth looking into

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    187
    Yeah the freebie WD version requires you to have a Western Digital drive attached to the PC at install- and run-time for you to be entitled and able to use it.
    Last edited by Anzahl; 05-03-2010 at 05:36 PM. Reason: Can't spell

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    4,521
    Load up an Ubuntu live CD, then in a console:

    Code:
    sudo dd if=/dev/myHardDriveThatIsAboutToDie of=/dev/myNewHardDrive

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    187
    I'd STRONGLY recommend avoiding using a Linux build and 'dd' to do this type of drive copy - if you get the parameters wrong (for example because you had to guess the device names) you can easily end up copying the empty drive or random junk onto your data and it will not do things like partition resizing and you can end up with a drive that will not boot without additional work. Worse still you can end up with a drive that looks ok but which later causes unpredictable behaviour and data loss (for example where you go from a large source drive to a smaller destination drive).

    Don't get me wrong, if you have two identical drives and you know what you're doing, dd is a quick and elegant way to achieve this but not every situation is like that.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,750
    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmite View Post
    I'll give my vote to Acronis True Image. I've used both Ghost and Acronis and personally liked Acronis better.

    Also, if the drive is a Western Digital, you can get a free version of Acronis True Image. Western Digital got rid of their
    old Data LifeGuard tools and instead are offering Acronis.

    http://support.wdc.com/product/downl...19&wdc_lang=en
    Wow, I like this solution. I happen to be using WD drives too! My only concern is whether it supports Windows 7. It says only WinXP and Vista. Hmmm, I'll have to contact someone to get some answers.
    C++, 3D OpenGL and Game Programming video tutorials:
    www.MarekKnows.com
    Play my free games: Ghost Toast, Zing, Jewel Thief

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    187
    I just downloaded and tried the WD version on Windows 7 (64 bit) and it installed and worked fine.

    My approach would be to download and install True Image WD and then use the media builder to build a bootable CD with TrueImage on it and then boot off that CD (this side-steps all operating system issues). Once launched, go into the Tools menu and then select Clone Disk. From there you just need to step through the wizard selecting the source disk, the target disk and if you want to do any partition resizing (thankfully there is an automatic proportinal sizing mode). Then let it run - it will likely take quite a while. The only thing to be careful of is selecting the source and target drives - make really sure you get it the right way round.

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