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  1. #1
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Replacing Noisey Hard Drive
    My Dell PC has been having a slight increase in noise lately and it just feels like hard drive failure around the bend. I'm trying something a little preemptive tonight.

    I picked up a WD hard drive at Best Buy today and also an external hard drive. Rather than back up all my files and wait I'm creating a clone on the external with Disk Copy 2.3.

    My hope is that if that goes ok then I'll install the new drive and use Disk Copy 2.3 to copy back to the new HD.

    I downloaded the free ISO of Disk Copy 2.3 and burnt it to a CD. I then changed the boot order in the PC to boot CD ROM first. That allowed me to boot with Disk Copy and now I am running the clone copy process.

    This will either be the easiest hard drive swap ever for me or will blow up in my face somehow. I'll post success or failure as a follow up.


  2. #2
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
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    Since you are going to a WD drive you can use their free version of Acronis which they pay for the licensing:

    http://support.wdc.com/product/downl...l.asp?swid=119

    This could allow you to just install the second drive and copy over leaving the external out of the equation.

    Also almost any external will be very slow compared to drives in the machine.

    I would do a few backups. Maybe even backup some folders to a DVD in a plain file version, not ISO, not compressed, not zipped.

    DVDs are 4.7 gig or 8.5 for Dual Layers so they can do much more than old CDRs.
    Last edited by andbeyond; September 15th, 2010 at 09:52 PM.

  3. #3
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    My plan just evolved as the day went on. I was just going to do backup to the external and keep the new HD at the ready. Then I watched a tutorial video that gave me the idea that is in progress now. I have 31% complete on the clone now.

    I have plenty of ongoing backups of data, but I just wanted to avoid the messing reinstall of programs.

    As far as putting the new HD in the PC along side the old one. It just seemed easier to go with a external which I want for future storage anyway.

    We will see how it goes.


  4. #4
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    It all went well and during the night Disk Copy cloned the new hard drive with the copy that was on the external. It booted up and all seems well. A very easy transition.


  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this thread, John. I'm an Acronis user for all my backups and I keep an image of my HD using incremental backups to an external drive.

    But I'm not really in love with Acronis, as it caused me a lot of grief on a backup/restore situation a year or two ago. I had never heard of that Disk Copy software, but you've got me interested in downloading it and trying it out over the weekend.
    Generate more fake news.

  6. #6
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by writerguy View Post
    Thanks for posting this thread, John. I'm an Acronis user for all my backups and I keep an image of my HD using incremental backups to an external drive.

    But I'm not really in love with Acronis, as it caused me a lot of grief on a backup/restore situation a year or two ago. I had never heard of that Disk Copy software, but you've got me interested in downloading it and trying it out over the weekend.
    Here is the video tutorial that I watched that got me interested. It's long but good quality.


  7. #7
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Final Note: Just in case someone would follow the path I did beware that your external drive will not be the same when you are done. If you want to use it for routine backups you will want to get the clone off first.

    Windows XP, and others, have the ability to format the drive via the control panel and Disk Management. That's a lot easier than trying to delete the clone copy file by file as the Mod on the Seagate forum suggested.

    My Dell had come with 4 partitions so the clone had 4 partitions too. The Disk Management in XP allowed me to combine them easily and set the File System back to NTFS.

    The software that comes on the external drive will probably be overwritten too. I just downloaded Seagate Manager from Seagate and am now back in the backup mode.

    Hope I can find this thread if I have to do it again as it will all be forgotten in a month or less.


  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Hope I can find this thread if I have to do it again as it will all be forgotten in a month or less.
    I added some tags to help us find it later. It's a helpful how-to that could come in handy for any of us - any time.

  9. #9
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy View Post
    I added some tags to help us find it later. It's a helpful how-to that could come in handy for any of us - any time.
    Good idea that I never think off.

    I didn't like the SeaGate Manager. Never saw such a giant setup file produce so few features. After uninstalling it and doing a lot of looking at download.cnet.com I settled on SyncBack freeware version. It has way more features than I can ever use. There are quite a few free backup utilities out there with good reviews.


  10. #10
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    before you replace the drive just make sure it isn't the screws coming loose, harddrives shake rattle and roll so their screws tend to losen up.

  11. #11
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek View Post
    before you replace the drive just make sure it isn't the screws coming loose, harddrives shake rattle and roll so their screws tend to losen up.
    How about fan noise? I have 4 fans in there and if one was starting to make a little noise how would I pinpoint which one was going out, or should I just relax more?


  12. #12
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    you can tighten their screws up or just open it up turn on the case and briefly stop each fan with a finger to pinpoint which is making the noise and replace that one if the tightness of the screws arent an issue.

  13. #13
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Powell View Post
    How about fan noise? I have 4 fans in there and if one was starting to make a little noise how would I pinpoint which one was going out, or should I just relax more?
    Relax more! Being preemptive is a good thing but you should still find time to relax.

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  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    I never really thought too much about maintenance on my home computers.... I got a wake up call a couple of days ago. My primary machine at home, a huge (and expensive) Dell Precision 690 that I've had for years and that I absolutely need to do my work, started behaving weirdly. I got a blue screen, the CD drive would spin up and keep spinning until I rebooted, the fans would run too loudly, etc. Finally, it tripped a circuit breaker the other night. So I decided I needed to take it apart and have a look...

    Turns out, one side of one of the fans that cool the CPU was TOTALLY clogged with dust bunnies and it was allowing the motherboard to overheat. Now I think my onboard IDE controller is shot. There was a big piece of plastic that covers the CPU's and RAM, basically funneling air flow and I couldn't see the clog without removing this airflow thingy.

    So, regarding computer maintenance.... If you desktop computer is several years old, you might want to check the airflow around the fans...
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  15. #15
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek View Post
    you can tighten their screws up or just open it up turn on the case and briefly stop each fan with a finger to pinpoint which is making the noise and replace that one if the tightness of the screws arent an issue.
    Good tips. I didn't know it was safe to stop them like that but it showed me which one was the noisy one. Screws were tight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    Relax more! Being preemptive is a good thing but you should still find time to relax.
    Did that today for sure. Watched some football and walked in the cane field for an hour with 3 of the grand kids.

    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff
    So, regarding computer maintenance.... If you desktop computer is several years old, you might want to check the airflow around the fans...
    I'm a believer in that and used to do that as part of my PC clean up business. I put a piece of masking tape on the side of each one with the date of the last dust removal. Try to do all 3 of ours on an annual basis.

    As far as this one goes I'm going to forget about it as all seems good. The hard drive had some other quirky goings on beside the noise so I'm glad it's swapped out.


  16. #16
    Newbie Chucksta's Avatar
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    I got fed up with having to reinstall everything whenever the current system failed for whatever reason. I've taken the same step as you, and have not looked back since.

    I use Acronis True Image.. very easy to use

    In fact, now I actually re-image the drive every couple of weeks, thus having a nice fresh system.

    If I have something new to add to the system, I re-image it again, then install the new product, then create an image of the new setup.

    The re-imaging takes just 40 mins. Time aplenty to grab a cup of tea/coffee and watch an episode of Red Dwarf
    Last edited by Chucksta; September 20th, 2010 at 08:51 AM.

  17. #17
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    I wish Acronis True Image was around a few years back, when you were faced with the dreadest possibility of having to run a data recovery software that didn't get back all your files

  18. #18
    Full Member Lanny's Avatar
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    reason for multiple partitions on hard drives
    Quote Originally Posted by John Powell View Post
    Final Note:<snip>
    My Dell had come with 4 partitions so the clone had 4 partitions too. The Disk Management in XP allowed me to combine them easily and set the File System back to NTFS.<snip>
    John: That is a more professional way to have a hard drive partitioned. UNIX/Linux boxes have from several to many partitions on them. The reason for that is that one does not need to wipe out everything, if reinstalling the OS, etc. For example, on UNIX/Linux the /home partition with users data can be untouched, while reinstalling the OS.

    The same is good and applicable for M$ Windows boxes, but the majority of them only have a C: partition.

    If that C: partition gets damaged, everything goes. Lanny

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