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Cloning Failed Laptop Drive

This is a discussion on Cloning Failed Laptop Drive within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Sunday night I went to reboot my laptop and I could not get it to boot. I am running Win


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Old 11-10-2010, 01:24 PM   #1
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Sunday night I went to reboot my laptop and I could not get it to boot. I am running Win 7 Ultimate, and the repair options did nothing for me. The drive does not appear to be completely dead, I just cannot boot. As a result, I purchased a new laptop drive that is twice the size. I would expect that I can clone the failing drive, but am unsure how to do that since I cannot boot to Windows. I have purchased a SATA dock in the hopes that I can use a boot disk of some sort with cloning software that can clone the failing drive to the new drive connected via USB in the dock, and then replace the failing drive. Am I crazy, or can this be done? If so, what tools do I need? I have an older laptop that I can use to create a boot CD to facilitate this, or possibly use it to clone the old drive in the dock. What is the best approach?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 11-10-2010, 01:51 PM   #2
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The new HDD should have come with a CD. The disk tools on the CD will allow you to clone the drive.

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Old 11-10-2010, 02:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
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The new HDD should have come with a CD. The disk tools on the CD will allow you to clone the drive.
I guess it helps to open the box first.

I got a WD Caviar laptop drive, and the box did not appear to have enough space for more than the drive. I will take a look. On WD's site, they have Acronis as a download option, but the manual does not show any way to clone from a boot disk. I will see what I find in the box.
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:58 AM   #4
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As I suspected, the hard drive did not come with any disk. I was mistaken as it is a WD Scorpio, not a Caviar. I used an old version of Knoppix to see if the hard drive is still readable, and it is. My Windows 7 DVD and the Knoppix CD I had could not repair the boot partition on the drive. Would I be better served pulling the drive out, placing it in a dock and use an old laptop to clone/image the removed drive to a USB HD? I could then take that image and clone it to the new drive. Does that make sense or is there a better/easier option?
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Old 11-12-2010, 06:32 AM   #5
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Hi,
Apologies if I have missed something, but if you clone your unbootable drive, won't you just have 2 unbootable drives?
A boot CD such as Linux RIP (freely available) will allow you to use ddrescue to clone the drive, you may then be able safely to recover your data from the original drive but you will still need to re-install Windows and your applications by the sound of it.
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:17 AM   #6
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Hi,
Apologies if I have missed something, but if you clone your unbootable drive, won't you just have 2 unbootable drives?
A boot CD such as Linux RIP (freely available) will allow you to use ddrescue to clone the drive, you may then be able safely to recover your data from the original drive but you will still need to re-install Windows and your applications by the sound of it.
From what I have read, if the failed drive is readable, but will not boot, then cloning it to a new drive should work. Once the drive is cloned, you run chkdsk or something that repairs the bad sectors on the new drive and it should work. My understanding is that the bad sectors of the failed drive are in the boot sector and since that cannot be repaired, the drive cannot be repaired. The new drive will not have a failing part, so it can be repaired.

I will find out tonight, I hope.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:50 AM   #7
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It would depend on the actual problem with the original HDD. In which case, it would be better to investigate and find out exactly what is wrong with the original.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:04 AM   #8
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It's up to you of course but personally I have seen too much valuble user data lost when CHKDSK was run (or allowed to run) on a hard drive with physical problems.
Much safer to re-install Windows and extract the user data from your clone.

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