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Clone bad-sectored boot SSD?

This is a discussion on Clone bad-sectored boot SSD? within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. The 256G SanDisk SSD of my 4-1/2-year-old HP Envy failed two weeks ago, but I'm still able to work because


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Old 02-29-2020, 08:34 PM   #1
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The 256G SanDisk SSD of my 4-1/2-year-old HP Envy failed two weeks ago, but I'm still able to work because of the Win10 Pro recovery DVD. I tried to clone the SSD to a new 240G Crucial SSD (with the free Acronis imager provided by Crucial) but that quit at 99%, likely because of the Recovery partition, I've read. I'm desperate to keep working at this busiest time of year of my tax-preparation business, but thrice the machine has quit and needed resuscitation; I know I'm living on borrowed time. (The SSD is Drive C: and "Recovery Image D:" and 100G still free. 272G of data resides on a 1T internal HD - E:. The system images and data backup take up only 2/3rd's of a USB 3.0-connected 1.75T Passport. Redundant backup on BackBlaze.)
Can I restore the system image from the Passport to the Crucial, to avoid installing Win 10 fresh and updating it and my settings? I have a USB2.0-to-SATA cable. If so, how -- e.g., is CloneZilla the only app impervious to bad sectors (per "PC Hell")-- AND am I risking anything serious by waiting 1-1/2 months? SOOO grateful for this community.
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Old 02-29-2020, 10:26 PM   #2
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If you think that it is the Recovery Partition that has the Bad Sectors, then make a clone Image of the just the C:\Partition. Then try restoring that. I have a feeling that Acronis won't be able to make an image of the C:\ because that is where the Bad Sectors are.
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Old 03-01-2020, 08:14 AM   #3
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I apologize for being unclear in my first post: Crucial posts a FAQ, "Clone almost finishes but then fails at the End," to which I was alluding as that was my experience -- link follows. I'm simply afraid of bricking my system by removing the Recovery partition, as remarked in the FAQ.
I surmise that the bad sector(s) are 'out in the open' C: drive and in the boot-up area, and am timid and uncertain about what to do next -- e.g., whether it matters which cloning app I use, and can I clone from the image on the external HD rather than the original SSD.
https://www.crucial.com/support/arti...s-fails-at-end
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Old 03-01-2020, 08:23 AM   #4
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The Recovery Partition has nothing whatsoever to do with running a Windows instance. It's there for the purpose its name implies.

There are also many disk cloning utilities that will avoid bad sectors during a clone. If a bad sector doesn't contain anything critical to the OS itself, it can be skipped with damage only to whatever user data that sector had been a part of.

There are also two different classes of bad sector, one of which can potentially be recovered from and the other of which can't.
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:24 AM   #5
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I seem to remember that Acronis is the most critical of bad sectors onboard and will not work if any are present. I also remember that EaseUs Disk Copy will copy a drive with bad sectors but that doesn't necessarily mean it will boot if there is that much damage to the drive which probably also means EaseUs Todo Backup will also work with a drive with bad sectors present.
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Old 03-01-2020, 04:41 PM   #6
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As stated, if there are bad sectors which are part of the Windows OS or Boot file, No cloning software will clone the drive.
The Recovery partition is used to restore your computer if you use Windows Start Up Repair, it can be deleted and not have any affect on booting your Windows currently.
And just to be clear,the term "Bricking your computer" means that, nothing works, even if you put a new HDD/SSD in and try to install Windows.
Currently, if your computer won't boot, then you can easily try Startup Repair, or just reinstall Windows.
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaxCPA View Post
The system images and data backup take up only 2/3rd's of a USB 3.0-connected 1.75T Passport.
Can I restore the system image from the Passport to the Crucial, to avoid installing Win 10 fresh and updating it and my settings?
Restore the most recent system image to the new SSD. That's what a system image is for.
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Old 03-02-2020, 02:01 PM   #8
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Thank you, Stancestans, but File Explorer reports that an ImageBackup was made yesterday. Wouldn't that restore the bad sector preventing non-Recovery Disk bootup for the past three weeks?
Or are there previous images which File Explorer can't see that can be selected from the Recovery Disk boot-up processes? So the steps would be:
1) Replace old SSD with the new one in advance -- no special preparation of new SSD,
2) Boot up courtesy the recovery disk,
3) Choose 3-weeks-ago System Image?
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaxCPA View Post
Thank you, Stancestans, but File Explorer reports that an ImageBackup was made yesterday. Wouldn't that restore the bad sector preventing non-Recovery Disk bootup for the past three weeks?
Or are there previous images which File Explorer can't see that can be selected from the Recovery Disk boot-up processes? So the steps would be:
1) Replace old SSD with the new one in advance -- no special preparation of new SSD,
2) Boot up courtesy the recovery disk,
3) Choose 3-weeks-ago System Image?
You said you have system images.
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Old 03-03-2020, 07:38 AM   #10
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I should have written that I *believe* I have multiple system images, based on my having set no direct limit on those. (I've read that the default position in Win10 is an indirect limit based on available space, and at least I know that I've got over 300G still free in the external drive holding backups.)
I regret the confusion my sloppy writing keeps causing, and hope you haven't lost patience yet.
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Old 03-03-2020, 08:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaxCPA View Post
I regret the confusion my sloppy writing keeps causing, and hope you haven't lost patience yet.
We will soon enough if you keep up the sloppiness! Try your best to be accurate and factual with the information you pass to us. Don't post what you suspect, what you think, what you purport based on something you read somewhere, or speculations. Instead, post what you observe, what you see and what you have proof of. Do that and we will communicate effectively.

For starters, I would love to know how you determined that the SSD is failing/has failed and that it has bad sectors. A few bad sectors on an SSD are normal, and the firmware automatically marks them as unusable so that data doesn't get written to them. As long as the bad sectors are not increasing fast, they may not cause any problems at all. SSDs have spare sectors that are used to replace the bad written-off ones.

At this point there is nothing to lose by restoring the three-week old system image to the new SSD. The only way of finding out if the image is good, is to restore it TO the new SSD and see how things go from there. You can check if there are more system images available using the option underneath that lets you select the image to restore. by default, the wizard selects the most recent image. A detailed tutorial is available here https://www.techrepublic.com/blog/wi...e-a-hard-disk/
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Old 03-03-2020, 08:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stancestans View Post
A few bad sectors on an SSD are normal, and the firmware automatically marks them as unusable so that data doesn't get written to them. As long as the bad sectors are not increasing fast, they may not cause any problems at all. SSDs have spare sectors that are used to replace the bad written-off ones.
Just for the record, the same is true of HDDs, too. It is perfectly common for an HDD to develop bad sectors over long periods of time as well.

It is not the presence of bad sectors, per se, that should be of real concern. It is their number (if it's huge there's a problem) and whether, when that number is small, how rapidly is it increasing.

Some sectors simply go bad on storage devices over time and the firmware for said devices handles this very gracefully for the most part if actual rapid failure is not in progress.
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Old 03-03-2020, 09:10 PM   #13
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Use SpinRite 6 from grc.com - based on my experience it will probably be able to recover all of the data on the SSD. Then copy as needed. You could use SpinRite on a higher level to get that each and every bit can be set to a zero and set to a 1 before the error correction on the SSD steps in.
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Old 03-04-2020, 12:40 PM   #14
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I recently had an issue with a customers laptop, with a bad sectored drive.. found cloning failing, (which is normally the case if a sector read is unsuccessful) but I could still get a successful system image from this drive using Macrium Reflect
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