OMG *gasp* Hard Drive Failure *gasp*
#1 31-07-2020 
AAAAAAAAAAAH!
OK... I'm breathing now. But seriously *gulp* somebody tell me this will be alright Sad

Here's what happened:
I turned on my Win7 simming machine this morning and it came up with a warning - error code HD 521-2W - which I googled and found means you better be backed up because your hard drive may not start again. OK - mild panic. But, I got a back-up, right?

My external HD (back-up) is kinda full - there's not enough space to put another full B/U on it... and it's been running kinda rough too, so I thought I might as well have it check itself out for errors and fix what it could. That was started about 5 hours ago... it's half way done. Tension is mounting *Grrrr*

So, then I remembered daughter has an external HD - Can I use it? Sure, but it's broken. What?!?
Sure enough, it has corrupted itself. When did this happen I ask. Oh, a while ago *shrug* (OMG - this is NOT my day for computers!)
And, of course, she has a bunch of drawings/files on there she doesn't want to lose. Confused At this point I'm trying to remember to breathe... I can do this...
OK kid, here's what we gotta do. A "quick reformat" and then, try to recover your data. Fingers crossed; that's what we did. Or - are doing...
Recuva is 19% done (has 6 hours to go) and has found 41,068 files. Slap Now, I know she's a prolific "draw-er" but..., really? *sigh*

Here's what I want to do:
Before my old Vista machine died, I had bought it a new HD (I thought that was it's problem.) Turns out it had terminal cancer... that machine is dead dead. RIP.
Anyway... It left me this new HD (WD Blue 1TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD10EZEX) still sitting in it's old case.
I, of course, formatted it to my old machine, which was a Vista.
My current machine with the dying HD is Win 7. I do not have Win 7/OS installation discs as it came pre-installed on the PC.
I want to use this mostly new HD to replace my dying one - can I do that? I can, can't I?
I think I can use MacriumReflect (thanks @Kunder - I know what that is now) Smile - and basically "back-up" the dying HD, and "restore" it to the new-ish HD. Right?
That will copy-over the OS to the new HD?
But, first, I'll have to completely wipe the "new" HD right? I don't want any Vista bits hanging around.

Am I on the right track here?

BTW - I have a new dedicated simming machine in the works, but I'd like to keep this one going for as long as I can. Wink

Boy, I feel a bit better now. Thanks for listening to me rant Blush It's going to be OK, isn't it?
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#2 31-07-2020 
Let's just look at your external HD first... you say it's 'kinda full' and has not enough space for another full backup. So, does that mean there are already a bunch of full backups on there? And the next question is: how many? And also: what is the file date of the oldest full backup? And how many backups of the same system do you think you're ever going to use at the same time?
If there are, for example, more than three full backups on there, I would think you could safely delete a few of them, and keep only the three newest. Would THAT give you enough room to make a new backup?
So I would first delete a bunch of old stuff, THEN run the checkdisk, and THEN make the new backup BEFORE doing anything else. After making this backup, you're in a much stronger position.

Then, your daughter's disk with the pictures she doesn't want to lose... My advice to you would have been to FIRST try and recover as many files of the known picture formats as you can (temporarily save them on the free space that you created on the external HD) BEFORE running a quick reformat. Because the reformat may still destroy a lot of stuff. And if you don't have a PAID version of Recuva, I can promise you, it will let you down! The free version has only very limited abilities... It may recover a lot of files already, but none of the files will retain their original file names, and the directory structure is completely lost... It will be all but impossible to restore them properly. And the more files it finds, the bigger your problems get...

Putting the 'clean'HD in your system should not be a problem. What you do, is simply connect it as a secundary drive for now. and then tell the system to reformat it. Because the system is Win7, it will have options to reformat the disk to a Win7-compatible file system. Then you should be able to make a clone of your current (old, almost dying) harddisk on the new one. When that is done, you should remove the old harddisk, put the new one in its place, and restart the computer. But wait for @Kunder's advice first, because I'm sure I'm forgetting some things that he will like to add!

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#3 31-07-2020 
Uh Oh! re: daughter's pictures.
But, most of said pictures - the ones worth saving anyway (in my opinion there really aren't that many) are hand-drawn and scanned... So the originals must be around somewhere? (We have a LOT of unpacked boxes from 2-3 moves back, many of which are marked Hattie/artwork.)
Still - that's sad to learn Recuva's not going to perform as well as I'd hoped it would. I love CCleaner, so I hoped it would be of equal caliber. It's about 53% done now and I'm tempted to tell it to just stop and be done with it. *sigh*

I have already cleaned out my external BackUp/HD. It's not just backUps - it also has all my TS2 archives of dead CC sites/etc... Even after cleaning, there's just not enough room to do a full image/backUp.

I haven't opened the case on my W7 machine yet (I'm too afraid to turn it off!) but I don't think it has a second HD bay? Can I make a clone if the new HD is outside of the case?
I sooooo have no idea what I'm doing here! Blush
It's an HP Pavilion 63301 desktop PC - I can't find an on-line manual anywhere?

I think my next step is to take the HD out of my old Vista case... I haven't done that yet. And then I'ma gonna have a second glass of wine! Cool

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#4 01-08-2020 
@CatherineTCJD @BoilingOill
1) if you get the right cables, you can use Macrium Reflect, to clone the old drive, to the new drive, then install it. You'll need a SATA data cable, and SATA power cable for the 3.5" drive. It would be a good idea, to re-allocate the new drive, before cloning, or pulling a new image to it.

2) You can use a Linux "live" distro, to see if it will read your daughters failing/corrupt drive, move the files to a flashdrive, then copy to a better drive. You can make a flash drive bootable, install a linux distro on it, and it will run right from the flashdrive, if you tell the BIOS to use it as a boot drive. You can then format a large capacity flashdrive, formatted FAT32, then drag, and drop the files from the corrupt drive, to the FAT32 Flashdrive. You MUST be careful, and make SURE you're moving the right files around, on the RIGHT drives. Linux, is NOT Windows, so use due caution.

3) If your last image/backup is good on your full drive, I'd keep the FIRST, and LAST backup, and get rid of any other backup, and anything on that drive you no longer use. I've ran into this issue myself, and after a year, wound up with 64tb of backup drives. I no longer need to worry about external drive space.

Cat....Do you recall in our PM's, me mentioning Macrium Reflect? THAT is the program you'll be using on your new computer. You can download it now, and learn to use it to clone, and Image. This program, will save you untold levels of grief!

When you do get your new machine, it will have an installable copy of the older version of MR. It's better than the new version, and easier to use.
(This post was last modified: 01-08-2020 12:27 AM by Kunder.)

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#5 01-08-2020 
OK... I have MacriumReflect installed and it has been looked at (Yikes!) *breathing*
The "New" HD is pulled from my old Vista case.
Yes, there is space in my dying W7 HP for another HD - but there are not the cables. Can I pull them from my dead case?
The external HD issues are dealt with - I think we'll be fine there... especially if we are cloning the dying HD to the new HD.
I am really worried about turning off my dying machine - can I turn it off to plug in the new HD? I don't want to get zapped!

*Oh I don't like doing this!!!!!*
Thank you for helping me!
Blush

UPDATE - 8/1/2020 - about 3pm: @Kunder, @BoilingOil
- My 'desktop' and 'documents' files are all freshly backed up to my external HD. It is disconnected and safe.
- Daughter's ext HD has been cleaned/reformatted. It is now being cloned as a backUp for my system, should anything go wrong when we turn it off to install the new HD.
MacriumReflect says it is 30% done *sigh* so it might be done by midnight/bedtime.

Then we got this hurricane coming in tomorrow... maybe... might be stormy at 2am or 8am or ??? who knows?

Then, what I'm going to do is:
Shut off my machine.
Install the new HD - with sata cables from my old Vista rig (yes, there's an extra HD Bay in the case, I opened it to see)
Pray
Reboot the machine
Clone the dying drive to the new drive
Turn off the machine
Remove the dying HD. Move the new HD into it's place with it's 'newer' sata cables (not Frankensteined, anyway! LOL)
Pray harder
Boot the machine
Drink all the whiskey in the house Celebrate (I hope!)


Does that sound like a plan? Does that sound like the right plan?
(This post was last modified: 01-08-2020 08:20 PM by CatherineTCJD.)

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#6 02-08-2020 
@CatherineTCJD

Yes, turn the computer OFF and remove battery (if applicable) BEFORE opening up your machine for anything! NEVER mess with anything NOT hot swappable WITHOUT completely shutting down, and discharging your machine!

Sounds ok so far. Just be careful. What you want to do, is PUSH your C: image, to your external drive. Not CLONE it to your external drive!

You want to CLONE your dying drive, to your new drive. You're using mechanical drives, so it's going to take a while.

Good luck.

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#7 02-08-2020 
Glare Welp. That didn't work.
The dead HD wouldn't re-boot.
If the storm doesn't blow us away (which, actually, on that front, things don't look so bad...)
*sigh* if we're still here Monday, we'll visit our local tech guys, and see if they can get the dead drive to boot one last time and clone it to the new drive.

ETA: Hurricane is now a Tropical Storm. It's more breezier today than normal - and might rain a bit later. But otherwise, he's not gonna mess with us. Smile (One good thing is good!)
(This post was last modified: 02-08-2020 02:45 PM by CatherineTCJD.)

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