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A bit of prevention: cloning my drive


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#1
Janis

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I am getting suspicious about the hard drive in my E4310 laptop.   Not having a COA for it,  installing a new one,  even with the back up cd they sent,  would probably not work.  The COA on the back is now un readable and I can't get one from the seller.   I would like to clone the drive to a new one while I can but have never used any type of cloning software.  Where do I start and with what software?   Is it possible to retrieve the COA from the hard drive as another option?   Thanks


Edited by Janis, 05 January 2015 - 09:09 AM.

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#2
Plastic Nev

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Hi,

If getting suspicious of the actual hard drive itself, then cloning it to a replacement drive is a very wise move indeed and I do recommend that you do as soon as possible if the existing drive is suspect.

 

Firstly I will explain what is required in hard ware,

Obviously a new hard drive of the same type, same capacity or greater, same or faster spindle speed, and of the correct type either IDE or SATA. (You can also opt for an SSD drive of the same capacity or greater)

A means of connecting the new drive to a USB connection on the computer. This can take the form of SATA/IDE to USB adapter, reasonably priced from most dealers, or an enclosure or caddy to USB, usually a bit more expensive, or if at some time you wish to work with more than one spare hard drive a hard drive docking station, the last being the most expensive. You can find any of those on most dealers sites.

 

Next and last is suitable cloning software, Macrium Reflect being the one of my choice, and others, as the free version is more than adequate to do the job.

 

Once Macrium Reflect is installed, plug in the new and replacement drive and then open Macrium Reflect, it will find the existing hard drive and show you what is on it as far as partitions and basic information is concerned, all you do then is click on the "Clone this drive" button, navigate the system to find the new and at this point external drive, as to being where the clone should go and then click finish.

 

It will get on with the job from there on. It will take some time to do depending on how much data is on the existing drive it can go for an hour or longer.

 

Macrium Reflect free version can be downloaded and installed from :-

 

http://www.macrium.c...eflectfree.aspx

 

Be aware that the installer may try to offload junkware along with the installation, you can prevent that by careful reading of every window that comes up and removing ticks from boxes for things such as the Ask toolbar, so called free security scans and a few other junkware or unwanted programs. Where a window offers the choice of automatic or custom install, choose the custom install in order to see and prevent the unwanted junk.

It is unfortunately the case that a lot of the vendors or agents of free software are resorting to this sort of hoistware junk as they are paid to do so by the junkware companies.

 

I did write a full tutorial for the use of Macrium Reflect to create a clone to another or spare drive complete with screen shots on a different forum which I hope will be acceptable on this site.

The tutorial is here :-

 

http://magazine.free...acrium-reflect/

 

Any further questions please ask.

 

Edit to add you can find the system product key or COA using this software :-

 

https://www.magicalj....com/keyfinder/

 

However I would get the clone done first before worrying about that as when hard drives are suspect, they can fail at any time.

 

Nev.


Edited by Plastic Nev, 05 January 2015 - 01:42 PM.

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#3
Janis

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Thanks so much.   Adding a tutorial is going be a great help as I can read and read again several times before I start.   I do have one question on any replacement drive that I buy.   How would I divide up a drive into different partitions before starting the cloning process. Again thanks


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#4
Plastic Nev

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Hi, the cloning process does two things, first it completely formats or reformats the target drive, so pre organizing partitions can't be done, the second part automatically creates partitions exactly as they were on the drive being cloned. So once the clone is complete on a larger drive, there will be unallocated space in the rest of the drive. You can then expand the last partition into that unallocated space afterwards, or move partitions to first create unallocated space between partitions so the left hand or leading partition can be expanded into it.

To do the second operation you may be better with a third party partition manager such as EasUS partition master or similar.

 

Nev.


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#5
Janis

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I finally have all equipment ready.   I downloade Macrium.  My system runs WIN 7 Pro 64 Bit.    When I attempted an install of Macrium,  I got an error message saying it was incompatible with my OS, words to that effect.   Do I need a different download?


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#6
Plastic Nev

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Hi, did you download the free version from this page :-

 

http://www.macrium.c...eflectfree.aspx

 

If definitely so, and still will not install you could try from this site, click on "Download @ authors site"

 

http://www.majorgeek...ee_edition.html.

 

Let us know if either download works or not, though there is no reason I know of why it shouldn't, however if needed I can ask another technician to help. I am a little tied up with on going building work so a little short of time at the moment.

 

Nev.


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#7
Janis

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I have the download and found the problem.  During the install  it asked to allow download of WINPE.   Since I didn't know what that was I declined.  Allowing it installed Macrium.   What is the function of WINPE?


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#8
phillpower2

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What is Windows PE?


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#9
Plastic Nev

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Thanks Phill.

If you haven't got a Microsoft account, either hotmail or similar and can't sign in to that WindowsPE page, let us know please. Though it isn't important as far as your concerned as it is an explanation of the recovery environment for reinstalling an image. Your making a clone, not an image so isn't actually needed.

 

Nev.


Edited by Plastic Nev, 18 February 2015 - 03:33 PM.

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