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Windows 7: Cloning to new SSD from failing HDD

28 Nov 2015   #1
Jason Carlton

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Cloning to new SSD from failing HDD

Hi all,

I'm working on my GF's laptop. It's an HP, and the HDD is starting to fail. I ordered a new SSD for her, but I'm having a hard time getting the old one cloned over; she has about 80G of data, and the old drive keeps crashing in the middle of processing! I've tried both cloning and creating an image (for several days now), but have problems with both.

The new SSD currently has an unnamed partition from the earlier cloning attempt, and I assume it has boot data on it. Then I have a G: drive with the "Recovery" data from HP. Then I have an H: drive that's empty, and SHOULD hold all of the old drive's C: data. I had to create the H: label manually under Disk Management; before, I just had the unnamed partition, then G:, then an unallocated partition.

So here's my question:

Since I have the unnamed partition, can I just manually copy C: from the old drive to H: on the new drive, then swap the drives? Would H: then automatically become C:, and everything work like it should?

Manually copying data is going to take forever, but it would at least let me pick up where I left off each time the HDD crashes.

If that won't work, what is a better alternative?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Nov 2015   #2
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Jason do you have a way of clean installing Windows?? because personally I would retrieve all data and then install the Windows and put back the data afterwards as I think what you are trying to do is going to take a lot of working out.
Plus just what are you using to clone the drive with? (program)

To retrieve data see this
BOOTABLE UBUNTU
Make a bootable Ubuntu disk Download Ubuntu Desktop | Download | Ubuntu
Set the BIOS to boot from the optical when the machine boots it will show you a screen with TRY or INSTALL > select TRY not INSTALL
When it is finished - it takes very little time you will get a screen like in the pic .
Open the drive you want > User and dig down until you get to the data / settings you may be able to copy / paste the material you want to an external source or other installed drive doing this.
I am not sure if it will but I have recovered tons of data etc using this method both on "dead" or just plain drives that you cannot get data from using Windows.


Attached Thumbnails
Cloning to new SSD from failing HDD-ubuntu-screen-x2.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2015   #3
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

ason, here is a tutorial on how to do it. SSD - Install and Transfer the Operating System
The Paragon way is the easiest way, but not free.

However, if your hard drive is failing, I would recommend a clean install as ICIT2LOL said. If your failing hard drive has bad sectors or errors, as most would, you would be carrying them over to the new SSD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Nov 2015   #4
Stevekir

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by essenbe View Post
ason, here is a tutorial on how to do it. SSD - Install and Transfer the Operating System
The Paragon way is the easiest way, but not free.

However, if your hard drive is failing, I would recommend a clean install as ICIT2LOL said. If your failing hard drive has bad sectors or errors, as most would, you would be carrying them over to the new SSD.
I have used Casper 8 to clone my SSD C: drive to an ext. USB drive as a practice for cloning on to the SSD after a future fault (which I haven't done yet). From looking at the list of what was cloned it seemed to be complete. Casper does cloning and some other backups only (including bootable backups) but not the drive management that Paragon does. It is not expensive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2015   #5
Jason Carlton

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks for the advice!

Unfortunately, this laptop came pre-loaded with Win7, so there aren't any disks with it. Unless there's a way to clean boot using the "Recovery" partition (I have no idea what that partition is for) then my only alternative would be to buy a new OS copy.

She also has several paid programs that I don't think will re-install without re-purchasing, like Quickbooks. So if I do a clean install, she'll have to at least spend a few hundred dollars on software :-(

The cloning software I used was the free version of Macrium Reflect. I'm making one last attempt using the Windows Backup & Restore option (backing up to an old 200G HDD that I had laying around), but even if that works I'm not 100% sure how to restore it to the new SSD.

Essenbe, I've read through the tutorial you linked, and it looks like I'm halfway through the "Geeky way". The bootable partition already exists, and the rest of the SSD seems to be working correctly after I assigned a letter in Disk Management. So if the Windows Backup & Restore actually completes then, hopefully, I'll be able to figure out how to restore it to the SSD.

Wish me luck! If this backup fails or if I get lost, I'll post back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2015   #6
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Just a little idea that might help if she has paid for programs and has not saved the keys.

This free program just might show you the need program keys that are in your system.

Belarc Advisor - Free Personal PC Audit, for software, hardware and security configuration information on your computer. Software license management, IT asset management, cyber security audits, and more.

You should be able to load the programs again on the same computer with the proper authorization key.

Belarc Advisor - Free Personal PC Audit, for software, hardware and security configuration information on your computer. Software license management, IT asset management, cyber security audits, and more.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2015   #7
paul1149

Linux Lite 2.8 x64 (full-featured, fast, rock-solid)
 
 

Have you tried a sector-by-sector image or clone? You could also try to replicate the drive partition-by-partition, in smaller chunks as it were, for the sake of the failing HD. Then you will need to run an external WinRE disk to repair the boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2015   #8
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

You can do a clean install with any install disk, as long as it is the same as yours. For example, if you have Windows 7 Home Premium X 64, then any installation disk of Windows 7 HP X 64 will work fine. The install media does not matter. The activation key matters.

And, lets not overcomplicate this. It is a fairly simple procedure. A clean install is straight forward and is simple. Making an image and laying it on the SSD is simple too. I did it yesterday.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2015   #9
Jason Carlton

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Using Windows Backup failed, too, so...

Layback, I could be wrong because I haven't had to do this in a few years, but last time we tried to re-install Quickbooks it wouldn't work. It wasn't an issue of not having the right key, it was an issue that the key was coded to the hard drive. Their system assumed that we were trying to install it on a second computer, so the install failed. Which was very irritating.

Paul, I'm not sure how to do what you're suggesting. The old HDD has 3 partitions, and while two of them cloned just fine (the bootable partition and the Recovery partition), the third one (representing C is the one that's failing. Are you saying that I should break it up in to separate partitions? If so, how do I do that?

Or, is there a cloning / imaging program that will take the source drive in small chunks, and then after it's all copied mash it all in to one big image?

Essenbe, I bought my laptop at the same time as hers (but mine's a Toshiba), and AFAIK they have the same version of Win7. Mine didn't come with CDs either, though. Is there a way to create an install disk from the content that the laptops came with?

I agree that making an image SHOULD be simple, but this one keeps breaking because of the failing drive. I don't know of a way to make it ignore the error section and continue with the image, and it's pretty frustrating to let it run for 3+ hours and then throw an error when it gets to 80%!


****
For future readers, I tried manually copying using:

robocopy C:\ H:\ /MT:10

(where C: is the source drive, H: is the large partition on the new drive, and /MT:10 means to use 10 threads)

But immediately it began to fail because several .SYS files were in use. It appears that the only way to do this would be if I could boot into DOS, which doesn't appear to be an option in Win7+. So at this point, it looks like my only options are to either find a way to reinstall Windows (even though the laptop didn't come with disks) or to clone the source drive (even though it's throwing errors and failing).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2015   #10
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

If you have an external drive and can keep your PC going for about 20 minutes you can image your PC onto an external drive. It is not hard and can be done fairly quick with Macrium Reflect Free Just download the program and make an image of all partitions at once to the external drive. When you get the new SSD you can image back to it and your PC would be exactly the same as now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Cloning to new SSD from failing HDD




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