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Windows 7: Help with cloning hard drives

02 Dec 2010   #1

windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 
Help with cloning hard drives

Ive been asking questions on gateway site regarding my gateway updater not working and they told me to reinstall using recovery the gateway updater. but since after doing it still did not working so i tried to check my event logs. so i asked them again regarding that. this was the last question i gave them just copied and pasted it below. They were not able to help me regarding that so hopefully someone here can they said reason being they could not check the website im really concerned now in particular about my computer being cloned without my knowledge and if you could check the link below to verify if i understood the forum on that link.
Hi i followed instuctions to restore my gateway updater but when i tried it again its still not going through its just trying to check for updates then stops without saying no updates are available can you help me regarding this to be able to check for updates?
And also another concern is that i went to event viewer and found this log as critical error event id 8193 source was system restore and it was regarding gateway updater. I tried looking online and found this website which explains why my updater is not working Event ID 8193 Source SystemRestore i was wondering if you could check that website and help me figure what it was trying to explain about error in cloning my drives which i have never done myself. but still concerned if someone tried using my computer and did that cloning and if there is a way to find out if my system is cloned. just to check if my computer was ever cloned without me knowing

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Dec 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by askaway View Post
Ive been asking questions on gateway site regarding my gateway updater not working and they told me to reinstall using recovery the gateway updater. but since after doing it still did not working so i tried to check my event logs. so i asked them again regarding that. this was the last question i gave them just copied and pasted it below. They were not able to help me regarding that so hopefully someone here can they said reason being they could not check the website im really concerned now in particular about my computer being cloned without my knowledge and if you could check the link below to verify if i understood the forum on that link.
Hi i followed instuctions to restore my gateway updater but when i tried it again its still not going through its just trying to check for updates then stops without saying no updates are available can you help me regarding this to be able to check for updates?
And also another concern is that i went to event viewer and found this log as critical error event id 8193 source was system restore and it was regarding gateway updater. I tried looking online and found this website which explains why my updater is not working Event ID 8193 Source SystemRestore i was wondering if you could check that website and help me figure what it was trying to explain about error in cloning my drives which i have never done myself. but still concerned if someone tried using my computer and did that cloning and if there is a way to find out if my system is cloned. just to check if my computer was ever cloned without me knowing
I'm guessing this is the text you've read, correct?

Quote:
Event ID:8193
Source:System Restore
Type:Error
Description:Failed to create restore point on volume (Process = C:\Windows\system32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs; Descripton = Windows Update; Hr = 0x80070422).

Comments:
This error can be caused by cloning the OS to a new hard drive, for example if a drive is failing or replaced by a larger capacity drive. On Windows Vista, open Control Panel\System and Maintenance\System. Under the Tasks pane, open "System Protection". Under "Automatic Restore Points" there should be a drive labeled as missing, such as "Drive C: (Missing)". Remove the check mark next to this item. Add a check mark to the drives that are present so automatic restore points will be created (by default 30 minutes after system startup, and every day at midnight). This problem could be a sign that the drive was improperly cloned, and might need to be individualized again using Microsoft's SysPrep tool.
You do no need to be worried about your computer being cloned.

The "cloning" referred to in the comments can only be done locally, and then only if you are using software like Acronis True Image 2011 to do it, most often done when you want to replace an existing system hard disk with a larger one.

In fact, I do not believe it would even be possible to clone a hard disk in this manner over the Internet without your knowledge...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2010   #3

windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 
hi

No what i meant was if someone that had access to my computer where could i check that my computer wasnt cloned at all. thank you for the reply and if you could give me more info regarding on where to check my drives if it was still the same since i bought it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Dec 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

Place a strong security key on your router, and securely password your modem.

Run a good lightweight AV like MS Security Essentials and the Windows 7 Firewall. Keep your Windows Updates current.

Otherwise, there is little reason to be concerned.

It is ironic that you worry about Gateway Updater which essentially spies on your machine usage. For this reason, I keep all updaters out of my Startup. In fact nothing needs to startup with your computer exccept the AntiVirus and gadgets if you use them. The others are freeloaders on your RAM, CPU, startup time and can spy on you.

Here is how to edit the Startup list to keep updaters from spying on you: Startup Programs - Change
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by askaway View Post
No what i meant was if someone that had access to my computer where could i check that my computer wasnt cloned at all. thank you for the reply and if you could give me more info regarding on where to check my drives if it was still the same since i bought it.
I don't think there is an easy way of checking whether or not your drive has been cloned locally or not. But the best advice I can give is:
  1. You can check you computer for remnants of programs such as "Acronis True Image", "Norton Ghost", etc. checkingthe history of Windows Backup may also help.
  2. If the drive is physically removed, placed into another machine and cloned from there, then obviously No. 1 above wont help much. All you can do is check that you case has not been opened. I bit of paint or a sticker over the screws is a good way of checking for tampering.
But, as GredRocker also said, there is no reason to be concerned. Whether you worried about someone cloning your drive online, or locally when you're not looking, it doesn't really matter much.

If you encrypt your important information, and subsequently keep your login password secret, then even if someone does manage to justify your paranoia and clones your drive, then the clone image will be meaningless anyway to all but the most determined and skilled hackers.

Have a look at these tutorials:
Encrypt and Decrypt - Add to Context Menu
Encrypt or Decrypt a Folder or File
Encrypting File System Manager Shortcut - Create

Vista - Encrypted File System (EFS) Certificate Backup
Vista - Encrypted File System (EFS) Certificate Restore
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2010   #6
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by askaway View Post
No what i meant was if someone that had access to my computer where could i check that my computer wasnt cloned at all. thank you for the reply and if you could give me more info regarding on where to check my drives if it was still the same since i bought it.
There are numerous disk drive identifiers. The IDs can be changed (eg. disk signature etc.). The most reliable ID as far as I am aware is the manufacturers unique serial number that is marked on the drive. The safest way to check that it is the same physical drive is to physically look at it. I haven't come across a single program that reliably reports manufacturer serial number for all makes of drives.
Someone may know of one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by askaway View Post
No what i meant was if someone that had access to my computer where could i check that my computer wasnt cloned at all. thank you for the reply and if you could give me more info regarding on where to check my drives if it was still the same since i bought it.
There are numerous disk drive identifiers. The IDs can be changed (eg. disk signature etc.). The most reliable ID as far as I am aware is the manufacturers unique serial number that is marked on the drive. The safest way to check that it is the same physical drive is to physically look at it. I haven't come across a single program that reliably reports manufacturer serial number for all makes of drives.
Someone may know of one.
SeaTools for Windows accurately reports the serial numbers for Seagate and Maxtor hard disks. I'm sure that other manufacturers, such as Samsung, Western Digital or Fujitsu offer similar utilities.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2010   #8
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dzomlija View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by askaway View Post
No what i meant was if someone that had access to my computer where could i check that my computer wasnt cloned at all. thank you for the reply and if you could give me more info regarding on where to check my drives if it was still the same since i bought it.
There are numerous disk drive identifiers. The IDs can be changed (eg. disk signature etc.). The most reliable ID as far as I am aware is the manufacturers unique serial number that is marked on the drive. The safest way to check that it is the same physical drive is to physically look at it. I haven't come across a single program that reliably reports manufacturer serial number for all makes of drives.
Someone may know of one.
SeaTools for Windows accurately reports the serial numbers for Seagate and Maxtor hard disks. I'm sure that other manufacturers, such as Samsung, Western Digital or Fujitsu offer similar utilities.
Seatools accurately reports Seagate S/Ns but not WD
CrystalDiskInfo - gets WD S/N correct but provides incorrect S/N for Seagate.

More to do with curiosity and the OPs question. Since some software apparently uses the S/N I thought there must have been some standard set and a single piece of software to report the S/N for all makes of drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2010   #9

windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

thanks all for all the helpful responses
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2010   #10

windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dzomlija View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by askaway View Post
No what i meant was if someone that had access to my computer where could i check that my computer wasnt cloned at all. thank you for the reply and if you could give me more info regarding on where to check my drives if it was still the same since i bought it.

I don't think there is an easy way of checking whether or not your drive has been cloned locally or not. But the best advice I can give is:
  1. You can check you computer for remnants of programs such as "Acronis True Image", "Norton Ghost", etc. checkingthe history of Windows Backup may also help.
  2. If the drive is physically removed, placed into another machine and cloned from there, then obviously No. 1 above wont help much. All you can do is check that you case has not been opened. I bit of paint or a sticker over the screws is a good way of checking for tampering.
But, as GredRocker also said, there is no reason to be concerned. Whether you worried about someone cloning your drive online, or locally when you're not looking, it doesn't really matter much.

If you encrypt your important information, and subsequently keep your login password secret, then even if someone does manage to justify your paranoia and clones your drive, then the clone image will be meaningless anyway to all but the most determined and skilled hackers.

Have a look at these tutorials:
Encrypt and Decrypt - Add to Context Menu
Encrypt or Decrypt a Folder or File
Encrypting File System Manager Shortcut - Create

Vista - Encrypted File System (EFS) Certificate Backup
Vista - Encrypted File System (EFS) Certificate Restore


I tried checking windows back up all logs just say windows back up status and its all from the same time i turn on the computer since i bought it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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