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Windows 7: Hard Drive issues... no idea what to do...


03 Oct 2012   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Hard Drive issues... no idea what to do...

Hi there. I really have no idea where to start, so... lets begin. We made our pc a couple years ago, and weve had some definite problems. Lately it has been with the ram, which we replaced, so when we recently realised that our pc was starting up rather slow, and when it began to show this error on startup:"A disk read error occured Press ctrl alt delete to restart", our first reaction was to run memtest. Upon an overnight running, it became apparent that the ram was not the problem. After some searching, we found that it was clearly a hard drive problem.
Now that I finish this tangent, I see that I've been using we and our like a loon. Sorry...
Anyways, after a few tries I am able to sometimes get into a very slow and uncooperative windows, so not all of my hope is lost for my hard drive, and luckily the bios is still recognizing it. I really have no idea where to go from here, but I would trully hate to have to totally re install windows, and every single thing else, and that is a last ditch effort. I have however been looking into getting a new hard drive, possibly SSD, though I would much rather fix the current one. Also, if it is possible, I would like to transfer all of my files, including the current windows installtion to the new hard drive.
I'm going on vacation this weekend, so I probably wolnt have this finished any time soon, unless this is going to be easier than I expect. Until then I can get any information you need, and I already have the good ol paragon rescue kit on a disk if necessary.
Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Oct 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 17 MATE (64 bit)
 
 

You should definitely back up all of your important data/info while you still can.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2012   #3

Windows 7
 
 

I have an external hard drive with more memory than my current hard drive. Is it possible for me to just completely back up my entire windows installation?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Oct 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Welcome to Seven Forums.
Yes you can back up your whole drive to an external one. I use Macrium Reflect free to do images and clones with.
Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
A clone is an exact copy of your current disk with all data and programs while an image is a compressed file with an exact copy of your drive.
do it SOON while your drive is still readable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2012   #5

Windows 7
 
 

Ok. I'm leaving it completely off for now. I'm guessing that this is a program booted from a disk, cuz I'm unsure if I'm going to be able to run anything on windows, let alone copy the entire hard drive in windows. I have a laptop I can use, but I currently don't have access to it. I'll try to get to it soon as possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2012   #6

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

EaseUS Disk Copy Home Edition is a disk copy program that creates and burns its own boot CD (as long as you have a working computer with a CD burner anyway) or usb drive. I used it in the past and works fine.

The problem is that if you Clone the disk (Partition Copy will break the Windows installation although it transfers dumb data like docs, music and movies just fine), the data on HDD where the failing HDD is copied to is lost. You need to find an empty HDD for this program to work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2012   #7

Windows 7
 
 

So, I pretty much have no choice than to reinstall on a new HD. Cloning will keep a bad copy of windows, and I wolm't even be able to use my external drive till I buy a new HDD, not an SSD. Is this correct? Also, we are completely sure this is a hard drive problem, right?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2012   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Xiigen View Post
Also, we are completely sure this is a hard drive problem, right?
Maybe I missed it, but I didn't notice that you had run any hard drive tests.

If that is so, then no, we aren't sure it is hard drive problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2012   #9

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Xiigen View Post
So, I pretty much have no choice than to reinstall on a new HD. Cloning will keep a bad copy of windows, and I wolm't even be able to use my external drive till I buy a new HDD, not an SSD. Is this correct? Also, we are completely sure this is a hard drive problem, right?
Sorry for the confusion, let me rephrase.
I wanted to say that the software I linked has two functions:

-Partition Copy, that copies a single partition, and can place the partition where you want on another drive (as long as you resize the partition on it to make space). If you move the old system partition (what was called C ), you break that win 7 installation.

-Disk clone or disk copy, that makes an exact copy of the whole drive (they call it "sector by sector"). This does work on SSDs and keeps the Windows 7 installation intact (well, if the damaged hard drive didn't corrupt the files, that is). But the device where this goes will be fully erased and become a clone of the old one. I do this a lot of times and as long as the computer is the same, you can transfer it to a different drive and have no issues when booting. The program linked should have no issues in doing this to clone your old disk over a bigger or smaller drive, as long as the data in it can fit (that is your old disk was 500 GB and you want to fit it in a 256 GB SSD, as long as the old drive had less than 256 GB of stuff in it, you can clone it over).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Oct 2012   #10

Windows 7
 
 

Ok, glad some things have been cleared up somewhat.

Starting off:
I have done no testing to see if my hard drive is the cause of the problem, but I have looked up the problem and I have found no other possible causes for what I am experiencing (slower computer, constant restart during start up w/ctrl-alt-delete error message). I can of course run a diagnostic program, but I have no idea where to start.

Secondly:
We have a few choices here. First off, get a new hard drive. Ok. That seems to be the only option.
However, I can get a new HDD or SSD, with the SSD most likely needing a new installation of windows along with a partition copy, or the HDD being able to clone the disk completely, with a possibility of data loss/corruption. I can not however, use my external hard drive for these things without turning it into a clone itself.

Thirdly, and lastly for now:
It appears that the most likely choice will be to first check and see if the hard drive is trully the problem, and if it is so then to buy a new HDD and to clone the current to it. In turn I can see if the data has been completely thrown to the dogs and if necessary reinstall windows.
In the meantime I will copy all the important files on my hard drive over to my external hard drive, and wait on your reply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Hard Drive issues... no idea what to do...




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