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Windows 7: HD likely dying, need to backup OS

29 Nov 2012   #1

multiple
 
 
HD likely dying, need to backup OS

Hello,

About 8 months ago my husband purchased a Dell Inspiron laptop running Win 7.

A few days ago, the hard drive started...well, not exactly grinding, but making a sound like a noisy fan - but the sound is coming from where the HD is located. It makes the sound intermittently.

We're probably just going to replace the HD rather than send it away, even though it should still be under warranty. However, we neglected to backup the system when the computer was new, so we have no OS backup.

How can we back up the OS while the hard drive is still working, so we can install it on the new HD when it arrives?

And a secondary question is: should he want to upgrade the hard drive, how do we know what's compatible? The installed HD is a WD6400BPVT.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

29 Nov 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

To back up the OS partition you want to make an image with a disk imaging program (Like Acronis True Image, or similar), or you can use the Backup program built into Windows 7 (Backup and Restore).

You will want to copy the image to an external hard drive connected to the laptop through USB. If your OS partition is 100GB you will need at least 50GB of space for the image at normal compression.

There may be other ways, but that is the typical method.

Since your laptop is relatively new the hard drive inside is surely a 2.5" SATA drive. Any 2.5" SATA drive will work, including SSD. The size, speed, and cache sizes are up to you - whatever you need, want, or can afford.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2012   #3

multiple
 
 

Thank you, TVeblen! I'll get on it in the morning!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Nov 2012   #4

Windows 7 Professional X64
 
 

If you have a Seagate, WD or Maxtor - the Acronis program (which is great) is free.

DiscWizard | Seagate Called "discwizard"

WD Support
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2012   #5

multiple
 
 

I got the disk imaged to an external drive, and I've run through Dell's diagnostics, with no problems found. The noise (which is more of a whirring than a grinding, which is why I first thought it was the fan) went strong throughout the diagnostics. Since we're still under warranty, I'm leaning toward contacting tech support and seeing about sending the laptop in rather than springing for a new hard drive without knowing for SURE that it's the problem. Anybody got a better idea?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

If you know the brand of the hard drive you could download and run the diagnostic made by the manufacturer for their drives.

If that comes back clean then the whirring could be "normal". But if the sound is different from any other laptop you've seen (heard) then go with your gut and send it in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2012   #7

multiple
 
 

Yep, it's definitely not a normal sound. I ran the WD diagnostic first, then Dell's diagnostic. Thanks for your help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2012   #8

multiple
 
 

Resolution: In running diagnostics I paid very close attention to the fan, and came to the realization that the noise /was/ originating from the fan (as I had originally thought) and not the hard drive. I tried blowing canned air on it when it was off and unplugged, and actually got it to make the sound! Got online with Dell, they flashed the BIOS to no avail, and they're sending a box to ship the unit off for repair.

Oh yeah, I finally did get both a system image and a backup of the OS, so resting easy now!

Thanks for the help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 HD likely dying, need to backup OS




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