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Windows 7: How to replace crashed hard disk & re-install windows 7 using USB

22 Nov 2013   #11
rbisawa

Windows 7 Home Basic
 
 

Thnks a lot Kari & Sandeep,

Planning to replace the hard-disk this weekend and also do the ground work for creating the installation USB.

Will keep you updated on the progress.

Problem is, its very difficult to replace the hard-disk of dell N4010 as you might be aware, so wish me luck since I'll be trying it on my own.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
24 Nov 2013   #12
rbisawa

Windows 7 Home Basic
 
 

Hi All,

A big thanks to all the experts for extending quick and useful help for resolving my problem.

Firstly, I forgot to inform at the start of this thread that my laptop battery has worn out and its not charging 100%. I guess that's how the problem started, since there were quite a few times when I forgot to power the laptop through the main power supply and the battery would quickly go down, in the process damaging the hard-drive. I am not sure if poor battery damages the hard-drive, so would like the experts to comment on this as it would help others who are reading this post with similar problem.

Also I forgot to mention that my laptop was a dual-boot system i.e. Win 7 Home Basic + Ubuntu, which means the bootloader was of Ubuntu. Really sorry for missing out on that info.

Steps taken to solve my problem:

1. The first thing you worry about when any electronic device crashes is your data . So using the
Ubuntu live USB, I was able to access my hard-drive and quickly backed-up all my personal data.

2. Then I used the Ubuntu disk utility to check if my hard-drive had indeed failed. It showed that there
were 4 bad sectors but there was no way of correcting those.

3. Next I tried to use the Dell Factory Restore option to format windows but it did not work.

4. Before taking the drastic step of replacing the hard-drive I tried doing a clean install of windows, thus I
used the Win 7 installable USB to do a clean install of Windows on the same hard-drive as suggested by Kari & Sandeep in the earlier posts which were really helpful.

5. During installation, when I reached the step of creating partitions, I deleted all the partitions and just
wanted to create 2 partitions, one for windows & other for data, but somehow I could not delete one
partition which might have those bad sectors I guess (though I'm not sure about it). Thus out of the original 500GB hard-drive, now I could use only 240GB & the remaining 260GB got wasted. I guess another reason could be that, Linux uses the "ext" file system while Windows uses the "FAT" or "NTFS" file system, and Linux has the capability to read windows file system but windows cannot understand Linux's file
system. So I think the windows installation USB could not delete the partition in which Linux was
residing. But then I had only assigned around 10GB for Ubuntu when I had installed it originally. Then how come my 260GB of hard-drive space got wasted!? Really confused & illiterate about this behavior, would like the experts to comment on this & clarify.

6. Anyway, I was happy to get the remaining 240GB space, where I created 2 partitions of 60 & 180GB
and installed windows 7 Home Basic successfully

7. Now my system is single boot with only windows. Next thing I did was, get my windows registered
using the product key which is mentioned on a sticker on the bottom of the laptop. Would advise
people who are reading this to make a note of the product key since the sticker worns out over time.
Don't know why they don't provide the key in a better way. Maybe coz of piracy issues.

8. Installed all the recommended drivers for my laptop.

9. Installed all the windows updates available.

10. Installed Microsoft Security Essentials which I think is a good enough defence against any malicious

attacks, as per the posts which I have read on sevenforums. Again would like experts to comment on

this.

11. Installed all the applications using the backed-up data.

And now I am typing this post from my laptop which came back to life yesterday
Experts, please answer my queries above if you have time.

Would again like to thank all the experts who are helping so many people around the world to solve their problems.

Keep up the good work guys!!

Cheers!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2013   #13
SandeepP

Winndows 7 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rbisawa View Post
Hi All,

A big thanks to all the experts for extending quick and useful help for resolving my problem.

Firstly, I forgot to inform at the start of this thread that my laptop battery has worn out and its not charging 100%. I guess that's how the problem started, since there were quite a few times when I forgot to power the laptop through the main power supply and the battery would quickly go down, in the process damaging the hard-drive. I am not sure if poor battery damages the hard-drive, so would like the experts to comment on this as it would help others who are reading this post with similar problem.

Also I forgot to mention that my laptop was a dual-boot system i.e. Win 7 Home Basic + Ubuntu, which means the bootloader was of Ubuntu. Really sorry for missing out on that info.

Steps taken to solve my problem:

1. The first thing you worry about when any electronic device crashes is your data . So using the
Ubuntu live USB, I was able to access my hard-drive and quickly backed-up all my personal data.

2. Then I used the Ubuntu disk utility to check if my hard-drive had indeed failed. It showed that there
were 4 bad sectors but there was no way of correcting those.

3. Next I tried to use the Dell Factory Restore option to format windows but it did not work.

4. Before taking the drastic step of replacing the hard-drive I tried doing a clean install of windows, thus I
used the Win 7 installable USB to do a clean install of Windows on the same hard-drive as suggested by Kari & Sandeep in the earlier posts which were really helpful.

5. During installation, when I reached the step of creating partitions, I deleted all the partitions and just
wanted to create 2 partitions, one for windows & other for data, but somehow I could not delete one
partition which might have those bad sectors I guess (though I'm not sure about it). Thus out of the original 500GB hard-drive, now I could use only 240GB & the remaining 260GB got wasted. I guess another reason could be that, Linux uses the "ext" file system while Windows uses the "FAT" or "NTFS" file system, and Linux has the capability to read windows file system but windows cannot understand Linux's file
system. So I think the windows installation USB could not delete the partition in which Linux was
residing. But then I had only assigned around 10GB for Ubuntu when I had installed it originally. Then how come my 260GB of hard-drive space got wasted!? Really confused & illiterate about this behavior, would like the experts to comment on this & clarify.

6. Anyway, I was happy to get the remaining 240GB space, where I created 2 partitions of 60 & 180GB
and installed windows 7 Home Basic successfully

7. Now my system is single boot with only windows. Next thing I did was, get my windows registered
using the product key which is mentioned on a sticker on the bottom of the laptop. Would advise
people who are reading this to make a note of the product key since the sticker worns out over time.
Don't know why they don't provide the key in a better way. Maybe coz of piracy issues.

8. Installed all the recommended drivers for my laptop.

9. Installed all the windows updates available.

10. Installed Microsoft Security Essentials which I think is a good enough defence against any malicious

attacks, as per the posts which I have read on sevenforums. Again would like experts to comment on

this.

11. Installed all the applications using the backed-up data.

And now I am typing this post from my laptop which came back to life yesterday
Experts, please answer my queries above if you have time.

Would again like to thank all the experts who are helping so many people around the world to solve their problems.

Keep up the good work guys!!

Cheers!!
Hi rbisawa,

Its great to hear that you were able to install windows and it is working fine right now. You can keep using this harddrive until it fails completely.

So I would suggest to make sure you have the backup of the data of the system. Lastly for partition issue kindly post a screenshot of the disk management for your system:

Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums

Also, let us know what happens when you try to delete that 260 GB volume from the disk management. Keep us posted with the results so we can advise you further.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

24 Nov 2013   #14
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there

I wouldn't trust a computer with a dodgy HDD in it -- it's BOUND to fail just at the most inconvenient time.

Replacing an HDD is usually (although not always) fairly OK. However some laptops don't always have the standard SATA connector for the HDD's but have some type of internal cable which then connects to the standard laptop SATA connector. These cables can sometimes be broken easily or can become disconnected so if you have this type of connector take CARE when removing the old HDD and notice the cable layout (simply take a pic with a phone camera before removing).

All you need to do is take an image of the old system and copy it to a new HDD before re-installing. You can backup other USER DATA with windows explorer to any other external device. Simply connect the new HDD via a USB port for performing re-partitioning / Disk imaging.

Use USB==>Sata connector -- cheap and screenshot enc.

Keep your system (OS) and applications in their OWN partition.

For re-partitioning use something like GPARTED and for imaging you can use FREE MACRIUM.

Cheers
jimbo


Attached Images
How to replace crashed hard disk & re-install windows 7 using USB-satausb.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2013   #15
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

For the future, I recommend you protect yourself with images. Then you can get back into business in 20 minutes - provided you have a working new disk.

Now that you have a running system, make an image asap. Then I recommend to make another image weekly. Thus you are always up-to-date with your last image.

The best imaging program I know is this one: Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2013   #16
rbisawa

Windows 7 Home Basic
 
 

Hi All,

Please find attached the screenshot of my disk management tool.

The 260GB hard-drive space was shown as "Free Space" which I deleted and then extended my D drive
to use that unallocated space.

So now, I got back my original hard-drive space too!!
Thankyou Kari, SandeepP, jimbo45, whs & all other experts who helped me bring my laptop back to life.

My next step would be to create a complete image of my system using the tool suggested in the previous posts.

Thankyou all & keep up the good work.

Cheers!!


Attached Thumbnails
How to replace crashed hard disk & re-install windows 7 using USB-disk-management-screenshot.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2013   #17
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Making a new image is a good idea. Then the image(es) will fir your new layout.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Nov 2013   #18
SandeepP

Winndows 7 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rbisawa View Post
Hi All,

Please find attached the screenshot of my disk management tool.

The 260GB hard-drive space was shown as "Free Space" which I deleted and then extended my D drive
to use that unallocated space.

So now, I got back my original hard-drive space too!!
Thankyou Kari, SandeepP, jimbo45, whs & all other experts who helped me bring my laptop back to life.

My next step would be to create a complete image of my system using the tool suggested in the previous posts.

Thankyou all & keep up the good work.

Cheers!!
Hi rbisawa,

Its great to hear that you were able to delete the volume and get the complete 500 GB to your usage.

If you have any queries in future feel free to reach out to us.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2014   #19
Batiatus

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hi Sandeep,

I am out of warranty with Dell but would like to get my installation disks. I am having similar issues to those on this thread.

Is this possible?

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2014   #20
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You can ask the manufacturer for an installation disc. But they will most likely charge you. I have seen charges between $20 and $50.

But there may be an easier and cheaper way. Have a look at this:

Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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