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Windows 7: Imaging/Cloning Drive with Bad Sectors

01 Mar 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Imaging/Cloning Drive with Bad Sectors

So I have a harddrive with important files on it with possible bad sectors, and I'm wonder how I should back it up in case the drive entirely fails. I can access the files on the drive using Windows 7 on another harddrive right now, so it's not that bad, but I know the drive has problems. It started a few months back when my computer froze after waking it up from standby. It refused to boot into Windows, endlessly restarting, and when I attempted to use Startup Repair from the system disk it wouldn't detect a Windows installation.

After a week I managed to use SeaTools, Startup Repair and CHKDSK to get into Windows again. Although at first it seemed like everything was fine, after a while I noticed slowdown and various corrupted files on the drive. Using HD Tune and HDD Regenerator I found out about the large number of bad sectors on the drive. At first I attempted to use SeaTools to fix them, however the DOS version could only fix a set number of sectors at a time and it would have taken over a week of continuous repetition in order to completely restore them. I decided on course of action which went something like this: A) Clone the drive data on to a new drive. B) Fix the drive errors with HDD Regenerator (on a USB/CD), hopefully not making the problem worse (I could have probably installed Windows on to the new drive and used something more tried and true like SeaTools for Windows to fix them, but then I either thought you needed an empty drive for cloning or that there wouldn't be enough space and I didn't want to be left without a backup in case something went screwy) and C) Reformat the old drive, use it as a temporary backup for my files, then reformat the new drive and install a fresh copy of Windows on it before transferring my files over.

It went wrong from the start. I decided to use Clonezilla and while it began fine enough, it quickly ran into bad sectors and corrupted files and went haywire, creating an incomplete copy on the new drive and making the situation worse on the old one. It reset all my previous efforts, seemingly screwing up Windows for good and deleting 10 GBs of data (mainly System Restore files, though). Startup Repair kept reporting that Windows was fine, however, so there was nothing I could do to fix it and I decided to just install Windows on the new drive. After doing so, the first thing I did was to try and fix the old drive with HDD Regenerator. I felt it was a haphazard thing to do but consider the old drive's state I went ahead anyways. It worked perfectly, however it kept reporting that the drive was not in the best of conditions. HD Tune reported that it was fine afterwards, if I remember correctly, and I could access the files on the drive without any problems.

I'm running a Long Generic test with SeaTools for Windows on the drive right now; all the previous tests have been passed so far without any problems. So I'm wondering how I could back this drive up. What's the difference between imaging and cloning? I'm wary about using Clonezilla again after my previous experience, though if someone knows a way to have it function properly in my situation please tell me.

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: SeaTools just passed the Long Generic.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2013   #2
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

The first thought about a drive going belly up on you? Copy and Paste! The old manual method would be advised to insure the better results since a clone or image from a drive on the way out could end up being corrupted and unusable when restored later.

The manual backup of each folder with files to a separate drive will take a little longer but see far more files survive if the drive sees a complete fail over a chanced image or cloning. With each folder copied you can verify the contents as well as integrity of each file as you go along in case the first copy+paste try fails. You wouldn't have a second chance when counting on an image or clone once the drive fails and then you decide to restore the image or test the cloned folders. files and run into a problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Imaging/Cloning Drive with Bad Sectors

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