Help Recover Dead HDD then Upgrade to SSD

  1. Posts : 14
    Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) SP1 (build 7601)

    Help Recover Dead HDD then Upgrade to SSD

    My 1TB primary HDD (Mar-2012) is dead.
    It was partitioned into 100 MB System, 150 GB OS (C:), 760 GB Data (D:), and 17 GB HP_Recovery (E:)
    Windows recovery tries to run, but immediately crashes to a blue screen error message.

    My 640GB secondary HDD (Jun-2009, only one partition) has a recent Macrium Reflect image that is visible when booting from the recovery media. The Macrium image includes only the System, C:, and E: partitions. I had a problem back in April that I solved by restoring a Macrium image from the secondary HDD, but in that case the primary HDD was visible and it is not now visible as a destination to restore the Macrium image.

    Besides the Macrium recovery media, I have a Windows 7 repair disk that I created in Aug. 2014. Unfortunately, I didn't ever try it to see if it worked and it doesn't have the necessary drivers to run so I'm not sure if it would be able to repair anything or not.

    Question 1: is that 1TB HDD completely toast? If I somehow get Windows up and running again on the pc, is it likely I would at least be able to see the D: partition? (Why do I care? Data on D: is backed up manually once a month and this all happened 2 days before the next backup so there's a small amount of data not backed up not critical, just annoying.)

    Question 2: Could I just restore the Macrium image to the secondary HDD, which I believe does have space available? Would it be as simple as restoring the image and setting the BIOS to boot from that HDD? Would I have the option to restore only the System and C: partitions? (Why do I care? The E: partition is worthless, I never should have included it.)

    Question 3: Seems like a good time to update to a SSD and I'm willing to squander the cash on a Samsung 850 EVO 1TB drive. Is it as simple as plugging in the drive and restoring the Macrium image or will I need to do something to prep the new drive? Also the existing cable in the pc says Serial ATA 3.0 AWG 26, so am I correct thinking I've got the highest level necessary for the higher speed SSD?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who has the patience to respond to my questions!
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 21,004
    Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

    Hello sspohl now in answer to Q1 you can try this to recover data from the dead drive
    Make a bootable Ubuntu disk Get Ubuntu | Download | Ubuntu
    Set the BIOS to boot from the optical when the machine boots it will show you a screen with TRY or INSTALL > select TRY not INSTALL
    When it is finished - it takes very little time you will get a screen like in the pic .
    Open the drive you want > User and dig down until you get to the data / settings you may be able to copy / paste the material you want to an external source or other installed drive doing this.
    I am not sure if it will but I have recovered tons of data etc using this method both on "dead" or just plain drives that you cannot get data from using Windows.
    to Q3 no mate you don't need to prep the drive ( I stand to be corrected of course) have a look at this anyway. System Image Recovery

    Now your choice of SSD is excellent as I use them in various sizes and a little tip if you use the Samsung Magician software just be aware that it can cause your USB ports to suddenly stop functioning and it is because of the upper and lower filters within that software. The cure is to uninstall the Magician and then reinstall it if you want.
    I know this because I had this very problem on my main desktop and very cluey member let me in and my problem was fixed. For what it's worth I don't see much difference in running the Magician software but the choice is yours of course
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 14
    Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) SP1 (build 7601)
    Thread Starter

    Thank you for your helpful response! The new disk arrived yesterday, installed it last night, booted from Macrium recovery media, restored system and C: partitions, and I'm back up and running. Unbelievably simple. Didn't even need to touch Samsung Magician.

    Planning to open up one more time, remount dead HDD, and see if it's visible now that I've got a functioning operating system. Still would like to get my D: partition recovered. Guessing that Macrium still won't be able to see it, in which case I'll be following through on your suggestion to try Ubuntu.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 21,004
    Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

    Yes well you can use Partition Wizard Best Free Partition Manager for Windows | MiniTool Partition Free to "Explore" D: partition.

    Just run PW right click on the D: and from the drop down list clcik Explore it should open out to show you what you have in there.
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 14
    Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) SP1 (build 7601)
    Thread Starter

    Wow! Thank you again!!
    I used that MiniTool Partition Wizard, all it needed was to assign a new drive letter to the D: partition and I was able to see all the files I had. Busily copying everything from HDD to new SSD and looking forward to picking up where I left off with my real job, not all this technical stuff!

    Wondering if I should pitch the HDD entirely because of the trouble it caused me, or since I have it should I reformat it and work it into my backup plans as another alternative location. Much of my data is static .jpg files going back years and a few documents and spreadsheets that I use over and over. Am I likely to get burned again on that HDD? (Not that I would set it up to be my only backup source.)

    Also wondering if I should somehow have optimized the SSD or should do so now? Seems like I saw something on this site about making sure partitions start at an address divisible by four.
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 21,004
    Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

    Good things are finally working out mate the drive I would keep if it is not too old if just to get off of it what you want and then wipe it (PW will do that) Then you just need to format it knowing no remnants will be around to muck things up - tedious but worth it.

    Now if you really want to get the best out of your machine once it is set up then use the "Bible" as I call it have a read of this and if you do not mind losing a bit of "bling" like transparency this will make things a whole lot quicker and better.
    Optimize Windows 7 I use it on all my machines and fixes I do from time to time.
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 14
    Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) SP1 (build 7601)
    Thread Starter

    Thank you for that excellent pointer, I can see where that could keep me busy for a long time . . . especially when you can see how slow I am. Took me until just now to get the HDD mounted in a spare bay, cleaned, partitioned, and formatted for eventual use as another backup location.

    (An aside, from the time I mounted the old HDD and before I could clean and partition it, I was having system hangups. Could that have been because the old HDD had a partition marked "active" that was interfering with my system installation on the new SSD?)

    My real question: is it worth it trying to optimize my Windows 7 installation, or should I bite the bullet and update to Windows 10, then try to optimize that?? Keep in mind that messing with all these systems is not my real job, mostly I just need my computer to work and not be at its mercy when something goes wrong.

    If I should upgrade, are there any useful tutorials I should review first?

    If I should skip it for now, how do I get the free upgrade out of my Windows optional update queue where it keeps trying to install itself? (Probably would like the answer to that question regardless since I haven't got the time for either approach for a while and tired of that sneaky upgrade trying to install itself.)

    Sorry for all the questions, and again, thank you for the valuable advice. I have learned A TON off this site!!
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 21,004
    Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

    Look sspohl the choice is yours mate but personally having tried 10 - to me just a rehash of 7 and 8 features just made faster but why one would want something "faster" than 7 is beyond me.

    My main beef with 10 are the issues regarding privacy that is they can access your emails and personal data if they feel it warranted, and that they have taken away such things as choosing what updates you can download it is either download or nothing and therein I think lies a can of worms insomuch as unless one is a high tech person you would not know what they are putting into your machine.

    Now I don't know about yourself but I don't want anyone else but myself and who I choose to have access to my personal details or data.
    The other thing I will say is that there are quite a few members not liking 10 and wanting to come back to 7 from 10 and having problems and issues in doing just that and even when done the system (7) is not running as should be, and personally I think the only way out of it for me is a clean install of 7 and avoiding the 10 upgrade stuff.

    Spaeaking for myself until that OS is fixed and put back in a form that is unintrusive and give sme back my paersonal choices I shall not be using it - but as I said the choice is yours.
      My Computer


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