faulty hard disk replacement

  stileguru 13:21 01 Apr 2015

I have a Dell XPS 17 laptop on which the hard drive is showing signs of failure from SMART tests done, but still seems to work OK. The disk is 1TB divided roughly equally into two partitions C: and D: with a 20MB Recovery partition and a 100MB OEM reserved partition. I have purchased a new disk of the same size. I have a complete disk image made with the free version of Paragon Backup and Recovery 14 from 3 months ago on an external USB hard drive, but the above disk problem is preventing me from making any more recent images (either Windows or Paragon). What are the exact steps to replace the existing drive with a new one? I have a bootable rescue medium also made with Paragon on USB stick and CD/DVD. Do I first replace the faulty disk with the blank new one and boot into the rescue medium and reinstate the image on the new disk? Alternatively, do I put the new disk in the spare bay, boot normally from the C: drive and reinstate the image on the new disk in the spare bay, then swap them over? In either case, what needs to be done to ensure the whole system boots from the new hard disk? As it was an OEM setup with no Windows 7 setup disk available, will this cause problems with disk recognition at bootup? I have a set of Dell rescue disks, but would prefer to restore my working image with all the apps rather than restore to factory defaults.

  onthelimit1 13:55 01 Apr 2015

I have found the easiest way is to use the free version of Macrium Reflect. You will need an external caddy to put the new drive in (cheap as chips from ebay). Download and run the program, and it will clone old drive to new. You then simply swap the new for old drive and Bob's your uncle.

  robin_x 14:34 01 Apr 2015

If the Paragon Image contains all the Partitions (Hidden and Reserved/Recovery etc) then the boot information is already included.

I'd suggest you put the new HDD in the spare bay and restore the image (all partitions) to it while in Windows.

There's no particular reason, except that you can continue to use the computer for simple tasks (email/documents/browsing) while the copying is being done.

If you do it the other way round, from boot disk, you can't of course.


If the Image only contains C: and D: and not the others, you'll need to copy them first.

I don't know if Paragon can do that but MiniTool Partition Wizard Free is designed to do it.

If you get errors, and any operation fails, you may need to run, for example, chkdsk c: /f /r

(or whatever drive is affected. Hidden partitions need to be assigned a drive letter temporarily then for chkdsk to see them)

Typical partitions for UEFI systems

Don't worry if yours doesn't match exactly. Just make sure whatever you have are transferred or restored.

  robin_x 14:37 01 Apr 2015

After completion, swap the drives around so old drive is in spare bay.

Since you know it has problems (may only be bad sectors)

Run chkdsk on it when convenient.

It may pack up today or in ten years time.

  stileguru 17:54 01 Apr 2015

Thanks Robin_x. The C: drive lists as Basic MBR Disk 0, with: Dell Utility, Primary Fat16 102 MB; Recovery Primary NTFS 19MB; OS (C:) Primary NTFS 446MB;

so I think everything is there

  stileguru 22:10 02 Apr 2015

So, a question for Robin_x. After copying an image of the C: drive onto a new drive in the spare disk bay, the 2 drives show as the old C: drive, plus a newly created mirror image on the new drive which has no letter assigned. What next? Do I swap the new drive for the old? and reboot into it? Or, do I first assign a letter e.g. D: and then swap them? Any suggestions?

  robin_x 23:23 02 Apr 2015

Windows should assign letters automatically at boot.

So just swap over.

If it doesn't swap back and give it a letter. Try F or G or something. Don't use D in case of confusion with the original D.

Where do you not see a letter? Which app are you in?

  stileguru 20:26 03 Apr 2015

In the end I just swapped them over. It booted ok and everything's back as it was. Thanks for the help.

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