W7 recovery post hard drive failure

  johndrew 15:39 04 Jan 2014
Locked
Answered

My desktop is showing a HDD S.M.A.R.T. failure warning on boot and (now I have recovered some functionality with chk dsk) Windows is also producing a similar warning window.

I have an Acronis 2012 backup for the C: partition but noticed there is also a "Reserved Partition" made by the W7 installation. Can anyone confirm whether Acronis will have backed up this partition in addition to or as part of the C: image?

Additionally does W7 have a similar tolerance to replacement components as XP or is it likely the existing activation will become void on replacement of the drive?

As yet the replacement drive ordered has not been received and I am attempting to prepare for any difficulties which may arise. If anyone has any advice in addition to that requested above I should be most grateful.

With thanks in anticipation.

  lotvic 16:37 04 Jan 2014
Answer

Acronis will have backed up the partitions you specified. If you only specified C: then any other partitions will not have been backed up. I presume you mean the small system "Reserved Partition" of about 100mb? That is the boot and Repair bit. "if you already have it, then YES you need it. You cannot delete it because it contains boot files necessary to load Windows" click here

You could explore the Acronis Image to see what you've got.

  johndrew 11:22 05 Jan 2014

Many thanks for your confirmation as to the content of the backup; it is the 100MB partition I referred to. I admit to never worrying about the content much as I trust Acronis, but really had no desire to completely reinstall W7.

I may (with luck) be able to clone this drive, even in its current state, which will save even more bother.

What do you think about the existing activation; is it likely to need renewing?

  xania 13:06 06 Jan 2014

I have used Acronis for some time - never been asked to re-activate, although I do install my software onto a separate partition on my HHD, and that COULD make a difference. However, if your backup was completed AFTER all the software was installed, you will have no problems there. So far as that boot partition is concerned, I would have thought that it was unlikely to have been damaged so you should get away with not needing to replace it. Similarly, if you only back it up now, you should not have any problems when you restore them both

  lotvic 15:27 06 Jan 2014

You may or may not be required to reactivate. answers.microsoft.com and more details How-Windows-7-hardware-upgrades-affect-licensing

  johndrew 15:49 06 Jan 2014

Many thanks for replying both of you.

The drive arrived today and I managed to clone it from the failing unit. It appears that all is well as a check in "Computer/Properties" tells me the installation is activated.

Your second link is very interesting as the "weighted list" give the hard drive as the second highest;

  1. Motherboard (and CPU)
  2. Hard drive
  3. Network interface card (NIC)
  4. Graphics card
  5. RAM

given that hard drives are most likely to fail of all components this seems a little harsh. I intend to add another hard drive in the future and given the list it will be interesting to see if the activation is revoked by this.

  lotvic 16:34 06 Jan 2014

I would think the type of W7 you have will also make a difference, OEM, Retail.

  johndrew 10:56 07 Jan 2014

Almost certainly. OEM, which most of us have, must be more susceptible to abuse and it would make sense that MS take account of this in their calculations.

One thing that has eluded me is how the installation will advise that reactivation is necessary. Is this simply a change in the annotation in "Computer/Properties" or does the old 'nag, window make a reappearance? It would be nice to know that reactivation was necessary without the need to seek it out.

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