Cloning hard drive but computer keeps freezin

February 28, 2011 at 07:14:49
Specs: Windows XP
Any help would be hugely appreciated.

I am a computer novice but I have been getting a warning for the last few days when I am powering up that my SAFE system has detected that my Hard Drive is likely to fail. After checking out the code on Google and tech sites it seems genuine.

This has also coincided with the fact that my computer seems to now only run for 10-15 minutes before the whole thing freezes. All this coincided with starting to receive the SAFE message upon start up.

Long story short, I am now trying to clone my hard drive using Maxtor Maxblast BUT WHEN I BEGIN TO START THE CLONING OPERATION IT ONLY GETS A FEW MINUTES IN BEFORE THE WHOLE THING FREEZES.

Any thoughts on how I could get through the cloning operation? Alternative methods? Or how I could keep the laptop running long enough so that I can clone and then switch out the hard drive?


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#1
February 28, 2011 at 08:08:13
Tell us the make and model of your brand name system.

The specific model of a brand name system is shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site and loading a program they have available, if Windows is still working, on the subject computer.

If it's a Dell computer...
Go here for how to find the Service tag "number":
http://support.dell.com/support/top...

Tell us what it is.

If it's a HP or Compaq computer.....
Go here:
http://partsurfer.hp.com/search.aspx
Scroll down a bit.
Look for the similar label on the outside of your computer.
Quote the specific model number - that's at the end of the first line.
Quote the Product number - that's on the third line.
.........

"my SAFE system has detected that my Hard Drive is likely to fail"

Do you mean SMART rather than SAFE ?

"After checking out the code on Google and tech sites it seems genuine."

If your hard drive is starting to fail, you are very likely to have problems if you try to clone it, especially if you're trying to run MaxBlast from the failing drive, rather than booting the computer from a CD disk and running MaxBlast from the disk.
The drive you copy must be having no problems when you clone it.

If haven't already done so, if you install the currently available Maxblast on another working computer that has a CD burner, you can make a bootable CD with it it that has MaxBlast on it ,and boot your computer from that.

But - you will probably STILL have problems cloning your drive.

NOTE that when you copy an existing hard drive partition to another drive, the locations of bad sectors in the original hard drive's MFT (Master File Table) are copied to the other drive and are very difficult to get rid of unless you have Vista or Windows 7 on the computer ! You CAN get rid of those by deleting the partition but you probably don't want to do that.
For that reason, it is NOT a good idea to clone a hard drive that is failing !

Are you still able to use Windows on the failing drive ?

If Windows is not working properly , if you have access to another working computer that has a CD burner, search on the web for a bootable Linux CD download that you can make a bootable Linux CD with. E.g. try on http://www.bootdisk.com

Boot the computer from the Linux CD, and copy the personal data you don't want to lose to elsewhere - e.g.a flash drive, CDs or DVDs

You DO NOT need to copy
- anything in Windows itself .
- anything you can easily download from the web and install again
- any program that you have the installation disk(s) for, and the Product Key or similar if that applies
........

If you have a brand name system that came with a Recovery disk set or an XP Re-installation CD you can re-install the original software installation including Windows, or Windows itself.

If your brand name computer did not come with disks, if your computer is not ancient, you can probably buy a set from the brand name's web site or from a site on the web for a relatively cheap price and either have them shipped to you in a short time or be able to download the contents of the disks from the web to make the disks with in a burner drive on a working computer.


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#2
February 28, 2011 at 08:39:23
My laptop is a Gateway and the model number is MX6920

The P/N is 1MA700000420.

Sorry, yes, I meant SMART system and the code warning reads:
"SMART failure predicted on Hard Disk 2: WDC WD1200BEVS-00LATO- (S1)"... which I have since figured out is the specifics of my current HD.

I can still run Windows and pretty much anything I have tried on the failing hard drive. The only problem is that regardless of what it is I am trying to run I only seem to get 15 minutes max out the laptop before everything freezes. All I can do is move my cursor but I can't even power off properly via task manager...everything apart from cursor is totally unresponsive.

Yes, I am trying to run Maxblast and clone the drive from the failing hard drive. I guess my logic was the warning would be coming up before the hard drive was toasted so as to allow you to take this sort of action.

I can try to boot from a disc and run only Maxblast from the failing hard drive as you suggest above. I have been trying to copy important data from the laptop to an external hard drive today but the problem is that moving pics or videos seem to make it freeze so a lot of my data is only partially copied.

I figured cloning would be best to have to avoid finding all relevant software downloads again, especially ones I paid for that I don't have a key code for anymore. Worst case scenario though I guess I cut my losses and copy what I can and accept the loss of the rest.

If you have any more suggestions then do let me know. I will report back with news of trying to boot from a CD of Linux.

THANKS!


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#3
February 28, 2011 at 08:58:53
Actually my PN may actually be G62905SS and not 1MA700000420. The GWT number is on the 3rd line of the label with the model number and the 1MA7 number is on the second. Not sure which is which.

I am sorry if my reply from a few minutes ago doesn't properly account for everything your initial reply covered. I was trying to type quickly before I froze. I have access to another laptop now.

I guess I missed the part where you were saying that my clone would also copy any problems my hard drive is currently having. I had never thought of that.

If it was you in my sitation would you even try cloning via Maxblast (using a disc with Linux and Maxblast) if it is likley to just copy the problem over to my new hard drive that I'll install?

Perhaps best to just copy all my data I can and be happy that I got at least that?


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Related Solutions

#4
February 28, 2011 at 09:08:33
"NOTE that when you copy an existing hard drive partition to another drive, the locations of bad sectors in the original hard drive's MFT (Master File Table) are copied to the other drive and are very difficult to get rid of unless you have Vista or Windows 7 on the computer ! You CAN get rid of those by deleting the partition but you probably don't want to do that.
For that reason, it is NOT a good idea to clone a hard drive that is failing !"

Given that I am running XP would it be better to just abandon the idea of trying to clone. I don't really know what it means to delete the partition? What exactly is a partition? Also, don't know how I'd even know what to try to delete.


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#5
February 28, 2011 at 09:32:39
I agree with Tubes, it's not a good idea to clone a bad/failing HDD. I suggest you just copy off any important files or documents that you need, swap HDDs & do a clean install of XP. Is it a SATA HDD?

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#6
February 28, 2011 at 09:47:14
Thanks guys for the advice.

What is a SATA HDD? How would I find out if mine is SATA?

I was just going to order a HDD from the WDC product code that comes up under the SMART warning.

http://uk.shopping.com/Western-Digi...

Is there anything in particular I should be looking for/or looking to avoid to make the transition as easy as possible. Do most laptops take most HDD's or how do I know about SATA or particular sizes etc? (meaning physical size, not space or GB's)


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#7
February 28, 2011 at 11:42:08
"My laptop is a Gateway and the model number is MX6920"

That's sufficient.
I tried looking it up and that works fine.

I ask for the Product number for HP and Compaq systems because in some cases I can't find the proper info without that - people often state their model incorrectly.

See if you can order Recovery disks
NOTE that they are doing something and the web page will not be available until March 1st
https://secure.tx.acer.com/RCDB/Mai...

""SMART failure predicted on Hard Disk 2: WDC WD1200BEVS-00LATO- (S1)"

The SMART error reporting is designed to only notify you of a problem when something is seriously wrong. If an error is reported it shouldn't be ignored.

The model is WD1200BEVS - 120gb

It's an older SATA drive - max burst data transfer speed 1.5 gbits/sec = 150 mbytes/sec
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

SATA = Serial ATA drive - it transfers data using a serial method

EIDE = Enhanced IDE - After SATA drives came out they have been also called PATA drives

PATA = Parallel ATA - All types of hard drives that first came out previous to SATA drives transfer data a parallel way

ATA = AT Attachment - without the S, or with the P, it's = IDE or EIDE

EIDE drives are IDE drives that were made in the late 90's or later that can transfer data a faster way using an Ultra DMA mode - Direct Memory Access mode. Max burst data transfer speeds 33mb/sec, 66mb/sec, 100mb/sec, or 133mb/sec (mbytes/sec).
Most new desktop EIDE drives > 80gb are capable of 133mb/sec. Most new laptop drives are capable of 100mb/sec

The first PC computers that used IDE = ATA = PATA drives were the IBM AT series (286 cpu computers).

IDE = Integrated Drive Electronics - All hard drives that first came out previous to IDE drives had minimal electronic circuits on the drive's board and most of the electronics circuits on a drive controller card - the drive required the card.
IDE / EIDE / PATA drives have all the required electronic circuits on the drive's board, and the connection to the IDE header / the mboard is a relatively simple connection.
........

All laptop SATA drives are the same physical size and use the same connections.

(All laptop IDE or EIDE drives are the same physical size and use the same connections.)

A new SATA drive will probably have SATA II specs - max burst data transfer speed 3.0 gbits/sec = 300 mbytes/sec.

You can probably buy any size and it will work.
...........

Freezes in Windows are caused by all sorts of things.

It's unpredictable what a hard drive that is failing will do.

You could try this, if the computer will run Windows for at least a few minutes.
"I only seem to get 15 minutes max out the laptop before everything freezes"
15 minutes should be more than enough.

Start - Run
Type: cmd ,click OK or press Enter
Type: CHKDSK /F C: , press Enter
Answer Yes to questions.
Close the black Window.
Restart the computer.
Let CHKDSK run.

When CHKDSK /F finds bad sectors it attempts to copy any data on them to spare good sectors, and it "flags" the location of the bad sectors so the operating system will not use them.
That may result in more time between freezes.
........

"If it was you in my sitation would you even try cloning via Maxblast (using a disc with Linux and Maxblast)"

NO

"I figured cloning would be best to have to avoid finding all relevant software downloads again, especially ones I paid for that I don't have a key code for anymore."

Where were the codes? In email ? Have you deleted the email ? Did you print them ?
Some codes can be retrieved from the Registry by using Regedit .

Which programs need codes ?

If they are games, you can often, on the maker's web site
- supply your email address to get your user name via email (Forgot User Name ?)
- retrieve the code by supplying your email address and your user name
- download the game again
.........

"What exactly is a partition?"

Search for something such as: what is "hard drive partition" on the web.



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#8
March 1, 2011 at 01:21:04
Thanks again Tubesandwires.

I can't really wait a month to find out about recovery discs but, in theory, if I could get them would they attempt to fix the hard drive or to just grab all my data for me?

I just read the background there between Gateway's demise, aquisition, bankruptcy, and final aquisition by Acer. It seems a lot of Gateway customers were burned during this process regarding warranties and support etc.

Thanks for all the background on SATA versus other formats. Glad to hear that sizes should be the same once you get a laptop hard drive.

Given your advise I have now definitely decided to cut my losses and install new hard drive and load all my stuff from scratch. Thoughts of having new one up and running and transferring over problems is a nightmare.

Cheers.


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#9
March 1, 2011 at 07:24:54
"I can't really wait a month to find out about recovery discs "

NOTE what I said....

"See if you can order Recovery disks
NOTE that they are doing something and the web page will not be available until March 1st"

Today is March 1st ! I tried the link just now - the web page works !

If you CAN get Recovery disks they're relatively cheap in my experience, the cost depending on the shipping method - the faster the more the shipping costs.
E.g. I had a 6 disk set for a Compaq computer shipped to me in Canada from the US in under 4 full days for less than $ 50.
A new OEM XP Home SP3 CD , the cheapest available way you can get an XP CD, alone, costs over $100.

If you can't get the disks from them, there are a few web sites that specialize in collecting Recovery disk sets and offer them for sale for a similar price - in at least some cases, you can download the contents of the disks and make your own disks as soon as your payment is approved online. However, they don't have the disks for all possible models.


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#10
March 1, 2011 at 07:40:55
Okay, I still don't know where recovery discs (assuming I can order them) would leave me.

I see from basic Wiki read that they restore a laptop to factory settings. However, I'm not sure where this leaves me then.

Are you saying I would use the recovery disc on my old or new hard drive? (I ordered one online today)

I assumed that using it on the old one is useless because it is physically defective. (is that right?, the SMART warning would be because its physically defective and couldn't be repaired with something like a recovery disc?)

I was planning on taking the new hard drive when it arrives, switching it into my laptop and installing a Windows OS disc so that I've have a formatted usable hard drive again. Then just transferring all of my files that I've saved to an external hard drive.

Am I missing a beat here? (Again, sorry if its obvious but this is all unchartered territory for me)


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#11
March 1, 2011 at 13:37:13
"Okay, I still don't know where recovery discs (assuming I can order them) would leave me."

The Recovery disk set will either
- install everything that was on the original brand name software installation on the entire drive with very little input from you. That type is a multi-disk archive. You are prompted to insert the second disk when the first one has finished loading,etc.

-or - this is much more common with computers that had XP on them -
- the first disk is an XP Re-installation CD, you install Windows from that just like you would from a regular Windows CD, then after Setup is finished, you install the drivers your system needs and optionally install Applications (Programs) that originally were in the brand name software installation from one or more other supplied disks in the set.

It's possible that you may get only the XP Re-installation CD, and in that case you get the drivers you need from the software downloads for your specific model on the Gateway web site.There may be some additional programs you can install there too.

In either case......

- you update Windows - either let Automatic Update do that which will probably take several days - or if you go to the Microsoft Windows Update web page,you can do Express searches and install the updates in a shorter time.

.........

If the first Recovery disk is an XPre-installation CD.....

Windows Setup defaults to making only one partition on a hard drive (or, a brand name software installation usually has only one visible - in Windows itself - partition on the single hard drive) .
The problem with that is if you ever need to re-load Windows (or the original brand name software installation) from scratch, you lose everything on the partition Windows was installed on, and when you have only one (visible) partition on the hard drive, that's everything on the drive - unless you copy the data you don't want to lose to elsewhere BEFORE you install Windows from scratch (most people don't bother, and lose all their data) .

If you're installing XP from a regular CD, it's recommended you make at least TWO partitions on the drive.
How to make more than one partition on a hard drive, when you're installing Windows on a blank hard drive, or when you are deleting the existing partition(s) on a hard drive before you run Setup .....
See Response 3:
http://www.computing.net/answers/wi...
......


If your XP CD or your Windows installation does not have SP3 updates included.....

See Response 6
http://www.computing.net/answers/wi...
starting at
"If your XP CD does not have SP3 updates included, the best time to load them is right after you have installed Windows from scratch...."

- you copy the personal files you have saved to the hard drive.

"Are you saying I would use the recovery disc on my old or new hard drive? (I ordered one online today)"

What would be the point of wasting your time installing anything on a failing hard drive ?

"I assumed that using it on the old one is useless because it is physically defective. (is that right?, the SMART warning would be because its physically defective and couldn't be repaired with something like a recovery disc?)"

As I said above....

"The SMART error reporting is designed to only notify you of a problem when something is seriously wrong. If an error is reported it shouldn't be ignored."

The drive IS defective, whatever the cause.
Often it's something on the drive's board that is failing, not anything physical.
When drives used to cost a lot more, you could order replacement boards, and it was worth what it cost whether you replaced the board yourself or had someone do it for you.
You can still have data recovery experts do that for you, or transfer the platters inside the drive to a working hard drive, but of course that's not worth doing money wise for most people, unless they MUST have personal data they know is on the drive.
The cheapest way to fix the drive is to do the physical things that the data recovery expert would do - replace the board, or transfer the platters inside the drive to a compatible working hard drive - but ordinary people have no access to either - if you buy an identical model off the web that is working you have the best chance of success - however, there will probably still be things that need to be done due to the damaged data.
.......

You install the new drive in the computer, then boot the computer from the first Recovery disk, whatever it is.

If computer doesn't boot from the disk, you need to change Boot Order or similar setting in the bios.
See Response 1:
http://www.computing.net/answers/ha...


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#12
March 3, 2011 at 05:05:43
Thanks for all.

I'll send an update when the new drive arrives and I try to fit it. (due March 8th at the latest)

My wife had actually kept a stack of discs from our various software and hardware purchases over the years. I do have the MS Windows XP Operating System Disc Media Center Edition 2005 and it says on the front that it erases all files from the hard drive.

Do you know off the top of your head if this disc would be the equivilent of option B or C in your descriptions?

B)
"-or - this is much more common with computers that had XP on them -
- the first disk is an XP Re-installation CD, you install Windows from that just like you would from a regular Windows CD, then after Setup is finished, you install the drivers your system needs and optionally install Applications (Programs) that originally were in the brand name software installation from one or more other supplied disks in the set."

C)
"It's possible that you may get only the XP Re-installation CD, and in that case you get the drivers you need from the software downloads for your specific model on the Gateway web site.There may be some additional programs you can install there too."

If not then no worries, I guess I'll find out when I install on new drive. Although it it is (C) then I may have more questions about what drivers to install and for what.

THANKS again.


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#13
March 3, 2011 at 08:08:46
Did you check out whether Gateway has the Recovery disk or disk set for your model and how much it would cost yet ?

"I'll send an update when the new drive arrives and I try to fit it. (due March 8th at the latest)"

You ordered a drive ? You can get them locally unless you live in a small community or you are a long way from a larger community otherwise.
A drive of a particular size may cost less online but when you take into account the shipping charge you usually have to pay, you may pay less locally if you look around. Local places usually have a web site.If you don't know which ones do, the URL is in their ad in the Yellow pages, or you can do a search on the web for computer parts in your local area to find web site listings.

"I do have the MS Windows XP Operating System Disc Media Center Edition 2005 and it says on the front that it erases all files from the hard drive."

XP MCE versions are a different situation.

XP MCE 2005 doesn't fit on one CD. There is no retail version of MCE 2005, or of any XP MCE version. There is an official Microsoft OEM MCE 2005 2 CD set that can be bought, it has the Microsoft holograms on both CDs, I've got that, but I've never heard of it, or have come across it, being sold on a DVD.
Both CDs in the official Microsoft OEM MCE 2005 2 CD set have "For distribution with a new PC only." printed on them, the same as the official Microsoft OEM XP Home and Pro CDs do.
The first disk has 580mb of data, the second disk has 258mb of data = 838mb total.
(RIGHT click on the drive the disk is in, select Properties)
In my case they are (untarnished) copper colored, but they could be another color such as silver.
If there were such a thing as an official Microsoft OEM XP MCE 2005 DVD, or an equivalent made by a brand name system builder, it would probably have 838mb of data or close to that, and it would have the Microsoft holograms on it.

If you do have the two CD set, and if the amount of data on them is the same or very similar (there may be a little less data on the first disk), then
- if they don't have the Microsoft holograms on them, it was probably provided by the brand name builder as an XP MCE Re-installation set, and it probably has some OEM.* files on it that have the internal contents modified so that you can't install Windows unless you use them with the brand name model you got them with, or that they were intended for if you ordered a Recovery disk set.

If you have a MCE 2005 DVD,
- if the total amount of data on the DVD is 858mb or a bit less, then it's equivalent to the two CD set
- if it doesn't have the Microsoft holograms on it, it was probably provided by the brand name builder as an XP MCE Re-installation disk, and it probably has some OEM.* files on it that have the internal contents modified so that you can't install Windows unless you use them with the brand name model you got them with, or that they were intended for if you ordered a Recovery disk set.

- if the total amount of data on the MCE 2005 DVD is a lot more than 858mb, then it's probably equivalent to a multi-disk set of CDs and is one huge archive that was custom made by the brand name system builder and it will probably install the entire original contents of the entire hard drive, including that of a second smaller partition brand name system drives often have on the original drive, if that applies.
- it probably has some OEM.* files on it that have the internal contents modified so that you can't install the software unless you use them with the brand name model you got them with, or that they were intended for if you ordered a Recovery disk or disk set.



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#14
March 3, 2011 at 11:24:17
Just checked there and the disc I have is a DVD provided by Gateway, it is 1.17GB. (Oh, and its colour is white.) I'll let you know what it had on there after I do the reinstall on the new drive.

I had to order online because I just moved to Amsterdam a few weeks ago. The only big box computer place I was recommended to try provides only full service laptop repair/data recovery etc and I didn't want to shell out too much.

A techy guy here pointed me to Tweakers.nl where you search for a product and it does a search for all local providers by price and customer reviews... there are loads there are 1 hour+ from Amsterdam but nothing in the centre itself. Given that all we have now are a couple of bicycle the shipping was our only option.


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#15
March 3, 2011 at 15:03:42
"...the disc I have is a DVD provided by Gateway...."

It must be meant to be used with your model series, or it will refuse to load.
It must be for the Windows version on the official Microsoft label on the outside of the laptop.

Good luck !


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