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Question about new SATA drive
Old 09-20-2016, 07:14 AM   #1
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Question about new SATA drive

I returned home with a broken hip to find a broken PC. Now that a few weeks have passed I can bend enough to mess around in the case. Here is the deal - the boot drive is near death. If I bang it with a screw driver I can eventually get it to boot but after an hour or two it fails. I have an image on an ext hd that I would like to restore to another internal SATA 1T HDD but my only spare is defunct. All that wind up brings me to my question. If I order a 1T SATA drive online will it be ready to use out of the box or will I need to set it up? If the later will I just be able to plop it in my enclosure and connect it to a laptop?

Any suggestions or cautions are welcome. I am also considering buying a new all-in-one to replace this thing but reloading all the software would be a PITA.
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:37 AM   #2
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In this type of scenario I would use a tool like Acronis TrueImage and this type of procedure:

- Boot from an TrueImage CD with both new and old HDs attached to the pc

- Clone from the original HD to the new HD (pay attention to direction of cloning)

- Check for any errors during the process

- Then remove the old hard drive and the Acronis TrueImage boot CD and attempt to boot from the new HD.

- Cross fingers

- Try to thoroughly shake out the pc after/if it successfully boots.

- Keep old HD around but disconnected for some time in case there is any weirdness with the new drive during the next month or so.

-gauss
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
.... I have an image on an ext hd that I would like to restore to another internal SATA 1T HDD but my only spare is defunct. ...

Can't you boot from that image? Then make a new image when you get your new drive?

Maybe it's a compressed image, or some other non-bootable image?

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Old 09-20-2016, 07:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
I returned home with a broken hip to find a broken PC. Now that a few weeks have passed I can bend enough to mess around in the case. Here is the deal - the boot drive is near death. If I bang it with a screw driver I can eventually get it to boot but after an hour or two it fails. I have an image on an ext hd that I would like to restore to another internal SATA 1T HDD but my only spare is defunct. All that wind up brings me to my question. If I order a 1T SATA drive online will it be ready to use out of the box or will I need to set it up? If the later will I just be able to plop it in my enclosure and connect it to a laptop?

Any suggestions or cautions are welcome. I am also considering buying a new all-in-one to replace this thing but reloading all the software would be a PITA.
This symptom could also be a memory error - or perhaps an overheating pc.

I would also be sure to get one of the memory test CDs that you can boot from and let that run -- you may wish to disconnect the hard drive first to remove it from the equation.

If the test finds memory errors I would remove the memory chips blow out the connectors and then reinstall the memory then repeat the memtest.

If continued memory errors I would replace the memory which is often very cheaply available on the Internet.

-gauss
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:47 AM   #5
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It is not a bootable image. Maybe I will use Acrnis in the future to periodically make a fresh bootable image. I think trying to clone the old HDD now would fail since it doesn't run for long enough to finish. But still might be worth a try since Acronis comes with some new HDDs.
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:03 AM   #6
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It is not a bootable image. Maybe I will use Acrnis in the future to periodically make a fresh bootable image. I think trying to clone the old HDD now would fail since it doesn't run for long enough to finish. But still might be worth a try since Acronis comes with some new HDDs.
On what basis do you think it is the hard drive that is causing the system to fail? Is the HD making bad clicking noises?

Short of that I would not be convinced the problem is the HD. If you have access to a 2nd PC you could try to make the clone there.

USB to IDE/SATA converters such as these can be invaluable when trying to do this type of work.
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
I have an image on an ext hd that I would like to restore to another internal SATA 1T HDD but my only spare is defunct. All that wind up brings me to my question. If I order a 1T SATA drive online will it be ready to use out of the box or will I need to set it up? If the later will I just be able to plop it in my enclosure and connect it to a laptop?

Any suggestions or cautions are welcome. I am also considering buying a new all-in-one to replace this thing but reloading all the software would be a PITA.
Not sure what you used to create the image but if you used Windows to create the image you will also need the System Repair Disk that was created (hopefully) when you made the image. Replace the old drive with the new one and boot off of the System Repair Disk. You will have to format and re-partition the new drive but that will be done as part of the image restore. Google 'restore windows image' for more detailed instructions.
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:51 AM   #8
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My biggest suggestion is don't work in the set up if you are on too much pain meds or in too much pain . That can lead to decisions like clicking on stuff that you wouldn't normally do and then formatting a wrong disk, for example.

Just yesterday, I bought from Amazon a tool less HD enclosure and my brother gave me two of his old desktops. He is happy to have me take them off his hands and I'm one that hoards keeps old PCs. (I have a soft heart for old system). But now, I have too many spare hard drives.
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
I returned home with a broken hip to find a broken PC. Now that a few weeks have passed I can bend enough to mess around in the case. Here is the deal - the boot drive is near death. If I bang it with a screw driver I can eventually get it to boot but after an hour or two it fails. I have an image on an ext hd that I would like to restore to another internal SATA 1T HDD but my only spare is defunct. All that wind up brings me to my question. If I order a 1T SATA drive online will it be ready to use out of the box or will I need to set it up? If the later will I just be able to plop it in my enclosure and connect it to a laptop?

Any suggestions or cautions are welcome. I am also considering buying a new all-in-one to replace this thing but reloading all the software would be a PITA.
What software did you use to make your image on an ext HD? I think some new drives come preformatted and others may not. In the latter case, you may need to format and then do the restore from your image. Since you have a laptop and enclosure, the formatting on a new drive shouldn't be that difficult.

Of, also you may need a bigger screw driver . Just kidding, of course.
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Old 09-20-2016, 11:56 AM   #10
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Try spinrite (by GRC) to rescue failing HDD. Works like a champ on dead and near-dead drives.

I can't really add anything to the other advice given; all good.
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Old 09-20-2016, 01:00 PM   #11
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It is not a bootable image. Maybe I will use Acrnis in the future to periodically make a fresh bootable image. I think trying to clone the old HDD now would fail since it doesn't run for long enough to finish. But still might be worth a try since Acronis comes with some new HDDs.
Another thought.... do you have important files (pictures, videos, passwords, as examples) on the old HDD that you can't afford to lose? If so, first and foremost copy the data over to a safe location like a flash drive or external drive. That way if the HDD does go kaput, at least you made a copy of the precious files.

Though losing the system and programs are a PITA, at least they can be reconstructed with some effort. But not always true with important data.
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Old 09-20-2016, 01:40 PM   #12
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Another thought.... do you have important files (pictures, videos, passwords, as examples) on the old HDD that you can't afford to lose? If so, first and foremost copy the data over to a safe location like a flash drive or external drive. That way if the HDD does go kaput, at least you made a copy of the precious files.

Though losing the system and programs are a PITA, at least they can be reconstructed with some effort. But not always true with important data.
+1000
This is so important. Back up all your pictures and data files immediately if you haven't done so lately.

Programs and system can be replaced. Frankly, with a broken hip what else have you got to do? Worst case, you can watch TV or listen to the radio while you install your programs on a new computer. Not a big deal.

Anyway, that's what I would do if I was in your situation, because more and more, computers have become the target of planned obsolescence and they just aren't all that great for very many years. But also, they are insanely cheap compared with years ago. I like to buy a new computer fairly frequently, and this doesn't seem to break the bank for me.
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Old 09-20-2016, 01:41 PM   #13
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Yeah, get critical files out first.

If I understand your original question well enough: Hard drives are normally all preformatted with FAT-32.

Not all of them though, check the specs!
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Old 09-20-2016, 02:13 PM   #14
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Contrary to what has been stated above, hard drives fresh from the manufacturer are not preformatted for any particular use. In the manufacturing process they will have had any bad sectors or blocks marked (usually in a way that you can't actually tell as an end user), all of the SMART statistics will be zeroed out, and if you read any sector on the drive it will come back as zeros. There will not be any file system on the drive because the drive manufacturer does not know if you're going to want FAT32, NTFS, or any of the *nix flavors of file system, and they don't want to waste their manufacturing time guessing what you want.

When you get a drive and plug it into a typical Windows system, you'll either have to use the Disk Management tool to put a file system on the drive (I usually use the quick format option personally) or you can boot up off some sort of Windows install media and install Windows on the drive that way (which I assume formats the file system as one of its steps).
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Old 09-20-2016, 04:32 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I may have reacted to quickly with the HDD assumption - that and to much percocet al la Easysurfer's diagnosis. This hing has been on it's last legs for a long time. I originally go similar symptoms from over heating - it is in an inconvenient location and I let dust build way up. This time while the initial symptoms seemed similar, dust didn't appear o be a problem and I kept getting HD access errors when it failed. But today I also saw memory access errors flash up. I reseated the cards and so far it has been running fine for a few hours. I can't really get at the insides comfortably since I can't get down on the floor next to it - I just bent over to pull and reseat cards and to disconnect the HD.

In any event, I have boatloads of photos and books on this pc but they are all backed up in more than one place in the cloud. If I ultimately buy a new machine I will just download the key files. I like how the software is set up on this old beast, the the thought about restoring the image. I made it with Win10s built in tools and I have a bootable repair disk.

When I get more able to mess around, I will check out memory analysis tools. I have something called speedfan that monitors fan speed and temperatures and all seems stabile on that front.
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:36 PM   #16
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+1 On exercising restraint while on the Percocet.

In my case my car fell off the jack AFTER I blew out the tire AFTER I hit the curb AFTER I turned in the wrong driver on the way to the Doctors office after taking that stuff.

Darn Kidney Stone/Blockages!

-gauss
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:21 PM   #17
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Sounds like a great time to make another image backup. Just so you have a new one.
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Old 09-21-2016, 05:25 AM   #18
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Sounds like a great time to make another image backup. Just so you have a new one.
Only if I can trust that darn thing to keep running. It's now OK at about 18 hours so, maybe I am home free for a few more months.
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:09 AM   #19
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Only if I can trust that darn thing to keep running. It's now OK at about 18 hours so, maybe I am home free for a few more months.
18 hours running compared to having to hit the pc wth a screw driver is a big improvement .

Having the PC near the ground is dust magnet that eventually can cause overheating as you already know. Then PC's can shut off automatically to preserve the CPU from cooking.

Had my PC's power supply die on me about a couple of years ago which also took out the motherboard. When I opened the case to the CPU fan was so full of dust, no wonder the thing must have over heated.

Now every year, I use a nice computer blower and give the computer a nice once over to get rid of any dust build up. As, though interesting, I'm in no mood to change the power supply and mother board again.
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:40 AM   #20
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Contrary to what has been stated above, hard drives fresh from the manufacturer are not preformatted for any particular use.
I stand (partially) corrected. Both Western Digital and Seagate, two dominant manufacturers, have the following policy:
  • External drives are preformatted
  • Internal drives are not


How to format your hard drive
How to partition and format a WD drive on Windows and macOS | WD Support
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