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Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 3

I have a (hopefully) repaired hard drive that has yet to be tested. If its OS boots, the first thing I want to do is clone it. I can easily get a USB dock and a blank, new external hard drive to serve as the cloning target, but I need some advice about the process. Does the target drive need to be formatted before the cloning attempt? What is the best way to get the cloning software installed on the source system?

I would deeply appreciate any advice on this.  Thank you.

Lee Helms

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Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25746

Lee, welcome to these public User Forums.

What type of PC is involved here?  Desktop/Tower or a Laptop/Notebook PC?

What type of disk drive is involved (that has been repaired)?  SATA HDD, SSD, PCIe NVMe card type drive - 2.5" or 3.5" size drive?

What OS is on this disk drive that you are going to boot into?  Windows 10, 8.1, 7, Vista, XP or a non-Windows OS such as MacOS or Linux?

Personally, I would recommend making a full disk backup of the repaired drive rather than using cloning, and this doesn't need a USB Dock provided you have another internal or external drive that you can store the backup image on.

Finally, what version of Acronis True Image do you have to use?  This forum is for ATI 2016 which is now getting fairly old at 5 years of age, so depending on the age of your PC and type of drive etc, may not be able to work with these?

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 3

Steve,

Thanks for your reply.  The PC is a Dell inspirion 660s tower, the disk drive is a 1TB 3.5" SATA (Seagate Barracuda 7200.12), and the OS is Windows 8 or 8.1.  The computer was a gift, so I don't have the OS installation disk.  I need to rescue the OS (IF the thing boots).  Will a full disk backup do that?

The PC doesn't have a slot for another internal hard drive, and my only option for an external drive is a USB connection.  Getting a USB dock will be no problem.  Should the target drive be formatted before either cloning or starting a full disk backup?

I haven't bought an ATI software package yet, but I'm planning to get the 2021 version if it looks like the rescue attempt might be possible.  I thought I was posting to the 2021 forum (beginner's mis-steak).

I'm thinking that my best shot at rescuing the OS will be to have a prepared target hard drive in the USB dock and an ATI package on a thumb drive in another USB slot when I power-up.  That way, if the repaired hard drive boots, I'll be ready to immediately start a cloning or full disk backup attempt.

Back-story: the Dell was exposed to high temperatures several years ago, and I thought it had been cooked.  I put it in the "dead" pile.  Last winter, I was getting the "dead" pile ready for recycling, and gave each machine one last check.  The Dell booted a couple of times (went through a lengthy file-repair cycle once), and seemed to be ready to use, but then froze up with the hard drive making clicking sounds.  I powered-down and tried to restart, but all I got was a black screen with the message "No boot device attached."  Hoping that the problem was heat damage to the hard drive controller board, I sent the board to Data Pro in Canada to have the drive's data chip swapped into a replacement controller board.  The Dell has been re-assembled with the replacement hard drive controller board, and is ready for a boot attempt (fingers crossed).

Thanks,
Lee

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25746

Lee, thanks for the further information,

Some suggestions for you given the scenario you have described!

Download a copy of Hiren's BootCD PE and test booting the Dell PC from this after you have burnt the .ISO image file to a DVD disc.  This will tell you if the issues you have seen are only related to the disk drive or drive controller.

If the Hiren's CD can boot correctly, then you can use it to explore the contents of the original disk drive and see if there is anything worth salvaging from it?

You may also be able to check whether the OS is Windows 8 or 8.1 by looking at the properties information for some of the Windows system files.

For the OS install media, then take a look at Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool where you should be able to download an ISO image of the OS installer.

Note: you could also download a copy of the latest Windows 10 installer from the Microsoft Windows 10 Download website - you can install this to a spare HDD as a further test that the PC is working.  You can use Windows 10 without activating it provided you don't mind not being able to personalise the desktop settings.

Your mention of "the hard drive making clicking sounds" would suggest to me that the drive itself is failing, as the clicking comes from the drive actuator used to move the read/write heads across the surface of the drive.

Finally, if you do go ahead and decide to go with ATI 2021 then you need to understand that Acronis have switched to a subscription only model though you may be able to still purchase a perpetual (life-time) license from resellers such as Amazon.  The alternative would be to look at a competitor application (of which there are lots!).  Take a look at forum topic: Reflecting on a Post-ATI World for how some other users feel!

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 3

Steve,

Thanks again for your reply.  I've been trying to research some of the things you recommended, but I'm still not getting a clear idea of what needs to be done.  Is the .ISO image you mentioned the same thing as the full disk backup you recommended in your first reply?  There is a CD drive in the machine, but would burning the hard drive contents to a CD or DVD give the same result as sector-by-sector copying (cloning) from one hard drive to another?  (Will DVDs work in a CD drive?)

If the repaired hard drive boots, I do want to salvage a working copy of the Windows 8 OS, Word 2007 and a few other things.  I've been looking at Windows 10 systems, and the software for it all seems to be "subscription" rather than purchased.  For that reason alone, I want to avoid being forced to "upgrade" to Windows 10 for as long as I can.  What is the most recent version of ATI that is perpetual license?

Thanks,
Lee

Legend
Posts: 105
Comments: 25746

Lee, see the following regarding doing a full disk backup.

KB 56604: Acronis True Image 2016: Entire Computer Backup

KB 56607: Acronis True Image 2016: Backing Up Individual Disks or Files

The Hiren's Boot CD ISO is a DVD image that can be used to create a bootable DVD disc that can be used to boot your PC and help show if there are other issues at work here.  You would be booting into a standalone copy of Windows 10 for testing purposes, thus bypassing your internal OS disk drive and controller.

To boot from a DVD you need a drive which supports both DVD's & CD's - you cannot use a drive that only supports use of CD's.  The labelling on the front of the drive should show what media it can support and it is very unusual these days to have CD only drives!

You can still purchase non-subscription versions of Microsoft Office from such as Amazon - I have Office 2019 that I got from Amazon which is not subscription.

For ATI then 2021 is likely to be the final perpetual (non-subscription) version but you need to buy it from a reseller such as Amazon as Acronis will now only sell subscription licenses!

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 3

Steve,

After reading the references you gave me, it sounds like the Entire Computer Backup is what I'm looking for, selecting Entire PC and Your External Drive, with a backup-ready (formatted?) target hard drive connected to one USB port and the ATI Entire Computer Backup software on a thumb-drive in another USB.

Once I press the power switch on the Dell with the repaired hard drive, that drive will attempt to start.  I won't be able to put a Hiren's Boot CD/DVD into it until after the computer has power and can open the optical disc drive tray.  In any case, I'm not sure that the disc drive will accept a DVD.  The on-line spec for the optical disc drive says "one 5.25-inch drive bay for a Blu-ray Disc combo (optional), Blu-ray Disc writer (optional), or DVD+/-RW."  I think need to be ready to do an Entire Computer Backup the moment that power is applied.  That way, if the repaired hard drive does boot, I can immediately save its OS and other applications to a new, reliable hard drive that I can later swap in in place of the repaired hard drive.  I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

Also, thanks for your advice about buying non-subscription software from Amazon!

Thanks,

Lee