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TIH 2011 Smooth backup and recovery to new, larger HD in ThinkPad X61 Windows Vista Business

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March 29-30, 2011
I used the downloadable "trial" version of TrueImage Home 2011 to replace the internal hard drive in my Lenovo ThinkPad with a larger hard drive. Everything went smoothly. There are some _key_ things to know, so be sure you do your homework before embarking.

Here's a recap of my experience ...

System: Lenovo ThinkPad X61 ("X61")
OS: Windows Vista Business SP2
Original internal drive: Hitachi 160 GB 7200 rpm ("OHD")
New internal drive: Hitachi 500 GB GB 7200 rpm ("NHD")
External USB 2 drive: Toshiba 750 GB ("XHD")

* Downloaded and installed trial version of TIH onto OHD.
* Reviewed and printed relevant Help topics (see below), as well as messages in this Forum. I also e-mailed the User's Guide and several other docs to my wife and saved them on her computer for easy access. Her computer also gave me access to Acronis on-line support.
LOTS of great info in GroverH's doc at:
* Created bootable recovery CD
* Ran CHKDSK on OHD (no problems)
* Ran Disk Manager (from Windows Admin tools). Did a Print Screen showing the OHD's partition locations and sizes. I had:
-- Disk 0: unamed, hidden partition and "Drive" (C:) main partition
-- Disk 1: NVCACHE (about 500 MB, which I guess must be on-board, solid-state, non-volatile cache
-- Disk 2: TOSHIBA (E:) (my CD is D:)
* Shut down and powered up X61
* Did full disk backup of OHD to XHD. (I ran TIH from the OHD. However, I think it might be better practice to run it from the CD, since the system would be quiesced.)
* Powered down X61
* Removed OHD
*Compared OHD and NHD to make sure there were no jumpers or anything else that looked different (there weren't)
* Installed NHD (in the same and only slot available in the X61)
* Booted from CD
* Followed the instructions under "Recovering a disk backup to a different disk under rescue media" & "Recovering a disk with a hidden partition" topics of the TIH 2011 Help.
However, I chose to recover one partition at a time, in the same order as they were displayed by Disk Manager. That is, first I recovered the hidden partition, then I recovered the main (C:) partition, then recovered MBR and Track 0. This just seemed to offer less chances to screw up.
I kept the hidden partition size the same as on the OHD. I used the "location and size" step to increase the main (C:) partition size to all but 1 GB of the remaining space.
Several things to note: When recovering the hidden partition, I noticed that it forced two things: When "Primary" was selected, "Active" could not be deselected. This makes sense, since this was the first primary created, and therefore was assumed to be the active primary. When I recovered the main (C:) partition, it defaulted to "Primary", so I selected the "Active" checkbox. This resulted in what was originally on the OHD, i.e., the hidden partition was simply "Primary" and the main (C:) partition was "Primary, Active".
The location and size step forced a 1 MB unused area before the beginning of the hidden partition. I assume this was to leave room for MBR and Track 0.
In order to Validate, you have to select "Options" at the lower left corner of the dialog showing the steps in the recovery process. You get an "Options" dialog on which there's is a checkbox you have to select. A couple of tips: Don't click "Options" until you see the final, pre-operation recap of your recovery specifications. That's because the Options dialog had only "Proceed" and "Cancel" buttons. "Proceed" doesn't let you review the operation recap, and "Cancel" puts you back at the beginning step.
I think you need to select "Validate" _only_ on the first operation. I wasn't sure whether validation would be for the entire backup or just the partitions being recovered, so I did it all three times. The log showed it took the same amount of time in all three cases.
When recovering MBR and Track 0, I selected the "Recover Disk Signature" checkbox since the NHD was to simply replace the OHD in the same location, etc.
* After these three recovery steps, I clicked the [X] on the main display to exit (there appears to be no "Exit" or "Restart computer" button). Right after shutdown, I pressed the eject button on my CD drive to ensure it wouldn't be in the boot sequence as the system restarted.
* The system booted and Windows loaded with no problems or messages. When the desktop was displayed, a status box appeared that a new driver was being installed for "Hitachi ..." (i.e., the NHD). Then I got a status box that the driver was successfully installed. Then I got a box "Computer must be restarted for changes to take effect" to which I clicked OK.
* The system went through logoff and then there was a Windows message across the (light blue) shutdown screen that said (more or less) "Operations in progress, compute will shut off when operations are complete." There was intense status light activity for both the NHD and XHD (Toshiba) for maybe 10 minutes. Then the status light for the NHD quiesced, but the status light for the XHD continued for around 30 minutes more before the system powered down and restarted with no problems. (I was just about to start a Tech Support chat on my wife's computer when the power down finally completed. So .. be patient. :-) )
* Ran CHKDSK on the NHD (no problems)
* Ran Disk Manager and saw almost identical layout as for OHD, except the C: was now the larger size.

An now I'm a happy camper using the system to post this message and then go buy my copy of TIH!

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Posts: 172
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Your posting should be a help to many. Thank you for taking the time to post all the details.

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So that you know, the 1MB unallocated space at the disk is to align your partition. Disk alignement is a whole area of interest, but is very important if you restore to an SSD.

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And a further note -- when you rebooted the X61 to allow it to update the NHD driver, the installed TI automatically started a validation process on the image file on the XHD. Why TI does this by default without asking is the subject of a long thread on the forum. In my opinion, TI should never start a lengthy validation without explicit permission.

Posts: 172
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A posting to add additional Thinkpad information and links to Thinkpad Ultra-bays as reference material.