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Old 2007-04-04, 19:14   Link #1
Potatochobit
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Join Date: Dec 2005
how to ghost a hard drive?

is there a good free ware program to ghost one hard drive to another?

my game hard drive is giving the error that it might fail soon.

if i drag and drop the games onto the new hard drive will they work fine or do I have to ghost the hard drive to make everything work properly?


also you think its normal to lose 2 hard drives within 6 months of each other?
the computer is about four years old, I lost the primary hard drive and had to replace it, and now a few months later my game hard drive is failing. could something else be wrong with the computer that is causing hard drives to fail? I do alot of heavy gaming though and the computer is pretty much on all the time.
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Old 2007-04-04, 20:12   Link #2
bayoab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potatochobit View Post
is there a good free ware program to ghost one hard drive to another?
Windows XP comes with a backup program under system tools in the accessories.

Quote:
if i drag and drop the games onto the new hard drive will they work fine or do I have to ghost the hard drive to make everything work properly?
It depends on the game. If this all running on one os (i.e. its just a harddrive where the files for the game are stored), it will only matter about whether the game uses the registry or not. If it does, you will need to make sure that the registry points at the new location for any fixed links. If it doesn't, you can c/p it with no problem.
Either way, you need to change any fixed links in any files that pointed to the old location in things such as settings files.
Quote:
also you think its normal to lose 2 hard drives within 6 months of each other?
the computer is about four years old, I lost the primary hard drive and had to replace it, and now a few months later my game hard drive is failing. could something else be wrong with the computer that is causing hard drives to fail? I do alot of heavy gaming though and the computer is pretty much on all the time.
If they are both drives are the same age, it's not that surprising or unusual for them to fail close to eachother.
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Old 2007-04-04, 20:31   Link #3
Ledgem
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It's said that new HDs have the highest rate of failure within the first six months of usage, and after five years. (I think I'm remembering those numbers right.) People argue over what brands are the best, but what it comes down to, I think, is that Western Digital and Seagate are the top two. Most everyone agrees that Maxtor was the worst, although I don't know about that since they've been bought by Seagate.

Personally, I have a 5+ year old Maxtor that's kicking just fine. It made some weird noises over the weekend, so I bought a new Western Digital to swap in when the time comes, but now the noises have stopped. Otherwise, I have one new Seagate (noisy! And these are supposed to be the quietist drives?!), two older Western Digitals, and one new Western Digital. WD's warranty is good for three years, Seagate is good for five. Warranty-wise, Seagate has the upper hand, but I just couldn't get over the whining that plagues my 500GB Seagate. (Supposedly it's an issue that only occurs to the 7200.9 line of drives that have many platters, but I dunno... the WDs are pretty quiet.)

As bayoab said, if the drives are roughly the same age and even likely from the same manufactured batch, it's not a weird coincidence at all. If they're totally different (and worse - between the 1-5 year age range), I might start to suspect something like the power supply.
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Old 2007-04-05, 01:33   Link #4
Vexx
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There is one family of drives that proved to be utter disasters: IBM/Hitachi Deskstars - 80GB size. They had a huge failure rate (personally I had 4 out 20 drives fail prematurely). The last one was my system drive for my game machine (just after installing Burning Crusade:WOW and a mess of NWN2 modules... ouch). Ah well, it got me off my butt to buy a SATA drive ... I'm now IDE-less outside of my DVD burner.

Windows XPs "ghost tool" works pretty well... but its better to test process before a panic situation.

If your SMART monitor is whining... move fast. SMART is bad about waiting til seconds before its too late to say something.

Agree with above that Western Digital and Seagate are pretty consistent...
I prefer fluid bearings and a 7200rpm (not so loud).

As far as the games... WoW works just fine whereever you drop it because its self-contained (I always run a backup in case it corrupts itself). OTOH, NWN2 stores crap in 'My Documents' (who was the genius that thought this was a good idea to spray gamefiles in different folders?) and more than a few use the registry for idiotic crap. These, of course, are all toast if the system drive fails.

Sorry, I'm one of those curmudgeons that tries to keep the system disk as application-free as possible. I hate the default location for 'Documents and Settings' as well.
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Old 2007-04-05, 02:44   Link #5
Loniat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potatochobit View Post
i


also you think its normal to lose 2 hard drives within 6 months of each other?
I would also say that you should check your power supply.
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Old 2007-04-05, 10:46   Link #6
Andu
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Not the power supply but the capacitors on your motherboard since these are the thingys that distribute and store power for your devices. My last motherboard (which i bought through a forum) burned its first hd in a month. After checking the capacitors, i saw that they were kinda "swollen". The reason for this should be faulty power supply, if it gives more voltage to your motherboard then its pretty much screwed. They are replaceable but your normal everyday computer user cannot do it on his/her own. Of course theres the possibility of your hd-s being "bad" but that might not be it.
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Old 2007-04-05, 19:36   Link #7
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by Andu View Post
Not the power supply but the capacitors on your motherboard since these are the thingys that distribute and store power for your devices.
Sorry, but I think this is wrong. The motherboard does occasionally dish out power to certain devices, but these days it's pretty much limited to things like fans. The HD is directly hooked to the power supply. If the motherboard went faulty, it shouldn't have an impact power-wise on the hard drives. If the power supply went faulty, the HD might receive inconsistent power - power spikes could quickly kill a drive.

The swollen caps issue is something that plagues motherboards that are made on the cheap. It could be indicative of a faulty power supply, but more likely it indicates a motherboard that was shoddy quality. I'm not an electrical engineer, but I believe the capacitors function in how data flows through the motherboard (electric currents) rather than in powering devices.
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Old 2007-04-06, 03:46   Link #8
Andu
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Omg, i can't believe i overlooked something that obvious. Of course HD-s are hooked directly to the power supply .
Faulty capacitors can destroy things hooked to the mobo though...
Their purpose, in every electrical device, is to store power. If they start leaking, they give pieces of that power out at random, applying voltage to devices that don't need it thus damaging it.
Ah well, ill check with my friend later today, he possibly has an answer for us, he studies electronics at the university.
The capacitors can go bad over time too, faulty/cheap manufacturing isn't always the case.
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Old 2007-04-06, 10:12   Link #9
SeijiSensei
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If you're at all comfortable with Linux and the command line, one way to ghost a drive is to boot off a "live-CD" Linux distribution like Knoppix and use the "dd" command. Suppose, for instance, you have a machine with a primary IDE drive and install a second drive that will contain the new image. If they're both on the same controller cable, you can use a command like
Code:
dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb
to copy the first drive (/dev/hda) onto the second (/dev/hdb). I'm assuming the two drives are identical. dd makes a bit-by-bit copy of the device; it doesn't care about operating systems, etc., at all.

The drives on the second controller, which is usually connected to the CD or DVD device, are /dev/hdc and /dev/hdd. If you have SATA drives, the Linux drivers see them as SCSI devices which are referenced as /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, etc. When Knoppix boots you'll see icons on the desktops for all your drives, and the icon labels will give their Linux device names.

I don't recall whether Knoppix will automatically mount your hard drives when it boots up, so you might run these commands before copying just in case:

Code:
umount /dev/hda
umount /dev/hdb
This article, while written for Mac OSX users, covers many of these topics including how to handle a drive with errors.
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Old 2007-04-07, 09:26   Link #10
Epyon9283
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I used dd on a box at work to copy the data off of a failing hdd. I ran into IO errors when reading of the dying drive and when I booted off the new drive windows had a conniption and ran chkdsk for about an hour and a half. It came back to life though. It wasn't my box so I didn't know how much data was actually lost.
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Old 2007-04-09, 09:33   Link #11
toru310
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I happen to stumble on this thread and I got interested since my drive might die soon....might...

I actually don't know the program you guys are talking about can you feel me up? Also any experience users who executed this perfectly...?
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Old 2007-04-09, 19:33   Link #12
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by Migufuchi Fusutsu View Post
I actually don't know the program you guys are talking about can you feel me up?
They're using LiveCDs of the Linux operating system to run those commands. And we don't feel each other up around here.

(Just kidding, just kidding...)
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Old 2007-04-09, 20:33   Link #13
toru310
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Oops my bad mis type feel with fill ahahah my bad(I was reading to much from different forums maybe thats why ahaha (computer related)

anyhow they said there's one in XP...can you this time fill me up
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Old 2007-04-10, 20:01   Link #14
Robotnik
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I've used DriveXML and BartPE to "ghost" my old hard drives, and have even been able to restore my ghosted system drive from my old 40gb hd to my new 250gb one. Sorry I can't give step-by-step instructions, but the links below should have decent instructions.

http://www.runtime.org/dixml.htm
http://www.runtime.org/peb.htm
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