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Computer Help needed

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Mikebits

Well-Known Member
My wifes PC HD is out of space and keeps crashing. So I decided to go get a new larger HD, but what I need help with is this; what SW do I need to buy so I can just transfer her old HD goop to a new HD with no reinstall? I do not want to lose any data from the old drive, just want to mirror it onto a new drive and have her PC up and running as though nothing has changed.

Thanks
 
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mvs sarma

Well-Known Member
My wifes PC HD is out of space and keeps crashing. So I decided to go get a new larger HD, but what I need help with is this; what SW do I need to buy so I can just transfer her old HD goop to a new HD with no reinstall? I do not want to lose any data from the old drive, just want to mirror it onto a new drive and have her PC up and running as though nothing has changed.

Thanks
what i would feel is, you don't need any software at all. all the user files can be transferred to DVDs and the main HDD freed. Perhaps you have the CD /DVD writable CD drive.Along with it comes the NERO or some other software as you know.

Then comes the crashing part of it. You would obviously have a CD of the OS that is used in the PC. You may have to repair the OS using this Master CD. Before that, perhaps it would be better to run once a good and updated Virus and Worm cleaner software. I feel, Mc-Afee is working fine. Off late Kaspersky anti-virus software also is good at cleaning the worms and others. You can run these two software and then see whether the PC could stop crashing!!
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Use Acronis Easy Migrate Trial version. THat's what I used to mirror my system drive so I could ugprade to a larger HD.

what i would feel is, you don't need any software at all. all the user files can be transferred to DVDs and the main HDD freed. Perhaps you have the CD /DVD writable CD drive.Along with it comes the NERO or some other software as you know.

Then comes the crashing part of it. You would obviously have a CD of the OS that is used in the PC. You may have to repair the OS using this Master CD. Before that, perhaps it would be better to run once a good and updated Virus and Worm cleaner software. I feel, Mc-Afee is working fine. Off late Kaspersky anti-virus software also is good at cleaning the worms and others. You can run these two software and then see whether the PC could stop crashing!!
He does not want to just save his old files when transferring. He does not want to have to reinstall the OS and everything else.
 
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Mikebits

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the tips...:)
 

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
One more question... Which drive do I put the mirror software on? Do I need to put it on a CD drive or the original drive. Obviously the new drive won't work...

Thanks
 

Torben

Well-Known Member
My wifes PC HD is out of space and keeps crashing. So I decided to go get a new larger HD, but what I need help with is this; what SW do I need to buy so I can just transfer her old HD goop to a new HD with no reinstall? I do not want to lose any data from the old drive, just want to mirror it onto a new drive and have her PC up and running as though nothing has changed.

Thanks
Hi Mike,

Questions first. :)

What is the capacity of the original drive, and how much free space is left?

How many partitions are on the original drive? I'm guessing one, but that's not always the case.

Have you already tried clearing out all caches, temp files, old installation cruft, log files, and so on?

You might be able to free up enough space to be able to write the contents to DVD, but that won't allow you to create another bootable drive copy, as the MBR and partition tables will not be included. And if there isn't enough free space for the temp files needed to prepare a DVD image for burning you're probably not going to have any joy with this idea anyway.

If you have a Linux (or other *nix or *BSD or similar) box handy you could simply throw both the old drive and new drive in that temporarily, and use the 'dd' command to do a byte-for-byte copy from one drive to the other. Then put the new drive back in the original computer and ensure that it will boot. Then put it back into the Linux box to resize the partition to allow it to use all of the new space. I'm kind of guessing that this isn't an option since it presumes the existence of another desktop machine running Linux, but it's possible. Perhaps you have a Linux or BSD geek friend handy?

I wouldn't assume that a bigger drive will solve the problem. After a certain amount of time, it's pretty common for a Windows (again, assuming here) box to need a reinstall, just because of the cruft that gathers over time. And if part of the crashing problem is stealth malware, you're screwed from the get-go since anything but a full reinstall will bring it along for the ride. Honestly, it's a bit of a pain in the ass at the time, but sometimes a full reinstall really is the best option.

With all that said, if you really want to clone and don't have the option of using Linux or BSD, you might find some interesting reading here: Beginners Guides: Cloning WindowsXP - PCSTATS.com .

Another less drastic option would be to just install the new drive in the machine as drive D: or so, and then move as much data (not applications etc) such as the My Documents folder for the most common user (your wife) to the new drive. It's really a good idea to use separate drives for applications and data anyway. Hopefully most of the applications in use are smart enough to store their data somewhere besides in the application directory, but some programs are really stupid and store their data in the app directory.

If you go with this option, I'd also recommend moving the Windows swap file to the new drive.

Anyway, those are some ideas. Hope you get this worked out. :)


Regards,

Torben
 

Pommie

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I installed the Seagate software on the original and put the new drive in as drive D. You can then clone the original but you have to have the same number of partitions on the new drive - the software will take care of that for you.

Mike.
 

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
Wow torben Ya kinda went over my head... My wifes PC has about 1 gig left on the system drive. She partitioned the drive into two halves, one for programs and one for system files, but I bought her a Zune device and she all but crammed her system drive. I tried to remove all the Zune stuff, but not sure if I got it all, I tried to use a piechart program to view drive usage but it crashes. Her drive has maybe a gig left and I suspect most of it is bad blocks.
 
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Torben

Well-Known Member
Wow torben Ya kinda went over my head... My wifes PC has about 1 gig left on the system drive. She partitioned the drive into two halves, one for programs and one for system files, but I bought her a Zune device and she all but crammed her system drive. I tried to remove all the Zune stuff, but not sure if I got it all, I tried to use a piechart program to view drive usage but it crashes. Her drive has maybe a gig left and I suspect most of it is bad blocks.
Is the system able to complete a check of the drive? Running a full check and a defrag if you haven't already should mark any bad blocks as bad, and keep the OS from trying to use them. That would cure one possible source of crashes.

I'm guessing the system drive is C:, and has the swap file on it? You can check this (and incidentally check the free space on all drives) by right-clicking My Computer, selecting Properties, and clicking the Advanced tab in the dialog. Then click Settings under Performance, and select the Advanced tab in the new dialog that pops up. Under Virtual Memory, click the Change button. The dialog which pops up will show you your free drive space, where the swap file is, how big it is allowed to be, and so on. You can also use this dialog to put your swap file on another drive, which can be nice since it can get bigger if needed. If the machine is thrashing itself to death (dying while the hard drive grinds away) doing this (or preferably, adding memory) can really help. Might not be the problem of course.

Sorry if I'm talking over or under (?) where you're at. . .I don't mean anything by it, I just don't know what you know. :)


Cheers,

Torben
 

Sceadwian

Banned
Buy a new drive and install a OS fresh on the new hard drive, if the machine is as bad off as you're saying transferring the existing OS over is going to be more than a little annoying. It'll give you a chance to make sure all the system drivers and software is up to date and you can copy all the data you need from the 2nd hard drive. Just hook the new drive up as master and the old one up as slave, then you can copy all your data off that once you get the OS installed.
 

ericgibbs

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Buy a new drive and install a OS fresh on the new hard drive, if the machine is as bad off as you're saying transferring the existing OS over is going to be more than a little annoying. It'll give you a chance to make sure all the system drivers and software is up to date and you can copy all the data you need from the 2nd hard drive. Just hook the new drive up as master and the old one up as slave, then you can copy all your data off that once you get the OS installed.
hi SC,
Just to add to your good advice.
Mike, get a free download of a 'Driver Grabber' program.
Run it and it will scan and store a copy of all the PC's drivers in a folder, copy the folder to a CD.

When you reinstall the OS, copy the CD to the new HD, you can then direct the peripheral driver requests to that HD folder.

This method is recommended if you have an older PC and you cant find the original driver CD's.. also much quicker.:)

Also prebackup any Data from the old HD to a USB stick DVD/CD, you should do this anyway in a regular routine.
 

Torben

Well-Known Member
Buy a new drive and install a OS fresh on the new hard drive, if the machine is as bad off as you're saying transferring the existing OS over is going to be more than a little annoying. It'll give you a chance to make sure all the system drivers and software is up to date and you can copy all the data you need from the 2nd hard drive. Just hook the new drive up as master and the old one up as slave, then you can copy all your data off that once you get the OS installed.
I agree. After doing it both ways myself a few times, I really try to avoid cloning if possible. Reinstalling is a short-term PITA but a long-term gain. Sometimes it's just not an option though.


Torben
 

Torben

Well-Known Member
hi SC,
Just to add to your good advice.
Mike, get a free download of a 'Driver Grabber' program.
Run it and it will scan and store a copy of all the PC's drivers in a folder, copy the folder to a CD.

When you reinstall the OS, copy the CD to the new HD, you can then direct the peripheral driver requests to that HD folder.

This method is recommended if you have an older PC and you cant find the original driver CD's.. also much quicker.:)

Also prebackup any Data from the old HD to a USB stick DVD/CD, you should do this anyway in a regular routine.
Hi Eric,

That's more good advice too. I actually do have one Windows box which will eventually need a migration and it has a few important drivers on it; I'll remember to check out Drive Grabber when the time comes (hopefully not for a year or two yet).


Torben
 

Sceadwian

Banned
Good tip eric, I usually download drivers fresh but that can be annoying. It's also bad when you do a fresh install and the ethernet drivers aren't on the machine. I drove to my work a half hour away because I needed to download ethernet drivers onto a memory stick once... Now I download the drivers BEFORE I do the OS install, or make sure I have another machine nearby =) Sneaker nets are annoying.
 

gabeNC

Member
I agree with alot of the advice already. I don't like clone tools unless you have known good image and have alot of machines to setup.

For home I put the old drive as D: and install from scratch the new drive. Which was quite soon when I bought a new computer with fistya on it. Backups are critically important here, as well as any drivers you may need. I usually keep what i need on a usb thumbdrive but also a tar.gz or winzip file on yahoo/gmail as well as multiple copies on various linux/bsd machines.

On that note, using gpg for encrypting exe's, bank data, key gens... etc to keep prying eyes and gmail/yahoo virus scanners from stripping them out.
 

Boncuk

New Member
There is another possibility for the malfunction which I see in the registry.

Even when uninstalling software some entries are not removed from it and it keeps growing over the years.

Once it has reached a certain size (sometimes up to 2GB) system hang-ups and crashes happen more often from month to month.

A very safe way to wipe out orphans in the registry is using "UNIBLUE REGISTRY BOOSTER 2".

Even uninstalling properly the registry booster counts up to 120 unnecessary entries in the registry after one week.

Have it clean it up. There is no risk since the software creates a backup file which you might use if anything has gone wrong.

I've been using registry booster for almost one year and my system is stable at all times.

If you suspect an HDD-error you might perform a benchmark test before changing the drive.

If you change it I strongly recommend to install the OS completely new. Windows XP repair function is not reliable at all. In most cases the fatal errors are ignored.

Boncuk
 

Mikebits

Well-Known Member
Well I already tried changing the virtual drive off the system disk. I also ran chkdsk and defrag on the disk. This helped for awhile but the BSOD's started happening again a month later. I wonder if it is a RAM issue as the last BSOD was a Stop Code 50 with win32k.sys.
 

Torben

Well-Known Member
Well I already tried changing the virtual drive off the system disk. I also ran chkdsk and defrag on the disk. This helped for awhile but the BSOD's started happening again a month later. I wonder if it is a RAM issue as the last BSOD was a Stop Code 50 with win32k.sys.
If you suspect disc problems, you might want to chkdsk and defrag more than once a month.

I assume you've already run through the list of possibilities given on this page: Troubleshooting Windows STOP Messages ? If not, there might be something useful there.

Stop Code 50 does seem like it could be caused by errors with the swap file, but you might be right about the RAM too. How much RAM is in the machine? It might be worth trying to swap it out and see if the problem goes away. Swapping the video card and seeing if that helps is something else to check.

It also might be a long shot but if you haven't checked to make sure the DIMMs are securely seated in their sockets, that can also cause weird problems. For that matter, so can a faulty/overtaxed power supply.

Is the Windows installation all up to date with its service packs?


Torben
 
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