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brad405red

Ran cleanor once, now MS wants me to backup, failing hard drives

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Hi.  I'm running Win 7.  I ran ccleaner once, just the cleaner, not the registry option.  Now win is telling me I have disk errors and need to backup because both my hard drives are going to fail.  I ran the cleaners Saturday 12-14-2013(edited for accurate date) and got the messages today on Sunday.  I'm a lil freaked out by this.  Any suggestions?  Please help and thanks in advance.

 

Let me be less dramatic and more helpful.  Sorry.  MS Windows brings up a system window quite often now saying:  "Windows detected a hard disk problem.... backup immediately."  Options are to start backup, ask again later, don't ask again(not recommended)  Under "Show Details"  it says "Which disk is failing?  The following hard disks are reporting failure:  Disk Name  ...ATA Device.  Volume  C:\;D:\" 

 

I have 2 hard drives and i think it's near impossible for them to both fail at once.  What should I do?

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I ran the cleaners Saturday 11-14-2013 and got the messages today on Sunday.

 

If you ran it on 11-14 that's one full month ago, therefore how can you be certain it's CCleaner? Or do you mean you ran CCleaner yesterday on 12-14?

 

If you didn't enable Secure Deletion, or use Drive Wiper/Wipe Free Space (which are known to stress hard disks) I'd think it's a coincidence.

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I have 2 hard drives and i think it's near impossible for them to both fail at once.  What should I do?

 

Just to be clear: You do not have one drive with two partitions, C: and D:, what you have are two independent drives, one with C: and the other with D:, correct? I agree. The odds of two separate drives failing at the same time is less than getting hit by lightning and the same or less than winning the Powerball lottery. Perhaps the controller on the motherboard has a problem, and Windows is interpreting that as both drives failing at once. Or maybe Windows is throwing up a false flag when there is no problem at all. 

 

If your machine has some kind of hardware test utility installed, accessible through the boot menu or BIOS area, you might want to try using it. Lacking that, I would install a separate software utility to analyze the S.M.A.R.T. data from the drives, in order to get a second opinion that is independent of what Windows is telling you. You can use either the software that is available from the drive manufacturer's website, or you could try Acronis Drive Monitor. The link is here: http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/drive-monitor/ It is freeware and works with Windows 7.

 

Edit: A link to Wikipedia, scroll down the page to find the chart explaining the ID numbers that are used by S.M.A.R.T: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T  

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I beg your pardon.  I meant to write that I ran CCleaner on 12-14-2013.  I went ahead and did backups today just to be safe.  My drives are 2 different independent physical drives.  I only use D drive for media files, not a system drive.  I didn't enable Secure Deletion, or use Drive Wiper/Wipe Free Space.  The only thing I have run within the time frame that is unknown to me is ccleaner.  I'm not a surfer of the web.  I do not go to web sites that are foreign to me.  I got ccleaner from nonags.com a site I trust.  And I am careful with email.

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I think you may be correct Derek.  There is a new graphic and bios screen on bootup, after the original Asus one I am used to.  It's from "American Megatrends" aka ami.com.  I've never noticed it before.  They seem to be legit.  It mentions SMART drives and "BAD."  It also wants me to press a function key to flash update.  I'm not very experienced in BIOS but I think you have given me some leads to work with Derek.  I guess I should upgrade the flash, whatever that is.  I guess it was an odd coincidence with Ccleaner.  I didn't have any windows dialogs about upgrading bios.  Or maybe ccleaner tripped a switch I was ignoring.  In any case, maybe this is now the wrong forum for my problem.  Thanks.

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Hi, Brad. 

First off, if you don't get many replies it is likely because nobody is sure what to say and they don't want to give questionable advice.   

Second, It sounds like you did everything right, nothing likely to stress the HDDs or corrupt the registry. 

And backed up your data.  Did you back up your OS as well, I hope? 

Third, as you said, it is really unlikely that CCleaner would have pushed 2 drives to failure in one use.  I used it on the same drive for years, no harm done.  It is likely that your issue is caused by something else, but it is beyond my skill to even guess what. 

 

Sorry I don't know much about your problem but maybe someone else will.  Might help if you post the results you get from that Acronis software

Fwiw, I just downloaded CCleaner v. 4.07 from nonags and Filehippo and all those files are the same. There is a version 4.08 available now at Filehippo but that shouldn't make a difference. 

 

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Hello Brad - Did you try Acronis first? What were the results? I would try to eliminate the drives as the source of the problem first, then start looking in other areas.

 

The message concerning BIOS, I wish you were more specific as to what it said. Did it occur during a normal Windows boot or did you get it when you pressed a function key and accessed the BIOS area? Before you do anything as far as flashing a new BIOS, it is VERY important to visit the Asus support website and find out what is the latest BIOS version for your machine, then compare that to the version that is installed on your machine. If it's a match, you don't need to do anything as far as flashing the BIOS. If it's not a match, you want to find out exactly how to go about it, because you do NOT want to get it wrong.

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It is likely that your issue is caused by something else

 

It's worth opening the case re-seating everything that's possible (i.e.; unplug everything then plug it back in). During shipping components can be loosened, etc. Then again it could just be bad luck, but two drives going bad at the same time is very strange, unless there was a power spike, manufacturing defects, etc.

 

If that computer is still in warranty you should be able to get the hard disks RMA'd by the manufacturer and replaced for free or almost free at a minimal cost such as only paying the shipping.

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just to throw it out there for completeness, and it doesn't sound like it from what you have said, but any chance those drives are in some sort of RAID ?

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Thanks for your help.  For some reason, drives C and D are reading as one drive:  In the BIOS and in Acronis.  I know they are 2 different physical drives.  I know I never partitioned them.  I am "fairly certain" my BIOS used to not read these 2 drives as one.  My BIOS is not detecting 2 drives.  The only "system" things I know of on drive D: is a few folders like "My Pictures" pointing to Drive D.  And now, after this error, I have the Windows backup on Drive D.  "My Computer" shows 2 drives and I ran Windows Error Check on both drives and no errors came back.  This is an old computer, 2009, hasn't been shipped lately.  No RAID.  D: is not networked. 

 

Acronis is reporting:  "Reallocated Sectors couunt SMART attribute reported bad block on the drive."  Reallocated Sectors count:  Raw Value 4158, Value 1, Threshold 36, Status Fail.  Everything else is OK status.

 

BIOS reports, on a regular boot not in BIOS setup, (I'll sum up but I have more details)  Press F9 for System Recovery.  Press Alt + F2 to execute ASUS EZ Flash 2.  Auto-Detecting SATA 1...SATA Hard Disk.  Auto-detecting SATA 2...Atapi CDROM.  SATA 1 ST31000528A5 C44  Ultra DMA Mode 5 SMART capable and status BAD.  SATA 2:  ASUS DRW-24B1ST Ultra DMA Mode 5.  SATA 1:SMART Status BAD, Backup and Replace.  F1 to resume.  I went to the BIOS setup and it's all set to auto detect for the drives.

 

I don't understand why these drives are seen as one drive.  And I don't understand the error.

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After all that, I apologize sincerely.  I'm an idiot.  I opened up the case and there's only one drive in there.  And I guess it's going to die.  Must have been a coincidence with ccleaner.  I do not know.  I've never had warning before on a bad hard drive.  I don't know what to do, but I can't afford a new hard drive and Win 7 OS.  I think it would take about 50 CD's to backup that way.  I do have a Toshiba 320G external drive but it's FAT32 not NTFS as is my computer hard drive.  Can I reformat an external hard drive to NTFS?  How do backups work?  Will I have to buy windows again?  I don't have the CD as it didn't come with the computer.

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Brad - Don't get too upset with yourself, we all make mistakes. And don't get into a panic. S.M.A.R.T. analysis is used to predict drive failure, it does not mean it will fail today, tomorrow, next week, or even next month. I've heard stories of drives lasting for 2-3 years after failure is predicted by S.M.A.R.T. A report involving reallocated sectors means that there are some sectors on the drive that are unusable and the data on them has been remapped to other sectors. Believe it or not, even brand new drives can have bad sectors, and manufacturers box and ship them because the number of bad sectors is below a certain tolerance level. If that is the only problem reported by S.M.A.R.T, it is something to be concerned about but nothing that should cause you to panic. Use Acronis to monitor the value and check to see if it increases over time. You have time to plan what to do. 

 

We need a clearer picture of the situation. Either Windows sees your internal drive as C: drive and the external Toshiba drive as D: drive? Or both C: and D: partitions are on the internal drive? Need to know for sure. Please give us a clue as to how many GB of data you have on each partition. Depending on that to form a plan. If things add up properly, it could be possible to transfer the data from the external drive to the internal drive temporarily, repartition and reformat the external drive to NTFS, and save everything to the 320 GB Toshiba, including Windows. But we need the partition layout and the numbers first.

 

Edit: You mentioned a Windows backup on D: drive? If you didn't do it yourself, is there some setting you have enabled in Windows to do a scheduled backup? 

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C: and D: drive are internal and partitioned from the manufacturer.  I've been keeping my media files and archived setup programs on the D drive mistakenly thinking it was a seperate physical drive.  But I also keep D drive files backed up on an external hard drive.  I'm updating those backups on the external hard drive now. I have no worries of losing any important data except the Windows O/S itself(and keeping all the setting tweaks/installed programs would be nice.)  So forget about D partition.  I have that backed up and covered.  I also know how to install a new hard drive and where to get one when it comes to that. 

 

C partition is 51GB used and 321GB free.  I've never backed up windows before, I've always had to pay for another O/S CD.  Doing that is what I mainly need help on.  The disc images, backup, repair disc, restore options in Windows 7 confuse me.  (I have a valid Win7 S/N key code for this system)

 

I have borrowed my father's external hard drive, also a Toshiba 320GB capacity but it is already NTFS, so now I have 2.  I can keep my media files backed up on one and backup Win O/S on my father's external drive  (Windows wouldn't let me back up to a FAT32 external disk.)    How much space does a windows backup take?  Does it save all my settings and all the programs I've installed or just the basic O/S?

 

On the edit note, Derek,  I did do a backup on partition D once I got the prompting from Windows that I had a bad hard drive.  At the time, I was thinking D was not a partition, but a different drive altogether.  Thanks for your help.

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Brad, if the computer is an HP, you may have the option to make a set of system restore disks to DVDs or a USB sick. 

You can only do it once, but if it has not been done yet you maybe still can. 

If you CAN, then in effect you have a complete system restore capability that will install to a new HDD if that one fails. 

edit:  The HP system restores the computer to its factory original state. 

 

I don't know about other brands, except that Acer has a similar capability but you do it differently. 

 

And don't feel bad, nobody knows this stuff until they find out.  <<< Hows that for a Yogi Berra type statement?  :P

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I don't understand why these drives are seen as one drive.

 

I've seen on my system which has a partition where some software (not all) will see my secondary partition E:\ as the same serial number as C:\ and thus does surface scanning, S.M.A.R.T. checks, etc., as if it were one drive which essentially it is.

 

I'd suggest copying your files to another media (an external USB hard disk, USB stick, DVDs, etc.) if possible for safe keeping.

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Brad - Glad to hear you have your data from D: already backed up on your Toshiba, also glad to hear you have a second Toshiba to work with. One thing I'd like to know first - can your machine boot from an external USB drive? I realize you probably never tried it since you've never had the need to do so. It will involve going into BIOS and changing the boot order. Are you O.K. with doing that? Don't do it yet, just find out how to do it, you still need to boot from the internal drive for now.

 

I agree with you about the Windows backup/restore options - I don't like them either. What I'm thinking of is using Macrium Reflect to clone your system partitions to your dad's Toshiba, then you'll still be able to use your machine until you get the chance to buy a new internal drive. Then it would be a matter of cloning them from the Toshiba back to the new hard drive after your install it. That's the overall plan, there's some things to do first.

 

Go here to download Macrium Reflect: http://www.filehippo.com/download_macrium_reflect/

Edit: Changed the link from CNET to Filehippo at the request of the moderators

 

Actually, you'll be downloading a utility that will download the Macrium installer, so it's a two step process. After you've got it, run the installer. Then run Macrium, because I believe it will notify you that an update is available the first time you run it. Apply the update. Take a good look at Macrium while you have it running, it will show you all the partitions on your drive. Take careful note of the names, the order they're in, the size, how each one is formatted. Also note, the ones with a Windows symbol are the system partitions that must be cloned - the rest are optional. Don't do anything else for now. I'm going to run through the procedure here on my machine first, because up until now, I've only used the imaging portion of Macrium. Cloning seems simple enough, but I want to be absolutely sure about how to do it before I tell you how. Post back when you're ready or if you have a problem.

 

You said you have a valid activation key for Windows 7, correct? Five groups of five characters each? If you have a 4GB (or larger) USB stick that is blank, post back yes/no for the USB stick, then tell me exactly which version of Windows 7 it is (Home, Premium, Ultimate) and whether 32 or 64 bit. I want to have a plan B available for you in case plan A goes wrong. Talk to you soon.

 

Edit: I sent you a PM earlier, got no reply yet. Go to the very top of the page and click the envelope symbol.

 

Edit: Took a good look at the cloning portion of Macrium, pretty straightforward. Shows you the source drive, all the partitions on it, and the target drive. It re-partitions and formats the target drive, so I hope there is nothing on your Dad's drive he wants to keep. Would be wise to check first. If so, is it possible to save his files on your Toshiba? Then we need to decide if there are any partitions you want to keep that are over and above the basic system partitions, for instance the WINRE or Recovery partitions, as long as there's room for them.   

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Hi Derek. I appreciate you.  I think I'm up to speed with your last post.  Macrium is installed.  I shrunk my C drive to 297GB because the Toshiba external actually reads on win that it has 297GB instead of the 320gb on it's case.  I have the Win 7 key.  It's on a sticker on my puter case.  I have a Kingston 8GB usb stick that's never been used.  The Toshiba external HD is not partitioned.  I have what's called win7 "Home Premium"  64 bit.

 

The only things I saw that are of concern to me were:

 

On Macrium I have a "Recovery" partition that is 8.01 GB.  I don't know what this is or if it needs to be cloned.  If so, I might need to shrink C again to include the recovery partition for the clone? I wanted to make u aware of it. 

 

When I formatted my dad's external drive, it formatted with a default "Allocation Unit Size" of 4096 bytes. I don't know what that means or if it's important.  There are options to change that.  I just wanted to make u aware of it.

 

Brad

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Brad - Before going any further, it would be a good idea if you posted the partition information that was displayed by Macrium. First, whether the internal drive is a MBR or GPT partitioned disk and the overall size; this is displayed at the top of the window. Next, how many partitions there are on the disk, including C: and D:, their names, the order they are in, the size of each one, the amount of data on each one and the type of format used. Here's an example of what I want to see:

 

GPT Disk 1 Hitachi 931.51 GB

1.) WinRE 400MB-255MB used NTFS 

2.) System EFI 260MB-114MB used FAT32

3.) MSR 128MB-0MB used - (no format) 

4.) System C: 903GB-44.5GB used NTFS 

5.) Recovery D: 28GB-24.8GB used NTFS

 

In this example, Macrium flags #2, #3, and #4 as system partitions that must be cloned; the others would be left up to the user

 

I understand you already have D: backed up to your Toshiba, but please include it with this information. Depending on how much data there is stored on it, and how much data is on the other partitions, we will decide whether to include or exclude it when using Macrium to do the clone.

 

I understand you formatted the other Toshiba to NTFS and ended up with 297GB usable space, this is normal due to the partition table created in the formatting process, and 4096 bytes is default size for clusters in the NTFS filesystem. Macrium will reformat the target disk anyway, but it's good to know there's 297GB to work with. 

 

I understand you shrank C: to 297GB to match the Toshiba, but since I'm unaware of the size of all the other partitions, you may have to go a bit further. I realize there's a 8.1GB recovery partition involved as well, and it is a good idea to save it, but don't do anything until we have the info for all the other partitions involved. Also, I think it's better to shrink a partition using the Windows Partition Manager rather than using the option to change partition size with Macrium. 

 

In order to save the time and effort involved for me to explain how to use Macrium, I'm posting a link to their support site: http://kb.macrium.com/KnowledgebaseArticle50081.aspx  Read everything, then watch the video at the bottom of the page. If you have any doubts, keep in mind that you can keep re-doing everything on the first page over and over until you think it's right, because the cloning process does not begin unless you go to the second page and click the button to start. Also, if you perform the clone and think you got it wrong, you can repeat the entire process. When you are done, and you want to test the Toshiba to see if it boots, shut down, leave the Toshiba connected, go into the case and remove the cable to the internal drive. When you re-boot, hit the key to enter BIOS settings, change the boot order to put the USB drive first, then exit BIOS and let it boot. If it works, just leave the internal drive in place and disconnected, it's probably the safest place to keep it. If it fails, shut down, re-connect the internal drive, and remember to enter BIOS and make that the first device.

 

As far as plan B, I'm giving you two links here. The first is for Rufus, a utility that is used to create a bootable USB stick. http://rufus.akeo.ie/ It's not too difficult to use, and like Macrium, if you get it wrong, just re-run it. The second is to a link to download the Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit ISO image. Digital River is authorized by Microsoft to make these images available.http://www.w7forums.com/threads/official-windows-7-sp1-iso-image-downloads.12325/

I think the one you want is the second from the top, please verify this for yourself in case I am wrong. By using Rufus to make this image bootable, you will be able to install Windows from scratch if you have to. Test it first, but do NOT begin the installation process. You only want to see if it boots. Click the red x to close the program and shut down the machine. If you have a valid activation key, you can activate it during installation, or you have 30 days if you want to do it afterward. Remember, this is a fallback plan, it will save you a lot of time and effort to use Macrium and save what you already have.

 

One unanswered question: Can you boot your machine from USB by changing the BIOS settings? You have to know this for sure, otherwise booting from the Toshiba or the USB stick will not work. This is very important, you need to know for sure before going any further. Please post back with the partition info I requested, or if there's a problem using Macrium. Talk to you soon.

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From a command prompt run chkdsk c: /r and chkdsk D: /r Sorry, but I don't trust running windows utilities.

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That's an excellent idea Ken, better late than never. Welcome to the party. The only thing worse than knowing your hard drive is on the way out is to try to boot and get the message "No operating system present", at that point it's too late to do much about it.

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Sorry for the delay.  Macrium Reflect:

 

MBR Disk 1 931.51 GB

 

1.  RECOVERY (none)  NTFS Primary  5.65 of 8.01 GB

2.  Win7 (C:) NTFS Active 50.60 of 297 GB

3.  Completely blank 75.61 GB  (created when I shrank C:)

4.  DATA (D:) NTFS Primary 252.83 of 550.90 GB

 

I ran checkdisk at a command prompt in Windows and got this message:  "Access denied as you do not have sufficient privileges.  You have to invoke this utility running in elevated mode."  I think this has something to do with Admin settings but don't know how to get around this.  This is a home computer.

 

I downloaded Rufus.  I am dl the iso image but it's going to take about 6 hours.  I don't fully understand how to do the fall back option yet so I may have a few questions when I get there.  

 

I've changed boot order before in BIOS, but not on this puter.  I looked and didn't see the external drive as an option in one section, but saw it in another section.  I'll get back to you with details on this when ISO finishes downloading.  The external drive was plugged in when I looked at BIOS. 

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Hello Brad - You're doing good so far, it's better to take your time than rush through this. We're getting to the point where it's time to prioritize things, so we'll deal with the most important things first. Being able to boot from either the Toshiba external drive or the USB stick is vital to the whole plan. When you go into the BIOS settings, look for a page or a section for "Boot Options" or "Boot Configuration". In that section, you should see a way to access "Boot Order", or a subsection listed on the page itself. It should look similar to this: 

 

Boot Order:

Hard Drive

Internal CD/DVD ROM Drive

USB Diskette on Key/USB Hard Disk

USB CD/DVD ROM Drive

Network Device

 

At the top or bottom of the page, there should be a bar explaining what the "F" or function keys are used for. Whenever I use the word USUALLY in this example, be aware that I'm talking about the Function Keys used in my BIOS, not in yours. Yours could be different. Read and understand what your function keys are used for, do not take my word for it.

 

All you want to do here is change the boot order, nothing else. USUALLY the F5 and F6 keys move an item up or down in the boot order, you may have to select or highlight the item first, using the page up/page down keys . When you get that item to the top, USUALLY F10 is used to save the settings and to exit BIOS. You may have to try using USB Hard Disk for the Toshiba and USB CD/DVD ROM for the USB stick, it will depend how your BIOS "sees" the hardware. Try different combinations, you may find that one setting will work for both. I can't really offer more in the way of advice on this, you'll have to experiment and be careful with what you're doing. USUALLY the F9 key will reset everything to the default settings if you think you messed things up.

 

Next, Ken W's idea of using the CHKDSK /R command is good, it could recover any data in the bad sectors. Be aware that it will take a long time to run, it's up to you if you want to use it. The reason it didn't work for you is you have to right click the command prompt and select "Run as Administrator" to use CHKDSK. Use all capitals, and enter "CHKDSK C: /R" (without the quotes) for the C: partition and "CHKDSK D: /R" for D: partition. Also note there's a space between the colon and / mark.

 

You did the right thing saving all your files from D: to your own Toshiba, it's almost enough to fill the entire drive. If you shrink C: partition down a little more, so that it's 280GB (286720MB), you'll be able to save both the recovery partition and C: partition to your dad's Toshiba, and have a little room to spare. Did you get a chance to read the link I posted and watch the video? If you can drag and drop files, it's basically the same. Click on the recovery partition first, select "Clone this Disk", then move the recovery partition to the target drive, keeping it at the front of the drive. Then move the C: partition. Hit "Next" on the bottom of the page, read the summary on the next page to see if it looks right, then hit "Finish". Remember, you can do this over if you have to. Go back to my previous post to read how to boot the Toshiba. You can use it until you get a new drive. When you get your new drive, clone these two partitions from the Toshiba onto it, extend C: drive to where you think it's right, create and format a new D: partition (use NTFS), then copy the files to D: from the other Toshiba, and you're back in business.

 

And last, plan B, the safety net. By downloading the ISO file, and using Rufus to create a bootable USB stick, you will have a way to do a fresh install of Windows 7 to your new hard drive, just in case something goes wrong with plan A. It's the same as having the installation DVD, I chose this because you mentioned you weren't too thrilled about buying Windows 7 again. As long as you have a valid activation key, you'll be fine. Keep in mind, you only want to test this to be sure it will boot. DO NOT select to start the installation, or it will start to overwrite either the hard drive or the Toshiba. Kill it on the first screen by clicking the red x in the top right corner, the same way you would close a program. To be absolutely safe, make sure to do the clone to the Toshiba first, and make sure it boots, then be sure to disconnect it, before you try testing the USB stick. 

 

All right Brad, I think you have everything you need to do this. If you're unsure about something, or if you run into problems, post back, we'll take it from there.

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I understand how my boot priority works with this BIOS now.  Green light.  It's doable.  :)  But for the Plan B, I'm having problems downloading the ISO image.  I've tried it twice in Firefox and each time the download has stalled(for an hour) at 3.0 GB of 3.01 GB downloaded.  I tried dl on Chrome but it was exceedingly slow without giving much info on the dl.  I also tried it on Explorer and it stalled at 97% of the download.  My connection is only 1mbps, but firefox only got up to 635kb speed.  Is there another secure download site/server where I can get the ISO image?

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Brad - Sorry to hear about your problems downloading the image, I forgot to mention it's 3GB, and I forget not everyone has a high speed cable or fiber optic connection. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but if it's too much trouble for you, then don't waste any more time with it, just proceed with the original plan. In the meantime, I'll see if I can find another source to download the image file. 

 

I'm glad to hear you figured out how to change the boot order in BIOS, that is key to booting the Toshiba once you finish cloning the recovery and C: partitions. That way you can continue to use your computer until you get a new internal drive. Did you read the instructions, watch the video, and try Macrium yet? Once you have that done, it's just a matter of powering down, disconnecting the internal drive, connecting the Toshiba, then boot, enter BIOS and change the boot order. Once you save and exit, you'll find out if the Toshiba boots Windows or not.

 

Also, I forgot to mention, don't do anything with the old internal drive until you have everything from both Toshibas either cloned or copied to your new internal drive, and you're 100% certain that everything is there and everything works. Your old drive isn't dead yet, and it can serve as an additional backup to the Toshiba just in case you overlooked something when you originally copied D: partition from the old drive.  

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Also, if I run chkdsk is there any danger of my hard drive crashing and dying?

 

I have cable internet, I'm just on a tight budget so I'm on the least expensive option.  I really want to do Plan B.

 

I haven't gotten up to speed on Macrium yet.  The holidays are interfering.  :)

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