Windows Vista 64Bit cloning hard drive on Dell Laptop (1 Viewer)

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TheForce

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MY wife's 3 year old Dell Laptop (win Vista 64Bit) has developed a singing bearing noise. I bought an exact drive replacement and have an adapter for USB2.0.

With my win XP Laptop I used Ghost 9 for cloning the drives on my XP machines.

What is the best ( meaning easiest ) software to use for this job. The goal here is when done to be able to unplug the existing drive and plug in the new one and boot up.
 
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StevenD

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Acronis. (period)

To elaborate...you can create either a bootable CD or USB drive. You can backup the image either to another computer or an external HD. Or, if you have an adapter, image directly to the new drive.
 

TheForce

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Thanks StevenD

I did some homework and it seems that the solution to my need is a choice between either Ghost 12.0 or Acronis product. Since I need to buy either, I will try Acronis since it is rated higher by you and other shootout websites.

I understand Ghost 9, which is what I have does not work on Vista 64.
 

StevenD

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I understand Ghost 9, which is what I have does not work on Vista 64.

I dont really see how Ghost would even know what is on the drive? Basically, you want to backup the entire drive as an image. The drive should be NTFS, and I know Ghost 9 can handle NTFS partitions.

That being said, I absolutely love Acronis. I create an Acronis Boot USB flash drive and I use it whenever I need to make an image of any computer. I back the images up to my unRAID server, so I can reload any computer in my house in minutes.
 

james_k_p

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Hmm sounds cool. I've always used a boot cd with ghost and the most difficult part, especially for laptops, is getting the proper network card drivers to create the image on a server.

Does Acronis have a built in or better/more efficient method of auto-detecting various network card drivers?
 
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mike123abc

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If you have a spare USB drive lying around you can use the windows backup to make an exact image of the C: drive then put the new one in, and an option on the install DVD is to do a complete restore from that backup.

I usually just use the complete system backup on a regular basis (now an option in win 7 to do it on a schedule). When the drive fails you get it back exact sector by sector.
 

Voyager6

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You should have a free trial period with Acronis. It is a fully functional version. I've had excellent results with Acronis.
 

StevenD

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Hmm sounds cool. I've always used a boot cd with ghost and the most difficult part, especially for laptops, is getting the proper network card drivers to create the image on a server.

Does Acronis have a built in or better/more efficient method of auto-detecting various network card drivers?
I have only run across one machine that Acronis didnt detect the NIC. Ive even used it HP Proliant Servers.
 

TheForce

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I downloaded the Acronis for $39 and it is running now. So far so good but the cloning process is taking quite a bit of time. It has been running on a 320Gb drive for 6 hours now. There are 4 partitions and this is the 3rd and largest C drive partition.

One problem I had was on the first reboot, it locked up so I powered down the computer and then it wouldn't start saying the USB drive wasn't a boot drive. So, I unplugged the drive and restarted. It went into the basic text screen, so I plugged in the USB drive again and it started up making the copy. I'd be interested in your thoughts on this minor trouble. The BIOS is set to boot from a CD first, then C drive. Lastly a USB drive.
 

StevenD

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I downloaded the Acronis for $39 and it is running now. So far so good but the cloning process is taking quite a bit of time. It has been running on a 320Gb drive for 6 hours now. There are 4 partitions and this is the 3rd and largest C drive partition.

One problem I had was on the first reboot, it locked up so I powered down the computer and then it wouldn't start saying the USB drive wasn't a boot drive. So, I unplugged the drive and restarted. It went into the basic text screen, so I plugged in the USB drive again and it started up making the copy. I'd be interested in your thoughts on this minor trouble. The BIOS is set to boot from a CD first, then C drive. Lastly a USB drive.
What are you backing up to? USB HD or network? USB HD would be quite slow.
 

TheForce

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I always thought network would be slower, but yes, it was the USB port connection for the second drive. I'm using their Migrate software.

Ended up taking 13 hours total and the total amount of data on the C Drive was just 46 Gb. The drives are 320Gb and 4 partitions but the clone was perfect.
 

StevenD

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I always thought network would be slower, but yes, it was the USB port connection for the second drive. I'm using their Migrate software.

Ended up taking 13 hours total and the total amount of data on the C Drive was just 46 Gb. The drives are 320Gb and 4 partitions but the clone was perfect.

Unfortunately, thats about right for a USB external. The last time I ran Acronis, I backed up 13GB of data (a new Win7 installation on my HT PC), it took less than 15 minutes. Thats with a gigabit connection.

Oh well, at least you know you have the data and dont have to worry about that drive failing now.
 

TheForce

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Yep and thanks again for the suggestion. Now that the bearing noise is gone from hard drive issue, we're hearing the fan bearing noise. Found a fan assembly online for $14.99 I suspect that fix will take much less time. Nice of Dell to make factory service manuals online for these notebooks.
 

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Just to add to the topic (probably too late for Don, but may come handy for other forum visitors):

Both Vista and Windows 7 offer their own built-in disk imaging capabilities as part of their Backup and Restore Center.

In Vista this is called "Windows Complete PC Backup and Restore" and is available in Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions.

In Windows 7 it is now known as "System Image" and I believe it included in Home Premium edition too.

Perhaps not as powerful as Acronis or Ghost, but it has its benefits: it's free it is probably already installed on your computer and you can even use your computer while the backup is running. As I understand, in Windows 7 the system image is created in VHD (virtual hard disk) format, so you can mount it, or even boot from it. You can also do incremental backups. Pretty cool!
 

TheForce

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Wow! that was fast. The part arrived today and I installed the new fan - heat sink assembly and it is running very very quiet. :)

The company is called Recycler Inc. in Bedford TX.

I really like the way Dell builds laptops. So easy to work on. Only 9 screws and one connector. Took less than 5 minutes to swap out. If this were my Macbook pro the repair would have taken me half a day. That thing is awful to work on.
 

diogen

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I really like the way Dell builds laptops. So easy to work on.
Not all of them.
Case in point: the Inspiron 10" netbooks.

They can be configured with only 1GB RAM but can run 2GB (rumor has it this was MS' restriction).
To get to the memory slot and replace the stick you have to literally take it apart!

Interestingly, this was not the case with the short lived 9" and still isn't with Latitude 10" netbooks.
The latest Latitude E-line is also a very nice piece of machinery...

And having all service manuals online certainly won them some customers.

Diogen.
 

StevenD

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Not all of them.
Case in point: the Inspiron 10" netbooks.

They can be configured with only 1GB RAM but can run 2GB (rumor has it this was MS' restriction).
To get to the memory slot and replace the stick you have to literally take it apart!

Interestingly, this was not the case with the short lived 9" and still isn't with Latitude 10" netbooks.
The latest Latitude E-line is also a very nice piece of machinery...

And having all service manuals online certainly won them some customers.

Diogen.

I have a Mini 10 that I bought straight from Dell with 2GB RAM and Vista.
 

Foxbat

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Don, one feature I like with the Acronis product is being able to image a system to a .TIB file that you can mount and treat as a read-only drive. It makes a nice archive when stored to an external device (or stored on a LAN server) and Acronis will compress the image which saves space and sometimes time.

Regarding the Vista/Win7 on-line backups: I will always trust an off-line image backup over a backup made while the system is still active. There are too many system files that will be open that even if you lock them while you make a copy, those copies happen at different points in time. Off-line backups are a snapshot of the system when it is in a know good state (shutdown) instead of pieces of system states.
 
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