Jun 26 2006
01:47 pm
By: redmondkr  shortURL

I bought a 250 Gigabyte outboard hard drive last summer to back up the data I considered important, but even the assurance of this safe storage doesn’t prevent the pain and suffering of building a new drive after a catastrophic failure.  We’re talking about hours of work installing your operating system, updating it and then reloading all your applications and data.

The solution . . . while your drive is still healthy, clone it.

The main drive in my three-year-old Gateway started making ominous noises each time I booted up the machine so I rarely shut it down.  Then I found a free drive copying application here.

The procedure requires some knowledge about primary and secondary IDE masters and slaves so, unless you are comfortable mucking about in your machine, find yourself a geek to do it.  You could lose everything otherwise.

It took me slightly over three hours to produce an essentially identical drive for my machine . . . minus the mechanical fault.  I removed the old drive, replaced it with the clone and the machine is beautiful again.  I plan to make a copy of this new drive for storage every six months or so as added insurance.

Andy Axel's picture

One thing good to remember...

...the parts which break down most frequently in computers have moving components.

Hard drives aren't meant to last forever. Count on at least one failure every three to five years -- less time if you use Western Digital drives. ;^)


"The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco." -- G.K.

redmondkr's picture

I considered myself

I considered myself fortunate to get three trouble free years from a drive.  I won't wait that long to "renew" next time.

Ian's picture

For Mac users, there's a

For Mac users, there's a donationware app called Carbon Copy Cloner ((link...)) that makes this process a snap.

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