The hard drive on my Dell Inspiron 530 has recently been having trouble booting intermittently and I have ordered a replacement drive to ensure I swap it out before it goes belly up. The new drive is blank and I want to load the Factory image on it from the old hdd. Can anyone give some advice on the best way to do this? Is there a step-by-step doc out there to walk me thru it? Thanks in advance...
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You will need a "ghost program" that will "clone" your hard drive (copy everything exactly as it is on the old drive to the new drive). The Dell recovery partition and diagnostic partitions otherwise are factory only.
I use Acronis True Image for full hard drive backups, all disc partitions, to a separate hard drive. I have used Acronis to rebuild the hard drive in my Dimension E510 and when I upgraded to higher capacity drive it cloned the drive. Acronis is not free software but worth the money. In addtion to the new hard drive you should be making periodic hard drive backups - its not for if it will ever be needed but for when it will be needed. As you are sitting now, if the hard drive were to fail, if nothing is backed up all of your programs and user data is lost.
Acronis True Image. Instructions on how to clone/backup are included with the program. There are other programs, but what I and many techies I know use.
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You need a imaging utility, similar to either True Image Home 2011, or Migrate Easy 7.0
If you buy the retail boxed version of the Seagate hard drive, a copy of Acronis should be included, this can be used only with their drives, or you can download it from Seagate website, you will also find that other hard drive manufacturers have their own free cloning software available.
First, install the new drive as the secondary, image the exsisting C:/ to it.
Immediately shut the system down, switch the data cable [SATA port 0] to the new drive, making the new hard drive the master and see if the system boots correctly.
Boot the system with only the new hard drive connected.
Remember to leave the original drive disconnected, until the new hard drive is working to your satisfaction.
Before cloning a hard drive, be certain that existing drive has no corruption or virus on it, as these will be transfered to the new hard drive.
A second SATA data cable will be required, there should be a spare SATA power connector inside the case.
I use Norton Ghost and backup my whole hard drive but..I had a problem and Dell tech went into the computer and deleted the factory image partition. I still have the utility one there. On an external hd I have the original image of the factory image and the utility and C: If I had to put in a new hard drive could I all this to the new hd without partitioning?
Bev and Maggie13,
I didn't see your posts before I responded to Fireberd. Thanks for you advice as well. All good info. I will be trying this tonight and will see how it goes. The good news is that my original HDD is still working OK and I do have a backup. I just needed a little guidance on how to clone.
Since I use Ghost it maybe different then the software you are using. I just install ghost and at the beginning it ask and directs you how to backup the hard drive. I highlighted C:, Dell image, and the utility partitions and backed them up to an external hd. It will ask you how often/ what days you want to backup. I leave or turn mine on the days i chose to backup. I try to keep at least once a week backup if not more depending what I have added to C:
Newer Systems with Dell Datasafe Utilitys cannot be Cloned with ghost because the recovery portion is on an encrypted NTFS partition.
You can backup the entire Diag and Recovery partition onto a 16 Gig or larger USB 2.0 Flash drive with the Dell Datasafe 2.0 Utility.
The Only Limitation of this is that if you are restoring to a brand new hard drive It MUST BE at least the same size or Larger as the old drive.
Neither Ghost Nor Acronis True Image can make a Clone of the Encrypted Recovery partition on Current Windows 7 Dells.
They copy the Diag and Boot Partition but the Recovery Partition will Fail when you try to use the F8 recovery.
Windows Backup will also fail.