A simple upgrade

Once again, I offered to do some simple work for a friend, upgrading them from an almost full 10GB laptop hard drive. Since I had a copy of Norton Ghost 9 that had been given to me as a gift awhile back, I figured this should be pretty simple.

And, once again, it wasn’t that simple. I went and picked up a new hard drive and a 2.5″ hard drive enclosure the other day, and took it all home. I needed to wait an extra day because her laptop had Torx screws that needed to be removed, and I didn’t happen to have a Torx screwdriver. A trip to Lowe’s the next morning took care of that obstacle, and I was able to get her old hard drive into the enclosure, hooked it up to my laptop to try and get a copy of it. After 3 hours of copying, Ghost failed. Assuming that it had something to do with the fact that I was copying from one USB-connected drive to another, I went through all the trouble of putting the original hard drive back in place, installing my copy of Ghost on it, and trying to get a good copy of the drive made. That took over 8 hours but did complete, or at least it said it did, however the reality was that I only wound up with a drive that wouldn’t boot. In fact, I wound up with a brand new drive that was completely unreadable.

At this point the simple thing to assume would be that maybe, just maybe the new drive was defective, but well let’s just say I spent a lot of time assuming that couldn’t be the case. I did, in the interest of trying to at least make sure I had a good copy of the original drive, download a trial version of Acronis True Image, and used the disk cloning tool to clone the original hard drive to a spare USB drive I had laying around, after failing to be able to do that with Ghost. Unlike Ghost, that took all of about 20 minutes. Then I verified that the new drive was really unreadable. This morning, I made yet another trip, to exchange the laptop hard drive. Took the new, new drive home, used the disk cloning tool to take that good copy I finally got, and turned the new, 60GB drive into a clone of the original in about 20 more minutes. Popped it back in to her laptop and booted that baby up!

So, I’m going to pay for Acronis True Image for these sorts of projects in the future, because it sure worked faster than Ghost did for me, and also make sure to not assume that just because a piece of hardware is new, doesn’t mean it is perfect.

Technorati tags: AcronisTrueImage, Laptops

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  1. Im a big fan of partimage
    for hd backup and cloning. System Rescue CD provides a partition editor (qtparted) and partimage. NTFS is listed as experimentation but Ive used it on NT4, W2K, and XP. Best of all it is opensource. Not as automated as trueimage but once mastered is more versatile then ghost or trueimage.

  2. Hey Mike,
    Back when I worked in hardware, we used to characterize new and defective devices as OTBF – Out of The Box Failure(s).

    Best wishes this Holiday Season,


  3. I’ve used Acronis for routine tasks and backup for various clients, including law firms. I like it much better than Ghost for these kinds of upgrade or disaster recovery scenarios. It’s not bad for image based backup either.

    Ghost, in my view, is strictly for rapid deployment of large amounts of indentical new machines. Or upgrading blocks of such machines en masse. It’s a rollout tool.

    As was mentioned, QTParted gets the job done well. It’s never failed me, and you can find in on the System Rescue CD, the EBCD, and distros like Knoppix or MEPIS which will boot from CD.

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