Dealing With Hard Drive Problems
Posted 16 April 2008 - 04:45 AM
Posted 16 April 2008 - 08:29 AM
It's hardly worth the trouble to bother trying to repair a hard drive anymore since they are dirt cheap. I buy the smallest hard drive I can get to use as my boot drive. My total backup is only about 12 GB so it only takes about five minutes to do a backup. I have four other hard drives where I store programs and so forth. Life can be simple or really hard depends how you approach it. My solution of multiple hard drives does not work for everyone but it certainly takes away the stress of worrying about a hard drive failure. Acronis True Image Home works great for the average user. The cost is around $60 and that is very cheap considering the peace of mind that it buys. My current system supports six SATA drives. Not everyone will want this many drives. I have an AMD 5600+ based system so backups are very fast. A friend of mine uses Acronis with a similar system and has many gigabytes on C drive and his backup takes about one half hour. I hope some of this will be helpful to at least some of you.
Posted 16 April 2008 - 10:56 AM
In case of system drive failure, I simply replace the failed drive with the clone and am back up and operating in minutes. When I install a new program, I redo the clone.
I learned my lesson when I had a drive scramble the FAT about 20 years ago. I have faithfully backed up ever since. My original backup was to diskettes, then tapes, then CD's, then DVD's and they were all a hassle. It takes about 6 hours to back up all my data, but I start it and go to bed. The next morning its done and I disconnect it and go to work.
Posted 19 April 2008 - 11:47 AM
I have a similar backup system to what you describe but I wouldn't assume to tell people to forget trying to repair drives or to just go out and buy a new one every time.
One thing - Even when using drive images, things can and do (and will) go wrong!!!
Second, no matter how comfortable we all are in our Western world centrally heated homes with all the facilities we could ever need and hard drives at a penny for ten, for a lot of people hard drives are still an expense they struggle to afford!
I live in UK and my PC right now has six big drives in it but each one had to be saved for as I can not work and getting the money together for any PC part is a struggle to do. Obviously it isn't a matter of life or death but it IS difficult and I have it easy compared to some countries obviously.
So lets assume things do go wrong, then poeple DO need advice on different ways of repair or more importantly: Recovering their data!
even the freezer method, silly as it seems to you no doubt, is definitely worth any PC user remembering as it CAN work and believe me, when you have no other way of getting those photos or spreadsheets or whatever that you may have lost forever, putting a drive in the freezer doesn't seem so strange al lof a sudden!
I always recommend a good back up system that is preferrably, fully automatic.
So Acronis True Image is the one I use too...almost foolproof once you set it up to create images every day or two. I have to second your advice of course :)
Posted 22 April 2008 - 03:31 PM
While it did not back up the system, I figured that with time and the original install discs, I could rebuild the drive's OS and applications. It would take several hours of course, but no money. I also to accomodate this, never kept data in any of the "my" folders, but had a separate folder labeled simply "data". Below that were folders for spreadsheets, word processing, Quicken, etc. That made it easier to find all the data normally buried with the application folders and the various "my" folders. I still have that same concept, except the main data folder is now residing on a network drive so it is accessible to all my machines, and the folder with all its sub-folders is now over 60GB, which is fairly small by today's standards as there are few video files.
That will still work for smaller collections of data, but once you get beyond 20GB, it would begin creeping to 4 DVD's, older hard drives would begin to make more sense. I still make sure that I keep all of the original install discs. Just in case, even though I now clone the HD so I don't have to reinstall the OS and applications unless something really goes very wrong.
Posted 22 April 2008 - 04:45 PM
From a personal perspective I only backup whatever happens to be on C drive. All of those songs that have been downloaded can be downloaded again and are irrelevant. All of those movies and utilities can be found and downloaded again so at least from my point of view they are unimportant. Unfortunately it is getting more difficult all the time to find small hard drives. I have a 300 GB hard drive as the boot drive and I only have about 12 GB installed on the drive. There is not much point in partitioning the hard drive because if it fails it takes everything on the second partition along with it so there I sit with this huge hard drive and nothing on it. I have separate drives for utilities, programs, e-mail and so forth. I do not back any of those up because the information contained there-on is all recoverable by simply downloading it again.
I have 100 GB of bandwidth per month so all I am interested in is incremental backups of C drive.
I agree that money is always an issue and we do what we can with what we have where we are. I conclude this by saying once again, get a copy of Acronis if at all possible and learn how to use it properly and your backup issues will go away. I have never had a failure using Acronis in several years. I do not work for that company nor do I have any affiliation with it or with any companies that do have such an affiliation. I have simply searched for years to find the best backup system that I could find and Acronis is, at least in my mind the very best out there.
Posted 23 April 2008 - 03:35 AM
- I just want to second or third that advice. It really can be that simple. Learn to use Acronis, or, more accurately I suppose if we are being truly objective (hehe), learn all about Drive imaging and backing up with images, then your backup problems really will just go away. you set a program to make a copy of the hard drive as an image, on a schedule say every two days (or if you are an obsessive like me then have two schedules...one on monday saving to Image01 and one on tuesday saving to Image02 then on wednesday you get it to save a new image_01 over the top of the old one..then you always have two options should your PC need restoring) either way, once the schedules are set up then you just sit back and only ever need to worry about it when you are in trouble.
Of course there is a failsafe that everyone should do also: when you install windows and then install the programs you like to have on it most of the time, then do a full image copy of the C: drive and put that image on to DVD. then if all else fails you always have the option top simply reboot the PC, place the DVD in and within five minutes you have a freshly installed windows again with all your programs installed already. Never again do you have to go looking for that driver that won't work or any of the usual XP installation problems!
I know my comments are boring to most reading as it's stuff you most probably already do, or at least know already but, as Millinneumman said, there is a lot of PC users who are still oblivious to things like drive image copying so I thought I'd give a short guide to it!
There are other programs apart from Acronis true Image but like others here I recommend True Image too as it is the best for simplicity above all else. and it works!
If you want a free option you could grab an old version of Norton ghost or try this list http://en.wikipedia....ki/Disk_cloning to see if any others suit.