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Cloning Hard Drives: Part Three
By: Codex-M
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    Table of Contents:
  • Cloning Hard Drives: Part Three
  • The Disk Restore Process

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    Cloning Hard Drives: Part Three

    (Page 1 of 2 )

    The disk restoration process is the last and most important step in bringing back the data of your hard drive -- alive, as well as the operating system in it. In this tutorial, you will learn how to restore a hard drive image using Macrium Reflect free rescue disc, especially using the Bart PE CD, as discussed in the second part of this tutorial.

    Hard Disk Cloning Restoration: Example

    Assuming your hard drive is damaged (but with cloned image backup done by Macrium Reflect), you need to have and do the following things to get your computer working exactly the same as before:

    1. A new hard drive, exactly the same size as the damaged hard drive or much better. The hard drive you are about to replace should NOT be less than the old hard drive (the damaged hard disk).

    2. Bart PE Rescue Discs. The creation of the rescue discs has been thoroughly discussed with details in the second part of this series. This is used when restoring the cloned image in a Windows-based platform.

    This CD is bootable, so even if your hard disk attached to your motherboard does not have any operating system, this CD will be used to boot and run disk restoration software like Macrium Reflect.

    3. Disk Restore program. This is a special kind of disk restoration software by Macrium Reflect. It is more efficient, because it will let you restore all of the hard drive partitions at once (and not one partition at a time). This means it will reduce any disk restoration mistakes and save time.

    4. An NTFS formatted external hard drive with the clone hard disk image on it.

    5. A fully working computer system hardware unit. This means there are no hardware-related issues. It is highly recommended that you isolate hardware problems first and fix them before starting any disk restoration process. Doing disk restoration while you still have hardware-related issues can corrupt the disk restoration, leading to an unusable operating system using new hard disks.

    What you should know if you are replacing a damaged hard disk

    Some computer users feel hopeless when their hard disk gets damaged. In fact, as long as you are able to clone and create a rescue CD successfully (discussed in the first two parts of this tutorial), the chance of getting your data back again on a working computer system is 100%.

    So what are these fears that every user needs to get rid of?

    1. You do not need to reinstall any drivers - ever.

    2. You do not need to update and re-install the operating system, it will work exactly as before after completing the image restoration process.

    3. All of the data you have are completely intact.

    4. There is no need to mess with booting commands, because after the restoration process, the bootable hard disk (for example, the one installed with Windows XP) will boot normally, just like before.

    Based on experience, the following procedures are said to introduce problems in the disk restoration process that make the restored disk unbootable or cause it to have serious booting issues:

    Changing the model and chipset of the motherboard. Bear in mind that if you are going to replace both the motherboard (with a different motherboard model) and hard disk, then restoring the bootable hard disk using a direct clone/restoration process may not work. In this case, this problem can be solved by cloning the original system with SysPrep: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302577

    Adding new hardware components to the old motherboard. It is highly recommended that you add new hardware components only after completing the disk restoration process.

    Getting Ready: Disk Restore Program in an External Hard Drive

    The normal restoration processes of Macrium Reflect as included in the Windows Bart PE plug-in only allow the restoration of one partition at a time. If you have a hard disk with two partitions, which is very common, you will have go through this process twice.

    To minimize any errors and to save time in the disk restoration process (which can take a long time), you need to use their "Disk Restore" utility. This will allow you to restore the entire image of the hard disk to the targeted hard disk without the need to restore each partition first. This is the quicker and easier way.

    To start with, follow the steps below to integrate the DiskRestore utility and save it in your external hard drive (containing the hard drive image):

    1. Go to this page: http://www.macrium.com/blog/2010/03/29/

    2. Under "Get DiskRestore," click Download and save it to your desktop first.

    3. Now connect your external hard disk (the one containing your hard drive clone image).

    4. Copy and paste the DiskRestore utility from your Desktop to the external hard disk. Take note of the path where you have saved DiskRestore, because a file system inside an external hard drive can be complex. This makes it easy for you to find this file later in the actual disk restoration process.

    The Macrium Reflect Disk Restore is a stand alone utility program; this means that it can run on its own without needing to be installed in the operating system (Add/Remove programs in Windows).

    For example, if you open DiskRestore, it will immediately launch itself, and it will look like the screen shot below:

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