Think I am just thinking.

Words are but thoughts made visible.


Yup, that’s a message you do not want to see.  Well, I did, and at first thought perhaps I had some new kind of virus or malware on the computer.  But, after running some hard-drive diagnostics, the drive was confirmed to be failing and the hard-drive utilities could not fix it. My office desktop computer is SICK!

What to do?

Well, speaking from experience, do what the Windows 7 operating system tells you to do.  Quickly make a backup bootable DVD/CD which will contain drivers for any other devices you may have connected.  Next, if you do not have a an external back-up hard drive, get one now!  Windows advises you shut the system down.  If you have to go out and by a backup drive, this may be a good idea.  But, booting back up may take a couple tries.

So, once you have your back-up drive, or hopefully you already have one, use the windows utility to make an Image copy of your computers hard drive.  With an external hard drive this is really very easy, assuming the drive has not fully failed yet.  You can make an Image Copy to DVD’s, but you may need LOTS of DVD’s!

Hopefully you got your Image Copy made.  If you did, you have a very good chance of saving everything on your computer.  Next step after total power down, is the replacement of the hard drive.  Just be sure to get one that is the same type (does not have to be the same brand name), and at least as big, or bigger in size.  Most newer drives have just two cables and 4 screws holding them in on a Desktop computer.  Very easy to replace.

Ok, now you have the new drive in place and you are ready to boot up.  Be sure to have your Back-up USB drive connected to the computer.  Or, have that stack of DVDs ready (big stack).  Hit the power button and quickly open the DVD drive and insert the boot-up disk.  The boot-up program will automatically look for an IMAGE FILE on any drives it can access.  It will display the source and name of the file and ask if you want to install the image on your new drive.  If yours is like mine, it will show that you had two partitions, likely drive C:, and D:, You will get a warning that everything on the drive will be overwritten, but as the new drive is blank, that’s what you want.  So, just click yes to install and wait.  The wait will be upwards of 3-4 hours, depending on speed of your computer and the new hard-drive.

So, what do you get.  Well, for me, everything that was, was once again on the new hard-drive.  All the icons, all the data, all the programs.  I did not have to use my regular backup to install anything.

What do we learn from this?  A hard drive can fail at anytime.  Usually it will take years.  Mine ran 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, as I never totally shut down.  I do have sleep modes enabled, which does give things a rest, but as soon as it time to check emails again, everything spins up once again.

What did I learn.  Make regular Boot-up Recovery DVD/CD’s, and do an Image Backup every once and awhile.  I would recommend you mark down on a calender, or set up a some other reminder to do this no less than once every 6 months.  Having restored a hard drive from scratch and all the original software disks, and data back-up disks, it’s something I would like to avoid ever having to do again.  Also if you purchase new software which is downloaded online, will you be able to download it again, without having to pay, and or just find it?  With an IMAGE Backup on your external USB back-up drive, No Worries!

So, just what I did the next week?  Yup, Laptop now has an updated Recovery Boot disk and Image backup ready to go, should the worse case scenario happen, and the Laptop Drive goes down.   So, you don’t have a backup.  Quick, print this now, before the drive crashes and you forget what to do!!!!!!!!


March 23, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment