Friday, 22 July 2016

Cloning a laptop hard disk drive...


For the last couple of months I've been having problems with my No. 1 laptop, so-called because it's the one I use every day for business and entertainment, and so it's loaded to the gunwales with a whole range of software.

I've several other laptops; two higher-spec machines dedicated to analysis software only plus three serviceable older machines which were each previously the everyday No. 1 machine, and are kept as backups.  These earlier machines all run various versions of Windows XP.

The current No. 1 laptop is now three years old but was quite a high specification when new, and so it's well worth repairing.   The problems I was having related to slow boot times, which were getting longer and longer, and eventually the dreaded 'preparing automatic repair' loop which, in the end, prevented the laptop from booting up at all.   I'd previously ran diagnostics software from the hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturer (Seagate) which had indicated that the drive was about to give up the ghost, so the failure wasn't entirely unexpected.  

Three years doesn't seem much of a life for a disk drive, but this laptop is used day and night and is very rarely switched off - I also tend to use custom power settings which don't permit the disk to sleep if the machine's not being used for a while.

Anyway, I ordered a new 2.5" internal HDD, which is actually the exact same 1 TB capacity and type as that currently installed.   I thought about taking the opportunity to upgrade, but I don't need any more disk storage capacity on this particular machine.