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I wish to clone a Windows 7 partition from a problematic sata drive to a new sata drive using a software. I tried different software from dos but got extremely slow speeds (estimated 50 days for 94 GB). Before the last time I turned it off, it booted normally but made file errors.

So now I wish to try to copy it on windows, just in case the speed problem is related to drivers (I hope!) I consider this possibility due to the fact the read speed was VERY constant on these software which have their own bootable media (HDD led lights on for 3 secs, off for 14 secs, blinks, and off for another 14 secs) I hope running on windows can fix the problem, otherwise I'm dead =)

The question is; will Windows 7 mess with another partition which also has Windows 7 installed? Like on XP, it does strange stuff on registry if you don't hide another XP partition. I also don't want any other write operations on the problematic disk, like automatic chkdsk, in order to prevent any further damage on the file system. Just want to use it as the source for clonning.

Thanks!

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migrated from serverfault.com Aug 20 '10 at 11:57

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1 Answer 1

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Based on your description, it seems likely that your "problematic" drive is actually failing, and that the slow speeds were the result of an inability to read data from the drive.

Windows does write information to a drive when it mounts. You might want to try using a Linux-based LiveCD, which would allow you to try and copy information without having the drive mounted by using a program like ddrescue.

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Thank you Martey. Yeah, it's likely. But I hoped it's not that bad, as the speed was very constant (not changing depending on the condition of the sector in read) and it always stayed slow and constant in the first 1.3 GB, hdd led doesn't light on for 28 secs during each read step, so there was a chance it wasn't a bad sector problem. –  SuperDuck Aug 22 '10 at 9:10
    
While waiting for an answer I couldn't resist and disabled chkdsk, thumbnails and search indexing then mounted the disk because I really wanted to see if it was a servo trouble. It read the files I tried with no problem and the main folder structure looks ok. Before mounting, I tried a windows utility to copy the partition, but it failed telling me ntfs structure had errors. –  SuperDuck Aug 22 '10 at 9:11
    
So as you mentioned, now I'm after a software solution which will copy the partition without disturbing the disk and in less than 30 days =) I also tried quickly copying the main content I'm worried about, but of course it won't happen unless I modify file permissions. I won't use this thread to ask further questions, as you have already answered the main question; windows writes on a disk during mounting, and you can't prevent it. –  SuperDuck Aug 22 '10 at 9:11

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