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The hard disk of my one year old T400 Thinkpad has started failing periodic hardware tests. I get a "Targeted Read Test Failed" error. The "SMART short self test" times out.

I am now trying to create a Windows 7 System image of the hard disk but it fails without giving any specific error messages. I tried using Comodo Backup but got an error (code 101117) there as well.

I have copied the important files in Dropbox but would like to take a full System backup as I have plenty of software installed on the machine.

Does anyone know why this is happening and how I can take a backup of the system image ?

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If your hard drive is failing then the the data on that drive is almost certainly corrupt. Save what you can of your files (document, picture, music, etc.) by connecting the drive to an operational computer (using a USB to IDE adapter works well). DO NOT do a system back up from failing or corrupt hard drive! You will only be creating headaches for yourself in the future.

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My last-ditch effort would be to use Clonezilla to try to make an image. Download and burn the latest ISO. Try the Stable, and if that doesn't recognize your hardware, try the Alternate Stable download. Just boot to the disc and follow the directions. If it fails on the first try, try going through the advanced options.

However, since you are having such serious issues, I would be reluctant to use the image for any length of time, even if you successfully create a usable image, because there is likely to be severe data corruption.

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