I have Sony Vaio laptop. The laptop came pre-installed with Windows 7 OS. Later I installed Ubuntu 12.04 and Grub.

Now the hard is showing early signs of failure.

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How can I replace the hard disk and install a new one with same OS and software installed on failing hard disk?

Opinions about Clonezilla and Norton Ghost will help lot of users.

  • 1
    If that count isn't increasing, this is not a sign of impending failure. I'd still make sure my backup it up to date, but there's no need to replace the drive. Mar 4 '14 at 20:29
  • @DavidSchwartz Ok, the head is also making audible "creching" sounds intermittently. Mar 4 '14 at 20:40
  • That's probably normal, but it's hard to say without hearing them. Mar 4 '14 at 20:51
  • @DavidSchwartz Ok, I will wait and monitor the count by even then I need to know the method to replace the drive. Mar 4 '14 at 20:54
  • 1
    Make a full backup while it's working. Mar 4 '14 at 21:16

If you have access to a desktop computer, remove the failing HDD and plug it into the desktop along with the replacement drive. Then use a Clonezilla live cd to do an exact copy. This is going to be the fastest and most reliable way. The SATA data and power connectors are the same than for desktop HDDs.

If the replacement HDD is bigger, you can then increase the last partition's size with almost any software.

  • Did you ever had a chance to use CloneZilla? Mar 29 '14 at 21:24
  • Yes, but just a couple of times. Didn't have any problems. I used the disk to disk beginner mode.
    – s_a
    Mar 31 '14 at 23:30

Reallocated Sector Count doesn't necessarily mean your hard drive is really failing. Here you've a rather low number, 20, which doesn't even count for 1% on your drive. (your worst value is 100 on a scale of 100, whereas the limit is 36)

But if this number keep growing quickly, you should start to worry about it.

Another thing to look at is Current_Pending_Sector and Offline_Uncorrectable, which can also announce a failing drive if these values grow.

Finally, if you buy an hard drive with the exact same capacity, you can just connect the 2 to another computer running GNU/Linux, identify the disk identifier in /dev/ for both disk then do :

dd if=/dev/<old_disk> of=/dev/<new_disk> bs=16M

Double check you are indicating the right disk as <new_disk> since its content will be completely erased !

If you want a progress bar, install pv package and run the following :

pv -tpreb /dev/<old_disk> | dd of=/dev/<new_disk> bs=16M
  • I currently have 500GiB SATA, I am planning to use new 1 TiB, therefore I need another tool to copy the contents from one HD to another. Mar 5 '14 at 9:48
  • Okay then I'm not aware of a tool able to do that. But there are still solutions. Since you want a 1TB hard drive, you want more space on a partition. Which one ? Or both maybe ? You can also create a 3rd partition without an OS. In this case my method will work, you'll just have 500GB unpartitionned at the end.
    – piernov
    Mar 5 '14 at 12:31
  • 1
    @Gaurav Agarwal I would go this route as this is your best option. dd is an excellent utility that is geared for your situation. The only thing I would add to this is to use a gParted LiveCD to use dd to mirror the drive, then use gParted that's on the LiveCD to expand your partitions accordingly.
    – DJ Chateau
    Mar 28 '14 at 18:15

If you pull the drive and add it to another system as a secondary drive you should be able to use dd to make a copy to another disk. Optionally, you could use a third party application like RawCopy (which I've used numerous times). Provided the disk is equal to or larger than failing drive in both cases.

Considering the cost of drives if the drive is failing a SMART check, I'd replace it.


I am not familiar with Ubantu, but you should be able to mirror the drive and transfer it to a new harddrive. It will be important that the drive be the same size(s) I think. At least that works for windows.

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