Upgrading A Drive With Cloning Techniques
I recently was asked to upgrade a hard drive in a laptop. Sounds simple enough since I have cloned many drives before, some go without a hitch, other take a little more fussing. But this last one had me going loopy. Being that this was a laptop, there are adapters/enclosures that can be purchased to allow you to connect an internal hard drive to the laptop by USB for cloning (making an exact copy of the original drive).
So as usual, I prepared the new drive and the laptop for the cloning process, rebooted as asked by the software and started the process. At first I received an error about the original drive having MFT table problems. After researching a bit it was suggested that a disk check (chkdsk) be performed to check and repair the problem. After the check ran and completed, it reported that there were no errors, this seemed odd. So I ran a disk check on the new drive just to be safe and re-started the cloning process again. This time it appeared to be going along fine albeit slow, but going. Finally after a couple hours it was complete, or so I thought. I swapped the new larger drive into the laptop and fired up the machine. To my dismay it did not work out as planned and the laptop would not boot into Windows. I pulled the drive and put it into another PC and could see why it wasn’t working. Although the software said it was done (after 3 1/2 hours) not one thing was written to the new drive.
I though this was strange since I received no error messages about writing to the new drive. At this point being frustrated, I moved both drives to a different PC, and tried the clone process again with direct motherboard connections. This time it took about 45 mins for the whole process to complete. I put the new drive into the laptop and BAM, we were up and running.
Basically, even though software may or may not give you an error message, does not mean that everything went the way it should. In this case, the external adapter/enclosure being used may have had a problem, or something within the laptop bios may not have been able to send the software the correct messages for it to say weather or not it was having a problem. The lesson here is that going back to the basics, without fancy adapters, almost always works.
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