Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Disk died of heat

In my previous post "S.M.A.R.T is your friend" I wrote about my Samsung SP1614C getting too hot, because I did not monitor its life signs with a S.M.A.R.T. tool.

I believe it has really taken damage, because Windows has been nagging me with several warnings about data not being read or written correctly in several files, e. g. the event log. So I decided to try to save whatever I could. I went to the shop and bought a new disk. Back home using another machine I then downloaded Acronis TrueImage as a trial version and created the rescue CD with it.

I mounted a new drive into the first computer and booted from the CD. Apparently it is Linux based, but they spent some effort to make it look like a Windows XP Luna GUI. Probably to comfort the "Windows only" people. :)

However, only after clicking my way all through the cloning-wizard it told me, that this particular function was unavailable in the trial version's rescue media. Very nice not to disable the whole thing in the first place... Only later did I notice the remark on their web site, that rescue media created with the trial version will not be able to clone hard drives. So, being somewhat unnerved, I got back to the shop to buy the full version. At least the installation CD is bootable and provides the rescue functions, so I did not have to burn another one.

Using that CD it was now very easy to set up the cloning. Cloning the whole disk with several partitions took around 45min. This means about 60MB/s if I am not mistaken. Not so bad I guess; I would have expected the process to take longer. I sure hope that getting no error messages about unreadable sectors means that the data made it over intact, not that it just did not notice that some garbage was copied... I guess if that happened I will sure find out in the worst possible moment in the future >:(.

Before rebooting I exchanged the SATA cables to make the new disk take the place the old one had before. Since then everything has worked perfectly. The old drive is still present, however as TrueImage removed the old disk's drive letter assignment, on the surface nothing has changed. Great tool, Acronis!

I will try and run Samsung's drive test utility on the old disk, maybe it will tell me something about its health. Surely it will never again see any important data, but maybe it is still suitable for e. g. the browser cache and things alike...

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