Questions prompted by loss of a hard drive


O

oldrah

My Lenovo laptop has gone belly up. The technician trying to fix it says
the hard drive needs to be replaced. I have been using something called
BouceBack Express to back up the hard drive but the tech says this is
insufficient to restore XP Pro to the replacement drive. He needs a set
of XP CDs but none came with either the laptop or our desktop system. So
it looks like I need to buy a version of Windows (XP Pro or 7) if I want
a running Windows on this computer. Is that my only option (other than
going to some flavor of Linux)? If so, would it make more sense to but
Windows 7?
Dick
 
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J

Jim

My Lenovo laptop has gone belly up. The technician trying to fix it says
the hard drive needs to be replaced. I have been using something called
BouceBack Express to back up the hard drive but the tech says this is
insufficient to restore XP Pro to the replacement drive. He needs a set
of XP CDs but none came with either the laptop or our desktop system. So
it looks like I need to buy a version of Windows (XP Pro or 7) if I want
a running Windows on this computer. Is that my only option (other than
going to some flavor of Linux)? If so, would it make more sense to but
Windows 7?
Dick

Is there not a hidden partition on the disk to reinstall the OS ?
 
P

(PeteCresswell)

Per Jim:
Is there not a hidden partition on the disk to reinstall the OS ?

Worth looking for. That's how Sony does it on my wife's VAIO.

However you get the system back, I'd recommend partitioning the
drive into 40 gigs of "System" and the rest as a "D:" drive for
data.

Then you can use an imaging utility (there are dozens, I use the
DOS version of TeraByte's "Image") to take an image of C: to an
external drive from which you can restore as needed without
losing data. D:, you back up daily or weekly or whatever makes
you comfortable, using any of many backup utilities.
 
P

pjp

I wouldn't take the tech's word BounceBack Express can't. I've never heard
of it and likely neither has the tech so it's the "easy" answer. Ask that
software developers opinion might clarify that. All you really need is the
install key that should be on a label somewhere on your notebook and a copy
of the dvd/cd with the correct OS that laptop came with, e.g. Win7 Home (or
whatever), e.g. even the tech shouldn't mind giving you a copy of what's
required as I don't believe that even illegal. That should allow you to
install the OS using said install key.

In the future, when you buy a pc doesn't come with disks there's supposed to
be a means for you to create them yourself. It may not be obvious how but MS
demands they provide that as part of their licensing (or least that's my
understanding). When my daughters new laptop wouldn't create the disks for
some reason HP/Compaq sent me them without cost (after short hassle with
tech support).
 
A

Arthur Shapiro

My Lenovo laptop has gone belly up.

Some people are reluctant to do a full-ball-of-wax reinstall, even though
Lenovo is superb at providing all necessary drivers and utilities for download
from the appropriate drivers matrix. This assumes, of course, that you have
an XP or 7 CD, which you'd have to purchase or borrow to use your existing
license key.

But they certainly sell the complete recovery disk sets at reasonable cost, or
you can find those sets on eBay on in the thinkpads forums.

Which model is it? Certainly anything of remotely-recent vintage can run
Windows 7 easily. I put it on my T60p and X61, and probably wouldn't be
averse to putting it on my T42. Don't know about the older machines; it might
be pushing things on the T2x and T3x machines.

Art
 
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P

Peter Foldes

What kind of Tech do you deal with? Take out the Hard Drive in question that is no
good and have him connect it as a Slave and then take everything of it including the
OS from the hidden partition

--
Peter
Please Reply to Newsgroup for the benefit of others
Requests for assistance by email can not and will not be acknowledged.
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
http://www.microsoft.com/protect
 
P

Paul

oldrah said:
My Lenovo laptop has gone belly up. The technician trying to fix it says
the hard drive needs to be replaced. I have been using something called
BouceBack Express to back up the hard drive but the tech says this is
insufficient to restore XP Pro to the replacement drive. He needs a set
of XP CDs but none came with either the laptop or our desktop system. So
it looks like I need to buy a version of Windows (XP Pro or 7) if I want
a running Windows on this computer. Is that my only option (other than
going to some flavor of Linux)? If so, would it make more sense to but
Windows 7?
Dick

These are your options, based on what I've read so far.

1) Restore from your "backup", the BounceBack Express. That implies the
backup information was stored on some other hard drive, CDs or DVDs.
If the original hard drive is dead, any kind of backup stored on it
is kinda dead also (unless you send the hard drive to a Data Recovery
specialist, charging $500 to $1000, depending on the degree of
difficulty of recovering the data).

The feature set described here, indicates a restore would be possible,
if you stored the backup info on some external media. If you'd just
created a partition on the same laptop hard drive, to hold the backup
copies, they're of no use to you there. You really need some other kind
of media for backups. (I have more than one computer, and the backups
from one computer, are sent to another computer, as the quickest
way to achieve some slightly better level of redundancy. They're
then copied to an external drive, as time permits.)

http://www.cmsproducts.com/detail.aspx?ID=1089

Doing a "bare metal restore", usually requires some kind of boot CD
provided by the backup software, plus your USB hard drive with the
backup files on it.

2) Restore WinXP using the recovery CDs you burned, the day you
got the laptop. These are not regular install CDs. They would
have been a form of image of WinXP, suitable for restoring the
laptop to factory condition. The laptop instruction manual will have
the details, on how to prepare them. Some laptop OS installs will
pop up a dialog box, warning you that the recovery CDs should be
burned by you, for emergencies later.

Such CDs may also be purchased from the laptop manufacturer.

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-4M7HWZ

3) Look on the bottom of the laptop. There may be a COA or Certificate
of Authenticity. On it would be a "key", which is not the same
as whatever "key" was used by the original WinXP image installed
on the computer. That is effectively your license to WinXP (a
WinXP CD is useless without a valid and unique key, for licensing
purposes).

Using that "key" of 25 letters and numbers, divided into five groups,
you could use a *matching* WinXP CD to reinstall the OS. As long as the
key type matches the CD, you can use that key to install.

To use that key, all you need is a CD. When you buy WinXP, you're buying
a key, and a copy of someone else's matching CD, would be enough to
use that key to do the install and activate it.

Only (1) above, will have your user data files and email database. The
other two will "wipe" the PC. Option (3), using some other WinXP Home OEM
CD, plus the key on the bottom of the PC, will install WinXP without
the cruft software added by Lenovo.

Your technician should have been able to explain these options, so you
could make a choice based on what is available to you. Now, I'm
not a technician, just a user, and if the tech couldn't explain these
options to me, I'd be heading out his shop door!

Replacing a hard drive isn't that hard, assuming you have access to
a second PC while you're working. If the laptop is your only PC, then
that makes it difficult to make progress, and then I might use the
services of a tech. As long as you'd prepared whatever media specified
by your BounceBack Express software, the hardest part will be using
a screwdriver to open the laptop drive bay, remove the old drive, and
install the new one. On my current laptop, it's two screws and slide
the drive backwards out of its SATA connector, to get the drive out.
Takes no time at all. On older drives, the connector may be slightly
harder to work with. Always be gentle with laptop cabling, as the
connectors are more fragile than the size of connectors used on
desktop computers.

I would continue to use WinXP, as it would be a better match for the
computing power level of your PC. Based on my recent comparison of the
user interface of Windows 7, versus the WinXP I'm typing this in, you're
going to get more done in less time, using WinXP. Windows 7 would
work well, as long as the laptop has a good quantity of RAM. My new laptop
has 3GB, as an example. If you had an older laptop, one limited to
512MB installed RAM memory (SODIMMs), then Windows 7 would be a
poor choice. Windows 7 *loves* extra RAM.

*******

I just got a new laptop as a gift, a few days ago. These are the steps
I took on delivery. My laptop has Windows 7 Home Premium x64 on it.

1) Burn Acer recovery DVDs. It took four DVDs to hold all the info.
This is enough info to restore the laptop to factory condition.
Three DVDs hold some kind of Windows 7 image. A fourth DVD holds
drivers and Acer software. The fourth DVD would be most useful,
in the event the other three DVDs were not available, and I was using
a retail Windows 7 DVD to do a reinstallation. I could choose to
toss the fourth DVD, without losing much of value. I could probably
also get the three DVD set from Acer, for a price.

2) Burn a Windows 7 Recovery Console CD. This is a feature of Windows 7
and not something Acer provided. I had an x32 recovery console CD already,
but discovered it wouldn't work with the x64 on the laptop. Burning a
new CD, gave me a working disc. This allows me to boot from the CD,
in the event something is slightly broken within the OS. I can get
a command prompt, for making small repairs, to get the OS booting again.

3) I made a complete image of the hard drive. This is a redundant step.
I did it in such a way, the image can be restored with any Linux
LiveCD from my collection. The drive is 320GB in size, and I compressed
a complete image of the machine down to a single 27GB file. It is
currently stored on this computer. If that laptop hard drive dies
tomorrow, it'll take several hours to put the image back.

It took me a couple of days to complete those essential steps.
Now I can enjoy the laptop without worrying about the inevitable
hardware failures. And if the DVDs go bad, due to "bit rot", I
have that 27GB image to put it all back.

HTH,
Paul
 
M

Mint

My Lenovo laptop has gone belly up. The technician trying to fix it says
the hard drive needs to be replaced. I have been using something called
BouceBack Express to back up the hard drive but the tech says this is
insufficient to restore XP Pro to the replacement drive. He needs a set
of XP CDs but none came with either the laptop or our desktop system. So
it looks like I need to buy a version of Windows (XP Pro or 7) if I want
a running Windows on this computer. Is that my only option (other than
going to some flavor of Linux)? If so, would it make more sense to but
Windows 7?
Dick

I would recommend getting a second drive.

1. Make frequent disk images and store them on it.

2. Make SURE you make the recovery CD with the image backup program on
it

3. Also have a backup program store on the 2nd drive as well.
I use custom batch files.

That way, you don't lose stuff that you have added to your primary
drive since your last image backup.

Good luck,
Andy
 
H

Hot-Text

The kind of Tech that hears click, click, click, click, click, click, click,
click, click, click and the dive will not run!
Will say to buy a new Hard Drive, and and OS to go with you all!
 
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O

oldrah

Paul said:
These are your options, based on what I've read so far.

1) Restore from your "backup", the BounceBack Express. That implies the
backup information was stored on some other hard drive, CDs or DVDs.
If the original hard drive is dead, any kind of backup stored on it
is kinda dead also (unless you send the hard drive to a Data Recovery
specialist, charging $500 to $1000, depending on the degree of
difficulty of recovering the data).

The feature set described here, indicates a restore would be possible,
if you stored the backup info on some external media. If you'd just
created a partition on the same laptop hard drive, to hold the backup
copies, they're of no use to you there. You really need some other kind
of media for backups. (I have more than one computer, and the backups
from one computer, are sent to another computer, as the quickest
way to achieve some slightly better level of redundancy. They're
then copied to an external drive, as time permits.)

http://www.cmsproducts.com/detail.aspx?ID=1089

Doing a "bare metal restore", usually requires some kind of boot CD
provided by the backup software, plus your USB hard drive with the
backup files on it.

2) Restore WinXP using the recovery CDs you burned, the day you
got the laptop. These are not regular install CDs. They would
have been a form of image of WinXP, suitable for restoring the
laptop to factory condition. The laptop instruction manual will have
the details, on how to prepare them. Some laptop OS installs will
pop up a dialog box, warning you that the recovery CDs should be
burned by you, for emergencies later.

Such CDs may also be purchased from the laptop manufacturer.

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-4M7HWZ

3) Look on the bottom of the laptop. There may be a COA or Certificate
of Authenticity. On it would be a "key", which is not the same
as whatever "key" was used by the original WinXP image installed
on the computer. That is effectively your license to WinXP (a
WinXP CD is useless without a valid and unique key, for licensing
purposes).

Using that "key" of 25 letters and numbers, divided into five groups,
you could use a *matching* WinXP CD to reinstall the OS. As long as the
key type matches the CD, you can use that key to install.

To use that key, all you need is a CD. When you buy WinXP, you're buying
a key, and a copy of someone else's matching CD, would be enough to
use that key to do the install and activate it.

Only (1) above, will have your user data files and email database. The
other two will "wipe" the PC. Option (3), using some other WinXP Home OEM
CD, plus the key on the bottom of the PC, will install WinXP without
the cruft software added by Lenovo.

Your technician should have been able to explain these options, so you
could make a choice based on what is available to you. Now, I'm
not a technician, just a user, and if the tech couldn't explain these
options to me, I'd be heading out his shop door!

Replacing a hard drive isn't that hard, assuming you have access to
a second PC while you're working. If the laptop is your only PC, then
that makes it difficult to make progress, and then I might use the
services of a tech. As long as you'd prepared whatever media specified
by your BounceBack Express software, the hardest part will be using
a screwdriver to open the laptop drive bay, remove the old drive, and
install the new one. On my current laptop, it's two screws and slide
the drive backwards out of its SATA connector, to get the drive out.
Takes no time at all. On older drives, the connector may be slightly
harder to work with. Always be gentle with laptop cabling, as the
connectors are more fragile than the size of connectors used on
desktop computers.

I would continue to use WinXP, as it would be a better match for the
computing power level of your PC. Based on my recent comparison of the
user interface of Windows 7, versus the WinXP I'm typing this in, you're
going to get more done in less time, using WinXP. Windows 7 would
work well, as long as the laptop has a good quantity of RAM. My new laptop
has 3GB, as an example. If you had an older laptop, one limited to
512MB installed RAM memory (SODIMMs), then Windows 7 would be a
poor choice. Windows 7 *loves* extra RAM.

******* --snip --
HTH,
Paul
Option 1 won't work. The "backup" I have on an external hard drive is
only a data backup, per the BounceBack people. It will not serve to
restore Windows XP on the replacement drive.
Option 2 won't work because I did not burn any recovery CDs, thinking
the BounceBack backup would suffice.
Which leaves option 3, which I am trying to pursue if I can locate a
suitable WinXP CD. The lost system was at the SP3 level with current
updates installed so I will no doubt have a lengthy update process to
carry out to get back to that level if I can find a CD that will work.
Regarding the broken drive, the technician assures me that he tried as
best he could to extract my stuff from it but the drive simply was too
far gone.
Live and learn, I guess.
Dick
 
T

Tim Rude

If the guy who's working on the computer is really a computer repair
technician, he's probably got dozens of WinXP CD's lying around. As long as
your computer's got a COA sticker on it, he should have no problem
installing Windows to a new drive using your license key and one of his own
CD's. He'll rightly charge you for his time spent installing and updating
the OS, but you don't have to buy a copy of Windows again. You already own a
license to use the software.

If you've got a valid COA sticker and he still insists that you have to buy
Windows XP from him, take your computer somewhere else. He's trying to rip
you off.
 
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O

oldrah

Tim said:
If the guy who's working on the computer is really a computer repair
technician, he's probably got dozens of WinXP CD's lying around. As long
as your computer's got a COA sticker on it, he should have no problem
installing Windows to a new drive using your license key and one of his
own CD's. He'll rightly charge you for his time spent installing and
updating the OS, but you don't have to buy a copy of Windows again. You
already own a license to use the software.

If you've got a valid COA sticker and he still insists that you have to
buy Windows XP from him, take your computer somewhere else. He's trying
to rip you off.
Interesting advice, Tim, thanks.
Dick
 

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