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Topic # 152362 24-Sep-2014 13:34
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My son managed to drop his Sony E series laptop while it was running and appears to have damaged the HDD. Windows (8) wouldn't boot up so I reinstalled it from the recovery partition. However over time it is becoming less stable and disk utilities I have run report irreparable disk faults. No separate installation media, just the recovery partition.
It has currently been upgraded to Windows 8.1.
I believe it may be in our best interests to replace the HDD before it fails completely. So this is where the dilemma begins.

I can take it to a retailer/service centre and get them to install a new drive and clone the old drive to it. How well would it transfer if the old disk has faults on it? It will cost half what the laptop is currently worth to achieve this from the quotes I have had.

I could get a new HDD installed with just a fresh copy of 8.1 on it and reload all the apps and data. I read something about the license key for Windows being held in the bios. Does that mean the OS is easy to reinstall/activate?

A third option is to install the new HDD myself and use a Vaio Recovery USB to reinstall Windows. But I have read that it won't do this unless the new HDD is exactly the same as the old one. I doubt the same drives are even available any more. And I would like to put a 7200rpm drive in to replace the 5400rpm if I have to change it (can't afford a big enough SSD unfortunately) to improve performance slightly.

Otherwise I could buy the new HDD and use cloning software to transfer by connecting both drives to my desk top PC but that presents the same cloning problem as getting the professionals to do it, but with less likelihood of success.

Any other reasonable options I haven't considered?

Has anyone in a similar situation had a successful outcome that didn't break the bank?




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  Reply # 1136576 24-Sep-2014 14:51
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I recently swapped out my Vaio HDD for a 240GB SSD,  It's an E series (I think), bought in May 13 and has Win 8.1

After experimenting with various backup and cloning tools, I used EaseUS ToDo backup (free for personal use) to clone the partitions of the original 500GB drive onto the new drive, reducing the size of the main partition in the process.  I used a cheap USB caddy from PB Tech to house the SSD while I did this, and I now have the original drive in this as a portable.  I had previously transferred as much as possible in the way of music, photos, videos etc onto my NAS to make the porcess easier.  It was quite a painless process with this software, although previous attempts using other tools were not so good.

It may not work as well if your existing HDD has problems but it's worth a try - it won't cost you anything to try other than the cost of the caddy.

I'd highly recommend a SSD, it has totally transformed the speed and responsiveness of the laptop.  Subjectively I'd say it's 3-5 times faster at doing most things

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  Reply # 1136626 24-Sep-2014 15:22
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try 10-20x faster

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  Reply # 1136632 24-Sep-2014 15:25
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With regards to data transfer - depends entirely on your skill level and patience.

I'd suggest backing up the important stuff - photos, documents etc NOW to an external HDD.

I would then do a fresh install on the SSD and reinstall drivers and apps, but that's me.

If the HDD is damaged you're unlikely to get a full clone done anyway - chances are it will fail or stall.



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  Reply # 1136636 24-Sep-2014 15:29
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Much as I would like to install a SSD the cost is too great for a large enough capacity one. My main concern is getting the OEM version of windows I paid for with the laptop onto a new drive. The apps and data are secondary, but painful to have to reinstall. Trying to keep the cost down because sonny-jim is going to have to stump up towards the repair.




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  Reply # 1136677 24-Sep-2014 15:59
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joker97: you mean this is too expensive for you? http://www.amazon.com/PNY-2-5-Inch-480GB-Optima-SSD7SC480GOPT-RB/dp/B00KWHMXTM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1411529482&sr=8-2&keywords=pny+optima


Interesting. I hadn't considered importing one. However, the main thrust of my questions remains, it's not so much about the new drive as about transferring, at a minimum, the OS, and preferably everything across from the old drive when I don't have the physical installation media.




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  Reply # 1136680 24-Sep-2014 16:01
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download reflect macrium free. it does it all for you. one click

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  Reply # 1136685 24-Sep-2014 16:09
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Have you got/can you create recovery DVDs or is there a recovery partition?



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  Reply # 1136688 24-Sep-2014 16:15
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wasabi2k: With regards to data transfer - depends entirely on your skill level and patience.

I'd suggest backing up the important stuff - photos, documents etc NOW to an external HDD.

I would then do a fresh install on the SSD and reinstall drivers and apps, but that's me.

If the HDD is damaged you're unlikely to get a full clone done anyway - chances are it will fail or stall.


Thank you for this. It would seem that cloning would be risky. So I should concentrate on a clean install. So that just leaves me with determining if I can create a VAIO recovery USB that will allow me to reinstall windows 8.1 when the hardware will have changed. Some of the research I have done indicates it may be a sticking point.
Data can be backed up and restored pretty easily, and since my son dropped it, he can sit there and reinstall all the apps.

I need to get a usb2 thumb drive because the usb3 one I tried wasn't recognized on boot up. Documentation said this may be the case with usb3.

Oh and I do have a back up of the data, thanks for the reminder. Ever since he dropped it I have made sure there is a copy of the important stuff.




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  Reply # 1136692 24-Sep-2014 16:19
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wasabi2k: Have you got/can you create recovery DVDs or is there a recovery partition?


Yes and yes.

Would prefer to use USB if I can. But can make DVDs if necessary.

Are recovery DVDs still an option in W8.1?




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  Reply # 1146527 3-Oct-2014 12:15
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Just as an update. Bought a 7200rpm 750GB HDD, clean installed Windows 8 from the recovery USB, upgraded to 8.1, transferred data from old HDD using a caddy (including 120GB of Steam files!). The worst part was the half day it took for Windows 8 to download all the necessary updates before it would let me upgrade it to 8.1. Is the MS server really slow or is it a setting on the computer that I had wrong?
Son's piggybank only slightly wounded rather than being fatal, so smiles all round.

Is it possible to install the original recovery partition on the new hard drive?




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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