SMART recently told me that I had a problem with my primary boot drive. I was using the SMART function in Speedfan initially, but Western Digital diags reported the same ‘read’ issue. Performance was still good but drive ‘fitness’ could not be reported.
OK, the drive is not too bad and a ‘write zeros’ should restore the drive. Problem is that you can’t write zeros while still keeping the drive and partitions intact.
Fortunately, I have enough space on other drives to copy across anything on the two data partitions, and I need to do this because I have to eliminate both partitions in order to get the apparent size of the 320gb drive below 160gb, the size of the drive to which I am about to clone the OS.
All goes well, and Windows 7 repairs itself after being booted from the newly cloned drive, with a little help from a Windows 7 DVD.
It booted, but my Start Menu is a shadow of its former self. Application icons are all there, but they have lost contact with their respective applications. Worse still, my Quick Launch and User Pinned boxes on the Start Bar are proving impossible to re-instate, and when I finally do get them back, just like the rest of the Start Menu, nothing is working as it once did..
It is taking me some time to get everything back as it was. I have to recreate the two data partitions such that I can put my stuff back, but I can’t remember the original names of the partitions. Some paths to programs and icons are going to be broken..
It is still a work in progress, but fortunately a minor work in progress. Had I ignored the SMART warning as some do, I could have eventually lost everything on it.
There is more than one moral here.
- Always back your stuff up
- Always keep a suitably sized spare hard drive handy and a means to connect to it via USB
- Learn how to clone a drive BEFORE it is too late
- SMART is rarely wrong, so don’t ever think that you can ignore the warnings
- The above can happen to anybody at any time..