As if I didn't have enough problems already, the hard drive on my Gateway laptop crashed early last week. Windows 7 gave a warning that the drive was failing so I scanned it for errors using Windows Error Checking and a couple of other hard drive checking software. None of them found anything wrong with the drive. After working a couple more days, the computer would no longer boot up. Since it no longer came with a CD/DVD of the operating system, I tried looking for a Windows 7 - 64 Bit rescue disk which I thought I had made when I first got the computer. Well, I'll be darned, but I didn't make one! Fortunately, I back up my files weekly and was able to restore them on an older Toshiba computer running Windows 7-32 Bit. It worked sluggishly though, but at least I was able to retrieve everything, even though the hard drive of the Toshiba only had half the capacity of the broken Gateway (only 160 gigabytes). After several tests, I figured the Gateway hard drive was unfixable.
I had a spare 250 gigabyte blank hard drive lying around so, using a free software I downloaded called Macrium Reflect, I was able to clone the hard drive of the Toshiba to the 250 GB drive. I then removed the broken drive from the Gateway and replaced it with the cloned drive. Voila, it worked! I notice though that the cloned drive was only showing 160 GB capacity instead of 250 GB. After further internet research, I launched Windows 7 Disk Management and found where the missing gigabytes went. The cloning software had placed it in a separate partition which I was able to recover and assign a new drive letter to.
If I ever get a new computer, please remind me to create a rescue boot up disk first. Even though my weekly backups will continue, I have now copied most of my important documents to the cloud. I have Dropbox (2 GB free), Sky drive (7 GB), and Google (5 GB). Then I found out a couple of days later that I also had 5 GB free with Asus Webstorage!
A follow up: I was experiencing problems with the restored computer. While watching videos on the TV screen via HDMI connection, I was getting frequent BSOD crashes (blue screen of death). I couldn’t figure out the reason for it. It may have been an overclocked processor or overheating but I had a similar a couple of months ago while video chatting so it could also be and underpowered video card.
Remember I mentioned above that I must have forgotten to make a rescue disk? Well, I was wrong because I found them. It was back to square one. I formatted the 250 GB hard drive and did a clean install of Windows 7–64 bit. I now have a fully restored “clean” computer. Anybody wanna buy it? Anyway, I apologize for boring you with all this technical stuff.
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