I believe the "Helix" forensic toolkit has the ability to perform an
"online" clone of a drive while the drive is active. You download an ISO
image, burn it to a CD, and put the CD in the machine.  There is a Windows
app that can take an image.


As an aside .. you can also boot from the CD, which starts Linux from the CD
and has all kinds of neat tools.

Additionally -- I suggest taking screen prints of the "Add/Remove programs"
screen, printing a list of folders in the "Program Files" directory, and
copying the data off, so that if you have to you can rebuild.

At worst, I suggest using Windows Backup to take a backup of the drive.

Good luck .. glad you can deal with this with the machine still running.

On 12/5/06, Chuck Lewis <chuck.lewis@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I'll chime in with something I learned that should open some eyes. I think
even posted it here earlier this year, or was that last year ? Time sure
flies :-)

Anyway, through the years and at two different jobs and all kinds of PC
drive failures and with all kinds of disk recovery tools our track record
recovering a drive was dismal. It would happen from time to time but very
rarely. Then I downloaded Knoppix and low and behold it could read a drive
that the PC tools could not ! And we got stuff of off a "failed" hard
just fine. I then went back and tried it on other "PC tools said dead"
drives and guess what ? They were readable with Knoppix.

So what the heck to you make of that ? Windows somehow marking a drive as
bad and the various tools not being able to get around that ? And Knoppix
can ?


-----Original Message-----
From: pctech-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:pctech-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of qsrvbas@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 10:36 PM
To: pctech@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [PCTECH] Disk imminent failure handling

I've got a PC that reports a "S.M.A.R.T. Bad, backup and replace"
message at boot-up time. I know that this is a result of predictive
failure analysis and that I need to get the existing drive out of
there and put another in its place, but I'm not sure of exactly how
it ought to be done.

The drive is a Hitachi 160GB Serial ATA and I have a replacement.
That drive is in fact currently physically installed as SATA2, but
I'm not yet willing to power the PC back up to install the drive
logically. That's because I don't really know what the steps should
be anyway.

The original drive was partitioned off as 20GB, 30GB and 70GB
partitions giving three logical drives. All three partitions have
been (apparently) successfully backed up into files in my AS/400's
IFS. The PC runs a fully patched Win2K.

It's possible that the PC will boot and run off of the 'bad' drive
for another few months, or it might fail as soon as I start it back
up again. Once the three backups completed, I wasn't quite so
nervous. I _really_ don't want to run through the whole Win2K
install and all of the downloads/patches, but I suppose it could be

Does anybody have any experience to pass on?

Thanks for any advice on procedures.


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