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Old 05-01-2012, 07:27 PM   #1
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Default Cloning Hard drives

Hi everybody,
I am new on this forum and hopefully in the right place. Here is my story. I have two NT 4.0 computers that run old printing equipment. I believe the hard drive crashed on one of them. I am afraid to try to clone another drive on the working computer. If I mess up, I am out of business. Anyway, is there a way to clone a drive to a network computer and then get that info onto a new hard drive so I can get the broken one up and running? It uses the PATA system. I have other computers that run XP and a server that runs Server 2003. I don't know what else you guys and girls might need to know to help me. Thank you for any help I can get. I am down to one running machine and it is giving me the creeps.
David
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cloning Hard drives

I know that NT 4 does not support USB, but that point is irrelevant for this question: Are there any USB ports on the working NT 4.0 computer? IF so, you should be able to boot that computer from a CloneZilla boot CD, plug a USB hard drive into the PC, and clone the internal drive to a file on the USB drive (the CloneZille boot CD will include the needed USB drivers).

That does not require opening up the existing system or messing with its hardware at all (I presume that's where you're afraid you might mess things up).

Of course, its a BIG "if" that USB ports would be present on a machine of this age, especially given that it is running NT 4. However, I *know* of at least one manufacturer (Compaq) that shipped systems with NT 4 and USB (of course, the USB ports did not work). These systems were early 2001, and you had your choice on first boot of NT 4 or Windows 2000 (which, of course, DID support USB).
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cloning Hard drives

Chirk,
Thanks for answering. My working NT does not have USB. I noticed it has that Ghost 2003 on it. It has all kinds of options on it that I don't even know what they mean. I guess I would like to try to copy or clone or whatever to another computer that is on my network if I can but then I have no clue how to get the copy off of that computer onto a new hard drive. I was told I could at least clone the hard drive to a network computer like my server. By the way, how much is a new hard drive?
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cloning Hard drives

There are versions of Ghost you can boot from, then create an image on a network share. Google "ghostcast" to learn more. Clonezilla also has the capability of doing a clone across a network (see Clonezilla - Sever Edition), but I have never tried that.

Hard drive prices vary greatly. A replacement PATA drive should be under $100, but they are getting harder to find since nothing new uses them.

Newegg has long been a favorite supplier of mine:
Newegg.com - Computer Hardware, Hard Drives, Internal Hard Drives, IDE Ultra ATA100 / ATA-6


Now, the following is outside the scope of cloning the working and restoring on a new hard drive on the dead system:

If these systems are mission critical, you may want to consider a RAID controller and two hard drives. This way the system is not dead if a hard drive fails. Newegg actually has a PATA RAID Controllers:

Newegg.com - Computer Hardware, Hard Drives, Controllers / RAID Cards, IDE


Going with RAID would only be a viable option if you are going to reinstall NT 4 from scratch on the problem machine. Frankly, that may be a better idea than trying to clone a VERY old installation. NT 4 is not very hard to install...just seems primitive today, especially since any modern hard drive will need to have a VERY SMALL (by today's standards) boot partition:
Installing Windows NT on a Large IDE Hard Disk

I'd probably go with two 80Gb hard drives in RAID 1 if I were going to rebuild NT 4 myself. You'll probably also need a 3.5" floppy disk to load the RAID controller driver during the Windows NT install disk boot (press F6 when prompted).
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cloning Hard drives

Chirk,
Ok, I think I have some good news. My dead (not really dead, just wont boot up) NT has a floppy that actually works and I also have a Windows NT cd. With that, what is my next move?
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