Failing HD Cloning.... Need help/information! - AVS Forum
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello All,

I have a UTV with a 120GB HD which has begun to have HD problems.

The HD is not completely dead and would like to clone the contents over to a new drive before it completely dies.

I've read the FAQ and searched the forums but am still a little confused. It sounds like it is possible to clone a drive, but the steps to do so are not clear. It also seems like I can clone the 120GB drive to a larger 160GB, however the extra 40GBs will be lost.

Can someone confirm it is possible clone an existing UTV HD (with recorded programs and all), to another drive?

From what I've gathered thus far, I believe these are the steps:

- Power up the UTV with the existing marginal drive.
- Boot PC and pause before drives are detected
- Hot swap IDE cable from UTV to PC (leaving power uninterrupted)
- Continue to boot PC
- Use WinHEX to copy/clone the existing drive to the new.

I need clarification from this point. I would like to avoid paying for WinHEX since I don't have much use for it after the fact. I've read the 30 day trial of FlexHEX works, can anybody confirm this?

Do I need to worry about reference points and such for a full drive copy/clone? I suspect this is only for upgrading or pre-loading a blank drive with a fresh image?


I would appreciate if anybody can give a step by step for either WinHEX or FlexHEX. Is it at simple as selecting the physical disk and copying/pasting to the new physical disk?

One last clarification. Once the contents from one drive are copied to the new, do I simply install the new drive in UTV? Won't the unit try to ZERO out the drive, lock it and dial out for the current image? Or will the unit simply detect the existing (copied) image and lock the drive?

Thanks in advance for any assistance/information anybody can provide.

Regards,
Gavin
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:57 PM
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I think you will need to do a good deal of study and work to accomplish this. It's far easier to watch all your recorded shows (or record them for later) and then start with a new drive and dload the system. If your HD is flakey, you could have errors which you would propogate to the new HD.

I have done hot swaps and used winhex, which I bought. Instead of hot swapping the IDE cable with one connected to a pc - and then boot the pc, I've used a usb enclosure. It usually takes a couple of trys before I get it to work, however. But I prefer this to opening up my pc and messing around. Also, no pc bootup is required this way, and winhex easily sees the new usb drive.

(there's some cheap usb connectors w/o an enclosure at frys that don't have an actual enclosure, just some cabling and a 3 headed connector for 3 kinds of drives - plus an external power supply - perfect for this sort of tinkering).

However, I did blow out one of these enclosures once and I often feel some tingly electrons when I try to push in the cables (note that there's two sides to ide connectors if the connector is at the end of the cable, and you can get zapped if you touch the side of the connector where the ribbon cable has its exposed ends).

I do seem to recall that long ago someone had actually cloned everything, including saved shows, and that you're right, you can use a larger disk, but it will not actually use that space - since by cloning you also clone the partition tables. I've never done this myself, I only copy portions (the o.s.) from the utv drive to/from the PC.

Good luck.
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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And what is the process for the OS? I saw some OS hacks (i.e. buffer display, etc), is the another forum with these?

What prevents the UTV from zeroing out the new drive when loading the OS?

Does it see the OS and simply locks it from there?

Thanks!
Gavin
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:28 PM
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GavinS,

I have done it.

I took a wd120 which had been in service for 7 yrs, unlocked it w/swap ide cable method, copied data to a new maxtor 160 gb drive (only 137 will be detected by utv) with winhex, patched the o/s with a patch posted elsewhere to show time remaining, buffer, etc and installed it back into my ultimate.

No shows lost and gained 17 gb in recording space.

This unit has been in action since 2000. In fact, we just watched a show that was 4 years old!!!

Jim
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GavinS View Post

And what is the process for the OS? I saw some OS hacks (i.e. buffer display, etc), is the another forum with these?

What prevents the UTV from zeroing out the new drive when loading the OS?

Does it see the OS and simply locks it from there?

Thanks!
Gavin

The hack I got for the buffer size was created by RandCFilm, at this forum. You might want to search for his posts. I haven't done this for a while and I didn't make very good notes, so this is from memory.

When you do a hot cable swap, the drive doesn't know you are no longer connected to the utv and allows full access. You then use winhex to overwrite the o.s. area (in one of two 32k contiguous areas - there are instructions on this in the various posts here). If you are swapping in a new disk, one of the steps is to zero the front of the disk (a brand new drive is usually all zeroed). If this area is zero AND the o.s. area is zero, it tries to download (via phone) the o.s. If this area is not zero, and there's an o.s. where it expects, it just uses it and all the shows and settings are not reset. If the front is zero, but there's an o.s. it will reinitialize the myshows and settings but it will use the o.s. that is there.

There is also a way to replace part of the o.s. area (it's divided into multiple partitions, the only one I know about is called the browserdata partition). In the case of the o.s. hacks, the posted hack file would then be copied in on top of part of the o.s. area. This is a bit trickier however, and would be dependent on the which version 3.7 vs. 3.8 etc. that you are running. You'd also need a bit of expertise and some utilities that are not widely available if you wanted to modify browserdata stuff. But if you only want the hack, you would use winhex and copy in a smaller piece on top of the o.s. part. The location of that was in the posts by RandCFilm.

Anyway, that's about all I remember.
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:17 AM
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Wow, thanks for posting this rocket. I wonder if we couldn't / shouldn't complie this to a sticky? I had only seen instructions to 1:1 record over to VHS for backup.

I am not that comfortable with WinHex, but it is certainly worth a try to get at some of the shows "lost" on my OEM 40Gb that I'm upgrading to 80Mb.
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:05 AM
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thanks rocket..very helpful
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eea123 View Post

Wow, thanks for posting this rocket. I wonder if we couldn't / shouldn't complie this to a sticky? I had only seen instructions to 1:1 record over to VHS for backup.

I am not that comfortable with WinHex, but it is certainly worth a try to get at some of the shows "lost" on my OEM 40Gb that I'm upgrading to 80Mb.

Don't forget that once you put the new drive in, the utv then will initialize it and "marry" it. This means that if you then take out the new one and put the old one back in, it will (somehow) know this drive is not the one that it is NOW married to and will try to initialize it. This means it will not be unlocked and used, so you can't get the shows off of it. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong here, but this is what I have experienced.
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:11 PM
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I had better do a forum search for RandCFilm. I may have gotten the wrong impression that all the WinHex edits and copying were being done on the PC side. My understanding was that the UTV marries itself to a drive once it is installed. If I init my 80Gb, pull it to copy shows from the 40Gb to it (all on the PC) will the UTV try to re-init the 80Gb when I reinstall it?
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:31 PM
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Figured I'd reactivate this thread... Since my Primary Sony UTV no longer "Sees" the 160GB Seagate... (Wants to dial out and acquire the upgrade, confirmed using 411 that it doesn't see the drive) I figured before I attempt to swap out the drive I'd confirm with others what level of hope I may have trying to recover the existing recordings.

I've avoided using WinHex till now... Figured the best bet would be to start FRESH and just drop in a different drive and let bygones be bygones... But it can't hurt to try if there is a chance, right?

I'm assuming however since the drive is "unseen" The UTV can't unlock it and WinHex would be useless to me... right?

I've already gutted the UTV... but I suppose I could attempt to reinstall the "unseen" drive and see if it "reappears" (I'd assume there isn't much chance of that) if it does I'll either have to perform a clone via WinHex or have a Marathon transfer to DVD/VHS session while the getting is good.
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