hard drive replacement questions

Tony Baechler tony at baechler.net
Tue Sep 25 03:05:47 UTC 2012

On 9/24/2012 10:27 AM, aerospace1028 at hotmail.com wrote:
> Greetings,
> I think I see my 60 Gb drive on Amazon. What are some recommended hard drive
> surplus sites I might want to look at for comparison?

Offhand, I don't know of any.  Try Google and look for computer surplus.  I 
know there are some out there because I've seen them, but I don't remember 
what they are.  You could try EBay, but beware.  If you found it on Amazon, 
I would just buy from there.  You can probably still find new IDE drives, 
but the major computer sites like newegg.com don't seem to have them 
anymore.  You might even be able to find a 500 GB or bigger IDE drive.  I 
had a 650 GB drive, but I wasn't dealing with laptops.

> Also, currently I have my system partitioned to duel-boot with archlinux and
> WindowsXP. When I get my new drive, is there a way I can copy at least the
> windows partition from the old drive to the new one? I can always re-install
> the default system from the origianl recovery disk (once i find it) and go
> through the lon process of upgrading 7-years worth of Windows, plus
> re-install JAWS and KES etc. Reinstalling and configuring arch isn't as
> daughnting to me.

Someone here will probably tell you to use dd.  To copy your Linux 
partition, dd is great and very fast.  However, I guarantee that it won't 
work with Windows XP.  I know because I tried it and was left with an 
unbootable system.  There are free image programs, like Partimage and 
probably others, but I would recommend a commercial alternative.  I will not 
get into the free software debate here, I will only share my experiences. 
After doing a fairly exhaustive amount of research when trying to find my 
own backup solution and trying to find a good program for my brother who 
just wanted something that worked without a lot of complexity, I found that 
a commercial program was the best solution.  It's called Image for Windows. 
  There are also versions for DOS and Linux.  It costs about $35 as of 
earlier this year.  Go to bootitng.com for more information.  You can't use 
their boot manager because it isn't accessible and runs before any operating 
system, so don't buy it.  Just buy Image for Windows instead which comes 
with registration keys for DOS and Linux.  If you go with Image for Linux, 
they include Speakup in the kernel at my request.  They were very good at 
making their software accessible.  Any of the versions of Image are very 
accessible and work great with screen readers.  For your situation, I 
recommend Image for Windows.  It can make backups of any partition and 
filesystem, including Windows XP and Linux.  It can also do just a straight 
copy.  They give instructions on how to make a backup of XP.  You first have 
to delete something in the registry, make the image and restore the image on 
a new drive.  I haven't personally looked at Partimage and the free 
alternatives, but according to several reviews, they are very slow, often 
require booting from a live CD and probably are not as accessible.

With all of that said, I'm always looking for free alternatives to 
commercial software, so if anyone here knows of something with the same 
feature set as Image but which is free and open source, please tell us about 
it.  I've looked at every backup program I've been able to find in Debian 
and I haven't found anything with the same level of accessibility and features.

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