Computer help needed. (in Off-topic)

Adminedyit [Superheros] November 14 2006 4:30 PM EST

My computer at work had its hard drive die today.

Is it possible to install a new hard drive and transfer the programs and software from the old one onto the new one?

It runs a SCADA system and various wonderware programs. I'm trying to go the cheaper route as i get a new budget in January and a complete system upgrade this spring when I do a expansion on the water system. Spending unfortanatly has to meet board approval. So is it possible to install a new hard drive and transfer the programs and software from the old one onto the new one or should i get a new tower and software?

Tezmac November 14 2006 4:32 PM EST

Depends on what OS you're running. With Windows, you'll have to reinstall most of your programs as they create registry entries that won't be there with the new drive. However, data (documents, pictures, spreadsheet, etc) are transferrable as long as your drive is readable where those documents exist. You can try pulling your drive and slaving it in another machine and see how it does. Does your BIOS even recognize it?

bartjan November 14 2006 4:38 PM EST

Define 'die'

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] November 14 2006 4:40 PM EST

If it's actually dead, no, not without some serious forensic hardware.

If it's corrupted, viri ridden, or the controler is just starting to fail (after giving the drive a firm bump with your hand it might spin up) might have a chance.

Adminedyit [Superheros] November 14 2006 4:50 PM EST

die = comp crashed, i restarted it and got file error, file deleted or corrupt, i tried the recovery disk and it said it can't repair without reformatting which means losing all the data i'm trying to save.

bartjan November 14 2006 4:58 PM EST

Have you tried booting from Knoppix?

Tezmac November 14 2006 5:02 PM EST

Odds are you're fine then if it's just a corruption thing. Find a donor machine, jumper its drive to master, yours to slave and burn your stuff to CD or transfer it to the master drive.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] November 14 2006 5:17 PM EST

Edyit, you'll need a new HD with an OS installed in the machine to copy it to. Then just boot up either in a NEW OS or Knoppix (as prev mentioned in this thread), to copy the data from the old one to the new one. However, since you are probably running Windows, you can be sure that some of your apps will not function properly unless you can get the registry values you need. Thankfully though, most apps use the same space in the registry, "HKLM > Software", to store their special stuff.

This link might help you recover the broken registry.

Adminedyit [Superheros] November 14 2006 6:17 PM EST

thanks for the help guys, i called a few places today and some said you could do it with just a hard drive, 1 or 2 said i needed a complete new system, so i think i'll try the hard drive first, thanks again :)
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