General Question

aprilsimnel's avatar

My boot drive on my PC is dying. How do I save the programs quickly?

Asked by aprilsimnel (30684points) March 31st, 2010

I heard the awful grinding start this morning, so I shut my PC down.

Unfortunately, it’s the C drive with the OS and all my programs installed that’s dying; I’ve had this PC for 8 years and I don’t have all the passwords for everything. Is there a way I can clone the C drive onto another drive quickly and swap boot drives? I need this PC in order to do a great deal of work, so any help I can get ASAP would be appreciated.

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7 Answers

ratboy's avatar

I was able to do this with Norton Ghost a few years ago.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

Erm… this is why it’s really important to keep ALL your program disks. Being an obsessive-compulsive pack rat when it comes to computers is not a bad thing.

@ratboy‘s suggestion is worth looking into, but personally I hate Norton. It may have gotten better over the years but I have had some terrible experiences with it. Sometimes you can copy and paste your Programs folder to another drive, but beware as this may cause registry problems that could make your life difficult.

My suggestion is making a list of all the programs you have (screencap and print your programs folder maybe), find what disks you do have, and see if you can download any others, or perhaps borrow some from your friends. Since you’ve had this for 8 years you’ve likely accumulated a lot of extraneous crap you don’t need. Make sure you back up your documents, too!

jaytkay's avatar

My suggestion is making a list of all the programs you have…

I recommend Belarc Advisor for that

the100thmonkey's avatar


It’s not scary; just follow the onscreen instructions, and you can copy the whole partition to another disk.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Thank you all for you answers. I see my morning tomorrow will be busy. But yes, I already have Belarc. At the moment, it’s on the C drive. :/

And @ParaParaYukiko – Yes. when I get my next job and buy a new system, this won’t be a problem again.

aprilsimnel's avatar


It’s the fan. I opened ‘er up and took a good listen. Though now I have my boot drive backed up and on a schedule that will back it up once each day, which isn’t a bad thing.

Anyhoo. I need to get some sewing machine oil and lubricate the fan. Or else get a new fan from eBay for $10. I’ll probably do that anyway.

What a great old battle horse she is. Bless.

Thanks again.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

@aprilsimnel Great to hear it’s not the hard drive! I would definitely suggest getting a new fan. Overheating will kill your entire motherboard.

Now go back up your stuff! :)

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