• partition copy on SSD fails…

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    After I update Windows I usually make a partition copy (image clone) as a backup.  Lately, a Win10 partition on my Lenovo laptop running a Crucial SSD is failing to copy no matter what method or app I use.  I usually use EaseUS Todo Backup (which has always worked until now) with the clone option.  I’ve tried Macrium Reflect and the copy option in several partition managers.  They all fail complaining of a bad sector or Disk I/O error.  I’ve run chkdsk and several low-level checks from partition managers.  They ALL say the partition is just fine?!

    So, two requests:
    1. Any thoughts on how I can make an image copy this partition??
    2. If I blow away this partition, re-make a new partition, do a low-level format and install Win10 21H1 ISO from scratch, will it install without validation issues (this was a free install way back when Win10 first came out based on my Win7 license)?
    Thanks for any help!

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    • #2390625

      If I blow away this partition, re-make a new partition, do a low-level format and install Win10 21H1 ISO from scratch, will it install without validation issues (this was a free install way back when Win10 first came out based on my Win7 license)?

      SSDs don’t have bad sectors nor low-level formats. SSDs have bad block which is a sign of near hardware failure..
      Your Win10 license is kept on the “motherboard” in the ACPI table so reinstalling won’t need to supply a license.
      Check that TRIM in on.
      Trim usually takes care on bad blocks for that it need some free space.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2390630

      TRIM is automatic and ON.  Looks like I’ll need a new SSD (not happy) — thought Crucial was more reliable than that!  Now all I have to do is figure out which SSD manufacturer isn’t ‘cooking the books’ with their speed numbers.

    • #2390636

      which SSD manufacturer isn’t ‘cooking the books’ with their speed numbers.

      Cooking the books in your least worry.
      Switching to lower quality NAND. QLC NAND instead of TLS NAND.

    • #2390664

      Maybe use crystaldiskinfo  to check out the drive .(lots of junk on the site- download half way down, escape key clears the ads on the download page.)

      What they don’t tell you is (assuming no recent changes) if you download the “zip (XP-)” archive and unpack it to USB, you can use the product from the recovery CMD prompt of a Windows 7/10 DVD , DiskInfo32 if you are using a 32 bit windows disk, DiskInfo64 for 64.. or make a USB recovery media (without copying system file to save time and space) and just add the files to it. the fun bit is locating the drive letter. It won’t be x:. The program interface changes colour traffic light wise to indicate its prognosis.

      I have been there on this one. You will probably find your drive’s remaining life is at or near zero as you leave the machine powered on or sleep the system to S1 instead of powering down (or S3, S5 sleep) so the running time clock in the drive indicates you are approaching MTBF (mean time between failure). The other give away is if you open the system after the drive has been exercised a while it will be  a whole lot warmer than you would expect on the outside (which explains the problem on the inside.. the worn flash cells generate more heat making the heat problems worse).

      The condition also usually trips SMART so if you enable that in the BIOS, and this is the issue, you will get a suggestion for your course of action at the next POST.

      As to activation, you can link this to a Microsoft account instead assuming the machine is still working.. https://www.windowscentral.com/how-link-your-windows-10-product-key-microsoft-account

      The only way I can think of backup wise is to use DISM to backup the partition files, which of its nature logs the file in which the problem occurred in the logs (even on a recovery disk, on drive x:) and does not attempt to replicate the system volume information folder (which is specific to the drive media) so you can tell via the logs which file to move to that folder to effectively remove it (and thus the error message preventing the backup finishing) from the backup process, so you only lose what was lost already. Admittedly you have to put it all back together later but that’s easier with most of the pieces and you’ll know what you haven’t got!

      Who knows – the problem could be in unused space and the file set of a DISM backup might be complete.

      DISM only works “clean” – you would have to run a restore on the replacement drive to get the same partition layout (or recreate the layout manually and image all partitions) and format the destination partition before reinstating a DISM backup and if the drive is MBR partitioned, using BCDEDIT from the recovery console to re-hook the installation (as the GUID will be different, remember to reboot after imaging before repairing! oddly a Windows 7 repair can sometimes do this itself but I haven’t seen it since MS16-140 so that’s probably no longer possible.)



    • #2390742

      Sorry – think I should clarify..

      When you boot a Windows recovery disk, the drive you boot from is assigned a drive letter in the usual way. Changes made on this drive persist, so you can save things here and run programs from the recovery drive. The boot process creates a ramdisk which is fixed at drive x:, which holds the operational logs for Windows extracted from \sources\boot.wim. These are not reflected back to the archive when you close the session, all changes are lost. Thus you need to either use notepad open and inspect the DISM logfile (which is under X:\Windows\System32\LogFiles\, but I can’t remember the subfolder name!) or copy it to the drive letter for the USB stick you booted from.

      I have used a linux based drive clone software which was on the Hirens 9.1 (I think) disk long ago,  named something along the lines of “unstoppable disk copier” – it’s gone from the current version. Basically you could attach a blank, larger drive to the system and it would enable you to copy all the accessible LBAs to the other drive, upon which you could stage data recovery or perform image capture. Getting away from the Windows subsystem enables the software to deal with the I/O error gracefully and carry on as long as the drive remains accessible. I found some drive makes did work well with this, and some basically died completely when the error occurred but perhaps its another way you could get around the issue. Note the drive doesn’t have to be a PC drive, just blank- you just need a data bucket to put stuff on while you likely sort a new drive. You kept the last backup that did work I take it..

    • #2390747

      Thanks for all the great advice! CrystalDisk showed the Crucial SSD as 100% OK?! I’m still fooling around with DISM. If I run it under Win10 it complains of file ‘in use’ and stops. If I boot over the Win7 (it’s a dual boot system), the DISM version has no option to make an image! So back on Win10, I’m using DISM to image one major directory at a time to see if I can run down the bad culprit. Still at it. I may go back to Win7 and try xcopy on the Win10 partition files but that’s for later.

      And, no, my last ‘good’ backup is gone — basically useless cuz it was from an old version of Win10.

    • #2390812

      If crystaldisk says the drive is fine and he interface is green then it likely is. it reads the SMART (Self Monitoring and Reporting Technology) information from the drive.

      What you seem to have is a sector which is corrupt either as a result of a cell defect or logical damage to the controller level information in one location (a power loss during write could do it as flash devices flash one memory block at a time).

      Unfortunately from there the method is to back everything up as the solution is to use manufacturer diagnostics to do a low level destructive write test, which should scrub out the problem or force the drive to reallocate the sector and thus return the drive to operation.

      Best to use DISM from a recovery media. If your partition table has a “reserved” partition, that’s a MSR partition – there’s no volume, you just recreate it (the drive is UEFI – example https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/configure-uefigpt-based-hard-drive-partitions). If you lack the reserved MSR partition, your drive is in MBR partition layout and you need to fix the boot sector after imaging – arrange to have the data at the final URL here to hand.

      the form is (assuming we want to capture drive C:  on to an external drive f:, and e: is another partition on the local drive we can use for scratch space to stop a log jam with bytes going too and fro on the USB cable.. (recovery can be good, but if you cant skip the whole spec and it just takes longer..)

      to capture:

      dism /capture-image /imagefile:f:\mycdrive.wim /capturedir:c:\ /name:anyname /scratchdir:f:\

      *****  Be sure to test extract any image if you are going to destroy the source – the image process can go awry, as with any backup. *****

      to apply (assuming the same):

      dism /apply-image /imagefile:f:\mycdrive.wim /applydir:c: /index:1

      (you can also specify /name:anyname – DISM archives may contain multiple file sets with differing names numbered by the sequence of their addition, you can specify the one you want either way. I would not recommend compressing data for operations traversing different drives, and it’s also slow.)

      In the unfortunate situation where the drive is not GPT partitioned you need to repair the boot sector and add the installation to the BCD store (as the new partition will have a different GUID) to get Windows to start, which is a bit fiddly (especially as sometimes you have to use diskpart to assign the boot partition a letter first..):



    • #2390818

      Here’s how to create a image of your “active” Window partition.

      Boot a Windows install Disc/USB

      Press Shift + F10 at the first window to get a command prompt


      List Vol (to determine the drive letter Windows is installed on)

      • Note: normally it will not be the same drive letter you see when using Windows.

      Exit Diskpart

      DISM /Capture-Image /ImageFile:Drive you’re saving it to:\Your filename.wim /CaptureDir:The Win10 drive:\  /Name:whatever you want to call it /CheckIntegrity /Verify /EA

      Note: the size of the final image will be “significantly” smaller than the actual amount of disk space used by Windows because DISM compresses it. (i.e. my 83.5GB Win10 installation created a 24.1GB wim file

    • #2390850

      OK.  Now I have to decide whether to go through the DISM route to make a backup or just throw up my hands and let the Crucial diagnostics scrub the partition and (hopefully) isolate the bad sector(s) then install a fresh copy of Win10.  I wouldn’t lose too much just some time re-installing a few apps — all the settings and data can be saved.

      Thanks for all the great help and suggestions!

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