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Post new topic Can you test a USB Win 10 rescue thumb drive
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Author Topic:  Can you test a USB Win 10 rescue thumb drive
Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 11 Mar 2019 6:14 am    
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I was having some issues with my computer last week, and was about to reinstall Windows. I have a DVD rescue disc I created a while ago. It wouldn't boot. I got a thumb drive to make a rescue disc. How can I be sure it works? Does it just boot into Windows and asks if you want to go forward? That way I could test if it boots without it reinstalling Windows.

Also, can I make an external hard drive a rescue disk, and still have other data on it (like backup images)? It would be nice to have 2 ways to run the rescue, in case 1 fails. I believe it shows up in the BIOS and can be moved to the top of the boot order list.

The situation I had was that pretty much every program I opened gave me the "...not responding" error, even file explorer (Windows Explorer) requiring a hard shutdown and rebooting. Turns out to be a bad external hard drive I use for backups. If I don't have it plugged in, the computer works fine, although I still get the not responding crap on some programs once in a while. I plugged the external drive into another computer, and it behaved exactly the same, by crashing Windows Explorer. I've had my share of external drives going bad (Western Digital), but none caused these kind of issues.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post  Posted 11 Mar 2019 6:21 am    
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A "rescue" disc? Is it just Windows that can be installed? If so, it can be tested by booting from it. Just when you get to the point of installing quit. If you have a spare disc drive you could even install to that drive just to verify it will fully install (just don't activate the test installation).

"Rescue disc" as I call it is one that is made from your disc image/backup program such as Macrium Reflect, EaseUS Todo, Acronis, etc. Those will boot to the image program (e.g. Macrium Reflect) so you can restore from a disc image.
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Wiz Feinberg


From:
Mid-Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 11 Mar 2019 7:31 am    
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Richard;
Windows does not offer the option of using another hard drive as installation media. Your choices are optical or USB. All files will be deleted from the recovery drive when you burn the ISO to it.

Make sure your BIOS is set to boot from your optical drive, then USB drive, then your primary drive.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 11 Mar 2019 9:09 am    
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Thanks guys.

I did set the optical disc as the first boot device in the BIOS. The DVD just wouldn't boot.

The rescue disc I refer to is the actually called a recovery disc in Windows. I do have Macrium and do backup images of my OS and full backups of data, programs, etc... But they are on an external hard drive. If I don't have the option of booting from the external drive, that won't work. Can you just image the OS to a bootable CD/DVD?
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Robert Leaman


From:
Murphy, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 11 Mar 2019 7:11 pm     External Hard Drives
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For years, I used a 2TB Fantom external drive for Acronis backups. Fantom advertises their hard drives as the fastest external hard drive on the market. I didn't give this a thought until my Fantom failed to read when turned on. The external Fantom drive spun up since I could hear its characteristic hum but there was no read and the computer did not recognize it. I called Fantom support and they authorized a RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization). After shipmen to them, Fantom reported that the hard drive failed, moved all my files to a "new" 2TB hard drive, and shipped everything back to me. Interestingly, they also returned the supposedly defective hard drive. Since the original 2TB Fantom was long out of warranty, I disassembled it out of curiosity. I found a 2TB Hitachi hard drive that operated perfectly in a Startech external hard drive dock. The fault was a small PCB that interfaces a USB signal to a SATA signal. I was able to find such a PCB on Ebay and the Fantom again operates perfectly. I seriously doubt that Fantom, (MicroNet Inc.), makes any hard drives themselves.

This long and likely uninteresting dissertation is here so those who consider a Fantom purchase will reconsider. A much better solution is provided by StarTech with their hard drive dock, P/N: SDOCKU33F and is available from Amazon for $58.00. This is about half the price of the cheapest Fantom and will do the same thing with a USB3 cable and the supplied 12V power supply. The dock accepts SATA drives both hard and solid state. The hard drive can be changed in less than 2 minutes without any tools whatsoever.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 12 Mar 2019 5:57 am    
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I suspect the the problem with my drive is the board inside. If the drive inside is a laptop sized drive, I have a case that I can mount it in that will hook up to the computer via USB. I have several hard drives that have gone bad over the years. The laptop drives J put in the case and I can copy over the files I want. It seems that the boot sector is what fails. The drives just won't boot, but the data is intact. There's really nothing on that drive I need. It's only backups of my computers.
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