Don't be tempted to back up your data straight away when the
hard drive starts failing, think about taking a clone.
What is a Cyclic Redundancy Error…
You’ve probably just seen an error message pop up on your screen and are desperately searching the internet to find out what is going on. Generally a Cyclic Redundancy Error or CRC indicates that data cannot be read due to a malfunction. The heads have been unable to read a sector and this is usually indicative of a failing hard drive.
More often than not users try to copy their data to a safe place and find that the hard drive crashes whilst performing this task. When users copy out all their data, it puts a lot of strain on the hard drive and if it is already failing – catastrophe!
So what should I do to save my data? Well don’t despair because there are alternatives to backing up your data that don’t strain the hard drive. If you take a clone or image, the heads will work slowly and methodically bypassing bad sectors, to produce a RAW picture of your data. This can then easily be rebuilt into your data.
There are lots of programs out there, many of which are free to download. Stella Phoenix and ddrescue are two of the better applications. Make sure that you clone the hard drive to a formatted replacement, or a clear partition with enough storage space. Just because your hard drive is 500GB don’t assume that the image will be less than this. Make sure you have at least twice as much free space in the destination!