25763: Cloned disk will not boot

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Mike Santos
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I cloned a WDC 320GB onto another WDC 320GB. No errors during the process. The original disk is fine.

It WILL boot via an XP boot floppy - with no errors. I'm on that disk now. But that's not what the product is supposed to do!

Using XP PRO ThinkPad T30, with both HDDs internal using the ultrabay. NO USB involved, I ran TI from the original HDD within windows.
The New disk will not boot the HDD. The two disks are identical so please do not suggest that one disk is not compatible. As I stated, this edit is being made from the disk that will not boot by itself.

So what's up???

Scott Hieber
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One thing you can check is the boot order in the BIOS.

Also, when you cloned did you put the target drive in the palce of the origianl drive and then clone to it? That sometimes helps.

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Mike Santos
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I did not put the target in the primary boot bay. I can't do that because winbloze will then mess up the boot ability of my original drive!

I booted off the original HDD to execute the clone process. why it would change the BIOS is beyond me but I'll check it and report back. I am 99.999999% sure that the machine is set to bot from the internal HDD. That more sure than the mint's 1 oz gold eagles, which if they weren't so expensive, I'd provide as a bounto to whoever can tell me how to do this reliably.

Scott Hieber
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I fyou connect you original via usb you can conenct it after booting up and Win won't change any system or boot settings onthe original disk.

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Mike Santos
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Hi scott, I don't have a USB drive enclosure - never needed one with a Thinkpad T series. Plus my USB is v 1.1 it would work, but it SLOOOOOW.

I boot with nothing in the ultrabay, then i insert the target HDD - the ultrabay supports hot swapping. So the target disk is not present at boot.

Please understand i have seen all the issues with booting a HDD in the secondary IDE spot, you can get a boot.ini and hal.dll issue among other things.

But those will halt booting to the point you CANNOT boot with a floppy. Been there.

This cloned disk will boot via the FDD to the full XP. So it does not seem to be one of those issues.

GroverH
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Mike,
For a successful Cloning or restoring a Thinkpad, there are some special instructions which have been found to be beneficial. We know that the Thinkpad has special head geometry which makes it different.

1. Create a TrueImage Bootable Media device. This can be a TrueImage bootable a CD or a TrueImage bootable media Flash Drive. If using a flash drive, even a 512MB size will be large enough. Boot the Thinkpad with either of these devices for a restore or clone so as not to use Windows in either situation.

2. Disk placement. Place the target disk so that the new blank disk is connected to the Bios using the same connector as original disk. If this is to be new duplicate spare, you can return the first disc after everything done.

3. Perform the restore or cloning. Shutdown. Disconnect the original disk or others so that the only disk connected. During the first boot following the clone or restore, you only want the new disk to be seen by Windows. After the first or second successful boot, you can then attach other disks as needed.

Note-1: When the target disk the same size as the original, this is when you master disk is at greatest risk of a user error selecting the wrong disk. Be careful in your selection and know your disk characteristics such as used space, volume names, disk location. You cannot be too careful. A wrong guess can ruin your master disk--if it is attached.

Note-2: When cloning or restoring from large to small, sometimes it helps to be pro-active and run "chkdsk c: /r" on the source disk before the start. TI has shown it will not clone to a smaller disk if there are disk errors.

Note-3: If cloning to a smaller disk, the best type of clone is to use the manual clone and user controls the partition size. An automatic clone can make the partitions the wrong size whereas a manual sizing allows the user to control sizes.

Note 4: If cloning to the same size disk, the manual clone method using the "as is" option has shown to be successful. Be careful to select the correct disk.

Note 5: My preference is use the restore method rather than cloning as the restore method has less chance of a user mistake and the source disk is not attached--thus not at risk.

Mike Santos
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Grover:

1. I will try USB boot for TI. I have sticks to use up to 8GB, they are just backups of my music and photos.

2. If i can get # 1 to work then i'll put the original disk in the Thinkpads Ultrabay. That's the only time it will ever see that bay because if windoze sees it there then goodbye bootable disk!!!

3 - roger.

Note-1 Agreed, but i am careful with this type of process.

Note-2 Never heard of CHKDSK /R what does the /R do???

Note-3 Someone sugested that going from 320 to 100 was too big of a jump. I'll try 100 to 80 (with 48GB space used on the 100)

Note-4 I don't think i used as-is, but will try that as well.

Note-5 Agreed but it requires 3 devices. If i can get TI to boot from the USB this will work.

Lastly, what is windows disk management - wher the heck is that?

Scott Hieber
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Do yourself a favor and get a usb harddisk that can hold several backups and keep current backups there. Much better than having only one backup (or a single clone) of you valuable files. You should be able to get a pocketsized drive about 1TB or so for about $100 if you shop around -- maybe even cheaper I haven't looked ain a couple months.

A backups will only require about as much sapce as is used onthe source drive, so you can usually fit several backups on drive that is rated for the same nominal size as the source drive.

Btw, winwods disk management is built into the OS,, go to My computer, Management, Disk management . . . you're there

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Mike Santos
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I bought a USB enclosure to use with TI and DD.

I have a 500GB but it's SATA and the USB enclosure i bought is PATA/ IDE so if i want to use that disk, I'll have to get another enclosure, which I might do, but my 250GB disks can hold 2 or 3 backups each so that can wait a couple of days.

I had 3 working clones of my original HDD. I was trying to refresh them when this started a couple days ago. Now i'm down to 1 working clone (which I won' mess up), but all my data files are backed up onto the 500BG, both 250GBs plus my array of USB flash drives. It's not the data files i'm concerned with, it's having a reliable method of cloning the HDD, primarily so i wouldn't have to take 3 weeks to restore from a recovery CE, and then apple endless patches plus re-install every app.

I'd also like to clone my wife's T61, but I want a reliable method before i screw her machine up!!!

I had been using DD 10 but got a really stubborn HAL.DLL error the last time so i decided to try TI 2011. Not much better, but at least the clone booted (with a floppy) rather than just give me the blithe HAL.DLL is corrupt error.

Gotta love those ms error messages!

Mike Santos
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I'm going to wipe both target disks using the instructions i found here:

http://kb.acronis.com/content/1515

And then try again...

The hated DISKPART actually has a useful function after all!!!

GroverH
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TrueImage also provides the "add disk" option for use either from the CD or within Windows and it will remove any partitions so the target disk has no partitions or disk signature. This is good preparation when the target disk is not blank.

For your purpose, the KB instructions were the correct ones to use.

Docking stations also work very well in place of the adapter and easy to use--just drop in the Sata 2.5 or 3.5" drives and I have not had any issues with mine. This works especially well if you have multiple loose drives.

http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-BlacX-eSATA-Docking-Station/dp/B001A4HAFS

http://www.amazon.com/Kingwin-2-5-Inc-3-5-Inch-Docking-DM-2535U/dp/B004P...

Mike Santos
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Grover, I used to be lucky enough to have a deluxe T30 dock when i worked for IBM in the 90s, but now I'd have to hunt one down. My T30s are old, made in 2003 / 04. And a lot of the docks are even older because they were also made for the older T20 series.

MudCrab
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I think Grover is referring to a USB docking station. They allow you to easily attach internal drives via USB.

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Mike Santos
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OK, I have multiple loose drives, but they are all IDE. I never even considered a USB enclosure until these cloning follies surfaced. Thinkpads with the ultrabay made it a non issue until now.

Anyway,
Still in limbo - finally got everything set to go at approx 0300; USB wouldn't show the drive, etc, USB would not boot (never did, but i might try one more time), slow hotel narrowband speed took forever to DL, had to tidy up the source HDD, had to take it out of it's thinkpad caddy to fit in one of the USB enclosures.....

Source drive in a USB enclosure - had to direct connect it for the drive to be seen at all
Target drive in the master internal bay ("permanent" or "boot "bay)
bootable acronis CD in the ultrabay
CAC reader, USB floppy, etc all disconnected.

It STILL will not let me clone downward from 320GB to 100 GB even though only 48GB is used. So i decided to try 320 to 100.

Well after 4.5 hrs it's approx 1/3 of thew way done! It might actually finish by the time i get off duty.

Don't try this at home boys & girls - NEVER clone over a USB 1.1 connection :D

On the inability to clone 320 to 100:

I have the restore partition at the end of the drive, that's the way IBM did it back in the T20 - T30 era. Maybe that is what is causing Acronis true image to not allow the 100GB as a target because it sees stuff at both ends of a 320 drive. hmmmm.....

I DID hunt down a couple of the old Dock I for the original T-series - the ones that come with an open ultrabay !!! Thing is biggger than the laptop, but it has that extra ultrabay so i can boot a CD in that with the two HDDs in the laptop itself. I'm not wanting to do the eternal wait with the USB 1.1 anytiime soon...

Mike Santos
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GroverH wrote:

Mike,
For a successful Cloning or restoring a Thinkpad, there are some special instructions which have been found to be beneficial. We know that the Thinkpad has special head geometry which makes it different.

Grover, I didn't catch this at first.

What do you mean by special head geometry? My T30s were all made in 2003, and there is nothing special about them They used Hitachi HDDs (because IBM used to owned the Hitachi plants in malaysia), but i have a mix of IBM FRU'd and non-IBM Hitachi TravelStar HDDs and they all work fine. I also have a smattering of Fujutsu, Seagate, Toshiba & WDC HDDs and they all work fine as well. I've taken NTFS formatted drives and used W98 FDISK to clear them and install FAT32 for a T22 and the reverse.

XP cloning is the only thing i'm having difficulty with because of what XP does to HDDs when it sees then at bootup.

Maybe the latest ThinkPads are special, but not the ones i have (they're special to me, having been in all my combat zone deployments),

Mike Santos
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While I cannot be certain I believe that my first clone attempt (this one) using TI to clone same size (identical drives actually) failed because either:

a: i had a supervisor PW on the HDD and had booted with the user PW (not verified and cannot be sure any more).

b: I did not properly clear off the old HDD by either using DISKPART or vTI's internal add new disk facility.

Or it could have been both. But anyway it appeas to be fine now.

Mike Santos
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Final update on this:
After figuring out that i needed to either clean the HDDs (via DISKPART /CLEAN) or wait for the Acronis message on the target disk to clear the partitions), TI 11 has been working just fine. I've become sort of a expert at cloning on Thinkpads.

All these methods work fine:
a: source HDD in USB enclosure, target HDD in main bay, TI boot CD in ultrabay - TAKES FOREVER on USB 1.1!!!
b: source HDD in main bay, target HDD in ultrabay, boot windows - requires a reboot, but no issues
c: source HDD in ultrabay, target HDD in main bay, boot windows -a same as above depends on which disk I am going to keep in the machine.
d: source HDD in main bay, target HDD in ultrabay, TI boot CD in dock ultrabay - very clean and quick
e: source HDD in ultrabay, target HDD in main bay, TI boot CD in dock ultrabay - same as above and same note as to where the target HDD is going to end up, i.e. in the machine on on the shelf.

Why did i need to make SO MANY clones???

Well, i finally figured out that ThinkPad T30s, while they can format and use large HDDs (over 128GB), they have serious trouble booting a large (over 128GB) partition if any "boot info" strays over the 128GB boundary. This is why a clone onto a single 320GB partition always worked initially, but after a week - or a day - it would no longer boot, but all the files would be there. I finally figured this out, and having Acronis disk director already on the machine, i re-sized the boot partition to just under 128GB (137 odd billion bytes) and it booted perfectly! I haven't had the problem recur since.

And the replicator program, while it has a few limitations, can easily "synch" my "backup" (i'll call them file transfer) drives off either of two working T30s, so all i need when going home on the weekends is a single 500GB transfer disk (not "backed up" via TI, but rather regular copies of files and directories) to synch from one machine to the other.

So, after 6 months of this I'm finally able to get onto my other time wasters!

I'll say this: Acronis TI and DD are very good products. They might have a few user interface quirks, and that scheduler that won't go away on its own is an annoyance (registry edit needed to kill it), but overall they work very reliably and effectively.

GroverH
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Thanks very much Mike for the final update. This helps to show which options work and which do not. If you have access to any web links which pictures the ultra-bay, the link might help others. I understand these could vary by model but for those user (like myself) who have never actually seen the ultra-bay, it would help me to understand their use.

Good luck and thanks.

Mike Santos
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Grover, and any others interested:

Here is a link to the ultrabays for thinkpads:

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Ultrabay

You can see the CD / DVD, the FDD & the HDD tray. there is also a battery of the same shape. These all hot swap (XP and later) in on the right side of a thinkpad. Mostly T series but some A, R, & X series. I always liked T series the best because, well, they were (and are) the best ThinkPads; they had the fastest CPU, best screens & largest HDDs at any point in time, plus they all had the ultabay, while only certain others had it. There are several generations. T30 & older use the IDE interface, but T30s have a bridge curcuit in them allowing them (and T40s) to use SATA drives in the ultrabay. A few enterprising folks have taken CD shells and put in a SATA connector in it so i can use the 500GB & 750GB drives. T40s used the SATS connectoe to connect with thew machine, but their main drives were still all IDE / PATA. Again, they can use SATA drives in the ultrabay. T60 & later are all nativeSATA but of course they can use PATA / IDE (i have the HDD tray for this!).

Here is a dock link:

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkPad_Dock

There's even a T30 in one of the photos! The big dock (and IBM made several varities for different generations of ThinkPads) has its ultrabay on the left side - hidden from view on this page, but you can see it on others. The CD on the T30 pictured is the thinkPad's internal ultrabay. With this dock, you can have a max of 4 drives, one has to be the FDD (connected to a port in the back or via USB), one has the to the main HDD (in the internal IDE bay). The other two can be HDD, optical, battery or even FDD.

I'm going to get the 2nd generation advance dock (with ultrabay) for my T30s (its smaller and lighter than the ancient dock 1) and the latest advanced dock for my wife's T61. That way all the computers will have 3 main drives all the time. Despite being over 10 years old (original dock 1), these are readily available via that favourite auction site and many other outlets. This is another reason I like ThinkPads over other brand laptops. Lots of way after the sale service and 3rd party support out there. these were, and are, flexible machines.

Here's a shameless plug for thinkpad forums for those having issues with their ThinkPads:

http://forum.thinkpads.com/index.php