7966: Disk cloned on another PC will not boot in the original

13 replies [Last post]
Paul Roberts
Offline
Beginner
Joined: 2010-01-26
Posts: 7

I have had this problem twice now.

I remove a disk with bad sectors from its original PC and attach it to another to clone it. Examination of the clone shows that all the data is there. I then install the cloned disk to the PC I'm fixing, but it will not boot.

I can run a Windows repair install, but afterwards Windows will still not boot.

A full windows install to the partition that Disk Director made fails too, unless I use the Windows install procedure to wipe and recreate the partition.

I have contacted Acronis support, as I was directed to do by the sticky, but have not had a response after 2 weeks.

The first time this happened, I resolved it by cloning the disk while attached to the original PC. In that case, this was physically awkward, but possible.

But this time the original PC is a laptop with only one IDE connector, so it is not possible.

Mark Wharton
Mark Wharton's picture
Offline
Acronis MVP Volunteer
MVP
Joined: 2009-08-15
Posts: 1715

Paul:

This often happens when the PC uses a nonstandard BIOS geometry. Lenovo, Compaq, and others are (in)famous for this. By any chance do you have one of these brands?

To get the correct geometry the target disk must be installed in its intended location in the PC. The easiest way to do this is to remove the source disk and install it in an external USB enclosure. Then install the target disk in the PC in place of the original disk. Clone from the external disk to the internal disk.

An alternative is to create an image of the source disk and save it to an external location (USB disk, networked PC, etc). Then remove the original disk, install the new target disk, and restore the image to the internal disk.

Partitions formatted by DD often cause problems with Windows. This is a known problem that others have reported on the forum for Windows 7, Vista, and even WinXP. You can create partitions with DD but you should let the Windows installer format the partitions while installing Windows.

__________________

Acronis TI 10, TI 2011, TI 2013, DD 10, DD 11 user
Amateur Radio K0LO

Paul Roberts
Offline
Beginner
Joined: 2010-01-26
Posts: 7

Thanks.

Yes the first machine it happened on was an old Compaq. The current one is a Toshiba laptop.

To do as you describe I will need to boot from CD and read a disk/image via USB or the network. Can the Acronis Disk Director boot disk read disks via USB? Or will I need a BartPE CD with the relevant drivers and Acronis installed to do this?

How come the cloned disks could be read on the original PCs via BartPE without problems? Just trying to understand what is going on.

Mark Wharton
Mark Wharton's picture
Offline
Acronis MVP Volunteer
MVP
Joined: 2009-08-15
Posts: 1715

Paul:

Are you using True Image to clone or are you copying partitions with Disk Director?

The boot CD should work with wired networks and external USB disks, however it runs Linux and does not always support as many hardware devices as Windows. Try it to see. If it doesn't work, check for new releases of the Bootable Media on your account page on the Acronis web site. Finally, if none of the boot environments support your machine then you can build a BartPE disk to be able to run TI or DD with Windows drivers.

The original disk can be read while booted to Windows because Windows uses LBA addressing to find information on the disk. But when booting, Windows starts out using low-level drivers for disk access.

__________________

Acronis TI 10, TI 2011, TI 2013, DD 10, DD 11 user
Amateur Radio K0LO

Paul Roberts
Offline
Beginner
Joined: 2010-01-26
Posts: 7

I am copying partitions with Disk Director.

I have just an old version of True Image, which IIRC seemed to cause problems so I uninstalled it.

Mark Wharton
Mark Wharton's picture
Offline
Acronis MVP Volunteer
MVP
Joined: 2009-08-15
Posts: 1715

If you're copying partitions with DD then have you also installed MBR boot code on the new disk?

If the OS is WinXP is the boot.ini file referencing the correct partition? If Vista or Win 7 have you fixed the BCD to reference the correct partitions? Is the correct partition set as Active? These little details are (usually) taken care of by TI when cloning.

__________________

Acronis TI 10, TI 2011, TI 2013, DD 10, DD 11 user
Amateur Radio K0LO

John Ford
Offline
Beginner
Joined: 2010-01-26
Posts: 1

If you have both disks in your system, you might want to also go into the BIOS and select the boot order. That happened to me before, where it wouldn't boot. Once I changed the boot order, it worked fine.

Paul Roberts
Offline
Beginner
Joined: 2010-01-26
Posts: 7

That's a good question about the MBR, I had not thought about that originally. I did run fixmbr afterwards to try to get the thing working, without success.

I did check the boot.ini was correct. I remembered to set the partition active, on the Compaq at least.

Now you mention these issues, I see I should have been using True Image.

It is XP. If I copy the partition with DD on another PC, run fixmbr on the original PC, check the boot.ini and make sure the disk is active, should it work with DD, regardless of BIOS geometry issues? Is the MBR the only bit that is affected by different BIOS geometry?

Mark Wharton
Mark Wharton's picture
Offline
Acronis MVP Volunteer
MVP
Joined: 2009-08-15
Posts: 1715

No, the BIOS geometry settings are stored in the BIOS Parameter Block, which is in the first sector of each partition. An example of an NTFS partition is shown below as viewed by Disk Director. Note items like Number of heads, Sectors per track, etc:

I believe that if you copy an existing partition using DD to another disk then the BPB parameters should be consistent with the source disk, but I've not tried this to verify. It's possible that the code in DD resets these after the copy to be consistent with the target disk; I just don't know.

It would be interesting to understand this better. My Lenovo laptop uses 240-head geometry and I've always had to be careful when cloning or imaging. Instead of figuring it all out I have just gone by the standard advice to always have the target disk installed in its final location when cloning or imaging. Then it all just magically works out.

__________________

Acronis TI 10, TI 2011, TI 2013, DD 10, DD 11 user
Amateur Radio K0LO

Paul Roberts
Offline
Beginner
Joined: 2010-01-26
Posts: 7

Thanks for your invaluable help in helping me understand what is going on here. I have got it working... sort of.

I wrote a master boot record using the recovery console.

I then copied the partition using DD, reading the original hard disk as a USB disk.

This copy then booted successfully.

The only problem is, after updating XP from SP2 to SP3, the boot process now fails at an early stage! (I think the last module shown was mup.sys, but it is difficult to tell as it restarts so fast). But I suspect this is due to something unrelated.

Mark Wharton
Mark Wharton's picture
Offline
Acronis MVP Volunteer
MVP
Joined: 2009-08-15
Posts: 1715

Paul:

There's a lot of info about mup.sys on the web. I've never run into this problem but if you search you should find some troubleshooting suggestions. From a quick read, the error is often caused by a corrupted file.

__________________

Acronis TI 10, TI 2011, TI 2013, DD 10, DD 11 user
Amateur Radio K0LO

kyle armstrong
Offline
Beginner
Joined: 2011-01-04
Posts: 2

[quote=Mark Wharton]Paul:

This often happens when the PC uses a nonstandard BIOS geometry. Lenovo, Compaq, and others are (in)famous for this. By any chance do you have one of these brands?

To get the correct geometry the target disk must be installed in its intended location in the PC. The easiest way to do this is to remove the source disk and install it in an external USB enclosure. Then install the target disk in the PC in place of the original disk. Clone from the external disk to the internal disk.

Hi, I have a new question based on Mark's comment above.
I am trying to clone to a new disk using Acronis True Image 11 Home. I have a Lenovo X60s laptop, and have found that the cloned disk will not boot if I first created the clone by having the old and new disks both joined to another machine via USB.
So, as per the advice above, I put the original drive in an external caddy, and the new disk inside the Lenovo. Then I went to another machine and used Acronis to create a bootable disk on USB. I went to Tools: Create Bootable Rescue Media, and Acronis put a bunch of files onto my USB stick as I specified.
Then I plugged USB stick into the Lenovo, and switched on. I went straight into BIOS and selected an option to boot from the USB stick.
Nothing happened, nothing booted.
I am wondering if I have done something wrong, or if the computer will not simply recognise the USB stick (though it is clearly selectable in the BIOS).
Any advice very much appreciated.
Kyle

Mark Wharton
Mark Wharton's picture
Offline
Acronis MVP Volunteer
MVP
Joined: 2009-08-15
Posts: 1715

Kyle:

Bootable Media Builder often does not prepare a flash drive correctly for booting. There are several methods of preparing a flash drive and perhaps the simplest is described here (you can use this method with either a Vista or a Windows 7 PC): http://www.themudcrab.com/acronis_diskpart.php

An alternative that is useful if you want to create a multibooting flash drive is here: http://www.themudcrab.com/acronis_grub4dos.php

Once you get your flash drive to boot correctly then remember that you can press F12 when booting your X60S to allow selection of the boot device, without needing to enter BIOS setup to change the boot order.

__________________

Acronis TI 10, TI 2011, TI 2013, DD 10, DD 11 user
Amateur Radio K0LO

kyle armstrong
Offline
Beginner
Joined: 2011-01-04
Posts: 2

Hi Mark,

All worked perfectly, thanks so much, I would not have worked that out on my own.

Kyle