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HELP please. I can NOT get my cloned drive to boot

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Beginner
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I have v11.0, build 8101 installed on my XP machine. What I want to do is create a clone of my C: drive as a snapshot bootable backup drive. I have had ZERO problems creating the clone, but I have had zero luck getting the cloned disk to boot. I've read thru many forum posts and none touches my exact issue I think so here's my mehtod and problem as clearly as I can:
- Install 'old' C: drive into motherboard SATA port 1, "new" C: drive into port 0.
- Boot windows XP
- Load acronis and select 'clone drive'. Select C: as source, F: (the drive letter assigned to the new drive) as the destination of the clone. (There are 2 DVD drives that consume D: and E:)
- Allow acronis to repartition etc. the 'new' drive. (I tried both auto and manual methods with same results)
- Select all partitions (2) on the C: drive for cloning.
- Review all selections and kick off the clone.
- At the end of cloning, a message appears regarding removing the old disk etc. It is at this point I become a little confused, but here is what I've done (several times):
- hit key to power down machine.
- Disconnect power and signal cables from the 'old' C: drive, leaving the new drive connected to port 0.
- Power the system on. After BIOS runs, computer dies with "Error loading OS" message.
- I then go into BIOS trying to find a problem, but I always end up with this same error (or an error saying no valid boot device.) I make sure that the 'new' drive is found and is the only SATA drive in the system. It shows up as third or fourth master in bios with the DVDs taking precedence. I make sure the 'new' drive is set as the bootable device.
I must be doing something wrong, but what?

If I put the old drive back in, the system boots fine. On the way up, a message from acronis comes up saying 'DOne' IIRC. I'm wondering what this is doing. At first I thought it was transferring the MBR or something, but I noticed a message at the very end of cloning saying MBR transferred.

THanks for any help.

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Forum Hero
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#1

George,

I don't think you're doing what you think you're doing! :)

If you are cloning you don't or shouldn't get the choice to restore individual partitions, only complete disks. So, I think you are actually recovering partitions.

With XP you should be able to either select the whole disk to recover (tick the box next to the drive icon, the partitions should auto select) or indeed select clone.

I would suggest beofre you go any further to:

1. Give your current partitions meaningful names - it will make the next step easier.

2. Make a rescue CD and attempt the cloning or recovering from that rather than from within Windows.
The rescue CD uses Linux, so drive letters will be different, but drive names will stay the same.

3. Have your XP installation CD to hand.

If you connect the clone drive to the system is there actually anything on it?

Legend
Posts: 172
Comments: 11125

#2

Here is some additional info.
http://forum.acronis.com/forum/7642#comment-48696

For help with restoring or cloning, look inside my index at the first 3 items of item #3.
Click on the first item in my signature below or along the left margin of this page, click on Grovers guides.

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 15

#3

Folks - thanks for the responses. I think I misspoke or misled about the partitions thing. I've used both auto and manual in the clone wizard and maybe mixing them up. Anycase, they both result in same outcome which is a perfect clone of the source that wont boot. IOW, all data, programs etc from the src are on the dst but the thing wont boot. I have no network to put src on. I looked at the partition transfer deal and I find it a bit intimidating. I think what I'll try next is run it from the rescue CD.

Forum Hero
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#4

George,

Can you explain exactly what you see when you try to boot and any error messages that are thrown up - do you even get to the XP splash screen?

Beginner
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#5

Morning, Colin. Just doing some web surfing b4 I try cloning with rescue CD.

After I pull the cables on the src drive and pwr on, bios runs as usual and 2 or 3 seconds later the message 'error loading os' appears in upper left corner. That's it. No splash screen, no nothin.

Beginner
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#6

Geez, curses foiled again. Trying to make a bootable rescue media CD. Went thru 4 brand new CDs. 3 failed with "bad media" error in acronis. The fourth was able to get a bootable image. So changed bios to boot from the cd first and up it came. However, when I tried to run Acronis True home full from it, then I got "Unable to load linux kernel" Grrrr.

Legend
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#7

George,
You can try an alternate Rescue CD with different drivers. Return to your registration page and download the "bootable media" option. This is an iso file which has to be burnt to cd as an image. Items 2-F, 2-G, and 2-H inside my signature index below provides more details.

Forum Hero
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#8

In addition to what Grover said, also download the SAFE media version of the rescue CD, install that and reburn your CD. The SAFE version uses BIOS calls rather than using Linux drivers, so you may have better luck using this.

Beginner
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#9

SO I booted from my original acronis CD. It offered the option of booting to 'Safe acronis home' as well as full acronis home. I tried Full and it failed with the linux kernel problem, exactly like the rescue CD I made. So I selected 'safe' mode and it booted up. So I did the clone from there-acronis safe mode. And the cloning completed successfully. BUT, I got the same darn error on next boot - 'error loading os'.
Now there seems to me to be a catch 22 here. First I power off after the cloning and remove the old drive (actually I swapped the old drive's data cable to the new drive and left dta and pwr disconnected on the old drive). Then I power back on, and this represents the first boot after cloning. BUT... since I had to change the bios boot order in order to boot from the CD, the machine goes right back to the CD to boot if I forget to change the bios, which I did. Unfortunately I had also left the CD in there, so it began to boot back to acronis. I shut down at first opportunity, removed the CD and pwrd back on and changed the bios to boot from the new drive. But I then got the error loading os.
So - is the pooch totally screwed in the case above? IIUC, bios is supposed to mark the drives with letters as it finds them and boot from the first bootable device. Is that how it works? If so, should the above have failed because I blew it and left the cd in and the bios wrong? But why? It would find the new bootable drive on the boot after I fixed the bios and should boot from it but doesn't.
It seems there's something missing from the new drive that makes it unable to be booted? MBR?

Legend
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#10

What size and type is the new SATA drive. Is this one of the Sata-3 styles? if yes, it may not be compatible with your controller.

Beginner
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#11

Grover - no, both new and old drives are older WD models. 120 and 160 GB.
I looked on WD website to be sure they didn't need any jumpers and it appears they do not. THe 120 was the boot drive and no jumpers on it. The 160 just wont boot.
Grover, (Colin) can u guys tell me what is the big deal that goes on at that first boot after the clone? What is it that makes it absolutely important that it go correctly? Cause I'm starting to wonder how I can do that with the catch 22 of configuring the bios after it boots.
Related question would be what is it that acronis does to 'complete' it's process? (I mean when it displays that message on the first time windows successfully boots after clonig.)
THanks

Legend
Posts: 172
Comments: 11125

#12

The first boot device can be the CD/dvd which is the norm for most computers. During bootup, if the CD is the first boot device and the tray is empty, it simply proceeds to the 2nd boot device.
So for boot device sequence, you can have
CDRom or Floppy
DVDRom or CDRom
Hard drive
Most likely you have a first, second and third choice.
And the above can be set in one specific order and left that way without further changes.

The next selection(differnt option) or 2nd step in the bios is to select the actual hard drive (by actual model number) which is to be used as the boot device.
If there is only one hard drive attached, the specific model number should be listed. the bios may or may select this. Sometimes, the user must make a selection even if there is only one disk. Once the bootdrive is selected in the bios, this remains until you need to have a different hard drive as your boot disk.

The purpose of having only the new hard drive attached at first bootup is so that Windows does not get confused. As a result of the clone, you have two identical drives (same drive leters) but Windows knows somthing has changed.
If old boot device left attached, Windows will either not boot or may boot to either or may boot to the new and assign higher drive letters to the the disk--which is not what you want. YOu want the normal C assigned to the new clone.

Once the new drive boots , then the old drive can be attached later and it will assume temporary new higher drive letters. Different bios's handle multiple drives differently. On some, after first boot, you can selectively choose which is the boot drive; on other bios's, you have to have only one drive attached when a boot disk is changed.
The bottom line is that you want only the new disk attached on first boot. To windows, both disks are identical (clone) so you need to make the choice as to which is the proper boot device and you are doing that by having only the one disk attached when boot drive letters are assigned.

I am understanding that the old boot disk was connected to Sata port 0 and the new disk should be connected to the same motherboard SATA port.

If this were me, the next step would be not use the clone and do a disk option restore of a disk option backup.

Beginner
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#13

Grover - Thanks for hangin with me and providing great info. Stuff I should know, but there's only so many neurons left at this point. Anyway, yeah when I started down this long and winding road yesterday, that is the way bios had my system configurd: CD, floppy, 120GByte WD What's happened since is lots but mainly when I read that my card readers should be disabled, I actually pulled th plug on em (cause S/W disable didn't work). And I disabled my DVD-ROM. And at points out of frustration, I set everything but what I wanted to work with to 'not found' or similar in the bios. So last time I booted I had only the 120WD and floppy (or CD). Yes, I had the old drive on port 0 during cloning, then swapped that (port 0) to the new drive at first boot and left old one unconnected.
But I'm definitely setting it up properly to boot from one drive or the other, yet it will never boot from the 160WD. So that says to me it's not an exact copy of the 120 (It does look like exact copy in windows explorer). Acronis writes the mbr right at the end of the process, right? I'm trying to figure what missing might cause 'error loading os'. Why would it leave something off? I need a good low-level disk utility. Anyway, I want to take your advice but need to be sure how to do that. I think u mean use acronis b/u and select 'mycomputer', then be sure that all partitions on disk (120WD = src) are checked (including checking disk itself-there are 2 partitions on my src disk - NTFS and Drive C:) and be sure no partitions are selected on any other disks (I have only the 2 disks in there); then don't exclude any files; then save the file. Then restore from this file to the new disk? And it will be of course, an exact copy, a clone if u will. Do I have this right? I'm betting I do and will set off to do that

Legend
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#14

This is what you can expect to see when you create a disk option backup or using TrueImage Home.
Keep in mind that all of these functions are done when booted from the TI Rescue CD. At this point, I would even suggest the backups be done when booted from the Rescue CD.

http://forum.acronis.com/sites/default/files/forum/2010/01/7523/backup_…

http://forum.acronis.com/sites/default/files/forum/2010/01/7523/restore…

If you wish to experiment when attaching the clone to a different motherboard connector, you have nothing to lose.

If you do perform a restore on the clone, I would use the TrueImage Add disk option and wipe away all the existing partitions on the clone before performing the restore. The restore can be done to a blank un-allocated drive.

Reminder: When performing a backup of the source boot drive, it is best that the drive be positioned in its normal boot partition prior to the creation of the backup.

That's it for me tonight.

Forum Star
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#15

Is the error message Error loading OS or Error loading operating system? What is the exact text of the message?

Can you post a screenshot of what Disk Management shows for the source drive?

Do you have a standard XP CD? If so, have you tried booting to it, entering the Recovery Console and running the fixboot and fixmbr commands?

Have you run any tests on the new drive to verify it's working correctly?

How old is the computer? How old is the BIOS? Have you checked that the computer/BIOS supports a drive as large as 160GB? There may be a BIOS update available for the computer if this is the problem.

Does the BIOS have a setting for "Large" drives? Sometimes this is set to "Auto" and changing it manually helps.

Beginner
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Comments: 15

#16

Morning folks. First off, my problem is pretty much solved. Though as par for the course I dont fully understand. But letme just wrap it up.
I took Grover's advice from 4 posts up and did a disk restore from a disk backup. I did this exactly as I described in my post, 3 up. This worked! Sortof! I say sortof because when I restored the disk bakup from my src disk (120GB) to my dest disk (160GB) I found I had, sortof, a new 120GB disk! I started from a fully (quick) formatted dst disk. So the restore function restores evrything right down to the partitions and leaves the rest alone. I guess this makes sense :) I went into disk manager today and created a new partition out of the remaining unallocated 40GB space on my dst drive. So I got the space back and I am completely satisfied now (except I do not understand why I could not boot from the cloned drive.) I am now booting from and running on the drive that I could not boot from whan I cloned it.
In any case I want to thank all for their great help. And I now have a better method than before to keep a snapshot copy of my system drive in case of the (I've found inevitable) hard drive crash. I already back up all my data to external USBs and am considering adding carbonite or similar to B/U methods.
THanks again and I'm going to add one more message to answer mudcrabs questions.

Beginner
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Comments: 15

#17

OK, first to Grover's new msg - I did swap drives around to different ports with no help. I did not use add disk but did wipe the dst drive with a quick format. I did have the src disk in port 0 and swapped the dst disk to port 0 after cloning (and aftr restoring). Haven't looked at the two links yet but will.
Mudcrab: The message is 'error loading os'. I can't post a screenshot right now cause that disk is now disconnected. But what it did show was an NTFS partition of about 6GB and a data/system partition of 106GB or so. I do have an XP CD arond here somewhere, but have not done those commands. The new drive is not new new. It's been in and out of this system and works fine (except whn it wont boot after cloning :) ) The system is a 6 or 7 yr old Sony Vaio P4 2GB. I've had 2 previous hard drive crashes in it and have become obcessed with not losing data again. I just purchased a topof line 8GB laptop and some esata boxes, removed my huge data drives (1 and 2 TB) from the Sony and put them in the esata to use with the laptop. (I do mostly photoshop stuff). So I wanted to snapshot b/u the sony at this point. Inow have repopulated it with 3 smaller disks and will use it for the easy jobs. The bios is old. It's like 2002 AMI. I did poke around to se if there's an update, but I was unable to determine such. THis being a Sony, there are some ideosyncracis and updaating bios may be one. I tried to go to the sony update site but it was down! The bios definitly supports large drives as I had a 1 and 2 TB in there and this AM have put my 500GB in there no issues. In fact, that's where I backed up the system drive to.

I hp this answers all the questions you folks have. I've got notify me checked so if u have any more ?s, I'll get back. I leave the process with these two questions unanswered:
1) WHY did Acronis seemingly produce a 'perfect' copy of my system disk - that would not boot?
2) WHY did the rescue CD I built fail with the error (not exact quote) 'error loading linux kernel' yet booting from the original acronis CD did work (booted into safe acronis mode)?

Forum Hero
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#18

I can answer #2. The Linux kernel you are using doesn't have the required drivers to work with your particular laptop. The SAFE mode uses BIOS calls rather than drivers, this can be more restrictive, but as you've found out can also result in older systems being accessible.

The ISO version of the rescue media uses a different Linux Kernel again and is more up to date than the one packaged with TI itself.

It is possible with some fiddling that the standard Linux mode could be persauded to work with your laptop, but I'd say the need for that is moot as the SAFE mode works for the moment.

As for #1 it could be that there was an error, or more likely the Sony has a different MBR to standard ones and TI became confused.

For many laptops the better way of cloning a drive is to install the new drive in the machine and the old source drive in an external caddy.

Legend
Posts: 172
Comments: 11125

#19

George,
Whether the disk restore expands into all free space depends a lot on the version of TrueImage installed on the CD. I would be curious as to which version you used. Here are some tests I have run before and wondering which you mgiht have used?
http://forum.acronis.com/forum/15075#comment-45280

If you wish to have the 40 GB added to your C drive, this is easily doable rather than have a separate partition. This can be achieved by downoading the bootable CD version of Partition Wizard and
1. Boot from the Partition Wizard CD
2. Delete the new 40 gb partition
3. Resize the C partition into the 40 GB unallocated space so all unallocated space is consumed.

http://www.partitionwizard.com/partition-wizard-bootable-cd.html

Remember, a disk option backup which includes all partitions on your system disk is the best type of backup to retain. It provides the most restore functions with the least hassle.

I'm glad you were able to resolve your issues. Many photographers have multiple hard drives for storage and maintain most of their backup safety in standard photographic format rather than have it inside a propriatery format.

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 15

#20

Colin: I must've confused u when I brought up the laptop. It is new, i was not doing the cloning etc on it but rather on my 7 yr old sony desktop.
When I go to B/U or clone my laptop drive, I will heed your advice here.
Grover: I have Acronis® True Image Home® version 11.0 (build 8,101). I think I will download the partition wizard, but I am content presently to have some room in a separate partition I've designated drive z: Might make a good scratch drive for photoshop. Though PS is on the same physical drive so that may not be so good. I'll be doing most of my PS work on the laptop now though since it's much faster and has 4 times the RAM. My desktop maxes out at 2GB, which was a lot 7 years ago.
I do have multiple drives for storage. Well, 2 actually totalling almost 3 TB. I have same sized external USBs o which I back those up. The backup files are not altered or compressed or anything. They are the jpg, tiff, psd, orf etc photographic files. I'm not sure what u meant by being inside a proprietary format. Anyhoo thanks again and I will keep watching.
I agree that this disk option B/U is more suited to what i wanted to do. In fact, I'm so confident in this methodology now that I'm going to reformat the 'old' system drive and use it for data - now that I have a .tlb file from which I can recreate the old system disk at any time.
Only question coming up now is can I do a disk B/U of ONLY the system and ntfs partitions on the current boot drive? IOW, NOT the Z: scratch partition. I wonder this of course since I may have to restore it to the smaller 120GB disk and all 3 partitions would not fit. Will doing 2 of 3 partitions still create a bootable drive is my concern? I see i acronis I can just select the C: drive. That should work eh?

Legend
Posts: 172
Comments: 11125

#21

George,
If you have some a little bit of spare time, if you were read some of the items under Index item #12 inside my Signature index below, I believe you would find them both interesting and helpful. I personally like using Karen's Replicator for bulk copying. In my mind, it is fantastic.

As to your question about createing a backup with only the the 40G not checked, yes, it should work but it needs testing. However, since you are going to clear the 120, why not use it and test your plans. Make a new backup of the 160 and leave the 40G uncheced and then do a disk option restore and see what are the results. You may have to resize manually as listed in my guides reference in post # 2 above. You really should do the testing just to make sure your recovery plans will work when needed. You don't want a repeat of your past few days.

Beginner
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Comments: 15

#22

Grover;

I will read, and I will test the b/u 2 of 3 partition theory. Soon. I buttoned the thing back up and am burnt out on it right now. But soon.

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 2

#23

I had the same problem with a Sony Vaio laptop. Kept getting "missing operating system". Cloned it 5 times but to no avail. Here's what worked for me....

Start Clone tool. Don't use the wizard. Use manual and when prompted, select "AS IS". This will copy the partitions exactly as it see's them. If your new drive is larger than the old one, you will have a bunch of unpartitioned space on the drive after the clone.

Your newly cloned drive should boot now. I then used Acronis Disk Director to merge the partitions together.

Mike

Legend
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Comments: 11125

#24

MikeV,

Yes, the manual option has lots of choices. Too many opt for the automatic.

If using Windows 7, you can use it to expand the partition.
If using XP, you need either Acronis DD or a 3rd party free utility such as the Partition Wizard and it is very easy to use.

Thank you for posting. Your suggestion should be tried by some of the others above who keep having problems.

Beginner
Posts: 0
Comments: 2

#25

Thanks. Yes, I failed to mention that I was using XP Professional and that's why I needed the Acronis DD.