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Migrate Easy 7.0 - New drive won't boot

Beginner
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I've got an older Toshiba Satellite A105-S2071 laptop running Windows XP SP3. Just bought a Crucial M4 128G SSD (Crucial guarantees it will work with this laptop). I put the SSD in an external USB case and cloned the internal drive to this new USB drive. I used the "automatic" clone option. The output on the screen showed no errors and said the clone was successful.

I removed the old laptop drive and installed the SSD. BIOS shows the new drive but won't boot. I can boot from a emergency rescue disk (Windows Vista) and I can see the drive and the contents. The drive does flash once when it starts to boot but then I just get a blinking cursor.

I'm guessing it's a problem with the MBR. I was going to make a Windows XP SP3 emergency repair disk and repair the MBR. However, I don't have any Windows XP install media. Why is it that most people loose their install media five minutes after they unbox their new computer?

I'm not even 100% sure the problem is the MBR. However, if anybody knows how to make an emergency recovery disk without the original install media, point me to the documentation! Everything I've read says you need the install media. Don't know why Migrate Easy is having problems writing the MBR. I've used Migrate Easy 7.0 multiple times on traditional IDE and SATA drives with no problems.

Beginner
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First, sorry for the duplicate post. Can a moderator delete the other one?

Second, I just realized I purchased a product called BootSuite not even a year ago. This should be able to repair a bad MBR for any version of windows. I'll try it tomorrow and report back.

Forum Hero
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Andrew,

Before you try to correct the MBR it might be worth trying a reverse clone - install the SSD drive into the laptop and the old one in the external case, boot from the CD and clone from there.

One thing that might be causing your problem is if Toshiba have a non standard drive layout, in which case the BIOS will be looking in the wrong place for the boot sector.

Beginner
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Colin, I will try that. I also discovered there is a BIOS update which I will be installing before I do anything else.

Edit: BIOS upgraded. Internal drive is now the new SSD. USB drive is the old SATA drive. Booted from CD using the "Safe Mode" of Migrate Easy. The full version would not load. Just hung with a flashing cursor.

The copying is now in progress with an estimated time that varies from one to two days. The source drive is flashing like crazy. The internal SSD drive shows no activity whatsoever. This isn't looking good. After 30 minutes, neither progress bar shows anything.

I'm absolutely positive I selected the proper drives for the source and destination. I'm going to give it 30 more minutes then going to buy a new drive at the store.

Beginner
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Put the old hard drive back in. Just uninstalled Migrate Easy. Sending back the SSD for a refund. Case closed!

EDIT: I'm going to give this one last try. I think Colin is right in that the new SSD drive needs to be installed in the laptop before data is restored to the drive. When I put the old drive in the external USB enclosure and run Migrate Easy, the drive flashes a LOT and nothing ever happens until I press "cancel" A few minutes later I get an error that says: error reading sector . I think the problem is this: the old drive works fine in the laptop. When I pull it out and put it in the external USB enclosure it does NOT work OK. I put it back in the laptop and the drive checks out fine using several drive checking utilities.

So what I'm going to have to do is put the old drive back in the laptop (already done). Use something like Acronis True Image Home to backup to a "backup" drive. Create a boot/restore CD. Install the NEW ssd drive in the laptop. Use Acronis True Image Home to restore the backup to this new drive. The Acronis web site says True Image Home will allow me to restore the backup data even if the hardware has changed (new SSD drive). So I'm going to try the trial version of Acronis True Image.

I think this will work because neither the source nor destination drive will need to be plugged in to the external USB enclosure. Does this seem reasonable? Would Acronis True Image or Acronis Backup & Recovery be a better product for this procedure? Seems like both will work. Any opinions?

Forum Hero
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Make sure it is a complete disk image you make and not just a partition one.

When you recover, make sure again you select whole disk, this way the MBR will be copied automatically.

Beginner
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I'm really getting frustrated. Downloaded free version, did a full backup. Removed old disk, installed new SSD drive. Booted from CD recover disk... couldn't add a new drive (the SSD drive) because the trial version won't allow this function. Just purchased full version. I'm going to be mad if this doesn't work. Talked to support earlier and they said the trial version is not limited and I could do a restore. Not true.

Forum Hero
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The trial version is only partly restricted. The Windows based version should be fully working apart from cloning and will cease to work after 30 days. The recovery CD will work as above, but will cease to allow images to be made, but recovery will work forever.

Trial version Limitations.

You don't need to use the Add-a-drive feature, insert the SSD and then from the recovery CD you should be able to see both drives and restore the iamge to the SSD. This is exactly how I moved my system drive contents from a 75GB hard disk to my Crucial 64GB drive.

Beginner
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I worked! Everything restored overnight and the system shut down automatically when it was done. Thank you for the info Colin.

Getting the SSD to work in an older laptop was not as straightforward as I thought it would be. However, I am very happy with the full version of Acronis True Image Home 2012. I don't recommend doing a restore when you're sleep deprived.

Forum Hero
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Brilliant! :)