Clone of clone not Windows-Repairable

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by porty, Jun 15, 2009.

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  1. porty

    porty Registered Member

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    When his motherboard failed, a business customer asked me to give him a temporary computer. His hard drive was functioning perfectly, so I decided to place it in a loan machine. To be on the safe side, I first cloned the drive to a spare drive which I'd scrubbed to an 'unallocated' state with Acronis Disk Director.

    I carried out the cloning with ATI Home 11, then I placed the cloned drive into its temporary home. As I'd expected, the drive refused to boot, so I did a Repair install of Windows (XPP) and all was well, with the cloned drive functioning in the temporary case without further problems. So far, so good.

    The cloned drive's system needed a cleanup and several program upgrades, so this was done. At this point, it seemed sensible, to avoid duplication of effort, to clone the clone back to the original drive, which I did. The original drive was now a clone of a clone of its earlier self. Still no problems - both drives were happy in the temporary case.

    The new motherboard arrived and I installed it to the original case. Then I attempted to install one of the two functioning drives to the new environment. As had happened the first time, the system wouldn't boot. Again, I tried the a Windows 'Repair' install. But this time the 'Repair' option wasn't available, only a regular 'initial' install.

    After much effort and headscratching (and more failures), I can only conclude that something in the clone>clone process has convinced Windows that there is no system to repair, so it will only offer a 'first' install. And yet these drives both function normally in the temporary environment.

    Anyone able to comment on this? I guess that for most folk this isn't an everyday occurrence, but as an IT tech, I do similar work with my indispensable Acronis programs almost daily, and this is the first time I've run across a situation that they couldn't handle, so I'd like to find out what went wrong :)
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Are you using a standard Microsoft XP CD? If so, is it OEM or retail? If not, what is it?

    Is it the same XP CD you used before?

    If you install either hard drive back into the temporary computer, is the Repair option available from the XP CD?
     
  3. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    While you're mulling over those questions, here's another option. Put one of the working drives back in that temporary home where it worked. Then either change the display adapter to Standard VGA or use Microsoft's Sysprep. Next try it on the system that has the new m/b. You'll need the drivers for the motherboard handy (on a CD). Be sure to have at least one of those drives able to boot on the temporary home system i.e., don't experiment with both at the same time.
     
  4. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    A clone of a clone should always work.

    What is the symptom/error that you get when you try to bootup your computer?

    A repair installation is usually not require to fix a xp restore drive that won't boot. I've never had to do one. Your problem might be a drive letter or boot.ini problem depending on the symptom you encounter.

    My advice is to get a "boot corrector" (free paragon rescue kit 9.0 express), use that to bootup the computer and check the drive letters. If the "boot corrector" boots up and doesn't find any "windows installations" to fix, then there might be some other problem.
     
  5. porty

    porty Registered Member

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    Thanks for your responses, people, much appreciated.

    MudCrab: Yep, standard XP retail CD. Same as the one used the first time.
    No, didn't try to do a repair in the working system.

    DwnNdrty: I see where you're coming from - ie, forget the Repair business and try to get the drive to boot directly. Seems like you feel that the display drivers might be the main no-boot culprit? OK, can't comment on that, except I'll take it onboard for next time. All I know is that, right from the beginning when the first clone wouldn't boot in the temp system, there was just a flash of that BSOD with the small text, the one that usually says something to the effect of, "not gonna do it, man - something's wrong with your hardware or software blah blah". Re trying it again, I've since given the temporary machine back to the customer (which he'll keep, leaving me with the original unit and new motherboard), and I've re-used the spare drive, so I'm just pursuing this enquiry so that I'll be better informed next time

    jonyjoe81: As I said above, the boot just kept looping, with a BSOD flash that was too quick to analyze. But I'm picking that it was saying something like, "didn't wanna boot in case your recent hardware change REALLY screwed things up!" Very helpful, thanks Bill Gates.

    No problems with the drive letters or boot.ini - checked both of those at length. Maybe you've you've been fortunate that you've never experienced the no-boot situation in these same conditions. Many other folk apparently have and there are lots of websites with "fixes". Michael Stevens Tech has some of the best advice on the subject, but it didn't get me out of the hole here. I'll try your suggestion re the free Paragon Rescue Kit 9.0 Express - sounds like useful software. Cheers :)

    But guys, I can't help thinking that the clone>clone process had something to do with my problem. There has to be some reason why the Windows CD install wouldn't recognize the previous, legitimate Windows installation.

    Again, thanks to all who responded :)
     
  6. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    I've come to realize that True Image is very very picky when it comes to hardware. Even marginal memory, which does not faze your applications, will make True Image balk and throw up an error. Also just having a card reader or usb hub with various items attached may make True Image unable to "see" an external usb drive.
     
  7. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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