Cloning a laptop hard drive. Please help!

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by nola111, Aug 18, 2007.

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  1. nola111

    nola111 Registered Member

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    Ok, I'd like to start by saying that I have read MANY posts in this forum related to the problem I'm having, but each post I read seems to have one little variable that doesn't pertain to my situation. I've read many great posts from Brian K and MudCrab etc, but I'm hoping there is one good solution I need to go with here. My problem is the inability to boot into an OS after cloning.

    Here's the deal: I'd like to start by saying that my laptop is dual boot. I have Windows Vista Ultimate on my C: partition, data on my D: partition, and Windows XP Pro on my E: partition. I use a free app called VistaBoot Pro which gives me the choice of which OS to boot into when I start up the pc. The screen to choose the OS comes up right after the laptop's splash screen. All the Vista Boot Pro info, and boot files are on the C: partition. Also, there a small 4GB "hidden" recovery partition that came with the laptop. This recovery partition has Vista recovery on it since Vista is what came with the laptop.

    I have no idea whether any of the above information causes any additional problems to what issues people are having with just cloning a single OS hard drive.

    So anyway, I tried to clone this original 80gb SATA drive to my new WD 160gb SATA drive. I did this by putting the new drive into a USB enclosure. I run TI 10 (build 4942 I think... the latest one) from within XP. I did manual clone mode, kept the data in my old drive intact, and chose proportional allocation. The process finishes successfully (although when it tells me to press any key to shutdown, no key will shut it down. I have to eventually press the power key).

    So I remove the old hard drive from the laptop, replace it with the new one that was in the enclosure, and turn on the laptop. I do get the screen where I can choose my OS (I thought I was successful) but ALAS, if I choose XP, I get the NTLDR error. If I choose Vista, I get the Vista error (winlog.exe if I recall??) Shoot. I put the old harddrive back in... everything is fine, boots up normally.

    Attempt #2 - format the new drive, and try again but this time using TI from within Vista instead of XP. Should that even make a difference? Probably not, but just trying anyway. Same result. :(

    Finally, I tried, based on reading some threads, to create a bootable rescue media CD and do it from within there. Only problem there is when I try to boot into Acronis with the boot CD, it hangs on my onboard audio (Realtek HD) and will not go any further. :(

    So, there you have my issue. Right now I have the new HD sitting here, ready to reformat it for the 4th time to try something else, but before I do that, is there something I should try to fix the boot issue? Any implications of the fact I have two OS's on there?

    I've read so many things to try to fix the boot issue, I don't know where to start! I did look at the boot.ini file and it says that it boots WinXP from Partition 3, and sure enough, XP is on Partition 3 on the new drive, but still get the NTLDR error.

    Please help!

    By the way, I have no idea if this will help, but I have two other pc's available to me and several USB enclosures if anyone thinks I should try hooking both drives up to an entirely different pc. I would think no because we wouldn't want the other pc to assign any drive letters to the drives, but, what if I did it with the acronis boot disk? (which WILL work on my other PC's)

    Thanks everyone!!!
     
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    nola111:

    Three quick questions:

    1. What brand/model is your laptop?
    2. If you boot into the recovery CD version of TrueImage, will it start up in SAFE mode?
    3. Can you boot into the FULL version of TrueImage by following the recommendation from Acronis:
    "Please boot your computer from the Acronis True Image rescue disc and press F11 key when the selection screen advising you to select either "Full", "Safe" or "Boot into Windows" option appears. After you get the "Linux kernel command line" prompt, please modify it in the following way:

    quiet acpi=off noapic"
     
  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    nola111,

    Excellent post. It's very clear what you have done and it saves us asking too many questions.

    My first thought was to do the clone from the TI CD but the CD doesn't boot. That is a major problem and Acronis should help out by providing a CD with drivers for your system.

    In the meantime you could create a BartPE CD with the TI plugin. That CD should boot in your computer and allow you to clone.

    However, with any brand of cloning software, some systems just can't clone successfully to a USB external HD. The following is a workaround.

    Have the new HD in your USB enclosure. Divide it into two partitions. Image your whole drive to the second partition on the new HD. Remove the old HD and replace it with the new HD. Boot to the Acronis TI CD or BartPE CD and restore the image to the first partition. When the OS are booting successfully deal with the original "second" partition.

    This way the source disk is seen in its proper geometry while the image is being created, and the target disk is seen in its proper geometry at the time the image is being restored.

    PS Just saw Mark's post.
     
  4. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Brian:

    You're thinking what I'm thinking.

    Slight complication here though. The OP has multiple partitions on his source drive (Vista, XP, Data, Recovery Partition). If he has access to partitioning software then he can do as you suggest.

    If not, I was hoping that he could somehow get the recovery CD to boot into the "Full" version by changing the kernel parameters. If so he can create a full-disk image in Windows and store it on an external USB drive or on another PC on the network. Then boot from the recovery CD and restore the image one partition at a time (so that he can choose the size of each partition) to his new disk installed in the laptop.

    He'll have the Vista boot issue but that can be repaired easily.
     
  5. nola111

    nola111 Registered Member

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    Hi guys. Thanks so much for your posts!

    After 6 hours of trial and error all day today, I have finally resolved the problem. I had come back here a couple times over the first couple hours after posting to see if anyone had responded, then decided to dive in head first into the great unknown.

    After trying and failing to get results with Paragon Justboot, Acronis' Boot Disk, Acronis' MBR fixer, Windows Vista disc Recovery Console, several reformats and re-clones, I was pretty much ready to give up. Things went from bad to worse. I went from being able to get the OS chooser screen and getting ntldr/winlog error, to simply getting a message that said "Wrong Operating System!" no matter what I did.

    Finally, after hours of digging in a box in the attic, I found my XP disc. I booted into it and ran recovery console. Then I ran bootcfg and fixmbr. Once I did that and rebooted, I could get into Vista!!! I still could not get into XP though... same NTLDR error. But since I was in Vista, I knew I was home free. Once in Vista, I went into Disk Mgmt, and saw that my XP partition was unallocated with no drive letter assigned to it. So, I assigned the correct drive letter to it. Reboot. Still NTLDR error. No problem. Boot back into Vista, re-install VistaBootPro, reconfigure VistaBootPro (which in essence re-wrote my boot files back to how they were pre-clone) and voila, I can get in XP, and all is wonderful and fixed now!

    Thanks again for your help guys and I'm sorry I didn't get to try your suggestions, but it's good to know those options are also out there for others having issues. I hope my solution is able to help someone out there, even though my particular case is a little unique.

    Thanks again and thanks to Acronis for a great piece of software!
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    nola111,

    Good news and thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, everyone isn't as considerate.
     
  7. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello nola111,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are glad to hear that your issue has been solved and you can use Acronis True Image successfully.

    If you have any further questions concerning Acronis software, please feel free to submit a request for technical support or post any of them on this forum. We will certainly try to help you in resolving any issues.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
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