need to change restored image drive letter to C:

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by ginahoy, Feb 12, 2009.

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  1. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    I restored a system image to a spare hard drive so I can maintain a static copy of XP for testing. Rather than tweaking the registry to match the drive letter, I would like to boot to the new partition as C: by selecting it as the boot drive in BIOS, rather than using a boot manager. I hope I'm making sense.

    Anyway, I have not been able to boot from the new partition. I'm guessing the reason is because it's assigned drive letter H:

    I obviously cannot assign C: to the new partition while booted from my primary HDD. Is it possible to boot into DOS (using startup floppy) and permanently change the drive letter to C:? If so, what is the command for this?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Is the spare drive connected as a Master on the Secondary channel? Did you try disconnecting the primary drive and then booting the system with only that spare drive connected? Most systems nowadays will look for any bootable drive no matter the boot order in the bios. If the primary drive is not there the system will go and find any other bootable device if there is one. If it boots to that spare drive that you restored to, you may find it now has the drive letter C.
     
  3. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    Thanks for reply. My bios allows me to specify the boot drive, in addition to setting the boot priority. It allows me to choose one from among my physical HDD's. So when I select the spare drive, it will only look at that drive when trying to boot. Even though I haven't disconnected the main HDD, the boot sequence doesn't see it.

    Your point about the primary/secondary may be the problem. My main HDD is SATA, and I think my DVD is connected to IDE primary and the spare HDD is connected to IDE secondary. I'll try switching them and let you know.

    I do know that my other spare drive (which I removed) was originally drive C on a previous computer. It boots as E: on my system. I just wasn't sure if it works the other way.
     
  4. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    Nope, switching the spare HDD to primary IDE doesn't make a difference.

    After POST, the BIOS pings my FDD (2nd in boot sequence) and then finding none, it hangs on a black screen with blinking cursor.

    Are you sure the system will automatically assign C if the only HDD it finds is assigned a different letter during the restore?

    I did verify that if I boot to DOS from my startup disk, the restored partition is the C drive.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  5. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Ah, then your problem goes a bit deeper then.

    When I do a Backup or Restore I use only the Rescue CD and for that matter I still use Ver. 9 build 3677. But I don't have Sata and that may be contributing to what you are experiencing. What ver. and build are you using?

    During a Restore with the Rescue CD, I do not even look at what letter is being assigned to the destination drive. When I boot with the restored drive, it automatically is C.
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    ginahoy,

    After you restored the image to the spare HD, did you disconnect the original HD from your computer before you attempted to boot from the spare HD.

    In DOS, the DOS FAT partition is C: drive.
     
  7. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    I'm using TI 9 build 3854

    I just restored using rescue CD and got the same results, with SATA drive unplugged. Boot sequence hangs on black screen with blinking cursor.

    Another issue emerged a couple of hours ago. The drive started generating this error message on boot: "S.M.A.R.T status BAD. Backup and replace drive"

    I ran the full S.M.A.R.T. diagnostic and the *spin retry count* is out of range. Spin retry is a critical diagnostic suggesting pending failure, but until the drive actually fails to spin up, I would not think this would affect my boot problem.

    This is particularly bizarre because I ran the SMART diagnostic before I started this project and the drive had very high scores (97%). Also, I have no problem navigating the restored folders.

    Thoughts?
     
  8. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    There's no way to change the drive letters without going through the registry. Theres ways to trick it with floppy disks, but the end results can be mixed. With the right tools, you can easily fix your spare drive to boot, I do it all the time. Below are the directions you are looking for.

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=210322
     
  9. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Run chkdsk /r on that drive then try the restore on it again. I've found that whenever you get SMART error messages, it's time to get your data off the drive as complete failure is imminent. Do you have another drive to try?
     
  10. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    The only data on the drive is the restored image, so if the mechanics are bad, I'll just toss it. I only paid $10. It's the same model (Seagate 80 GB ST380020ACE) as the one installed in my aging DISH PVR-508. I've been experiencing occasional dropouts on the PVR for the past few months so I grabbed this drive as a replacement. Unfortunately, these drives are hard to come by. Can't live without my PVR!

    In the meantime, I was using it to prove I could restore XP and boot from a separate physical HDD using the drive selector in my BIOS. If the test had gone well, I was going to buy a new (or newer) drive for that purpose and move the 80GB drive to the PVR. I guess I need to start over.

    The link provided by Jonyjoe appears to be specific to cloning, which is not what I did. Still, I need to read through that thread carefully to see if helps me understand what may be going on. For now, I guess there's no way to know if my problem today is due to a bad drive. Since I don't have another spare, it'll have to wait until I can pick up another one.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  11. ginahoy

    ginahoy Registered Member

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    Another thing occurred to me that might shed some light. When I set up the drive, I created a 12GB Primary partition, much smaller than the original partition. The cluster size defaulted to 8KB. I didn't think much about it, but during the image restore process, TI reports the 'before' and 'after' cluster size on the status screen. It showed: 32KB -> 8KB

    I wasn't sure if this would affect the image so I used Partition Manager to change cluster size to 32KB. It supposedly can change the cluster size without destroying contents. Perhaps coincidentally, the very next time I tried to boot, that's when the SMART error showed up. I figured that Partition Manager had corrupted my files so I deleted the partition and created it again. This time, I changed the cluster size to 32KB while the partition was still empty. When I ran chkdsk /r, it reported the cluster size was 32KB (btw, no errors). However, when I restored the image, TI still reported 32KB -> 8KB.

    Why would TI report that it's writing to 8KB clusters when the partition is formatted with 32KB clusters?
     
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