Oh what a Mess I've Made

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by jtypeb, Feb 18, 2008.

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  1. jtypeb

    jtypeb Registered Member

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    MudCrab

    I'm confused by your last post
    Seems to conflict with instructions in Post #64
    If I'm using partition 1 (C) to boot to partition 2 (D) do I need boot.ini on D:

    Coulf you please clarify.

    Thanks
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    For Step 4, the 500GB drive has two partition that should be unhidden, partition 1 and partition 2. The drive letters are going to be different if connected to another computer.

    Can you please post if you're using BartPE or if you put the drive back into the USB enclosure and connected to another XP computer? Also what drive letters are assigned to the two partitions?

    For Step 4, you don't need a boot.ini file on the second partition.

    For Step 8, you do need a boot.ini file on the second partition and it needs to be set to partition(2) (the same as the boot.ini on partition 1). This is because, in both steps, you are booting to the second partition. The only difference is which partition is Active at the time (which is the "boot" partition from Window's point of view).

    The main thing is, if you still have a "copy" installation of Windows in partition 1, you don't want that one to boot.
     
  3. jtypeb

    jtypeb Registered Member

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    I am not using BartPE.

    I just plugged in to the other computer via the usb external.
    Drive letters assigned are G: and M:

    I have verified that G: corresponds with C: and M: corresponds with D:

    Instruction 1-4 from Post #64 went as expected. No issues.
     
  4. jtypeb

    jtypeb Registered Member

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    Gotta be getting closer!!

    I completed the regedit as shown in step 5. Put the HD back in and tried to boot...NTLDR is missing-error.

    Have used the xp Cd recovery console before so booted from it.

    bootcfg /list confirms 2 installs of windows. Lists them as C: and D:
    bootcfg /scan worked and confirmed installations. This is significant because I tried bootcfg /scan right after this trouble started and it would not complete. It kept stopping and saying to complete chkdsk. chkdsk /r would either fix errors or not find any but bootcfg /scan still would not run.

    I tried to install NTLDR to D: but get the error - "Access denied"

    I will exit the recovery console and await your counsel.

    Things are looking up I think.
     
  5. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Copy NTLDR to the C: partition's root directory (where the boot.ini file is). You should be able to do this in the Recovery Manager. Copy NTLDR from D: to C:. You may need to change the attributes first. (<ENTER> means to press the ENTER key.)
    Code:
    attrib -h -s -r d:\ntldr <ENTER>
    copy d:\ntldr c:\ <ENTER>
    Since you ran bootcfg, make sure the boot.ini file is still set to boot partition(2) and that partition 1 is still Active. Remember, the boot.ini should look like in Post #57.
     
  6. jtypeb

    jtypeb Registered Member

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    When using the Recovery console just after typing in my password, both installations of windows are available to use. Which one should I work in C: or D: ?
     
  7. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I don't think it really matters. However, in preparing for Step 6 (booting C: with partition(2) in its boot.ini file), it's probably easier to just select the C: OS.

    If the Recovery Console won't give you access to the NTLDR file on the D: partition, you can copy from another source. For example, you could copy it onto a floppy disk (from another computer) and then copy it from the floppy disk to C: when in the Recovery Console. You could also log into the Recovery Console using D: and then try to copy the NTLDR file to the C: partition.

    Once you boot into Windows (hopefully, it will boot successfully), check Disk Management and verify which partiton is marked as (Boot) and which is marked as (System). At this stage, the C: partition should be (Boot) and the D: partition should be (System).
     
  8. jtypeb

    jtypeb Registered Member

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    I can't seem to copy from D: to C: with the Recovery Console
    Why not copy NTLDR from the Windows CD? Pretty good instructions on Microsoft website and other places.

    Thanks
     
  9. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Copy it from whatever source is easiest. Just get the file into the C: partition so it will boot.
     
  10. jtypeb

    jtypeb Registered Member

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    I can't copy from the Recovery Console CD. Any thing I try - I get the error "access denied"

    This is obviously not good. I suspect bad partition tables and/or scrambled MBR.

    Any suggestions??
     
  11. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Which partition is giving the error, C: or D:?

    If you go to the D: partition
    Code:
    d: <ENTER>
    and try a
    Code:
    copy ntldr testcopy <ENTER>
    does it copy the ntldr file to the testcopy file?

    Does a standard dir command list the ntldr file on the D: partition?
    Code:
    d: <ENTER>
    dir <ENTER>
    If not, did you change the file attributes as in Post #80?

    If you can't get the ntldr file into the C: partition any other way, you could restore your D: partition image into the C: partition or you could put the drive back into the USB enclosure, connect it to another computer and copy the file from D: to C: (or from any XP boot partition).

    Once you have the file copied, hopefully you will be able to proceed with the procedure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2008
  12. Mike89

    Mike89 Registered Member

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    Just to point something out about SATA drivers (regarding information posted in this thread). SATA (AHCI) drivers do not need to be installed unless you want them (I'm talking non-RAID, I know nothing about RAID as I have no use for it). If you do want them, the BIOS has to be configured for AHCI. Windows (XP) will use standard IDE drivers (that are installed transparent to the user) which work fine for the SATA drives. I have used both AHCI and Windows IDE drivers for my SATA drives and I actually like the Windows drivers better. When using the AHCI drivers, Device Manager (IDE Controllers section) will no longer show certain information about the drives. Have to use the Intel Matrix Storage Manager to see this info (and some "information" programs like Sisoft report some anomaly readings regarding anything hooked up AHCI when not using the Windows drivers). Also to mention, AHCI drivers are supposed to be installed BEFORE installing the OS (as XP does not have these drivers and the install will crash without them being installed first). It can be done afterwards, but there is substantial work involved to do it. AHCI drivers are primarily for SATA drives that have NCQ (which most of them don't) in a server environment to show any benefits. There are more debates that can be mentioned about the benefits or negatives about this feature and about using AHCI drivers vs IDE drivers in desktop systems. That's a subject for a different thread but I thought I'd mention the info.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  13. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    Mike89,

    Thanks for the information. In this case, there doesn't appear to be any problems with any drivers. I've been working with jtypeb and, as of the last update, the system is booting and running correctly. There are still a few (hopefully) small things to clean up, but I haven't heard back on those yet. A follow-up post is planned with the final solution.
     
  14. Mike89

    Mike89 Registered Member

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    My post was addressing some posts I saw in this thread saying you had to install the SATA drivers. I just wanted to add info regarding that, to try to un-complicate that issue so that it wouldn't add more to what jtypeb was already having. This thread is definitely interesting.
     
  15. jtypeb

    jtypeb Registered Member

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    Hello all,

    I've been meaning to post for several days but have been too busy with work and other things. I do feel a responsibilty to report some of the things that have happened recently with this issue. I also feel obligated to take the time to thank the many people who posted with suggestions and helpful ideas during the long dialog that was the "Mess I Made" Judging by the number of people who read this thread, (2137 as of this post) I feel like I should tell them the outcome too.

    So here goes:

    First and most important - THE PROBLEM IS SOLVED!! I am posting from the formerly dead desktop that I used to create this thing. My original installation of Windows XP pro is installed and all files and programs are present and accounted for. The SATA 500 drive is the primary HD and it is partitioned correctly and functioning beautifully. The PATA 250 has been reformatted as a logical drive and it is installed along side the SATA serving its intended use as extra storage and backup. So after all was said and done, the primary goal was achieved.

    What started out to be a simple "clone the drive and gain some extra room" exercise turned into a very long journey with many twists and turns and dead end streets. Along the way, I learned a lot about parts of this computer I didn't even know existed. I met some great, caring people and came to better appreciate how cool the whole technology, including the internet is. I read many forums besides this one and many, many other articles and help things. There are a lot of smart people out there and many of them are happy to lend a hand. A lot of idiots too but that is to be expected.

    We also touched a few subjects kind of related to my issue but different. I learned something about them too.

    I wish to thank all the folks who posted and some of the posts deserve a response here and now. Some of the helpers deserve special thanks. I will attempt to verbalize my gratitude below.

    A few of you mentioned the SATA drivers, and the requirement to install them when working from the windows recovery console. I read a lot of different views about this on this forum. I searched out other forums for advice too. I can't say I ever learned the real answer but I can say that in my case it didn't matter. I couldnt load them at recovery console startup but everything seemed to work fine. As it turns out I did have them installed but I dont know if it helped or not. I do know that I have all the stuff current inside my computer and it has the most recent non-beta bios. Maybe that's the lesson. Keep everything current and working good.

    I also learned about rar files and Justboot Corrector. I just recieved the copy I bought in the mail. Havent burned the iso yet. Maybe I'll post back with the results when I do.

    I want to thank GroverH- for his sage and valuable advice. Grover, I see you post all over this site. The help you provide is very cool and in my case - very, very much appreciated.

    I want to close woth a very, very special thank you to MudCrab who stuck with me to the end, answering all my questions and helping me navigate the nether-reaches of the registry and right down to the code level of the Master Boot Record. I would not have got this running without you and I thank you again.

    So again, to all of you I want to say thanks and If you're ever in Portland, the drinks are on me.

    John
     
  16. como

    como Registered Member

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    Thanks for posting the successful outcome and I am pleased you are finally up and running.

    If only all posters seeking advice would post the final outcome, letting us know what worked and what didn't we all would be wiser.
     
  17. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    You're very welcome. It was an interesting case. Your patience and willingness to get to the root of the problem made the process much easier.

    I still plan to post the details of the problem, the repair process and the ultimate solution as it may help others who find themselves in a similar situation. Hopefully, I'll have time before too long to get it written up.
     
  18. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    jtypeb,
    You're more than welcome. I try to help with the "lite" lifting but when the heavy lifting was needed, MudCrab jumped in.
     
  19. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    I’ve tried to summarize the problem as well as the solution. Hopefully, I didn’t miss anything.

    Original Drive Setup:
    250GB IDE. When Windows XP was booted, D: was assigned to the Windows partition. C: was assigned to the partition located just prior to the D: partition.
    • The D: partition (the second partition) was the Active/Booting partition.
    • The C: partition (the first partition) was basically empty.
    • The remaining space on the drive was used by three Logical partitions: E:, F: and G:.

    Original Problem:
    • A 250GB IDE hard drive was replaced with 500GB SATA hard drive.
    • A clone was performed using TI 9. The cloning completed successfully.
    • The drive was then booted into Windows with both the original and new hard drives connected. (Note: The original drive should have been removed and the new drive should have been selected as the booting drive in the BIOS before booting into Windows.)
    • The original drive was then removed and a boot was attempted using the new drive. It wouldn't boot properly.
    • Fix after fix was applied (including a Windows boot repair and probably an MBR repair with the Acronis MBR fixer ISO) without any success. (Note: When attempting repairs, it’s best to make a list of what you tried and the order in which they were applied. This can be helpful when diagnosing the problem.)
    • The computer was booted with Ultimate Boot Disk and it could be seen that all the files and folders were on the new hard drive.
    • A restore was attempted with TI. This resulted in two partitions on the new drive containing Windows XP. (Note: It would seem that the restore was done to the first partition on the drive instead of to the second partition.)
    • “JustBoot Corrector” was tried in an attempt to fix the drive letter problem. However, the program was not able to boot correctly on the computer, resulting in a “No swap space” error. (Note: If the SATA drive had not been booted with both drives present immediately after the clone, it’s possible that changing the drive letters would have fixed the problem.)
    • There was concern over the fact that the new drive was SATA and the old drive was IDE. In the end, it didn’t matter as the SATA drivers were already installed for the board. Drivers were not an issue.
    • Windows chkdsk was run on the partitions from the Recovery Console. No errors were found. Next, bootcfg was used, but all attempts failed.
    • Windows bootfix was then run. This resulted in the system booting to the “Loading personal settings…” screen before immediately logging off. Safe Mode also wouldn’t boot properly.
    • Various boot.ini file edits were attempted with no success.

    Solution:
    Outline of steps taken are listed in Post #64.
    Step 5 is detailed in Post #71.

    After Step 5 was completed, the hard drive booted, but gave an “NTLDR missing” error message. Attempts to copy the file using the Recovery Console failed due to “Access denied” problems. (Note: The Recovery Console seems very limited in what it will let you do in regards to accessing or copying files. BartPE or VistaPE is highly recommended to have Windows access to files from outside of Windows.)

    Ultimately, the NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM files were copied to the D: partition by installing the 500GB drive back into the USB enclosure and connecting it to another computer.

    Once this was done, the drive booted into XP okay. At this point, it was booting from the C: partition, but loading Windows from the D: partition. This was verified by various simple tests.

    However, setting the D: partition Active still did not let that partition boot directly. An “Invalid Operating System” message was displayed when this was attempted.

    Using the Recovery Console and the D: partition set Active, fixboot was run again. The same error was still received when trying to boot the D: partition.

    Now we were left with trying to find if the error message was located in the boot sector or the MBR. Instructions were sent detailing how to check using DD as well as examples of what they should look like. The exact error message code was found in the MBR. This meant that the MBR was not the standard XP MBR. The Recovery Console was started again and the fixmbr command was run. The MBR was then verified using DD to make sure it matched the standard XP MBR code.

    Finally, the D: partition booted correctly when set Active. The C: partition was not assigned a drive letter, but (I assume) that was fixed using Disk Management.

    For some reason the previous fixmbr (if run as one of the repair attempts) didn’t work and the MBR that ended up on the drive would not correctly boot into any Active partition but the first one (the C: partition).

    --------------

    Avoiding problems like are much more difficult when your Windows partition is not C: and is not the Active/Booting partition. This is because of how Windows assigns drive letters when new partitions are found (as when cloning or restoring multiple partitions). This particular problem was compounded by a multitude of repair attempts that left the system in an unknown and somewhat corrupt state.
     
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