Problems restoring image to new HDD on a Dell

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Dag, Jan 13, 2006.

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  1. Dag

    Dag Registered Member

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    Sorry for the long post, but I've tried a lot of things and I wanted to describe the procedures I've been through.

    I have a Dell Dimension 8400 running XP Home SP2. I've bought a new 400GB harddisk and would like to transfer my system to this disk from the original, factory installed 160GB disk. Ideally I would recreate the same structure on the new disk as found on the old, including the two hidden utility and restore partitions installed by Dell (with the new, extra space available on the visible partition of course). I'm using Acronis TrueImage 8.0 SE. This edition (freebie with a mag.) does not include the "clone" function, so I have to use "image".

    Having read earlier posts on this forum I took an image of the old disk by clicking the checkbox by the disk number, thus including the MBR and all three partitions. The image files are stored on the imaged disk (the original 160GB), and were restored with TrueImage installed on the same disk. I have successfully restored this image to the new 400GB disk and booted from it. However, this leaves me with a 160GB drive on the new disk, and all the extra space on the new HDD as unallocated. Not what I want.

    Following Menorcaman's instructions I tried to restore again and resize the visible partition to fill the unallocated space on the new disk. However, the hidden Dell partitions are unmovable so I was not allowed to resize the visible partition. I tried to do the same with Partition Magic 8.0 after booting to the original 160GB drive with the new drive as D:, but this too failed due to unmovable partitions.

    Giving up the hope of retaining the Dell restore and utility partitions on the new disk I deleted these with Partiton Magic. I was then able to resize the visible partition to fill the disk. However, I am not able to boot from the disk, recieving an error message along the lines of "Windows can not start due to a harddrive configuration error. Cannot read from the selected disk" (translated from a localized Norwegian version of XP).

    I then tried booting from a Win98SE diskette and running "fdisk /MBR" as described here, but still got the same error message when trying to boot from the new drive.

    So now I have no further ideas on what to do. The only option seems to be to restore the 160GB image to the new drive and create a new partition on the unallocated space left, but that's not really what I want.

    I realize this post is fairly convoluted, but I'd appreciate any advice on what to try next. Ideally I'd like to keep the two hidden Dell partitions, but I'll sacrifice these if nessecary. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    Dag
     
  2. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Hi Dag,
    No need to aplogise for a long post. It is exemplary in it's clarity and detail!
    Have you asked Dell support or the Dell users forum how to go about upgrading a HDD? this must be something that comes up many times.
    You are in a strong position as you have an intact complete image of things as they were so there is quite a lot you could try without risk to you system or data but I would suggest you look to Dell solutions first as you wish to retain their utility and restore partitions.

    Xpilot
     
  3. noonie

    noonie Registered Member

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    Dell started shipping systems with no CDs, though you can still request the discs from Tech Support and they will give them to you. You can also request them at the time of order. Tech support will also walk you through recovering the hidden partition and removing PC Restore if you request it, you can also find this info on dell's support site.

    Alternately, if you have a xp cd, you may try deleting the hidden partitions and using fixmbr.
    On your new drive
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Dag, the same thing happened to me. I have a Dell 8400.

    Go back to this stage. Your computer boots but you have lots of Unallocated Space. Using PM, delete the restore partition but leave the Diagnostic partition. See if it boots. If so, using PM again, resize the OS to fill the space or add some logical drives for data storage.

    Let us know what happens.
     
  5. Dag

    Dag Registered Member

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    Hi again,

    Thanks a lot for the suggestions. I tried deleting just the restore partition and resizing, but it still wouldn't boot. However I stumbled on a simple solution which seems to work. It doesn't involve Acronis TrueImage, but I'll post it here anyway in case it's of help to anyone.

    Since both drives are Western Digital I checked their site for information. Turns out they have a utility called Data Lifeguard Tools which recreates an old drive on a newly installed disk. It's supposed to ship with retail WD drives, so if I hadn't gotten the bare-bones one I'd have known about this sooner.

    Anyway, I installed it on the 160GB drive and used the "set up a your harddrive" option. This copied the main partition from the old 160GB drive onto the new 400GB disk. This could be done from within Windows, and took quite some time. It completely ignored the two hidden Dell partitions, but the result was a bootable 400GB drive with no unallocated space.

    A couple of things to be aware of if you try this though:
    I don't know if the program will work with non-WD disks, but other manufacturers may have similar programs
    The program WILL NOT copy the two hidden Dell partitions onto the new disk.
    The program tells me it needs to change the registry so I can use the whole capacity of the new drive, but since I can already I haven't let it make any changes. It's insistence on my SATA drives being IDE does not inspire confidence enough to let it make changes to the registry!
    The process created a couple of minor niggles on the new drive, i.e. ZoneAlarm forgetting some preferences, some file associations that needed redoing etc. This may be due to the change in the drive's label, but I don't know.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to assist me. If other problems show up I'll be back to tell you, but it seems fine so far.

    Dag
     
  6. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    You missed the obvious solution - buy a full working version of TI and run the Clone Disk function. You'll have working Dell hidden partitions AND a resized C partition to fill the new drive.
    o_O
     
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