TI8 889 Disk Clone on Dell M70 Laptop

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Kiran Otter, Jul 28, 2005.

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  1. Kiran Otter

    Kiran Otter Registered Member

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    I've tried a number of times to clone the 2.5" IDE drive from one Dell Precision M70 to another, using IDE adaptors and a standard PC. I've tried a couple configurations (i.e. both as master on each channel, one as master and one as slave on the same channel) using the TI8 889 boot disk, and it just doesn't work.

    With them on the same channel as master and slave, the destination drive was unbootable, and did not contain the same amount of data as the original. With the drives on seperate channels, the destination drive again was unbootable, and the master drive was also unbootable. (I'm -very- careful and am no newbie to what's master and what's slave.. I really don't think I copied the unbootable drive to the master.)

    I've also been unable to restore an image to one of the M70 drives using a PC, they won't boot. The only way is to do it in the laptop over a lan or from a USB2 drive.. which as most know takes hours instead of minutes. I haven't had time to figure out the BartPE solution.. but want to.

    So I'm just wondering.. is it something to do with the Dell M70? Or is connecting these drives to a PC and imaging them not possible? I'm really at my wits end. Nothing seems to work, make sense, and now I've lost two master drives.. though it's my own fault for not making an image of them first. If it didn't take ~2 hours, I would have. :)

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Kiran
     
  2. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    My experience is that you have to clone from the same hardware you're going to reinstall the cloned disk back into if you want goof-proof operation.

    It may be possible to use other hardware but I couldn't accomplish that when I tried it. I get foolproof results by cloning to my USB drive and then swapping out the drives.

    Definitely build the BartPE CD with the Acronis plug-in. It will probably solve your speed problem. You can read about my Dell experience in the other thread I started.
     
  3. Kiran Otter

    Kiran Otter Registered Member

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    (I failed to mention these are XP SP2 installs I'm working with.)

    Thanks for the reply, bobdat.. I'd like to understand how the hardware makes a difference, though. Is it due to changing drive geometry? I'd think data is data.. and once I image the drive and it won't boot, I can still plug it into a PC and see all the data.. everything 'looks' ok.. but every attempt I've made at fixing the MBR and checking the partition info got me nowhere.

    The M70 reports there 'is no boot device available'. Once I get to work, I'll get a inventory on what the M70 has for chipset, etc. I've been under the gun for the last 2 days getting 20 laptops ready so I haven't had much time to figure this out. The way Acronis wiped out the 'good' drives really set me back.

    Backups.. *bangs head* Backups.. *bangs head*.. :p
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/partsigs.htm

    Does this apply?

    Are the computers the "same" hardware?
    Are you cloning into Unallocated Space?
    Are you copying the MBR?
    Are you assigning a drive letter of "None"?
    Are you preventing the computer from rebooting before removing the original HD?
     
  5. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Kiran,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Could you please clarify whether you cloned the disk under Windows or using Acronis Bootable CD? Could you please describe your steps? Please let us know whether you plugged the new drive to the same computer where the old one was? Also please clarify how you restored the image?

    If you trnafer the system (by cloning or imaging/restoring it) to another computer with different hardware we cannot guarantee that the new computer will boot without problems.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  6. Kiran Otter

    Kiran Otter Registered Member

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    Ok Ilya.. I have Dell M70 laptops (about 30 of them) we use for training at work. I set up one with Windows XP Pro SP2, and all the applications we use for training, training files, etc.

    I then take the hard drive out of the laptop, and connect to a standard PC. (It's a Compaq Evo workstation, in this case.) I take a second laptop, same exact M70 hardware-wise, and connect it to the Compaq PC as well. The original drive with all the software is the master on IDE channel 1, the 2nd HD is the slave on IDE channel 1.

    I did try cloning the drive under Windows at first, but decided that somewhere along the line, once the process was done, Windows was doing something to the MBR on the drives since there was effectively 3 drives now that were all bootable. So I quit using Windows and just used the Acronis boot CD. (The boot drive in the Compaq is SCSI, the SCSI controller 1st in the controller 'order' in the bios. But I disconnected the SCSI drive when using the boot CD just to reduce confusion.)

    When I run Acronis, and choose to clone the drives, I can clearly see which drive has all the software, and which doesn't, by the graph showing the disk usage. I use the automatic option, pick the master on IDE 1 as the source, the slave on IDE 1 as the destination, and away it goes. (The CD-ROM is the master on IDE 0.)

    It takes about 8 minutes and the end result is that you can not boot off the cloned drive once it is reinstalled in the M70 laptop. I can however put the master drive into the same laptop, and boot off it.

    Now, once this all didn't work, I decided to make the drives both the master on IDE 0 and 1, set the CD-ROM to be the slave on IDE 0, and ran the clone process again. When I started it, I could see that the two hard drives did not contain the same amount of data, despite the fact that I just cloned one to the other. Odd. I let it clone the drives again, it took the same amount of time, only in the end, I couldn't boot off either drive! :eek: The message I get says 'No boot device available. F1 to retry.'

    I'm not trying to boot off these 2.5" drives while connected to the Compaq. I know it won't boot.. and I appreciate the other post by Brian K, that's good info but.. I know unless I sysprep a drive, it'll have a snowball's chance in hell of booting using other hardware. It may explain why it never worked when I was trying to clone the drive using the Windows version of Acronis.

    This really is a simple process, but I'm lost as to why it doesn't work. I can successfully boot the Acronis CD, and image the M70s to a network drive, and restore it. Creating the image takes about 4 hours, and restoring it takes a good 3 hours. With 20 laptops to do and only so many desks and network connections available, and only 2 days to get it done.. well.. you get the idea. :)

    To add insult to injury, because it takes so long to image the drive this way, I didn't spend the time to backup the image in the first place. So when I tried the second clone operation, and it wiped out my 'master' drive with all the software.. I really got set back.

    I will try using another PC to clone the drives on, in case it's something to do with the Compaq Evo.. I just used it because it was the fastest P4 I had laying around that I know is reliable. (It was my workstation at work for 2 years before I got a Dell M70 to use.) I'll probably try this over the weekend, so I'll post my findings.

    One other thing I'd like to note, but I don't think it has anything to do with my saga; The M70 drive has 2 partitions; one is about 40M and is a EISA(? Type 222, I believe) and contains Dell's diags and whatnot. But it is not the active partition when I'm cloning the drives. However, you can hit F12 at boot, and choose to boot from that partition by picking 'diagnostics' from the boot menu.. so the bios apparently has some feature where it can change which partition is active.. or something.

    I'll also get a msinfo32 log, or if you prefer some other method, from the M70. (edit: I'll do the sysinfo method mentioned in the 'read this first' post.) I know it has the Intel Mobile Chipset, if that's any help. Meanhile, I'm still going to try the BartPE method.. I just haven't had time to dig into it fully.

    Thanks for your help!

    Kiran
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2005
  7. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Kiran,

    Could you please lcarify why you think that the data wasn't cloned properly? Are both disks of the same capacity? If not, the size of each partition will be expanded proportionally. Please note that unless you choose the option to destroy data on the source disk Acronis True Image will keep the source disk untouched. When you cloned the second time did you clone into the same direction as the first time?

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  8. Kiran Otter

    Kiran Otter Registered Member

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    I think I answered most of this in my other post, but just to clarify:

    Are the computers the same? The laptops are all the same, but the PC I'm trying to do the cloning on is not.
    Am I cloning into Unallocated Space? Umm.. I'm cloning the entire drive. I'm not sure what you mean.
    Am I copying the MBR? I hope the clone process is just that, and isn't being selective about what it copies. :)
    I'm not assigning any drive letters.
    And I'm not trying to boot off the drives in another PC, just in the M70 laptop from which it came.
     
  9. Kiran Otter

    Kiran Otter Registered Member

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    Why I think it wasn't cloned properly? I'm basing this on the fact the new cloned drive won't boot, and had a different amount of space in use reported when I went to clone it again. (The second time it did show the same amount of data as the original drive, but still wouldn't boot.)

    I can also put the drive back in the Compaq, boot off the SCSI drive, and browse the 2.5" drive I just cloned. All the files are there, everything looks ok.. it just won't boot when put in the M70. (And, to verify again, I did not attempt to read the cloned drive in the Compaq under Windows. Once the clone process was done, I shut down the PC, and put the drive back into the Dell laptop.)

    Yes, both drives are identical, same capacity, same manufacturer, same model.

    And yes, I cloned in the same direction the second time. I could tell which drive had the data, and which didn't.. based on the space used/free. It was like the first clone process ran, but did nothing. Even if I went in the wrong direction on the first pass, I'd end up with a still-bootable drive, just missing my data. The destination drive had the stock Dell Windows install install on it.. these laptops are all brand new out of the box. But either way, they should have matched after the first pass, and they didn't. After the 2nd pass I described, they matched.

    I'm going to go into work today, and experiment with this some more. At least from there, I can give more info, like the sysinfo. It's completely possible I did something wrong, given the amount of stress I was under to get this done. But I've worked with computers for about 23 years and this process isn't something new to me. ;) (Of course that doesn't mean I've not done something wrong.)

    I'd like to ask this though; If I take a working M70, and make an image using the boot CD, to a network drive, without removing the drive (in other words, the 3 hour process), should I then be able to restore that image, to another M70 drive, attached to a standard PC? And have it boot once put back into the laptop? I tried this using the Windows version of TI8.. and every time, it won't boot when put back into the laptop. And reading the page Brian posted, I can understand why. But isn't that the purpose of Acronis? Or are system drives another animal, and just data drives are really supported in this way? I'm not terribly fond of the Windows version; I much rather boot a CD or thumbdrive and run TI8 that way.. it just seemed like the Windows version should do the same thing.

    Kiran
     
  10. Kiran Otter

    Kiran Otter Registered Member

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    One other thing.. that second partition Dell puts on the drive.. it does not appear when I install Windows XP. It's hidden. I'm not sure it has anything to do with my problem, but something in the back of mind is saying it does.

    I may experiment and totally wipe one of these drives of all partitions and everything, and just install XP on a single full-disk partition, and see if it even works, then try cloning that drive.
     
  11. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Kiran,

    The most strange is that the used space is different. That could only happen if the size of partition has changed. But since you cloned in Automatic mode to the disk of the same capacity, the partition sizes should remain the same. Imaging and restoring should do the same thing. It doesn't matter what computer you used to clone the drive. Only disks itselves make sense.

    Do you have a disk with the same content you had before cloning (i.e. Windows and diagnostic partition)? If so could you please clone it to the drive, then plug both drives to the computer where you can run Windows and make Acronis Report on that computer? Please send this report to support@acronis.com along with the link to this thread. We will investigate the problem and try to provide you with the solution.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  12. Kiran Otter

    Kiran Otter Registered Member

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    I agree. :)

    I have to connect them both to a PC anyway in order to clone them. Also, the sysinfo is done in Linux, not Windows, correct? So I won't be booting into Windows at any point..? I just want to make sure I understand. Or is there a report from the Windows flavor of Acronis you want?

    I'm heading to work now, so I should be able to get this to you soon.

    Thanks,

    Kiran
     
  13. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    I apologize if my following remarks seem too basic but sometimes under pressure we forget simple things.....

    1) I'm sure you haven't forgotten to reinstall the Dell blade adapter for the 2.5" drive when you reinstall it into the laptop, right? Otherwise there's no electrical connection between the drive and the laptop.

    2) Of course when you select the source drive to clone, you check the very topmost box which causes the two partition boxes to be automatically selected, right? That way you capture the entire mbr.

    3) Your questions about the two partitions on a new drive are easily answered. The C partition is what you think it is and the hidden partition is the Dell diagnostics partition you can boot into via F12. They aren't causing your problem at any rate.

    As I said previously, I had no success trying to clone a source drive to a destination drive while using 'foreign' hardware. I have always had success while cloning by using the hardware the drive was originally set up for to do the cloning. I don't know why.

    I solved my issues by buying a $20 CompUSA 2.5" USB2 external drive case and doing all my cloning and imaging with it. No problems whatsoever and very fast once I built the BartPE boot CD for my specific hardware.

    Hopefully you will be able to find a simple solution too.
     
  14. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Kiran,

    The point is that we need Acronis Report rather then Windows system information.

    Please read more information on how to create Acronis report in Acronis Help Post.

    Clone your hard drive once more in the way you have described and then create Acronis report on the PC with both source and destination hard drives connected.

    Please send this report to support@acronis.com along with the link to this thread. We will investigate the problem and try to provide you with the solution.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  15. beenthereb4

    beenthereb4 Registered Member

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    Sorry to butt in on the thread, but I do have a suggestion. I'm thinking that your drive geometry guess is right on target and that the Evo is a little too oddball. I think your method will work on a standard PC (not a workstation) with the proviso that the drives that you already messed with need to be zero filled (or fdisk /mbr with a dos disk) before another try to clone them.
     
  16. Kiran Otter

    Kiran Otter Registered Member

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    No, not at all. Any help is appreciated.

    #1 - Yes, I put the blade adapter back on. Once I didn't, and realized pretty quickly just by how the drive felt going back in.

    #2 - I don't think in automatic mode that there is a choice, but I'll check.

    #3 - Ok.

    Are you able to clone drives using the 2.5" enclosure, then remove the drive from the enclosure and install it in another laptop, and have it work? I thought about trying this, actually.

    Thanks,

    Kiran
     
  17. Kiran Otter

    Kiran Otter Registered Member

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    I'll get another PC set up and try this. The reason I ended up on this Compaq is because the other PC I had to try would lock up when Acronis tried to detect the mouse.. even when there was no mouse attached.

    Thanks,

    Kiran
     
  18. Kiran Otter

    Kiran Otter Registered Member

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    Thanks Alexey,

    I'm creating a backup image of the laptop before I do anything now. At least with just Windows and one application on the drive, creating a ~1.8G image, it's taking just over an hour.

    Btw, I tried to mount the floppy on the laptop, just so I could get the sysinfo on it as well, but it won't mount. I think because the floppy drive (even when inserted into the laptop) is via USB. I'm unfortunately not too up on Linux.. is there a way to mount this USB floppy drive? Or write the file to a USB thumb drive?

    I'll get the sysinfo off the Compaq PC shortly and email it to you guys. I really appreciate all the support.. especially on a Saturday. :)

    Kiran
     
  19. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    Hi again.

    For #2 above, when cloning, you get to select your source disk to clone from. There is a checkbox for each partition shown but there is also a checkbox above them that's usually labeled "Disk 1" and that one is critical to check. If you don't check it you lose the mbr information and your cloned drive won't boot.

    Using my enclosure I can remove a cloned drive and install it in a "like" machine and it will boot fine. In other words, if I clone a Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop hard drive I can stick it into another 6000 and it works fine.

    You may also want to create a sys-prepped image of one of your M70 hard drives that's set up the way you want them all to be and then try restoring that image to all the other M70's hard drives. That avoids the cloning process and also solves any network ID issues that could arise from simply cloning one machine's hard drive and then using the clones on other machines.

    I have always thought that cloning was for one unique machine's use like moving to a larger hard drive and then wiping the old one, while imaging would be used to deploy a master image to other similar machines so they all had the same software, etc. SysPrep solves the network ID problem with deploying images.

    If you create this master image by selecting the top checkbox so you capture the mbr, any drive you restore the image to should boot properly.

    Good luck.
     
  20. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Kiran,

    Please be aware that Acronis Report that we need to investigate the problem is not the same as Linux system information.

    In order to create Acronis Report please download the Acronis Report utility available at: http://www.acronis.com/files/support/AcronisReport.exe and run it, create a report (usually named 'report.txt') and send the report.txt file along with the link to this thread to support@acronis.com.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  21. Kiran Otter

    Kiran Otter Registered Member

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    Alexey,

    I got the report utility; I did think you meant the Linux sysinfo.

    Before I do this, I had one question. I ran the utility on another PC, and see that it'll make a boot disk. Should I do that? Or just boot the Compaq and the XP on it, and run the utility? I ask because I'm fairly certain once I boot XP, it'll do something to the drives connected.

    I did clone the drives, and the clone will not boot. It says 'error loading operating system' this time. The original drive still boots, thankfully.

    So let me know if I should run this utility in Windows with the drives connected, or make a boot disk.

    Thanks,

    Kiran
     
  22. Kiran Otter

    Kiran Otter Registered Member

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    Bobdat.. I have to disagree with you. When using the clone function, and automatic mode, there are no partition options. You just pick the source drive and the destination. I do know what you are describing though.. I see that when I create an image. But it's not there when using clone.

    The only thing I need to change is the machine name after they're imaged. Sometimes I don't even go that far because the laptops are not connected to a network during a class. (Keeps the students attention from wandering. ;)) I am curious though if sysprep will put me through entering the XP key each time or not. Seems the Dells know what the key is somehow, too. They don't ask for it when I install XP.

    You're right, and the only reason I got into this situation of cloning the drives on a PC was because of the time it takes to restore the image to the laptop. With 20 laptops to do and each taking about 3 hours to restore.. and only 2 days to do it.. well, I like to get some sleep now and then.

    Yes, I always do that when creating an image the non-clone way. And really, I've never had a problem using images, it's just this clone function that's killin' me.

    Thanks for your help.

    Kiran
     
  23. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Kiran,

    You do not need to create bootable floppy in this case.

    Please run the Acronis Report utility from under Windows on the machine with both source and destination hard drives connected, create a report and send it along with the link to this thread to support@acronis.com.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  24. Kiran Otter

    Kiran Otter Registered Member

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    Okay, I'm getting the report now, and will email it in a minute.

    I did one other thing. I made the bootable report floppy, and ran it on the M70 laptop, once with the good bootable drive in, and once with the cloned drive that does not boot. Right away I saw a difference.. and I'll email these two reports as well.

    Bootable drive:
    Code:
    Num  NT    L9NO  Size FSsize Free FS     Type            Label       ABCHSV
    ---- ----- ---- ----- ----- ----- ------ --------------- ----------- ------
    1-   d(0)        56G  9.3M ATA   0-0-0                              
      -1  p(1) ----   47M   47M   40M FAT16  DE EISA configu             --C---
      -2  p(2) --CC   56G   56G   52G NTFS   07 NTFS, HPFS   ........... A-C---
    Non-bootable cloned drive:
    Code:
    Num  NT    L9NO  Size FSsize Free FS     Type            Label       ABCHSV
    ---- ----- ---- ----- ----- ----- ------ --------------- ----------- ------
    1-   d(0)        56G  5.8M ATA   0-0-0                              
      -1  p(1) ----   52M   52M   44M FAT16  DE EISA configu             --C---
      -2  p(2) --CC   56G   56G   52G NTFS   07 NTFS, HPFS   ........... A-C---
    That FAT16 partition is not the same size on both drives.

    Anyway, the email will be on its way in a few minutes.

    Kiran
     
  25. Kiran Otter

    Kiran Otter Registered Member

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    I'm now trying the clone process on another PC.. one that hangs on startup when Acronis loads. Ah.. just as I write this, I found unplugging the USB mouse is the solution.

    And.. low and behold, cloning the drive works! Sheesh.. all this because of a mouse. The reason I ended up using the Compaq and not this other P4 clone was because TI8 wouldn't load.

    Well. Next time I know how to do it, anyway. Now I can move on to figuring out BartPE.

    Alexey, unless you need to/want to figure out why the Compaq causes a problem.. I wouldn't spend too much time on it. But if you need any more info about it, please let me know.

    Thanks to everyone who offered their help, I really appreciate it. :)

    Kiran
     
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