True Image 11 : Chapter X - Cloning Nightmare

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by HussainR, Oct 26, 2007.

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  1. HussainR

    HussainR Registered Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Hello everyone,

    I've been a Norton Ghost's user for the last several years and I have decided, based on positive reviews and feedback on the internet mainly linux users, to switch to Acronis True Image to clone partitions and hard disks at home.

    I have just joined this forum to share my view regarding True Image 11 from Acronis. I have purchased, downloaded, and installed TI 11 in order to clone my HD to another identical HD.

    I knew it was strongly recommended not to power the PC with two disk that have windows OSs and then clone the disk. Therefore, I first created the TI boot CD and I plugged my second disk along with the main disk and turned ON the PC. TI started and I requested an automatic cloning of the disk which contains the following four primary partitions:

    1. Windows Vista
    2. Windows XP Pro
    3. Linux Ububtu
    4. Linux Swap

    When the cloning process was completed "successfully" as TI displayed, I removed the boot CD and powered off the PC. Then, I removed the original disk and made the clone disk as the main disk. I powered the PC and I selected Vista to boot. IT FAILED BECAUSE winload.exe IS MISSING. I decided to boot XP, IT FAILED BECAUSE IT GOT STUCK ON Windows XP logo screen.

    Now listen to this, I decide to go back to the original disk, which according to TI 11 during cloning process options was supposed to be UNTOUCHED, BUT IT FAILED THE SAME WAY AS THE CLONE DISK.

    When I used to log on XP (history now), the partitions were C for Vista and H for XP. When I checked the disk (original) after cloning, XP became D and that must have been modified by TI 11.

    Now I can understand, based on previous experience, that the clone disk did not work. But how can someone explain to me why the "untouched" original disk did not boot? That would happen only if TI 11 made unannounced changes.

    Thank you very much Acronis for your latest and greatest True Image 11 which is Vista compatible and yet it does not know how to clone it. I have been left without a PC now because I have purchased the latest & greates tool called True Image 11.

    I have examined several post on this forum and the above problems are new to Acronis True Image. But what surprised me was that several promises were made by Acronis to impelemnt the fixes associated with disk cloning in True Image 11. I believe my experience has tested and proved the product. So what is benefit of buying an expensive tool if the user must complete the process with "workarounds"?

    Of course, I'm waiting for the response from the support team hoping to get my pc back running in the near future. I did not mean to write an article here, but I just wanted to cover all the facts.

  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Apr 28, 2004
    Hello HussainR,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup software

    We'd like to inform you that the original disk is indeed untouched if this is specified by the user. If the drive is disconnected and then not connected to exactly the same port of the storage controller, Windows detects the drive as a new device (as it has different BIOS ID) and re-initializes all the partitions on the drive assigning them letters starting from one by one starting from C. The letters are assigned in the following priority (for Windows NT-based OS family):

    First - active partitions on all drives according to BIOS device listing
    Second - primary partitions on all drives according to BIOS device listing
    Third - all other partitions with supported file systems according to BIOS device listing

    This process takes place while Windows Logo and the progress bar is shown on the screen. If the letter assigned to the partition is different from the one the partition originally had, you can't log on to your desktop and see the welcome screen. Microsoft provides instructions on how to overcome this issue in this article.

    Concerning the issues with cloned Vista OS, this one can occur if Windows XP was installed after installing Vista. The solution for this issue is repair Vista Boot Configuration Data:

    1. Put the Windows Vista installation disc in the CD\DVD disc drive, and then (re)start the computer;
    2. Press a key when you are prompted;
    3. Select language, time, currency, keyboard or input method, and then click Next;
    4. Click Repair your computer;
    5. Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next;
    6. In the System Recovery Options dialog box click Command Prompt;
    7. Type the following:
    Bootrec.exe /FixMbr
    Bootrec.exe /FixBoot

    If you want to completely rebuild Boot Configuration Data, then you should issue the following command:
    Bootrec.exe /RebuildBcd
    This command scans all disks for installations that are compatible with Windows Vista. Additionally, this option lets you select the installations that you want to add to the Boot Configuration Data store.

    If you have any further questions concerning our software, please submit a request for technical support or post any of them on this forum. We will do our best to help you as soon as possible.

    Thank you

    Eugene Bogdanov
  3. HussainR

    HussainR Registered Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Thank you for your feedback with those instructions. As per MS support article and since my dead PC (stuck on Windows XP logo screen) is networked with another XP Pro, I attempted to remotely access its registry, but I always get an error when accessing the key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

    I checked and verified that all the required permissions are set correctly for the Administrators Group. Any ideas why I can not remotely access the registry of the damaged PC?

    Thank you in advance.
  4. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    May 1, 2007
    The following link has some information on how to change your drive letters. Which is what is causing your windows xp to hang at the login screen.

    You might want to try the demo of "paragon justboot corrector" and use that to boot up your computer. The demo will let you look at your Windows xp registry and read your boot.ini file on the non-booting hard drive. It'll help you pinpoint your problem.
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Jan 28, 2005
    NSW, Australia

    I think you did everything correctly with the cloning process.

    Can you boot into any OS with either HD?
  6. HussainR

    HussainR Registered Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Success, finally. I would like to inform you that I've resolved the boot issues with my Vista and XP. Your feedback was very valuable and I have learned a lot from this "nightmare" experience.

    The post (below) provided by Jonyjoe81 was the key to solving my booting issues where I learned now that I can Load Hive from one OS to another.

    I always tried and failed to access XP registry remotely from another running XP. But the above brilliant approach was the key to solving the problem with my XP.

    First, I repaired the Vista by using the installation CD which automatically repaired and corrected the Partition Table and then it booted correctly. Afterwards, I logged on Vista and I launched regedit to accessed the XP registry by "Load Hive" where I followed the approach described in the above post, namely; correcting the partition signature (copied key value from Vista D drive to XP H drive). Then, XP booted correctly.

    Since my both disks were damaged after the cloning process, I also corrected the clone disk as well. However, when following the same procedure of correcting the original disk above, I swapped the drive letters between D and H instead of swapping the partition signatures or key values. That also worked and XP booted correctly on the clone disk.

    I would like to thank everyone for their feedback and thought. This is THE END of this chapter.

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