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  1. Member
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    Hi.

    I was trying to clone the partition which contains the XP OS on one of my PCs (- which is currently the only operating system on that computer -) onto a second drive also inside the same PC.

    I used AOMEI Backupper.
    I did not use 'Sector-by-Sector', but otherwise I followed 'Partition Clone' instructions exactly.

    I think it did the copying okay, but if I just disable detection of the old OS hard-drive in BIOS and set up everything for the second hard-drive to boot (- and I know I did it properly because I had an old Mac OS installed on that second drive which I used to boot almost the same way (only I never completely disabled detection of the first drive for the Mac OS, just switched boot order, that's the only difference between that situation and this one) -) the computer asks me to insert proper boot media.
    So, despite the new partition being an exact copy of the old one, the computer does not want to use it to boot.

    I think the problem is that the new OS partition drive letter is never changed to C. So, then, the computer won't boot the OS because it wants to boot from C. And it can't find C anymore. Or something like that. Right?

    Seeing this, I rebooted again by re-enabling the old hard-drive, and I see the new cloned partition named as "Copy of C (N: )" in Windows Explorer.
    Yes, when I created that partition, I gave it the letter N, but I thought maybe cloning the entire hard-drive will also maybe try to give it the proper drive letter in the end, regardless of what drive letter it initially had.
    The AOMEI BAckupper instructions didn't mention anything about this, thereby suggesting that it probably wasn't a concern and that it would be done automatically (or so I assumed).

    And, of course, I should say that I will remove the old OS drive from inside the PC if I succeed, but I didn't think I should open up the computer again until I'm sure the new OS cloned drive works as it should. But disabling the old drive in the BIOS should do the trick just the same as removing. I don't think I did anything wrong by omitting to completely remove the physical drive to be replaced. If the BIOS doesn't see it, then Windows wouldn't have seen two C drives either, right? But if only I figure out how to get the N drive to become C, though...
    I don't suppose just changing it in Disk Management would work well. (Even if I do it somehow, I might have to switch now-working C: to something else and render the old OS unbootable, because it'd be no longer C:, or some disaster like that...)

    Any advice? Thank you in advance.

    P.S. I'll explain why I want to do this, to anybody interested, after figuring out if I can get this cloning thing to work. Oh, and if you want please feel free to suggest better options that AOMEI BAckupper - I maybe should have used Ghost or Acronis, yeah, but I had found a tutorial of Backupper so I thought "Why not? Seems super-easy." - but I already have the copy made, so...
    Thanks.
    Last edited by jeanpave; 6th Jan 2014 at 10:56.
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Methinks what is missing is the bootstrap loader which means that boot.ini is still pointing to 'Disk(0)' or Drive C in your case.

    Cloning a drive does not change the boot.ini. Only a multi-boot system does that.

    You can try this.

    1. Establish the drive number for your Disk N. Disk Management should tell you that.

    2. Go to My Computer from the start menu and select 'View System Information'/Adanced/Start Up and Recovery. Click 'Edit'

    3. Change the (0) in Disk(0) to whatever Disk N is reported as. Save 'Boot.ini' and reboot the PC

    Of course you need Windows to be running to do this and that will have to be from Drive C in the first instance.
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  3. I think you cloned the partition but not the MBR. No MBR, no boot.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Methinks what is missing is the bootstrap loader which means that boot.ini is still pointing to 'Disk(0)' or Drive C in your case.

    Cloning a drive does not change the boot.ini. Only a multi-boot system does that.

    You can try this.

    1. Establish the drive number for your Disk N. Disk Management should tell you that.

    2. Go to My Computer from the start menu and select 'View System Information'/Adanced/Start Up and Recovery. Click 'Edit'

    3. Change the (0) in Disk(0) to whatever Disk N is reported as. Save 'Boot.ini' and reboot the PC

    Of course you need Windows to be running to do this and that will have to be from Drive C in the first instance.
    Wow, the weird thing is the hard disk with N is Disk 0. The one with C is Disk 2. (I have another non-boot SATA disk inside, which is Disk 1 currently. The two boot drives are IDE.)

    The boot.ini file, on both drives, says "...disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)..." but it seems to boot fine from disk(2).

    So I guess it's not that. Unless the BIOS interprets Disk 0, 1 and 2 differently than Windows XP.

    Thank you very much, though.

    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    I think you cloned the partition but not the MBR. No MBR, no boot.
    So, what should I do, Jagabo? Use the XP CD, have it look for installations (with the old drive disabled), and ask it to repair the installation on N?
    (It's safe?)
    That will write a new MBR?
    (Oh, and would that render the old, original OS installation unusable? 'Cause I'm not so sure I want that without being sure the new installation works well.)
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  5. Originally Posted by jeanpave View Post
    The boot.ini file, on both drives, says "...disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)..." but it seems to boot fine from disk(2).

    So I guess it's not that. Unless the BIOS interprets Disk 0, 1 and 2 differently than Windows XP.
    That's exactly what it is, disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1) is a physical location in the BIOS though it is not a fixed position. You're using IDE drives and assuming both controllers are enabled that position describes the first partition of the master drive on the primary port, if the primary port was disabled and the drive was connected to the secondary port, it would still be a valid description. For your experiment to work put both drives on separate IDE cables as master and disable the corresponding IDE controller in the BIOS.


    Originally Posted by jeanpave View Post
    So, what should I do, Jagabo? Use the XP CD, have it look for installations (with the old drive disabled), and ask it to repair the installation on N?
    (It's safe?)
    That will write a new MBR?
    (Oh, and would that render the old, original OS installation unusable? 'Cause I'm not so sure I want that without being sure the new installation works well.)
    If you use FIXBOOT the drive will boot, but you'll end up with the same issue when you try to boot the other one. Also, it's best if the 2 installations never see the other one (don't boot the original with the clone attached and vice versa) or you will end up with a drive signature collision. With XP the consequences aren't as bad, but you might have other issues.
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  6. Originally Posted by nic2k4 View Post
    Also, it's best if the 2 installations never see the other one (don't boot the original with the clone attached and vice versa)
    Yes, use a removable drive bay.
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  7. Member
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    Originally Posted by nic2k4 View Post
    That's exactly what it is, disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1) is a physical location in the BIOS though it is not a fixed position. You're using IDE drives and assuming both controllers are enabled that position describes the first partition of the master drive on the primary port, if the primary port was disabled and the drive was connected to the secondary port, it would still be a valid description. For your experiment to work put both drives on separate IDE cables as master and disable the corresponding IDE controller in the BIOS.
    But that's exactly what I did. Both drives are masters, on separate IDE connections, without any slave drives on these connections. And I did disable the old OS drive in the BIOS, thereby getting that message that no boot media was found. (I don't know if I disabled the IDE controller, or if there is an option for that, but each drive can be selected and changed individually, master or slave, from 'Auto' to 'Not Detected').

    DB83 said I should look in 'Disk Management'. 'Disk Management' does say Disk 0 is the second drive, with the clone (and the N partition). And Disk 2 is the one that still boots properly. How do I know what numbers they are in the BIOS?

    Are you saying perhaps I should just change boot.ini on the cloned partition to say "...disk(1)rdisk(0)partition(1)...", considering that "disk(0)" is probably the master drive from the other IDE cable?
    [The partition on N is the first partition on the drive, yes. Still not sure what "rdisk(0)" is supposed to mean, though.]
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    Oh, damn, I was doing some more research on the Internet, and I think maybe I get it now. But could someone please analyze what I'm saying and confirm for me if I understand it properly?

    I should change "multi(0)" to "multi(1)", in boot.ini, right? (On the cloned partition only, for sure.) That's what I gotta change. Not "disk(0)".

    I read that "multi(x)" means the number of the IDE controller, where x varies depending on how many controllers there are inside, right?

    So, if I save the file with "multi(1)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)", it should boot then, assuming the controller that drive is master on is controller 1. If not, then I should try "multi(2)" and maybe "multi(3)".
    Then, I'll report back.
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  9. Originally Posted by jeanpave View Post
    I don't know if I disabled the IDE controller...
    You won't find that setting under the basic screen (the one where the drives are listed). Usually, it's under integrated peripherals (that might be under advanced settings) and should be listed as onboard IDE and set to BOTH.
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  10. Originally Posted by jeanpave View Post
    I should change "multi(0)" to "multi(1)", in boot.ini, right? (On the cloned partition only, for sure.) That's what I gotta change. Not "disk(0)".

    I read that "multi(x)" means the number of the IDE controller, where x varies depending on how many controllers there are inside, right?

    So, if I save the file with "multi(1)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)", it should boot then, assuming the controller that drive is master on is controller 1. If not, then I should try "multi(2)" and maybe "multi(3)".
    Then, I'll report back.
    No, multi means the number of OS installed on the PC.
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  11. Member
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    Originally Posted by nic2k4 View Post
    Originally Posted by jeanpave View Post
    I should change "multi(0)" to "multi(1)", in boot.ini, right? (On the cloned partition only, for sure.) That's what I gotta change. Not "disk(0)".

    I read that "multi(x)" means the number of the IDE controller, where x varies depending on how many controllers there are inside, right?

    So, if I save the file with "multi(1)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)", it should boot then, assuming the controller that drive is master on is controller 1. If not, then I should try "multi(2)" and maybe "multi(3)".
    Then, I'll report back.
    No, multi means the number of OS installed on the PC.

    Are you sure? I read that here.

    They're incorrect?

    I'm going to still try it, though, unless you respond within the next like 10 minutes or so.
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    Yeah, okay, changing to "multi(1)" is not working...
    (Maybe AOMEI Backupper is just a crappy program...)

    Anyway, here is more info, maybe it will help:
    In BIOS, I have
    > Primary IDE Master: the drive with the cloned partition (N) -- seen as Disk 0 in 'Disk Management' (under 'My Computer'>'Manage')
    > Primary IDE Slave: not detected
    > Secondary IDE Master: the original OS drive (with C) -- seen as Disk 2 in 'Disk Management' (under 'My Computer'>'Manage')
    > Secondary IDE Slave: not detected
    > Third IDE Master: not detected
    > Fourth IDE Master: the third (non-bootable, irrelevant for this discussion) S-ATA drive
    And under 'Advanced', in BIOS still, I don't have 'Onboard IDE', but just these options, under 'Onboard Devices Configuration':
    - OnBoard AC Audio
    - Onboard LAN
    - OnBoard LAN Boot ROM
    - Serial Port1 Address
    - Parallel Port Address
    - Parallel Port Mode
    - ECP Mode DMA Channel
    - Parallel Port IRQ
    - OnBoard Game/MIDI Port

    I assume I probably have to totally disable the IDE controller, don't I? To get it to boot from the other drive. But which of those options, if any, do it?

    Either that, or maybe the clone is just worthless??...


    EDIT:

    Oh, and what would the physical removal of the drive (Secondary Master) do differently? Would the clone be assured to boot then? Because at this point I will do it; I've lost plenty of time with blind tries.

    Also, how about Partition Magic, or something like that, to get that partition to boot? I heard this software, from a CD maybe, could fix my issue, but I've never used Partition Magic before.
    Last edited by jeanpave; 6th Jan 2014 at 18:11.
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  13. Member DB83's Avatar
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    I guess you are over-estimating the purpose/usefullness of cloning a drive (or a partition)

    Your program creates the clone with the intent that you can restore that self same drive in the event of a problem. Dies it actually state that you can boot to that clone ?

    To get Windows working on another drive you therefore physically install it on that drive.
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    Remove all other drives and diagnose this by itself.
    You can use Partition Magic to see if the partiton is set to active/primary.

    If it doesn't work try booting the XP recovery console and see if he can see it.
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  15. XP recovery console can fix the MBR. Alternately, go to drive manufacturer's web site and download their free disk utility, which will let you clone your disk properly. It's a simple version of Acronis True Image Home, which is a very good product if you're looking for backup software.
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  16. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    To get Windows working on another drive you therefore physically install it on that drive.
    You can clone a drive and have the clone bootable. I do it all the time.

    1) Since you've been fiddling around with BIOS settings, remove all drives except the original boot drive and make sure the computer boots with it. If not, adjust the BIOS to get it booting again.

    2) Remove original boot drive, replace it with the clone the drive, and see if it boots. If not, it wasn't cloned properly.

    3) Go to the web site of the manufacturer of the old boot disk or the clone disc. Download their drive cloning software. Use that to clone the original boot drive to the clone drive. When done, repeat step 2 with the newly cloned drive.

    4) Put your other drives back in the system.
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  17. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Ok. But I always thought there was something in the Windows installation that prevented you from installing on another drive - not actually installing but practically running it - multi-boot excepted.
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  18. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Ok. But I always thought there was something in the Windows installation that prevented you from installing on another drive - not actually installing but practically running it - multi-boot excepted.
    WGA may kick in on the clone drive and tell you the OS is pirated. But it will still boot.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    I guess you are over-estimating the purpose/usefullness of cloning a drive (or a partition)

    Your program creates the clone with the intent that you can restore that self same drive in the event of a problem. Dies it actually state that you can boot to that clone ?

    To get Windows working on another drive you therefore physically install it on that drive.
    Maybe I have another reason that you haven't thought of.

    And yes, it does say that. You can read here, if you have time. (Tech2 article)
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  20. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Ok. I did read it (jagabo confirmed this last night as well)

    So. Three possible reasons why it is not working.

    1. The clone simply failed. Try it again

    2. You chose the wrong source. That Disk2 is the booting drive may have something to do with it.

    3. Your bios is confused if you have more than 4 HDDs (If I read correctly elsewhere) and it does not allow you to boot straight to Disk N. If 'Disk2' booted fine then disconnect that drive from the MB and replace Disk N in the same slot.
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  21. You're right about blind tries, I should have asked from the start for your motherboard model. IDE port control has been available in BIOS settings since the first PCI 486 boards. Unless you have a Dell or HP machine with their simplified BIOS', the setting should be there.
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  22. Originally Posted by jeanpave View Post
    Maybe I have another reason that you haven't thought of.
    Well, I sure would like to hear it. FYI, you can manipulate the BOOT.INI file of the drive that boots (the master on the primary port) and have the XP clone appear as a boot time menu option. As I said, might not be a good idea for a clone, but it's fine for a second installation.
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