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Bizarre Disk Cloning Problem.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by tripwire45, May 20, 2012.

  1. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Sorry that it's been so long since I posted here, but I really have been up to my eyes in work plus family (you wouldn't believe how much time a three year old grandson can consume). Anyway, I'm just about ready to explode because I have a problem that just doesn't make sense. I've already documented it on my blog but will copy and paste the text here so you find folks can see what's up and hopefully help me out.

    Here goes:

    This should work. For the most part, it has worked, but I have just one little hiccup that's driving me insane. Let me explain.

    Last August, I posted my adventures of trying to clone my undersized OS drive to a much larger hard drive using Acronis True Image Home 2011. It was enormously frustrating and job that should have taken an hour or two took days instead. Ultimately, it worked, but no thanks to the documentation provided by the fine folks who made Acronis True Image.

    Time passed.

    Ultimately my "new" (actually surplus drive I bought at work for $5.00) drive failed and I had to put the old OS drive back in my production PC.

    More time passed.

    The OS drive continued to accumulate system files and available space shrank to a dangerous minimum. I bought a couple of 1 TB drives from Dell and intended on transferring both my OS and data disks to them, insuring ample space for the foreseeable future.

    I got lazy and waited a long time. But today's the day to make the move, clone both old drives to both new drives.

    Cloning the OS drive was easier than I expected. I followed the old directions provided by Acronis and it worked like a charm. The PC booted to Windows 7 Professional from the new, cloned drive with no muss and no fuss. The cloning process just worked, and it worked pretty fast. I figured I might as well clone my data drive to a larger disk since I was already under the hood, so to speak.

    I plugged the second 1 TB drive into the available SATA channel, booted into Windows, started Acronis, chose to clone disk 2 to disk 3 and performed the clone. The operation went exactly the same the second time as it did the first time.

    Hooray.

    I swapped the larger data drive for the smaller, booted and...

    Yikes!

    Can't find Bootmgr error.

    What?

    But the only thing I changed since my last successful boot is swapping a larger cloned drive for the smaller original data drive...Disk D.

    I swapped the smaller drive D back in and booted. No dang problem whatsoever.

    I left the "extra" larger data drive plugged in and opened Computer. It sees the C, D, and F drives. The D and F drives contain exactly the same files and directories. The only difference is that the F drive is bigger.
    I did the clone operation over again just for giggles but the result was the same. When the smaller, original data drive is the D drive, the computer boots to the OS on the C drive. When I have the larger cloned data drive plugged in to the smaller drive's SATA channel (I swear, that's the only difference), nada tostada.

    I am giving up my diagnostics at this point and throwing myself on the mercy of the Internet. What the heck went wrong.


    In my frustration, I'm probably leaving out a few details, so please feel free to ask questions and nail things down a bit. I can live with things the way they are for awhile, so it's no emergency, but I hate to buy a new 1 TB disk, have all the information I need cloned to it, and not be able to use it.

    Thanks, folks.
     
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  2. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Have you tried updating the BIOS James?

    Nice to see you posting again, how have you been?
     
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  3. mojorisin

    mojorisin Kilobyte Poster

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    Anything to do with a paging file on the 2nd disk ?
     
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  4. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    @Bluerinse: You mean flashing the BIOS? Someone on Facebook suggested that the boot order may somehow change whenever I put in the new drive, but I don't see why that should happen.

    Doing fine. Busy. Hard to find time to keep up here at certforums. That may change when writing and editing for this current round of books ends.

    @mojorisin: Say more about the paging file, please.
     
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  5. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Yes James, i mean flashing the BIOS :)

    Also, the boot order could change, if there is a bug in the firmware..

    The forum misses you, so do I, so please try and pop in more often, it would be muchly appreciated 8)
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
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  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    As far as I can remember (stuck on desert island at the mo) :-

    The boot order is controlled in the BIOS, you can normally define it manually, but it may change automatically if you remove devices.

    Each disk can then have a boot sector or MBR on the primary partition. This then kicks of a secondary bootloader that runs of the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) which replaces the older Boot.ini. This can be edited by tools like BCDEdit / EasyBCD.

    So its likely either BIOS boot order or your BCD data is no longer correct I think.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Vista_startup_process
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
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  7. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    Last edited: May 21, 2012
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  8. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    So far, everyone who's responded to my query has pointed me to the BIOS, so I'll have to take a look at that when I get a chance. Must be a way to tell it to look at SATA 0 for the bootmgr, no matter what.

    Looks like it says "tartup process." :D
     
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  9. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Been playing around with my PC's BIOS trying to figure this one out. Here's the latest copy and paste from the comments section of my blog on the results:

    With all three drives plugged in (C: OS SATA 0, D: old data drive, SATA 1, F: new data drive, SATA 3) I ran the bcdedit command and got this result:

    Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7601]
    Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    C:\Windows\system32>bcdedit

    Windows Boot Manager
    --------------------
    identifier {bootmgr}
    device partition=C:
    description Windows Boot Manager
    locale en-US
    inherit {globalsettings}
    default {current}
    resumeobject {721fabc1-edb4-11de-922e-cdab3013c52a}
    displayorder {current}
    toolsdisplayorder {memdiag}
    timeout 30

    Windows Boot Loader
    -------------------
    identifier {current}
    device partition=C:
    path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
    description Windows 7
    locale en-US
    inherit {bootloadersettings}
    recoverysequence {721fabc3-edb4-11de-922e-cdab3013c52a}
    recoveryenabled Yes
    osdevice partition=C:
    systemroot \Windows
    resumeobject {721fabc1-edb4-11de-922e-cdab3013c52a}
    nx OptIn

    C:\Windows\system32>

    In other words, the exact same result as before.

    I did notice something interesting when I went into the BIOS though.

    Before changing anything, my computer is set to boot as follows:

    1. Onboard or USB CD-ROM (which is probably the CD-DVD drive on SATA 2
    2. ST1000xxxxx-9xxxxx (OS on SATA 0)
    3. ST332xxxxxx (old data drive on SATA 1)

    I don't know if this is important, but its set to RAID on with the other two options being RAID autodetect/AHCI and RAID autodetect/ATA.

    I exchanged the old data drive and the new data drive and something very interesting happens. Boot sequence is:

    1. Onboard or USB CD-ROM (which is probably the CD-DVD drive on SATA 2
    2. ST1000xxxxx-9xxxxx (OS on SATA 0)
    3. ST1000xxxxx-9xxxxx (new data drive on SATA 1)

    When the computer is actually going through its startup routine, you can see that each drive has an identical part number and different serial numbers, but in the BIOS, all you can see is that both drives seem to be identified by their identical part number. It's as if the BIOS sees both drives as the same but only one of them has the bootmgr.

    The boot sequence for this configuration looks like this:

    1. Onboard or USB CD-ROM
    2. ST1000xxxxx-9xxxxx
    3. Onboard or USB CD-ROM
    4. ST1000xxxxx-9xxxxx

    When I put all three drives in, it gets even stranger. In the boot sequence is like this:

    1. Onboard or USB CD-ROM
    2. ST332xxxxxx (old data drive on SATA 1)
    3. ST1000xxxxx-9xxxxx
    4. Onboard or USB CD-ROM
    5. ST1000xxxxx-9xxxxx

    The computer really, really, really wants ST332xxxxx to be hooked up to SATA 1 and doesn't care what drives come after that.

    Ideas?
     
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  10. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    *ping*

    Anybody?
     
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  11. Nyx

    Nyx Byte Poster

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    Not sure about it, but shouldn't BIOS look at other HDDs if it doesn't find bootmgr on the first one it tries?

    If you go into disk management with all the drives in check if the problematic one is marked as active (it shouldn't).
    I'd try and pop in a Win install CD, do a startup repair or whatever it is called (without the small data one in).
     
  12. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    First things first.

    Take the new OS drive and boot into the BIOS with that one. Now depending on the BIOS you actually have two locations where you need to define your primary boot drive. Without knowing your motherboard \ bios I can't tell whether you're actually booting up using one or the other.

    If you can let me know the motherboard make\model then I can at least have a better idea of what should be happening.

    In the mean time, have a look at the BIOS at the boot order as well as the SATA settings, now because you already have the OS installed you need to be very careful about swapping between ATA and AHCI, basically if you do so without first making a change in the registry then you're going to end up not being able to boot, so if in the mean time you actually changed from ATA to AHCI then change it back and search for the AHCI registry key to swap between the two (AHCI is faster).

    Once you can successfully boot up using a single disk then place the new larger data drive into the machine, load up the BIOS and check the boot \ disk priority. You may well have to change the disk priority back to the OS drive instead of the data drive, it happens occasionally but once you have it sorted it should stay sorted.
     
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  13. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    As Simon says, add one drive at a time starting with the OS drive, then new data drive, then old data drive.

    At each point confirm successful boot before continue, never let the Motherboard/BIOS automatically define the boot order, go in and check it each time and manually change it to be correct.

    Personally I remove USB and CD-ROM boot devices from the boot order after I have my OS installed.

    Read the Motherboard manual for BIOS options, don't configure stuff that is incorrect, if its not RAID then don't set it to RAID. Maybe stick it on ATA to start with.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
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  14. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Ran out of time. I'm flying to the midwest very early tomorrow and won't be back until late Monday, so it'll be next week before I can get to any of this and try it out. Darn it, I'll be out of town when Phoenix comes for a visit.

    Thanks for all the help. I'll pick this up next week and let you know how your suggestions worked out.

    Cheers.
     
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  15. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Have a nice trip James and we'll talk when you get back! 8)
     
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