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Windows 7: Cloning HDDs - the right way to do it?

11 Mar 2012   #1
usta

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Cloning HDDs - the right way to do it?

I've cloned my HDD using Norton Ghost 15 (following its user guide), but there were issues in starting Win7. Here is the setup:

Original disk partitions (Win7):
1) OEM Partition
2) RECOVERY (Active, System, Primary)
3) OS (Primary)
4) DATA (Logical Drive)


Destination disk partitions (Win7):
1) RECOVERY (Active, System, Primary) - I cloned this partition as step 1, by selecting in Ghost the options "Set drive Active (for booting OS), Copy MBR, Primary Partition, Drive letter - None".

2) OS (Primary, Boot, Page file, Crash Dump) - I cloned this partition as step 2, and didn't select any options as in step 1, except indicating that this is a Primary partition.

3) I left DATA partition un-cloned, since the original disk serves me now as an external HDD.


Win7 couldn't boot, so I placed Win7 recovery CD and selected the "repair" option. After that Win7 booted without any issues.

I still ask myself the question - What did I do wrong in this disk cloning process that prevented Win7 from booting right away?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Mar 2012   #2
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Hi,

Can you paste an image of your Disk Management?

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2012   #3
usta

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Sure. Below is the screenshot. Ignore Disk1 Media D: (that's my second internal HDD).

The changes I've made since the cloning process:
1) connect the old disk as an external drive (Disk2).
2) Delete DATA partition on the old disk and add the un-allocated space to OS (I.


Cloning HDDs - the right way to do it?-diskmgmt.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

11 Mar 2012   #4
Kaktussoft

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by usta View Post
I've cloned my HDD using Norton Ghost 15 (following its user guide), but there were issues in starting Win7. Here is the setup:

Original disk partitions (Win7):
1) OEM Partition
2) RECOVERY (Active, System, Primary)
3) OS (Primary)
4) DATA (Logical Drive)


Destination disk partitions (Win7):
1) RECOVERY (Active, System, Primary) - I cloned this partition as step 1, by selecting in Ghost the options "Set drive Active (for booting OS), Copy MBR, Primary Partition, Drive letter - None".

2) OS (Primary, Boot, Page file, Crash Dump) - I cloned this partition as step 2, and didn't select any options as in step 1, except indicating that this is a Primary partition.

3) I left DATA partition un-cloned, since the original disk serves me now as an external HDD.


Win7 couldn't boot, so I placed Win7 recovery CD and selected the "repair" option. After that Win7 booted without any issues.

I still ask myself the question - What did I do wrong in this disk cloning process that prevented Win7 from booting right away?
Your boot menu points to operating systems on your harddisk(s). So for example:
VISTA: device partition=c
WIN7: device partition=e

But in bootmenu it's actually stored as "Disk signature"-"start sector of partition"
So if you change start sector of partition it's another partition. You used another disk with another disk siganture, so it's another partition.

Bootmenu points to something which isn't there anymore!!
-----------------------------
Same happens in win7 itself. win7 can't find C->but it automatically creates it because it knows what partition it's on (assuming old C disk is not attached). All other partitions are not found as well. So it assigns default drive letters to them. So if you have a second partition called Q (you did change that manually) it is called D now.
------------------------------
All restore points are invalid as well now, check your system restore settings and disable system restore on "ghost drives"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2012   #5
Kaktussoft

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

please post output of disk management. And check if all drive letters are good!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2012   #6
usta

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

@Kaktussoft,

Thanks for reply. I've already posted a screenshot of disk management on post #3. This is the situation after the cloning and replacing disks, whereby the source disk is now an external HDD (Disk2).

So, if I understand you correctly, Windows was confused about the boot disk, since the drive letter assigned to the cloned OS was no longer "C:", but "H:". Hmm, I couldn't change that since there already was a boot partition with a C: drive in the source disk.
The cloning process was like this: source disk in the notebook as internal disk, destination disk connected to notebook via SATA-USB cable. Disk Management window could see them both.

I would assume that after cloning, windows automatically assigns drive C: to boot disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2012   #7
Kaktussoft

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

does recovery partition still work?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2012   #8
usta

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I think so. I can see it in disk management, and the recovery program (Dell Datasafe) goes as far as to the point of being ready to restore the factory image.

In fact, everything works fine. I just wonder what could I have done to prevent the initial boot error in Win7, when the newly cloned disk was placed in notebook.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2012   #9
gregrocker

 

It sometimes happens after cloning: The MBR needs repair or boot files rewritten using
Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times.

I'd use Acronis premium apps Boot Disk which come free when any WD or Seagate HD are in the mix. If none, I'd use Macrium Reflect. Anything Norton is IMO bloatware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Mar 2012   #10
usta

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Yes, I've happily used Acronis or Reflect in the past, but this time Ghost v15 was delivered with the new disk (by Samsung), so I thought to give it a try.

I think next time I'll go back to Acronis/Reflect...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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