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Windows 7: Boot problem on cloned dual-boot SSD

3 Weeks Ago   #21
dg1261

Windows 7/8.1/10 multiboot
 
 

I've been combing over your screenshots to see if there's anything I've missed. Nothing jumps out, but I'll note we've made some assumptions as to the partition signatures on the SSD. I've no reason to doubt those assumptions (because 7 seems to boot properly), but it might be nice just to confirm those signatures.

If you get a chance, use a disk sector editor (such as Roadkil's SecEdit) to look at the SSD's MBR sector (LBA 0). From within Win7, run the utility as administrator, and select Physical Disk 0. It will display LBA Sector 0 (as indicated by "Current" on the bottom line). Capture a screenshot and post here so I can examine to confirm we are in fact using the correct partition signatures.


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3 Weeks Ago   #22
amblabs

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Windows XP Professional SP3
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dg1261 View Post
No, the Volume entries should not be edited.
...
In fact, you can even completely delete the Volume entries and the OS will regenerate them as needed.
I just now tried this, deleting all Volume entries and unused DosDevices entries, leaving just DosDevices\C,
DosDevices\D and DosDevices\E (E: is the built-in DVD drive). Like this:




I then tried booting XP, and it again reset itself to POST after showing the boot splash screen. Going back into Win7, I re-examined the XP MountedDevices hive and it still contains just those three DosDevices entries. No Volume entries were regenerated. Maybe this is telltale of something.

Quote:
I've been combing over your screenshots to see if there's anything I've missed. Nothing jumps out, but I'll note we've made some assumptions as to the partition signatures on the SSD. I've no reason to doubt those assumptions (because 7 seems to boot properly), but it might be nice just to confirm those signatures.

If you get a chance, use a disk sector editor (such as Roadkil's SecEdit) to look at the SSD's MBR sector (LBA 0). From within Win7, run the utility as administrator, and select Physical Disk 0. It will display LBA Sector 0 (as indicated by "Current" on the bottom line). Capture a screenshot and post here so I can examine to confirm we are in fact using the correct partition signatures.
I ran sectedit.exe as administrator and it only allows me to open "Logical D:", which probably isn't what you're looking for. But I have cygwin (Unix/Linux tools and environment for Windows) and it comes with a hexdump program which I used on the raw disk device, starting at sector 0 of the SSD. This is what the output looks like:





Is this what you want?
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3 Weeks Ago   #23
dg1261

Windows 7/8.1/10 multiboot
 
 

The MBR sector and partition table look perfectly fine. The third partition is Active, there is only one Active partition, the DiskID is verified to be "6c 73 52 e0", and the starting locations of the partitions are consistent with the registry's partition signatures. Even the MBR boot code (all that machine code above the DiskID) is legit and uncorrupted.

FYI, the starting sector locations in the partition table and the starting byte locations in the MountedDevices registry key are both stored in "little-endian" hexadecimal format (aka, LSB or least-significant byte first). For example, the fourth partition begins at sector 0x26c32800, which at 0x200 bytes/sector (512 decimal) multiplies out to 0x0000004d86500000. Remembering that this is stored in reverse order, the partition's signature should thus be "6c 73 52 e0 00 00 50 86 4d 00 00 00", which is exactly the value you've been working with.

The third partition similarly checks out, so we can be sure there's no problem with the signatures being used.



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by amblabs View Post
I then tried booting XP, and it again reset itself to POST after showing the boot splash screen. Going back into Win7, I re-examined the XP MountedDevices hive and it still contains just those three DosDevices entries. No Volume entries were regenerated. Maybe this is telltale of something.
Probably not. I suspect there's some other issue that's causing the boot process to bail before it gets far enough to analyze MountedDevices.

I mentioned at the outset that I despise the Microsoft method of dual-booting, and this is one of the reasons why. It's fragile and corrupts more easily than OSes in a true dual-boot. But that's all water under the bridge; the partition has been corrupted somehow, and the cause is unknown. The boot.ini looks okay, the partition signatures are okay, and the registry looks okay. It would seem to be some file or configuration setting that didn't get cloned properly. Perhaps Acronis didn't clone the XP partition correctly, or perhaps it botched the after-cloning expansion of the partition.

IME, Acronis is not one of the more reliable programs, though it's generally adequate for traditional tasks. Remember, tough, that you did give it a task more difficult than normal to perform. You asked it to clone (image and restore is a bit more reliable), you asked it to clone multiple OSes (rather than a single-OS system), you asked it to clone an OS that's supposed to see itself as D: (instead of the more typical C: drive letter), you asked it to clone a Microsoft-style dual-boot (rather than a more robust true dual-boot), and then you made things more complicated by asking it to resize partitions on the fly.

We don't know what went wrong so we have no proof Acronis botched the job, but I have to admit it wasn't a surprise to me to hear the attempt was unsuccessful.

At this point I think I'd try copying the fourth partition again, except this time I'd image/restore instead of doing a direct clone. The other partitions seem to be okay, so just do a partition image instead of a full-disk image. Make the image (say, onto an external drive), then swap drives and restore from the image to the SSD's fourth partition. Boot into 7 and fix XP's DosDevices\C and D entries before trying to boot XP. Keep the partition the same size when restoring. If you can get XP to boot properly you can always resize the partition later.

This is a simpler task than before, so Acronis may be sufficiently able to handle it. If you'd prefer to use a more reliable program, I'd suggest Macrium Reflect Free.


Attached Images
Boot problem on cloned dual-boot SSD-ssd_sector0_hexdump_annotated.png 
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3 Weeks Ago   #24
amblabs

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Windows XP Professional SP3
 
 

Wow, thanks for all that @dg1261. You are being super helpful so far and I really appreciate the time and effort you're putting in this.



Instead of using any special cloning software, I suppose I could just connect the original HDD via a SATA-USB adapter to the system (like how I originally connected the SSD to clone from the booted HDD), and boot Linux off a CD-ROM. From there, use the "dd" command (data copy program) to directly copy the HDD's partition 4 to the SSD's partition 4. It will preserve, bit for bit, all of the XP's NTFS, without resizing it. Then I would disconnect the HDD and boot Win7 and regedit the XP's system hive to patch the DiskIDs. Does this sound like a good plan? I am really more of a Unix/Linux guy so I feel comfortable doing it like this.


EDIT: I could actually do this without booting Linux on the CD-ROM, by running the dd program (under cygwin) while booted on Win7. The only concern I have with this is I'd be overwriting the D: drive while it's still mounted.
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3 Weeks Ago   #25
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

Dan G - your knowledge of boot dynamics is very impressive. So I just posted a boot question I have always wondered about and if you have a minute, I would appreciate it if you took a shot at it since I'm not sure who else will really be able to answer it.
Thanks.

what exactly happens when you boot with two bootable drives?
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3 Weeks Ago   #26
dg1261

Windows 7/8.1/10 multiboot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by amblabs View Post
Does this sound like a good plan? I am really more of a Unix/Linux guy so I feel comfortable doing it like this.
I'm not a linux guy so have no basis for comparison, but that sounds like it's worth a try. I think you understand the objective, so use whatever method you're comfortable with if it gets you there.
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3 Weeks Ago   #27
amblabs

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Windows XP Professional SP3
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by amblabs
EDIT: I could actually do this without booting Linux on the CD-ROM, by running the dd program (under cygwin) while booted on Win7. The only concern I have with this is I'd be overwriting the D: drive while it's still mounted.
Turns out I can't do this, as cygwin won't let me write to a raw device that's currently mounted.

I am booted on a Linux CD-ROM now and performing the copy. I'll report back later on how it went.
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3 Weeks Ago   #28
amblabs

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Windows XP Professional SP3
 
 

The copy is done, and I rebooted into Windows 7. I turned on the original HDD (attached via a SATA-USB adapter) and opened "Computer" which now shows the following. C: and D: are on the SSD, the original HDD's C: and D: now appear as F: and G:. Note that D: and G: have the same size now, because D: is a copy of G:.



Here is a view of the drive partitions as seen in MiniTools Partition Wizard. Note that there is now an unallocated space after the end of D:.




Here is the same MiniTools Partition Wizard window, with the drives list scrolled down to show info about Disk 2.




I then ran regedit and fixed the XP's system DosDevices\C and DosDevices\D to match my Win7's, deleted unused drives and all Volume entries, so it looks like this:




But attempting to reboot into XP still failed in the same way as before. Gah!
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3 Weeks Ago   #29
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

How far does it get? Any messages?
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3 Weeks Ago   #30
amblabs

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Windows XP Professional SP3
 
 

@SIW2
I didnít see any error messages before the screen goes black and resets to POST. I shot a couple of videos. Hereís one trying to boot XP normally.

Dropbox - XP_boot_fail-1.MOV - Simplify your life

And hereís one trying to boot XP into safe mode.

Dropbox - XP_boot_fail-2.MOV - Simplify your life
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 Boot problem on cloned dual-boot SSD




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