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Windows 7: Boot problem on cloned dual-boot SSD

2 Weeks Ago   #51
amblabs

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Windows XP Professional SP3
 
 

@SIW2
Are you suggesting I use the WD SSD Dashboard while booted XP on the the old HDD (with the SSD plugged in as a 2nd drive)?

As for virtual machine, I have several legacy (but important) apps on this XP partition that wants to "see" real hardware, they won't work in a VM environment, and won't work under Win7 native either. I already have Windows XP mode on the Win7 partition, and XP under VMware on another computer running Linux.


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2 Weeks Ago   #52
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Not clear from the link:

WD SSD Dashboard for Windows XP 32 bit - WD SSD Drives & Software - WD Community

Steven4:

Quote:
I just purchased a WD Blue SSD 250GB and installed in in a Windows XP machine (it has to run XP)
He says he installed the disk in an XP machine he doesn't say he installed XP onto the disk.


Trancer responds:
Quote:
an older version of the app able to support the OS does not exist.

cdleighton responds:

Quote:
Windows XP works very well as Virtual Machine under the free VirtualBox (from Oracle).
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2 Weeks Ago   #53
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Can you clean install xp onto that new disk?
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2 Weeks Ago   #54
amblabs

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Windows XP Professional SP3
 
 

I just realized that one thing I haven't yet tried, is to boot XP on my old HDD, and then see if it would "see" the SSD plugged in as an external drive. It would be another useful datapoint, and establish whether XP could perform I/O on the SSD (despite having to go through a SATA-USB adapter). This laptop only has one internal SATA port so I can't connect the SSD as a second internal SATA drive. It does have an external combo USB/eSATA connector, but I don't have the proper cables to connect a raw SATA drive to an eSATA port.


With regards to your link above to "Integration of Intel's AHCI/RAID drivers...", I'll have a look.
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2 Weeks Ago   #55
amblabs

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Windows XP Professional SP3
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by amblabs View Post
I just realized that one thing I haven't yet tried, is to boot XP on my old HDD, and then see if it would "see" the SSD plugged in as an external drive. It would be another useful datapoint, and establish whether XP could perform I/O on the SSD (despite having to go through a SATA-USB adapter).
Just tried this and XP had no problem with the SSD as an external disk. It can access both the Win7 and XP partitions on it (now appears as G: and H:) just fine. So there is nothing intrinsically incompatible between XP and this particular SSD.

So back to square one: What’s the problem with booting XP on this SSD?
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2 Weeks Ago   #56
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

Something that comes to mind is that maybe this is not a clone problem at all. Since the disks are exact copies of each other, what is the only thing different in your two environments? SSD vs HDD. Does xp need a special driver for your ssd? Is there a generic driver that will work with both xp on hdd as well as xp on ssd? Looking around I also saw some people who tried and failed to install xp on an ssd, period. Another guy could only get it to boot with the bios in IDE mode. Just some things to think about.
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2 Weeks Ago   #57
amblabs

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Windows XP Professional SP3
 
 

The SSD is a SATA drive just like the HDD, and shouldn’t require a special driver. Indeed, as I have shown above, XP was able to mount the filesystems on the SSD when it’s the second disk, so there is no problem with read/write functionality. The question is, what’s getting hosed on the SSD when booting XP that doesn’t happen on the HDD? The data is cloned from the HDD, so all drivers are the same.
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2 Weeks Ago   #58
dg1261

Windows 7/8.1/10 multiboot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by amblabs View Post
The SSD is a SATA drive just like the HDD, and shouldn’t require a special driver.
Agreed. My laptop multi-boots 7/10/XP on a SSD without any problems. I'm using truly independent OS partitions, not a Microsoft-style BCD-tangled multi-boot ... though I don't think that matters (other than a truly independent OS being easier to troubleshoot).

Yet, I can sympathize with johnhoh's skepticism because you've tried directly cloning partitions without resizing, so there's not much left in the way of uncontrolled variables. I can think of only three that haven't been definitively ruled out yet by your tests:
  1. HDD vs SSD (johnhoh's argument) ... it shouldn't matter, but we're past the point of assuming anything by now. I don't know if you have a spare HDD laying around, but if so it might be helpful to try cloning from HDD to HDD -- if nothing else, just to rule out this particular SSD as being an issue. (That is, assuming HDD-to-HDD also fails, which I expect it would.)

  2. Choice of cloning program ... as I've mentioned earlier, IME image/restore tends to be slightly more robust than direct cloning, but you said you can't do that. I believe you've tried the direct cloning with Macrium Reflect, though, which IME has been one of the more reliable programs I've come across, so I'd be surprised if something else could do this if Macrium can't.

  3. This is kind of a long shot, but some motherboards initialize HDDs (and SSDs) with different geometry (240 tracks/cylinder instead of the more common 255 tracks/cylinder). I'm not sure about 7, but I know this could cause problems with XP. It might be helpful to use a diagnostic tool to determine the geometry the SSD has been initialized at.

To expand on that last point, those "tracks" or "heads" per cylinder numbers are all fictitious (and have been since the advent of IDE controllers some 25 years ago), but even though they're made-up numbers they've been known to trip up the retro bootloader in earlier OSes like 98, 2000, and XP. Some laptops -- notably, Compaq, IBM and Lenovo -- used 240 heads as the default while Dell and most others used 255 heads. Using the wrong geometry would cause the boot process to fail.

It's worth noting that a difference here could affect direct cloning because your target disk is external. The internal disk's geometry is set by the motherboard, but the external disk's geometry is determined by the USB-to-SATA translator. An internal source disk could be seen as having 240 heads while an external USB disk might be seen as having 255 heads. Cloning in such a scenario could result in boot failures.

In contrast, this issue does not affect the image/restore technique because by the time the image is restored the target disk will be installed *internally* in the same place the source disk was, so will be seen with the same geometry. An image contains no geometry info and the geometry of the restoration is determined at the time the image is restored.

(This is one reason why I argue that image/restore is more reliable than direct cloning -- the USB-to-SATA translation blinds the cloning tool to the geometry of the target disk.)

I've been assuming MSI is one of the "others" and thus defaults to 255 heads, so my reasoning might be a shot in the dark ... but again, we're past the point of assuming anything so it might be worth checking out.

I'm (on vacation at the moment and) not at my computer where I can check right now, but perhaps someone else can recommend a suitable diagnostic tool to determine what geometry is in use by the SSD. Off the top of my head, I think Cliff Greiner's Test Disk is one such tool. Install the source disk and check the geometry, then install the target disk and compare results.
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2 Weeks Ago   #59
amblabs

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Windows XP Professional SP3
 
 

@dg1261
The idea of test-cloning from HDD to HDD is an interesting one. I'll see if I could locate another suitable HDD to do this.

On your 3rd point about disk geometry, the fdisk program that comes with cygwin displays this info. The following two screenshots show that it's 255 heads and 63 sectors per track for both the HDD and SSD, viewed in two scenarios:

a. Booted Win7 on the HDD (/dev/sda), with the SSD (/dev/sdb) as an external drive:


b. Booted Win7 on the SSD (/dev/sda), with the HDD (/dev/sdb) as an external drive:
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2 Weeks Ago   #60
dg1261

Windows 7/8.1/10 multiboot
 
 

Oh. Doh. I missed that in post #34.

Too many margaritas on the beach, I guess!
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 Boot problem on cloned dual-boot SSD




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