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Windows 7: Safest Way to Clone Windows 7 Volume for Dual Booting

02 Nov 2010   #101
Trailerman

 
 

Hi Night Hawk

The reason I wiped the drive is because every time I have tried to restore an image to it, Acronis has failed, and the log shows 'MFT Bitmap corrupt'. Acronis tech support have suggested that there might be issues with the disk, so I moved the other patitions onto another drive, reformatted, and ran chkdsk /f. No errors were found.

This has not resolved any of the problems. I have a backed up image which is fine and has been validated, but I am unable to restore it to my destination disk. I've tried using Acronis' recovery environment and from within Windows 7. Neither works, both still report a corrupt MFT bitmap (whatever that is).

I'm at a loss. I'm now going to try and look into converting the backup image so that I can then try and restore it using Windows 7 startup disk. After that I guess I have to assume there is an issue with the hardware and buy a new drive.

I realize I am not quite following the course of action you have suggested, but I would really hope that Acronis should be able to handle this relatively simple operation on it's own, without having to first install a clean version of Windows - that's kind of the whole point of this application.

Jules


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Nov 2010   #102
Trailerman

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
I would use the auto setting unless you've got to make changes to partition sizes.

It will adjust everything proportionately to take HD size differences into account.

Works very well.

If not, then test the HD using maker's diag/repair full CD scan.
I tried using Acronis Clone Disk and left all settings on default - not sure if that's what you meant Greg. I even tried cloning the whole disk, as well as cloning the OS partition separately.

Every operation which involves writing to the destination drive gives me the same error, whether I run it in Windows or from the Acronis startup CD, which seems to relate to a corrupt MFT bitmap. Reformatting the drive and running chkdsk hasn't fixed anything or thrown up any errors, so I'm currently running Western Digital's drive checker to see if it finds anything. If it does I'll buy a new disk. If it doesn't it's back to the drawing board and trying to find a solution which doesn't use Acronis.

Jules
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2010   #103
gregrocker

 

If you're referring to WD Lifeguard diag/repair CD, it can actually repair problems to return a failing drive to service.

Combine it's diagnostics with running again Disk Check, if necessary from the booted Win7 DVD Command line - press Shift F10 at first screen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

02 Nov 2010   #104
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

If a drive is too far gone and brand new RMA it! The LifeGuard tools can only do so much as well as a retail program for restoring drives called HD Regenerator. But even these are good for repair of bad sectors not mechanical issues like a slapping armature.

The options for cloning and restoring images were originally intended for duplication on identical hardwares. When working with two different sizes as well as different makes of drives you can run right into problems from the start. As I was saying before I use Acronis for secondary drives having run into problems restoring the source drive requiring a second restore effort with a full system image made by 7.

The idea of first starting off with a clean install on a brand new drive is to avoid any carry over problems since you are not working with a pair of identical drives. When using the clone option in the free WD version of Acronis to clone to the identical second drive here all went well showing the program does the job for what it was intended for.

Likewise an image made from a clean install once everything is on with the backup in 7 will easily see that restored to the source drive. For the idea tried with a dual boot across two identical drives Acronis turned out simply being one solution lacking the first drive's id tag it would seem.

But this was all done with everything already backed up with a working image to use to restore the main drive if any problems came up as a "do at you own risk" type project. In your situation there however you first want to see the new drive up and running well and backed before trying out any more advanced custom setups that can get complicated rather fast.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2010   #105
Trailerman

 
 

Many thanks as ever guys.

The weird thing is that the drive shows no errors in chkdsk (I've run it with every option I know of enabled), or in Acronis' own disk checker, or in Lifeguard's tests - basic or extended. All pass with flying colours. I'm currently writing zeros with Lifeguard, but although it's been running overnight it still has another 9 hours to go.

At the back of my mind, I have this nagging feeling that there's abvsolutely nothing wrong with the drive (as all the tests seem to suggest) but that there is perhaps an issue with Acronis, or some low level driver issue. I'm on my third day of studio down-time now so I'm fully comitted to getting this resolved pretty urgently.

I'm ordering a replacement drive today anyhow, and will most likley end up using that, assuming there are no further issues.

Just so I'm absolutely clear, and assuming I try and continue to work with Acronis, can you perhaps advise me on the following:

1. I'm working with different hardware of different sizes, and restoring/cloning only 1 partition (the OS partition). I also want to keep both OS volumes in the system in order to dual boot. Should I or should I not clone or restore the MBR?

2. Acronis gives the user the option of selecting the drive letter of the newly created destination partition. Should I leave this blank, should I choose C (my source OS partition letter) or choose a different available drive letter?

3. Assuming I'm working now with clean destination hardware (and starting to get a little desperate), is Acronis still the best medium for cloning, or would I be better doing a clean Win7 install, and then doing a Windows 7 system image and restore? If the latter, is there anything in particular I shoudl be aware of, or can I just follow the Win7 help?

We have to be near the end-game here guys, so I can only thank you for sticking with me this far.

Jules
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2010   #106
GeneO

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Trailerman View Post
Hi Night Hawk

The reason I wiped the drive is because every time I have tried to restore an image to it, Acronis has failed, and the log shows 'MFT Bitmap corrupt'. Acronis tech support have suggested that there might be issues with the disk, so I moved the other patitions onto another drive, reformatted, and ran chkdsk /f. No errors were found.

This has not resolved any of the problems. I have a backed up image which is fine and has been validated, but I am unable to restore it to my destination disk. I've tried using Acronis' recovery environment and from within Windows 7. Neither works, both still report a corrupt MFT bitmap (whatever that is).

I'm at a loss. I'm now going to try and look into converting the backup image so that I can then try and restore it using Windows 7 startup disk. After that I guess I have to assume there is an issue with the hardware and buy a new drive.

I realize I am not quite following the course of action you have suggested, but I would really hope that Acronis should be able to handle this relatively simple operation on it's own, without having to first install a clean version of Windows - that's kind of the whole point of this application.

Jules

Been away from this thread for awhile. Isn't Acronis also cloning your MFT?
You might want to run chkdisk on the disk you are trying to clone by marking the files system dirty and rebooting. If chkdsk finds a problem and fixes it, try cloning again.

Gene
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2010   #107
Trailerman

 
 

Hi Gene and thanks for your response.

I have no idea, to be honest. I didn't even know what the MFT was, until I started running into this issue (still don't really).

Acronis has backed up my OS partition (along with MBR) and gives me the option to restore with or without MBR and disk signature. I've tried all permutations and every one gives me the same corrupt MFT error, whether run from the Acronis recovery environment or Windows 7.

I'm unclear on whether the MFT corruption is on the source drive or the destination drive - I've run a bunch of tests on the destination and cannot find any issues, so maybe it's in the backed up volume ...? That said, I've also validated the backup without issue.

I'm currently writing zeros to the destination drive and have also oprdered a replacement (it was out of warranty). After that I will try a new backup with 'ignore bad sectors' enabled (Acronis' latest suggestion), and after that I'll have to give up on Acronis and find another way.

If you had any ideas I'm happy to try them - I can't do anything until I have this resolved so it's priority numero uno for me.

Thanks again

Jules
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2010   #108
gregrocker

 

If it fails again, I'd cut my losses and clean reinstall, then be sure to save a backup image after it is set up and running as you like but before corruptions starts creeping in.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2010   #109
GeneO

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Trailerman View Post
Hi Gene and thanks for your response.

I have no idea, to be honest. I didn't even know what the MFT was, until I started running into this issue (still don't really).

Acronis has backed up my OS partition (along with MBR) and gives me the option to restore with or without MBR and disk signature. I've tried all permutations and every one gives me the same corrupt MFT error, whether run from the Acronis recovery environment or Windows 7.

I'm unclear on whether the MFT corruption is on the source drive or the destination drive - I've run a bunch of tests on the destination and cannot find any issues, so maybe it's in the backed up volume ...? That said, I've also validated the backup without issue.

I'm currently writing zeros to the destination drive and have also oprdered a replacement (it was out of warranty). After that I will try a new backup with 'ignore bad sectors' enabled (Acronis' latest suggestion), and after that I'll have to give up on Acronis and find another way.

If you had any ideas I'm happy to try them - I can't do anything until I have this resolved so it's priority numero uno for me.

Thanks again

Jules
The MFT (Master File Table) maps disk sectors to files. It is how the OS locates the sectors containing a file's data. It can get corrupted or develop inconsistencies from an unclean shutdown, etc.

When you clone with true image, it will clone the MFT as well. I expect a partition level backup will do the same, and true image will check the MFT and error out if it detects corruption on restore. Marking the file system you are cloning dirty (with the commandline fsutil utility) then rebooting or just running chkdsk at boot time on the source disk you want to clone will fix minor corruptions and may get you over this hump

I believe True image has the option of running chkdsk on the source drive before cloning. It is recommended you do this.

Gene
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2010   #110
Trailerman

 
 

Many thanks Gene - all totally clear and understood.

Can I perhaps beg your help on my other final two queries:

1. I'm working with different hardware of different sizes, and restoring/cloning only 1 partition (the OS partition). I also want to keep both OS volumes in the system in order to dual boot. Should I or should I not clone or restore the MBR?

2. Acronis gives the user the option of selecting the drive letter of the newly created destination partition. Should I leave this blank, should I choose C (my source OS partition letter) or choose a different available drive letter?

I know this has been covered before, but I've never been entirely clear on the best option in this specific scenario.

I have just run chkdsk from a command prompt on the source drive, and it did report something in the MFT, so I am going to try a partition clone again now using Acronis. These are the last two uncertainties before I dive back in.

Jules
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Safest Way to Clone Windows 7 Volume for Dual Booting




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