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Clone, Restore, then Swap Primary Drives


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rayearle's Avatar
rayearle rayearle is offline
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05-Mar-2006, 08:35 PM #1
Clone, Restore, then Swap Primary Drives
Although this was appended to another thread I opened two days ago, it's a separate issue and I would like to give it a life of its own, given the volume of new threads each day.

Once I am reasonably sure how to proceed with my intended swap (herein later explained), I will make an (Acronis) image copy of my 80 gig IDE C drive, and restore it onto my new 250 Gig (IDE in USB 2.0 external enclosure) drive. Once that's accomplished I want to swap the physical drives. I suspect I will have to add a jumper to the 250 Gig IDE drive (to make it a master (I've probably got a CDROM drive as slave on the controller) during this process and remove one from the C drive, which will become a non-bootable device in the USB enclosure (alothough maybe USB doesn't care). I suspect I will also want to enter the BIOS setup on reboot and tell it that I now have a 250 Gig drive to boot from. Is this correct and is there anything else I should be concerned with to accomplish this task? Are there any partition size limits for boot partitions on an IDE device under XP Pro?
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Stallcup Stallcup is offline
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06-Mar-2006, 09:00 PM #2
You mention "clone" in your title, but talk about creating and restoring an "image." If you have cloning capability, you can clone directly and save a step.

I am not familiar with Acronis. Does it have cloning capability? If it does, does it clone in XP and/or does it create DOS Boot Disks to do the cloning? Also, to what are you imaging, a third HDD or to CD's?

To clone: With your 80GB in its current primary (0) position on the primary IDE controller, put the 250GB in the secondary (1) position, and clone the 80 to the 250. When the clone is complete, SHUT THE COMPUTER OFF USING THE POWER SWITCH (DO NOT REBOOT). If you reboot, the 250 with be given a new Disk ID and will be assigned a drive letter other than C:, and will not be bootable (and, although there are ways to correct that, it will take more work).

Remove the 80 and 250, and put the 250 in the primary (0) position. Attach whatever device you originally had in the secondary (1) position. Reboot, and XP will see the 250 as active and will assign it a Disk ID and drive letter C: (which is what you want since the 80 was C:), and will make it bootable. Also, upon reboot, the full 250 should be recognized by XP and you can check this in Disk Management. On a subsequent boot, you can verify bios settings.

I suggest you not install the 80 in the external slot until everything checks out with the 250. You don't want to run the risk that the 80 will be assigned a different Disk ID and drive letter, so that if you had to put it back in its original position, it may not boot.
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rayearle rayearle is offline
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09-Mar-2006, 01:47 AM #3
Acronis can clone (as well as image copy) and that would be the way to go and is indeed what I meant. It will clone in XP but requires a reboot after the clone operation has finished. Drive Image requires the DOS operation, which is why I don't like it. I will instead (of rebooting) turn off the computer after the clone operation has completed. I have my new 250GB drive formatted (single partition) and currently assigned device letter N. It's an IDE drive and resides in an External USB 2.0 (from IDE conversion) enclosure. While cloning as you suggest is doable, it would be far easier to clone to where I currently have it installed (i.e. Drive letter N). You imply (I believe) that it will be less likely problematic to move it to the secondary slot on the main IDE board and clone to there. I do have Partition Magic installed on my computer, so making a drive marked non-bootable, bootable should not be overly difficult I would think. If XP finds multiple bootable devices (should that scenario occur), it asks which one you want to boot from doesn't it? Once I am sure all is well, the 80GB drive becomes non-bootable and just another working storage drive, with all current data erased from it.
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Bman Bman is offline
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09-Mar-2006, 04:23 AM #4
see attached image...
This was taken from TruImage's help file. This will accomplish what you want to do.
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09-Mar-2006, 05:44 AM #5
I use TI8 for cloning. It works well for me.

RF123
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Stallcup Stallcup is offline
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09-Mar-2006, 06:38 AM #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by rayearle
I do have Partition Magic installed on my computer, so making a drive marked non-bootable, bootable should not be overly difficult I would think. If XP finds multiple bootable devices (should that scenario occur), it asks which one you want to boot from doesn't it? Once I am sure all is well, the 80GB drive becomes non-bootable and just another working storage drive, with all current data erased from it.
We must differentiate between a dual-boot setup and cloning. When you do a dual boot installation, and XP is the last OS to be installed, the XP boot loader will take over management of the dual boot setup and install the dual-boot information in the boot sector of the system drive (C:), and create the OS choice screen which appears after POST. Alternatively, you can, of course, use a boot manager, like Partition Magic's Boot Magic, to manage the dual boot setup. The boot manager hides the first OS install while making the second OS install, thereby making both OS installations bootable, and provides you with a choice as to which OS you want to boot (similar to the choice in XP).

However, as I understand your goal, you want to clone your current system drive to a new drive, and then install that new drive as your system drive. In doing this, we want to make sure two things happen: 1) The clone is bootable, and 2) the clone HDD has the same drive letter assignment as the source (system) HDD. For example, even if you succeed in making the clone bootable but it has a different drive letter (say N:, for illustration), there will be problems once you boot and try to run. The registry, which has hundreds and hundreds of pointers to C:, will be looking for drive C:, but will only find drive N:.

To accomplish the two goals, above, the general rule is to make sure the old XP does not see the new partition before cloning, and the new XP does not see the old XP partition the first time it boots. Unfortunately, it looks like the old XP has seen your new drive, since you partitioned and formatted, and has assigned it a drive letter N:. To insure that the drive is bootable after cloning and is assigned the correct drive letter, you must shut off the computer using the power switch, put the new (cloned) drive in the primary slot in the primary IDE controller and then cold start to a Win98 Boot Disk. Run fdisk /mbr (which will zero out the partition signature), remove the Win98 disk, and reboot. On boot, WinXP will see that the new HDD is an active partition, will assign it a Disk ID and a drive letter beginning with C: (provided you do not have the old C: HDD installed), and record this information (the entire partition signature, to be precise) in the registry. If you boot immediately after the clone is complete, WinXP will see the clone as a duplicate of C: and will assign it a different Disk ID and the drive letter will be remembered as N:, thereby most likely making it unbootable (I say "most likely" because I am sure it will not be bootable, but I have never proved it by physically testing the HDD.).

To locate the partition signatures of the drives in the registry:

EXAMPLE: HKLM/System/Mounted Devices, in left pane: \Dos Devices\N: {Disk ID & Boot Start Sector} (in hexadecimal)

The Win98 Boot Disk is available at: http://www.bootdisk.com/

I suggest you do not reinstall your original system HDD until you are sure you can boot and successfully operate the new system HDD. If you run into any trouble, you can reinsert the old system drive. If all goes well, you can then reinstall the HDD and XP will assign it a new ID and drive letter (which will render the OS on it useless).

Finally, you mentioned that you did not favor the idea of cloning in DOS, but it does have the following advantage: Install the new drive. Boot to the DOS Cloning Disk and Clone. Shut off the computer using the power switch. Remove old drive and put cloned drive in the system position. Reboot. Finished. The old XP never saw the new partition, and the new XP did not see the old XP the first time it booted.
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Bman Bman is offline
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09-Mar-2006, 07:34 AM #7
When you clone the hard drive, the 'new' disk will become bootable and the 'old' disk will be set not to boot. There is no need to worry about drive letter assignments, this will be handled by TruImage. The 'new' cloned drive will be the 'C' drive if that's how your old drive was set. This process is fairly straight forward and not very complex.
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rayearle rayearle is offline
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17-Mar-2006, 11:51 PM #8
Thanks eveybody. No I don't think what I want to do is overly complex. I've just never done it before. I don't want the drive letters to change, i just want to swap the physical drives, leaving the drive letters the same as they originally were before the swap, but referencing/mapping different drives than originally (i.e. the drive at C becomes the drive at N and the drive at N becomes the drive at C (via physical swap of the drives) after the swap. How to create a clone is not an issue either as that appears to be pretty straightforward from Acronis' doc. I am new to their program, but have already created one image back up using their software. The N drive is in a USB 2.0 Enclosure, so I should be able to simply disconnect it after the cloning operation and then Windows XP should not see it any more until it's replaced the current IDE C drive.l I'll have to read up on Acronis' doc on cloning. I hope to get to this task pretty soon.

Last edited by rayearle; 17-Mar-2006 at 11:58 PM..
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Stallcup Stallcup is offline
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18-Mar-2006, 05:46 AM #9
Please let us know how you make out by posting your results here.
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18-Mar-2006, 10:07 AM #10
I have some experience of this. I use FSD "Casper XP", the XP version of Drive2drive. My main (0) HDD is partitioned and is C: and D: (the latter for data). I installed a second drive (links set to slave) which automatically became F: and G: after getting Casper to clone it. On the first instance of cloning you can play around with percentages of partitions. I then closed down the computer in the NORMAL MANNER. Then I swapped the links "master" to "slave" and vice-versa. I switched on again, no problem, but now the cloned OS disc on the old F: had become C: and vice-versa. Interestingly the data partitions HAD NOT SWAPPED DRIVE LETTERS! (this is explained earlier in the thread).

I have used this on several occasions to get me out of serious trouble. When something dreadful happens I swap links and switch on again, clone C: to F:, switch off, swap links, back on again and I have the perfect "system restore". I try and remember to cross clone once a week. The first time I did it was to get a bigger main HDD when I went from 40G to 80G. It does not matter when I back-up in the reverse direction to the smaller drive (provided that it is still big enough - If I end up with too much then I shall do it all over again with a 160G)

The next trick will be to back-up my laptop. FSD told me the best way is to clone the HDD to a SAME SIZE external drive via USB and then if the worst happens then physically replace the drive.

This method is much easier than DOS based systems like Ghost.
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18-Mar-2006, 10:25 AM #11
I think the number one reason that people have trouble booting a clone is that XP was allowed to assign a drive letter to the destination drive before cloning. Acronis True Image, as Bman noted, takes care of this problem. When cloning you are greeted by this screen

All drive letters are deleted and the source XP sees it as a blank drive.
Acronis also tells you to remove the source drive before booting the clone.


moper
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JamesE JamesE is offline
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18-Mar-2006, 10:32 AM #12
This all seems very complicated - I am glad I use Casper - it is so easy. You can clone entire discs or just partitions and absolutely no hassle.
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18-Mar-2006, 10:56 AM #13
Not complicated at all, when using newer cloning software that is able to deal with XP's drive letters. The 'DOS based systems' do not correct for this problem.


moper
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18-Mar-2006, 12:44 PM #14
That's what I am saying - Casper deals with it all seamlessly - it's the best piece of software I ever bought and was quite cheap.
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rayearle rayearle is offline
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30-Apr-2006, 01:41 AM #15
Well the saga continued in an unexpected direction, when a freind of mine, over to use the computer, self-admittedly swung around and knocked it over. I had to replace the mother board... Two tires at op sys repair left the sytem not able to fully boot from the hard drive without failure, so this seemed the oportune time to swap the drives and reinstall windows onto the newer large hard drive. The no longer correctly booting system hard drive was placed in the IDE to USB enclosure as is and is recognized by my system as drive D. All files from the old system dirve are thus available and being so made the system rebuild fairly painless. Although I had one clone file available, it was too old to be a viable candidate and the boot prolbems seem to be centered around the differing chip sets of the two motherboards (i.e. old versus new), thus using it was very probably not going to be fruitful.
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