1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Solved: Drive letter assignment problems with ghosted drive

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by jmc, Jun 1, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2002
    Messages:
    390
    Well, I was lucky. The HD that failed this morning, works if I lay it on its side. So I was able to ghost everything over to the new drive. I ghosted the boot partition c: to r:

    I'm using Windows 2000, SP4. The new boot drive is SATA. The old, failing boot drive is IDE.

    I worked through a number of problems, but I'm left with this:

    When the system boots into the new drive R:, it still wants the boot partition c: for something. If I boot with the IDE disconnected, it'll boot to the login screen, and allow me to log in, but after a few minutes of a blank screen & cursor, it drops back to the login.

    I have PartitionMagic 7.0, and used DriveMapper to change all references to C: to R:, but that didn't do it. How do I cut my system's dependence on the failing drive, before it fails altogether? Will this work?

    I found the following advice from crjdriver, and was wondering if this would work for my particular problem:

    Make a full system backup of the computer and system state.
    Log on as an Administrator.
    Start Regedt32.exe.
    Go to the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices

    Click MountedDevices.
    On the Security menu, click Permissions.
    Verify that Administrators have full control. Change this back when you are finished with these steps.
    Quit Regedt32.exe, and then start Regedit.exe.
    Locate the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices

    Find the drive letter you want to change to (new). Look for "\DosDevices\C:".
    Right-click \DosDevices\C:, and then click Rename.

    Note You must use Regedit instead of Regedt32 to rename this registry key.
    Rename it to an unused drive letter "\DosDevices\Z:".

    This frees up drive letter C.
    Find the drive letter you want changed. Look for "\DosDevices\D:".
    Right-click \DosDevices\D:, and then click Rename.
    Rename it to the appropriate (new) drive letter "\DosDevices\C:".
    Click the value for \DosDevices\Z:, click Rename, and then name it back to "\DosDevices\D:".
    Quit Regedit, and then start Regedt32.
    Change the permissions back to the previous setting for Administrators (this should probably be Read Only).
    Restart the computer.
     
  2. Sponsor

  3. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2002
    Messages:
    390
    Quiet in here :) Well, I did manage to solve this, mostly, myself. I think there's a better way that I'm missing though. What complicated things is that in order to get my system running, I had to clone three separate partitions - OS, swap, and apps. I didn't see any way in Norton Ghost 2003 to do more than one at the same time, so I did the OS and apps, and just set up the swap per normal.

    It wouldn't boot properly without the old drive installed, still wanted files off of there. My first attempts to clone, then shutdown, remove drive, reboot, failed...

    What finally got me *mostly* working was to clone the drive, then shut down (which was tricky, Ghost does a reboot, not a shutdown, after completing). Unplugged the IDE, booted, going into the BIOS to make sure it'd boot to the right drive (it kept changing), then letting it boot from the Windows 2000 CD. From there I did the f6/drivers of course, then went into the repair console, did fixmbr and fixboot.

    The system then booted normally. However, because Ghost wouldn't clone both at the same time, the apps directory still has the old problem, in some apps are still looking for bits on c: - the new boot drive is r:, even though I've run PartitionMagic 7.0's drivemapper to convince them otherwise.

    So, though this is actually solved, my question is: Given the setup described above, how *should* I have cloned the necessary partitions to get a properly working system in the least amount of time?
     
  4. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2002
    Messages:
    12,970
    The proper way to copy a drive, as you say is to clone the whole drive.
    So you tell ghost to Clone drive 1 to drive 2 (which needn't be partitioned or anything).
    I use Ghost from a floppy dos drive and run it from the command line and supply the parameters myself. In my case the command would be:
    a:\ghostpe.exe -clone,MODE=copy,SRC=1,DST=2
    and leave the rest as default (yes it resizes partition as it builds them)). And that is all there is to it.
    Because Ghost wasn't run (set up) from within windows it knows nor cares about drive letters. The only thing you MAY have to do is copy the boot.ini (or edit it) as later versions of Ghost are far too clever for anyones good and edit the boot.ini as it copies it.
    You should then be able to use either of the disks as they should be LOGICALLY identicle. Make sure that you do NOT put both in at the same time as Windows will start to reassign drive letters.
    When you are completely happy, COMPLETELY WIPE (from a bootable dos floppy), the one you are not now using, then you can start to use it again at will.
     
  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2002
    Messages:
    106,418
    If you have the new drive totally clean with no partition on it, and do a whole disk clone, you'll avoid login issues with the O/S copy having a different drive letter for drives in the system.
     
  6. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    36,948
    The others have already answered your question The only thing I would add is that before you clone the drive, make sure the sata drivers are loaded and win2k recognizes your sata controller correctly. After that, clone the drive and set the boot order for the sata controller.
     
  7. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2002
    Messages:
    390
    crjdriver: Yup, learned all about how I need the drivers for the Windows install disk to see the drives :) I was getting conflicting information - some folks were telling me that as long as the BIOS saw the HD, Windows would.

    Anyway, it's all sorted out now, and I've got the answers for the next time I need to clone. Let's hope it isn't because of another failed drive - the IBM only lasted 3 years. I have another drive that's over 5 now, and my hubby has a 4.5 GB, which I probably paid big bucks for when I first bought it, I'd guess it's 6 or 7. I still remember when I thought 170MB was all the HD I'd ever need :)
     
  8. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    36,948
    The only sata controller that windows will "See" without loading drivers is an intel sata controller. That is probably why you received conflicting info. Any other controller ie highpoint, promise, via, etc must have drivers loaded.
     
  9. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    20,555
    Yes, copying the whole drive works… maybe.
    If you have a “protected” recovery partition, it can cause severe problems when cloning.

    If you can clone your HD and have updated all the OEM software applications, then you no longer need the recovery partition.

    I too have been trying to Cone my C: partition 2 to disc 2 partition 1 and it obviously wont boot.
    I have asked 6 different Guru’s and got 12 different answers.
    Where is the bootini file .. In the Bios or the booted Hard Drive root directory?
    How can I get to it to edit it - if I can’t boot from it (yet).

    I think its in the C: partition of the HD. If so - how can I get to it the bootini file in disc from my system C: partition in disc1 so that I can edit it and change the boot partition from (2) to (1)

    I’m running 2 (twin) SATAs. When I boot from drive 2 , the new system partition (disc 2) become the new drive letter C: and swaps letter assignments with disc 1 so it’s not the drive letter assignment that’s the problem.

    I can edit the bootini from “My Computer”, but as I understand it, - this is the wrong disc and I’m afraid to mess with the original (working) HD.

    As I understand - All I need to do is change the (2)’s to a (1) in the Bootini file for the copied disc, then delete the recovery partition. Or - just don’t copy it there to start with.


    [boot loader]
    timeout=3
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Media Center Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons
     
  10. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2002
    Messages:
    390
    I didn't need to edit the boot.ini. What I did was this: clone the drive, then shut the machine down. Remove the original. with the SATA drivers in hand, booted to the Windows 2000 install disk. Went into the Recovery console. The MAP command showed me that all was well, so I did FIXMBR and FIXBOOT, rebooted, checked the BIOS to make sure it was using the right disk order, exit & save, and that time it finally booted properly into the OS.

    It is vitally important, I've discovered, that if you're cloning the OS, you MUST remove the original drive before booting into the clone for the first time, else it uses some of the files off the old one.

    Earlier, it'd either get to just before 'loading windows' and sit there with a black screen & blinking cursor, or get all the way to the login screen, but if I logged in, it'd sit for a while, then show the login screen again.
     
  11. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    20,555
    It'll take me awhile to try your suggestion, but I can't wait.
    Sound logical. Have never been to the recovery console, bout time I learned.
    I don't understand the SATA drivers.
    My Mobo is SATA only, I don't think I'll need them, If I understand the problem.
    Getting to FIXMBR and FIXBOOT sounds like what I've been looking for.

    Before I try this .. I have one question:
    Can you install the original, where C: is in partition2, and still boot from it ?

    Not knowing where the MBR & BOOT are, or how they work - I'm afraid that I wont be able to switch boot drives, with the esc key, if different bootable SATA configs are installed.

    Thanks
    Jay
     
  12. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2002
    Messages:
    390
    As I found out, even though the motherboard recognizes the drives, Windows won't. You'll need the drivers - they're probably on your motherboard's CD somewhere, else you can get them from your board manufacturer's website. if you don't F6 and install the drivers, if you do MAP at the repair console (which gives you a list of drives/partitions) you'll get pretty much nothing. BTDT :)

    To get to the repair console, just boot the install cd, and follow the prompts. You'll get a DOS prompt. HELP will give you all the commands, help command will give you info on one. FIXMBR fixes the Master Boot Record, and FIXBOOT rewrites the boot sector on the HD.

    I've never tried what you're suggesting, so I'll leave the answers to the rest of your questions to someone else.
     
  13. jmc

    jmc Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2002
    Messages:
    390
    Just a followup on this: I thought everything was fine, but in trying some steps to get Norton Systemworks 2005 to install, I managed to mess something up.

    I did a complete format/reinstall on the boot partition and things are better than ever.
    Moral of the story: just reinstall. In the end it'll raise your BP less than trying to fix whatever you screwed up in the first place :)
     
  14. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Messages:
    20,555
    Here’s what I tried, and it worked.

    I installed my Second SATA HD, then using My Computer, edited the boot.ini to boot from Partition 1.
    Then I cloned the C: partition (2) to the second HD as Partition (1).
    Then went back into the Boot.ini and put it back as it was, booting from Partition (2)

    This was a little nerve wracking, knowing that if for some reason my computer had a problem during the cloning and I couldn’t get back to reset the Boot.ini, I would have a problem.
    Actually, to save a nervous breakdown, I used another Cloned HD to work from for this test.

    Now, I can boot from either HD and I’ve made the new HD the default.
    As soon as gather some confidence, I’ll just Clone my new configuration without the recovery partition, to the second HD

    Now, I’m booting from partition (1) on my default HD and Partition (2) on my second backup HD.
    This was almost too easy.

    [boot loader]
    timeout=3
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP Media Center Edition" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT="Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/367520

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice