"Windows failed to start" "\Windows\System32\winload.exe missing or corrupt"

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Alex Ethridge

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I'm posting this in the Vista forum because this has never happened with Windows 2000 or XP.

I bought two exact duplicate models of hard disks. I set up Vista Ultimate on one of my systems. I used Acronis True Image 10 to clone the operating disk to the factory-new, never-used, same model disk as a backup drive in the event the first disk failed. I put in the clone to be sure it runs; but, I get the error mentioned in the title of this thread.

Now, if the second disk is supposed to be a clone of the first, why does this happen and how can I fix it?

I'm not married to Acronis for this job so I would use any disk cloning tool that makes a sector-for-sector copy. I use Norton Ghost 2003 for making sector-for-sector raw image (forensic) copies of PATA drives; but, these are SATA drives and Ghost 2003 simply sits there like Tarbaby and he don't say nuttin' to no SATA drive.
 

Alex Ethridge

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9,185
I have version 11 here. Is it ready for Vista?

Still, I would rather have a utility that will do a sector-for-sector copy of an entire disk, regardless of boot sectors, partitions, etc. If you are familiar with what a forensic copy is, that is what I want. I do forensic copies of PATA drives with Norton Ghost 2003; but, it will not work with SATA drives. Be nice if it would.
 
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I understand Version 11 will do a sector by sector copy as an option.
Advertized by Acronis for Version 11:
Raw sector-by-sector images
I don't have Version 11, so I don't know if that will also clone, or you first have to create an image.

Vista also uses a new partitioning rules which it seems some cloning programs try to correct, leading to a non boot. http://www.multibooters.co.uk/partitions.html

Sector by sector would seem like the way to go, but it will create larger images, as the whole partition will be done, not just used space.

Macrium Reflect, on the other hand uses the Shadow Copy Service, with great success.


moper
 

Alex Ethridge

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Joined
Apr 10, 2000
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9,185
Sector-for-sector raw is a true disk copy. It isn't aware of partition tables, boot sectors or which files are deleted and which are undeleted/active files. It copies every byte in every sector, free space and all. You can actually take such a duplicated disk and do file recovery of deleted files on the original and the duplicate disk and get identical results.

It is the same kind of copy law enforcement uses in forensics. They never work with the original disk beyond making a forensic copy. All evidence is then gathered from the copy.

It is this kind of copy I have always made for my main machine and my server onto another duplicate disk and kept that duplicate in a cabinet. In the event of hard disk failure, I'm back up in less than 5 minutes. In the past, I have made those copies with Norton Ghost 2003; but, Ghost 2003 doesn't work on SATA drives.
 
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