Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

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Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Sat May 24, 2014 4:44 pm

OK I traded DrScorp for a 128gb kingston SSD to clone my tiny 60GB corsair SSD OS drive to. I do not know what I am doing wrong so i hope someone can enlighten me please.

Well I downloaded Macrium Reflect and my 60gb drive had a 100mb NTFS system reserved Active partition with 25mb of system reserved stuff on it and then the NTFS Primary C:/ partition with my OS on it with around 2gb of free space.

Using Macrium Reflect I cloned both partitions onto the new drive using a USB2 to SATA adapter with a power supply that DrScorp sent me with the drive and made sure I selected the feature to utilize all the free space and not make a 3rd partition. It looked like everything went hunky dory and it took around 33minutes to copy over everything. Now the new drive was labeled J and K which I found weird since it did not name the 1st partition system reserved the second partition looked normal besides the Drive letter.
So I unplugged the old SSD and installed the bigger one and after making sure it was the 1st and primary boot drive the system would not boot up. It gave me some no boot record. so after around 10 tries I re installed my original drive and she booted back up.

So I went back to Macrium and I figured I would try just cloning the primary partition...so I did that and still no boot after 10 trys of setting the boot drive to the newer Kingston drive using the boot menu and the regular Advanced options in the Bios settings. Nothing worked.

What am I doing incorrectly ? I did it a couple years ago and had no problems on my other machine but I must be doing something wrong.

Is there a better free program i can use that is IDIOT proof :) Or could someone enlighten my mind and tell what i am doing wrong.
Any Help would be greatly appreciated and i thank you ahead of time. booo hoo :(
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Sat May 24, 2014 6:24 pm

Happy holidays and thanks for all the help J/K but I figured it out. I missed the option of not allowing a drive letter to be assigned to the system reserved partition. That's all it was that was stopping me from booting up.

If i would have payed attention I might have gotten it right on the first attempt. yeah for me.
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:31 pm

Here's another thumbs up for Macrium Reflect. I just used the free version to clone my Zenbook UX32VD's 500 GB 5400rpm hard-drive (with 5 partitions) to a new 1.0 TB SSD. The whole thing went off without a hiccup.
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:31 am

Hey experts. I'm going to tag onto this thread...

This week I received two crucial m550 1TB SSD drives. One for my Win7 desktop, and one for my Win8 laptop. I used Aomei Backupper to clone the desktop drive. It was very painless and no problem. It appears to be working perfectly! Nice program.

But now I'm trying to clone the HD from my laptop onto the new SSD. The old drive is 750GB. Lots of problems with the cloning..

I've tried both Macrium Reflect, and also Aomei Backupper to clone the drive. No luck. Both programs say that I have too many primary partitions to do the clone. The laptop is Win 8 and I have no idea why it has so many partitions. Quite a few more than my Win7 drives.

It appears to have 7 partitions, including one with 128 MB which isn't even formatted (can I delete it?). All I ever did with this drive was split the space into two partitions, one for the OS (C:) and my main documents/work files. The other partition (D:) is for images and other data. As far as I can tell, Win8 has an overall SYSTEM partition (no drive letter), a recovery partition (no drive letter) for each partition I made (two useable 'lettered' partitions = 4 total partitions including recovery ones: that's 5 so far), plus the Asus recovery partition to reset the laptop to default conditions (that's 6), plus this unlabeled, unformatted, empty 128MB partition that doesn't appear related to anything (that's 7 total).

So, I'm not sure what to do. I have both drives connected to my desktop SATA ports. Today I've tried just cloning the individual partitions, one at a time. But that didn't work. And then I tried creating and labeling similar partitions and copying the data over. Didn't work. The 'overall' format of the Win8 disk is GPT - does that matter? As opposed to MBR for my win7 desktop. Maybe I should just get rid of some partitions, and add them back after cloning the OS etc? I'm just worried about messing up the original drive.

I've taken screenshots of the drive data in Macrium and Aomei, but I don't know how to insert these files into the forums (I have done it before... I'll try to figure it out again).

Anyone got some tips for me?

thanks,

dave
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:46 am

Maybe you need a newer version of the cloning tool with better support for GPT? If it is saying you have too many primary partitions that sounds like a holdover from the non-GPT days, as MBR partition tables were limited to 4 primary partitions. AFAIK GPT has no such inherent limitation.

If you're worried about screwing up the original drive you could just do a straight image clone of the entire drive to a spare drive, or to a file on another drive (you'll need 750GB of free space on the target file system!) without regard for partition structure. That way at least you can get back if you need to.
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:43 pm

Thanks. I'll look into newer cloning software, but I've downloaded the latest from Macrium and AOMEI.

Find links to images of disk details. The drive I'm trying to clone is the last one (disk 3 or 4, depending on the screen). You can see that the details in the windows disk management screen (first link), there is no mention of the 'spare' 128MB partition, which is listed, but unlabeled and unformatted in the other disk management utility screens. I'm wondering if I could just clone the key Win8 partitions; ie. the FAT32 SYSTEM, NTFS Recovery partition, and the OS partition (H:). Then sort out the other partitions (create, move, resize, whatever) after I've got it working...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hmwsn1ovusvay ... 0info2.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hrlwink5xeelp ... 0info3.jpg

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gc41mba41cabi ... 20info.jpg

Any other advice on how to proceed? I may try to make an image of the original on my backup drive, which has the 700GB of space.

dave
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:15 pm

While on the subject of backup utilities, are there any good ones for Windows that don't have to phone home in order to work? It's my understanding that Macrium and Acronis both require remote activation. I'd like to add a proper backup utility to supplement occasional drive images and mass directory copying but anything I use needs to work in SHTF scenarios where I'm doing a bare-metal restore without phone or Internet access.
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:20 pm

I still think if your main concern is being able to get back to a known state if something goes wrong, your best bet is to just do a bit-for-bit image of the entire drive. Unfortunately (for you) I live mostly in the Linux world these days, and haven't really kept up with all the various imaging tools available on the Windows side since the heyday of Norton Ghost. I could walk you through doing a bit-for-bit image of the drive using a Linux live CD, but that's probably not the path of least resistance unless you've got some prior Linux experience. Hopefully someone else will chime in.
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:23 pm

I just tried cloning just the 3 individual partitions that I believe are necessary for Win8 to operate. No luck. Maybe I also need the Asus recovery partition? The computer just boots directly into an error mode that tells you to attempt recovery (which I wouldn't be able to anyway, even if the recovery partition was on there).

This is getting frustrating...

My next step (I think) is to try to remove some partitions on the original drive and clone that...

Any other advice? I won't get that imaging etc. today.

dave

I don't know if Macrium or AOMEI 'phone home'. I was connected to the internet when using them, but I didn't see any specific activation screens (that I remember).
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:28 pm

Thanks JBI. I do seem to remember an option to clone sector by sector. I didn't select it because it is slower. Do you know if it will work with different sized drives? I assume it will just leave the extra space available once the cloning is complete?

I'll try that later tonight.
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:41 pm

I've been hesitating to join this thread as I really have very little experience with this subject, but if you want it to be easy and "just work", a sector for sector clone using a live CD is a fairly easy way to do it.

I've cloned a couple of Windows 7 system drives using Clonezilla. All I did was boot to the Clonezilla CD, clone the whole drive to an image (you need a third drive to hold the image; I used a USB flash drive), then swap the drives, boot to the Clonezilla CD again, and restore the image to the new drive. After that all that was left to do was to use Disk Management to expand the main partition to fill the new drive.

Using this method it should not be a problem if the target drive is bigger than the source (you'll just have unallocated space), but it won't work if the target drive is smaller, even if the source drive is mostly empty and all the data will fit on the target drive. You need enough space for the full image, not just the space used by files.
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:58 pm

Thanks for the info about Clonezilla. It looks like it might be the way to go. I need to track down my removable harddrive... It's somewhere around in all this mess. :lol:
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:00 pm

Disco wrote:Thanks for the info about Clonezilla. It looks like it might be the way to go. I need to track down my removable harddrive... It's somewhere around in all this mess. :lol:

Glad to hear I'm not the only one with this problem. If an item hasn't been used for more than a few months, finding it can be a bit like conducting an archaeological dig. :lol:
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:16 pm

Now that I think about it, you may be able to clone directly from one drive to another with Clonezilla, but it isn't something I tried to do.
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Sun Jun 08, 2014 8:35 pm

Melvar wrote:Now that I think about it, you may be able to clone directly from one drive to another with Clonezilla, but it isn't something I tried to do.

According to their web page, they support the use of the Linux dd tool (which does raw sector-by-sector copy). So yeah, if he's got a spare drive at least as large as the one he's trying to clone, that is an option.
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:19 am

Well, after a lot of hassle trying to figure out how to boot to BIOS in a Win8 notebook (there's no Del or F10 key options), and then figuring out you have to turn off secure boot control (in bios) to enable the ability to boot from the DVD drive, the Clonezilla disk wouldn't boot beyond the initial screen where you select resolution etc. Not compatible with Win8 hardware? I don't know... I took a pic of the error screen. I could post it if any wants to see. Basically it can't seem to find any of the required accessory systems.

So, I go back to just trying to make an image of the HD before I start messing around with the partitions... wanting to back up everything on the removable drive. but now there seems to be something wrong with the USB3 drive. I've tried with both Macrium Reflect, and with the AOMIE backupper. Everything starts fine, but after a bit(5-10 min) the process quits with an error that it can't find the file. The drive seems to be losing it's connection, because it pops back up with a file manager window as if I had just plugged in the drive. Argghhh!

I'm at a bit of a loss right now on what to do. I want to remove the extra partitions (I have that data backed up already) so that there are less than 5 primary partitions. Then it should work... But I want to back up the whole drive as an image first.

It's late, and I need the notebook tomorrow for work, so I won't be fiddling with it for the next few days. Maybe on Wednesday I'll try again. You'll see me back here on the forums when I get to it. It's very frustrating how difficult this is to get working. The SSD is worth as much as the laptop itself, and I can't use it!!

thanks for all the advice so far.

dave
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Re: Please Help! Cloaning OS drive

Postposted on Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:00 pm

OK. Just to tie off this thread. This morning I was finally able to clone my Win8 750GB HDD onto my new M550 1TB SSD. What I ended up doing was deleting (after appropriate backups) my data partition and the Asus recovery partition, dropping the number of partitions down to 5. I rebooted a couple times and tested everything to make sure I hadn't caused any system problems.

Then, with both drives attached to my desktop, I used Macrium Reflect to clone the HDD, sector by sector. Plugging it back into the notebook, it booted up fine. Everything seems to be working OK. I've now recreated my data partition and transferred back those files. I also cloned back the individual Asus recovery partition. So, it's all amazing. The SSD speed dropped my boot time down from ~70 seconds (from pressing the power button, logging in, and able to access files in explorer) to something less than 35 sec. Also, everything just seems so much snappier. It's an i5 with 8GB of RAM, so it can really take advantage of the increased SSD speeds.

Thanks for all the advice.

Dave
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