Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

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Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:44 pm

I clone SATa drives with no problem, but I came across a WINNT 3.5 Drive that needs to be cloned for a backup. The drive is 1.87GB IDE. I tried cloning to a 250GB IDE but it won't boot. I thought winnt had a drive limitation. I use HD clone. Any help would be appreciated!
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:56 pm

you need a small partition created before trying to copy that NT partition to- preferably a 2GB one. Please note the current drive formatting scheme to assist in troubleshooting your issue, is it FAT16 or NTFS?
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:25 pm

10$ says he is getting the error "inaccessible boot device" or a blue screen. the Device ID for a IDE drive that old will be different than a device ID for a chipset running a sata drive. windows-nt 3.5 will not boot in this configuration because it is looking for the old device ID and cannot find it because the sata drive and chipset are "presenting" a different device id than expected.

your best bet may be to clone the drive to a newer IDE drive and put it back in the old system or install from scratch on new hardware.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:53 pm

No it just gets past the BIOS screen and sits at a black screen. I am cloning a 1.624GB IDE drive to a 250GB IDE drive. I made a 2gb partition on the new drive and used HD clone to copy the partition on the old drive to the new partition. It is a FAT partition. The reason for the cloning is there is an app on the machine that they can't transfer to a rebuilt machine.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:24 pm

Does the machine boot with a similarly sized, but empty drive?
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:29 pm

If its passing the BIOS, and not getting to "inaccessable boot device" the NT Kernel isn't loading. It could be sitting at a black screen as a result of the partition not being bootable or set as active- It's been a while since I've supported anything NT related. Is the original system functioning? You may have to resort to a VMWare image (IDK for sure if VMWare support includes 3.5). I had resort to VMWare with a system specific similar software issue using MS Financials.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:23 pm

Even NT4, prior to SP6a, couldn't see a local drive partition larger than 8.4GB due to a limitation in the block reader. I don't know what NT 3.5's limitations were, but probably that or less, given that the final service pack was released in 1996, back when a 1GB hard drive was considered huge.

Your cloning program can mirror the raw data to the 250GB drive but the OS has not one faint clue what to do with it once you try to boot. Maybe mirror, and then try to boot, from a 2GB Compact Flash card with an IDE dongle adapter?

Alternately, as already suggested, figure out what obsolete applications your client actually needs to run and then see if you can get a VM going.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:49 pm

Why don't you use something like Norton Ghost to make backup images of this drive? No need to use a ridiculously huge drive to boot from; you just need to trawl Ebay for a working sub-8GB drive if it's ever needed.

What the others said about moving this to a virtual machine.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:01 pm

Try xxclone. If seems to work for me when cloning from smaller to larger drives when other alternatives complain. Very flexible in that you can clone a running drive while in the current os, or you can attach the 2 drives to another system and clone one to the other (for example d: to e: instead of c: to d:).

I have not used it for an nt clone though so ymmv, but i have had a very high success rate with it. Also, there is an option to copy over the original hdd's device id info to your new hdd which may solve the limitation that was maxxcool was describing earlier. Good luck!
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:22 pm

Old machine works fine. Boots fine with the old HDD. I will mention the vm solution to them, but funds are dry. I used partition commander and created a partition to 2gb and set it to active. copied the partion over and still sits at the black screen. What a pain.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:32 pm

the black screen is the boot loader failing, or the chipset is too new to interpret the old partition table ? dunno, one of those.

This application, if its DOS, try windows 2000 or xp in place of nt3.5.

otherwise i liked the idea of running a vmware image of the device.

also from this link : http://communities.vmware.com/thread/115248 ... it looks like the device may have a custom partition ID... that may be causing the newer system to balk and fail.... now that i think of it this may be it. the device powers and runs, but hangs when accessing the partition id.

see what the old partion id is on the orignal drive, and copy that id to the new drive .. gluck
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:39 pm

maiden4life wrote:What a pain.


Code: Select all
Windows NT 3.5

Release date: September 21, 1994
 
Current version: 3.5 (Build 807: Service Pack 3) (June 21, 1995; 16 years ago


Damn that old technology.

Why during an era of 486DX2 66Mhz, 8MB RAM, and IDE PIO4 528MB hard drives didn't they prepare for this eventuality?
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:32 pm

NT 3.5 was a problem, largely fixed with 3.51 which i ran for years. Anyway as Linus likes to point out "dd is your friend."
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:46 pm

Can the machine boot into the blank 250 gig drive?
Try to make it a virtual machine w/vmware or virtual box...
Or try to use dd in linux, though the system your booting it into may not like the 250 gig drive.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:43 pm

In the old NT, there is a file called boot.ini that controlled the boot process. A typical boot.ini looks like:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)rdisk(0)disk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)rdisk(0)disk(0)partition(1)
\WINNT="Windows NT Workstation 4.00"
multi(0)rdisk(0)disk(0)partition(1)
\WINNT="Windows NT Workstation 4.00 [VGA mode]"
/basevideo /sos
C:\="DOS"

Those lines that contain "multi(0)rdisk(0)disk(0)partition(1)" specify the controller, the drive and the partition that is used to boot from. When you clone the drive, you theoretically duplicate everything on it but that is not inherently true unless you copy the drive in RAW mode. Lots of disk cloning software will do things like align the partitions on sector boundaries, add extra partitions or resize them or otherwise fiddle with partition data.

Also, if you don't put the cloned disk back exactly the same place then you will get the inaccessible boot drive error. When I say exactly I mean precisely that, it needs to be in the same controller with the same drive order (no extra drives, no fewer drives either) with the same number of partitions etc. You can't just move a drive from an IDE to a SATA, or even move the drive from the first IDE port to the second, add a drive to the machine, or even change the number of partitions on a drive. You also need to make sure the correct partition on the drive is the active one so it will find the boot.ini file when it tries to boot. If you make any modification, It will all mess you up unless you modify the boot.ini file to match the change.

You can change the boot.ini but it is a pain because you need to do so from some other machine that will boot with that drive in it because as it is you don't have to access to any tools to edit the drive. The syntax of the lines that need to be edited is arcane but you can Google it to figure it all out if you need to. It is all real annoying and frustrating if you don't know what you are doing and there is no good feedback from the system.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:05 am

Really, try xxclone...it's free! And I have successfully used it to clone an old IDE hdd to a newer and larger sata hdd-- no messing with boot.ini needed. Check the advanced options tab to duplicate hdd device id info too! But it can only work if you try it!

Best bet would be to remove old IDE hdd, and attach it and new hdd to a separate system so you can clone from there. I have had the best luck using that config.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:27 am

Sorry, but you can not move a Windows NT boot drive drive from IDE to SATA and still successfully boot without manually modifying the boot.ini. Those are different HD controllers and the boot.ini specifies which controller to boot from in the syntax. Unless xxclone automatically modifies the boot.ini to match when it clones the drive (and that is very unlikely), you'll be screwed... You can not change the controller, the drive order, the partition order, or which partition is the active one when you clone your drive without modifying the boot.ini on the drive to match the change.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:46 am

maiden4life wrote:Old machine works fine. Boots fine with the old HDD. I will mention the vm solution to them, but funds are dry. I used partition commander and created a partition to 2gb and set it to active. copied the partion over and still sits at the black screen. What a pain.


Have you rechecked the obvious? Did you ensure the new drive is configured in IDE master mode? Did you reuse the existing 40-pin IDE cable or did you use another, which may be bad?

Otherwise, if you have the time do a modeled compare. Create and format a 2GB FAT32 test partition on the 250GB with legacy fdisk/format/sys routines, and see if it boots into C:\ on the original machine. If it does, then the issue may be with your imaging tools and/or methods.

Norton Ghost was mentioned and from personal experience I know it's reliable for cloning non-Advanced Format partitions up to 2TB. I would install the 1.624GB drive in another PC and boot that machine into DOS using the 250GB's bootable test partition which you created. Then use Norton Ghost 11.5 to firstly clone and dump both 2GB and 1.624GB partitions to compressed images (For Ghost to work, copy himem.sys to C:\DOS and reference it in config.sys with DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS). Once you have both images needed for later attempts, you can then clone to the test 2GB partition directly from the 1.624GB partition. If this first attempt doesn't boot on the original machine try the other method, of partition-from-file cloning, from the compressed image of the 1.624GB drive created previously.
Last edited by trackerben on Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:40 am

P5-133XL wrote:You can change the boot.ini but it is a pain because you need to do so from some other machine that will boot with that drive in it because as it is you don't have to access to any tools to edit the drive.

Wait...did NT 3.5 have a bootable install CD with a "repair" option, like NT4 did? I remember using that a few times on a dual-boot 95/NT4 system after Win9x reinstalls took over the boot sector.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:12 pm

ludi wrote:
P5-133XL wrote:You can change the boot.ini but it is a pain because you need to do so from some other machine that will boot with that drive in it because as it is you don't have to access to any tools to edit the drive.

Wait...did NT 3.5 have a bootable install CD with a "repair" option, like NT4 did? I remember using that a few times on a dual-boot 95/NT4 system after Win9x reinstalls took over the boot sector.

Sorry, I don't remember if that was in 3.51 or added in 4.0. I tried googling the answer but google-skills were lacking today.

I did find this however, and I remember the big stink it caused at the time. I'm not sure that it applies, in that he hasn't said he connected the disk/install onto an NT 4.0+ machine, but if he did it would cause the same "inaccessible_boot_device" error that a messed up boot.ini that I thought he was having.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:28 pm

Why do you need to clone and mount it. It's for backup right? Just copy the data to some mounted drive ... from your Linux install, which should have little trouble with NT 3.5 and that version of NTFS.

Just run a CD version of Ubuntu or something similar and see if it picks up the NT drive. If so you are golden.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:00 pm

maiden4life wrote:I will mention the vm solution to them, but funds are dry.


I believe you can use VMWare ESXi, which is free, and a "physical to virtual" tool from VMWare as well. Even if all you get is a VM disk image, I think VMWare Player is free, too? And that's kinda like VirtualBox, you just run a VM off an image, no dedicated server needed.

Now we did the physical to virtual tool on a Win2K box so I don't know if it would work on an earlier OS.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:18 pm

P5-133XL wrote:Sorry, but you can not move a Windows NT boot drive drive from IDE to SATA and still successfully boot without manually modifying the boot.ini. Those are different HD controllers and the boot.ini specifies which controller to boot from in the syntax. Unless xxclone automatically modifies the boot.ini to match when it clones the drive (and that is very unlikely), you'll be screwed... You can not change the controller, the drive order, the partition order, or which partition is the active one when you clone your drive without modifying the boot.ini on the drive to match the change.


I love how people who haven't even tried the software i recommended claim to know what it will and wont do. here's a screenshot for all of the unbelievers... :wink:

Image

so you can fix boot.ini if needed and you can duplicate the device id....the 2 problems people claim will hold up the cloning operation. it can be done.

however, the virtualization route is probably a better solution for the long-term. Let us know what you decided and how it worked out for you!
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:34 pm

Worth noting that there are issues at 8GB and again at 137GB most likely coming into play here.

Ideally, if I were doing what you were doing, I'd be backing up to an image, and I'd have at least one, preferably multiple <8GB disks to restore to.

Also, they need to drop that program YESTERDAY. Having any important component of your business being that fragile means it will get expensive very fast.
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Re: Cloning Windows NT 3.5 drive-HELP!

Postposted on Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:37 pm

Forge wrote:Also, they need to drop that program YESTERDAY. Having any important component of your business being that fragile means it will get expensive very fast.


That was my first thought. Running an unsupported app on an unsupported OS on unsupported hardware is really, really asking for trouble. I'd be on the lookout for a replacement ASAP. It's easy to look at things like this and decide that you can't afford to upgrade, but honestly, you can't afford to not do it. It's irresponsible to do otherwise.
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