04-12-2012 04:22 PM
I was confused, but then I wasn't. Then I got confused again but now I think I have it all figured out.
The question that has not been answered:
Can I clone a drive that is the active OS [booted and running] - meaning I run NG15 from it and try to clone it to a presumably larger disk?
Yes, but note that you must do the copy into unallocated space in order to get the option to expand the copy into the entire disk. You don't get an option for how big using copy drive, it's either the same size or the whole drive.
If so, then booting the clone should always work. Right?
Yes, if you boot the clone al by it'self, otherwise you will get the same problem you had here.
But what if files are open or being accessed while the cloning is running?
It uses Volume Shadow Copy, it has no problems with files in use if everything is working correctly.
04-13-2012 03:59 AM
When I boot XP2 I get it as C: and XP1 is E: - this comes from the registry entries, logical drive letters are not stored in MBR.
XP2 is in the 2nd partition and XP1 is in the 1st
When you look at the registry entries \DosDeviceC and \DosDeviceE point to the correct partitions.
The partition right after the MBR has address 7E 00 00 00 00 00 00 which correctly corresponds to E: - XP1 loaded by the tech-house.
In order to reboot XP1 again, I would have to go through the same process as before
Change the disksignature in the MBR [with MBRfix] and make XP1 active [with disk management]
The XP1 OS will thus rebuild the registry entries and change XP1 to C: and XP2 to E:
[you might think you could just edit the registry entries and reverse C: and E:, but there could be other things going on]
[key in this whole process as you both have stated is what the registry thinks is C: and you always want that to be the booted OS.]
I just guess the tech-house guys didn't want to baby-sit a 4 hour cloning - really wish they had!
I am going to insist that they inform their customers that what they do is not a full restore/clone of the smaller disk to a larger one. Their actual work work would be less as they do not have to load the OS and then copy the 'data' which only consisted of the the 'Document' folders. Pretty lame. I know better now.
I will wait a few days and if all continues well I will post a final concise message with the problem, why it occurs and the solution to fix it. I will cite the Wiki re MBR structure, the Goodells article re schitzo, MBRfix download and use.
04-13-2012 08:39 AM
Your attachments seem corrupted.
All I'd like you to try is make XP1 Active (the recently installed one) and boot it. Make no drive letter changes or registry changes. I'd expect it to boot as C: drive. It did before. I think both OS will be C: drive when they boot. Ignore the drive letter of the non booting XP.
04-13-2012 09:22 AM
I went into the boards from the email I received - fresh entry.
If I click on either attachment it opens as a picture within the board and going back returns to the message.
If I right click and download them and rename the extension from .txt to .jpg I can open them without any issues as pictures.
When I booted XP2 after the 1st cloning the registry said C: was the 1st partition [it was, on my old disk].
But why didn't this get corrected as it had to have rebuilt the registry key for C: when it saw the disk signatures did not match?
And so it went on its merry way corrected the disk signature difference and displayed my original desktop, etc.
I was even able to run Excel and other programs on XP2 . It must have rebuilt the registy key for C: to point to 2nd partition.
It did not go schitzo until the 4th boot where I got the darkscreen and underscore in upper left. Still a mystery, but it happened.
I do agree that setting XP1 active, it would boot properly since its registry says C: is the 1st partition and XP1 is in the 1st partition.
And setting XP2 would boot properly too since its registry says C: is the 2nd partition and XP2 is in the 2nd partition.
So going back and forth at this point [with each OS having registry C; drives that point to proper partition] is simply a matter of setting the drive active and booting. No need to run MBRfix. You are right.
04-13-2012 01:37 PM - edited 04-13-2012 02:26 PM
Jim, I can see your attachments now.
Which mbrfix did you use? The Microsoft one doesn't alter the Disk Signature.
When you first booted XP2 you said it was C: drive and my tests bear that out as XP2 wasn't a clone of XP1. So both XP1 and XP2 were C: drive which is appropriate. Your XP2 crash on the 4th boot should not have been drive letter related. Unknown cause I'm afraid.
Edit... did I get this wrong? Was XP2 C: drive when it was first booted. C: drive as seen in Disk Management?
04-15-2012 09:12 AM
What did you do to see the attachments whereas you could not before?
MBRfix is a DOS program that downloads as a zip and I expanded on a memory stick.
Got to command prompt thru Accessories, run with no switches and you get list of commands.
I have attached the extracted exe with an extension of .txt so download it and then rename to .exe
[this is from Systemintegrajon AS and rated Spectacular by CNET]
I booted new disk with XP1 [tech-house] and had my original disk in the USB caddy
[XP1 in 1st partition on booted disk and XP0 in 1st partition on caddy disk]
I loaded NG15 to XP1
I used Disk Management to create and format partition 2 from the unallocated space on new disk.
[thus XP1's must have created \DOS\DriveF in its registry]
XP0 showed as E: in DM.
I cloned E: to F: [XP0 to XP2]
XP1's registry has 2nd partition as F:
XP2's registry has 1st partition as C: [since it was in 1st partition as XP0]
I removed the USB caddy [XP0 in 1st partition as E: in DM - not in its registry]
Boot#1: I used DM to set F: 'Active' and then rebooted.
So here is the inconsistency?
XP2's registry says \DOS\DeviceC is in the 1st partition and it is in fact in the 2nd partition.
But the disk signature in the registry entry \DOS\DeviceC does not match the in the new disk's MBR
So what did the OS do here? Presumably corrected \DOS\DeviceC to point to 2nd partition; and,
also assigned \DOS\DeviceE pointing to the 1st partition.
But if the registry entries were rebuilt with the new disk's signature, why would there be a problem?
My original desktop appeared and the OS said it had to be retarted to apply updates - I clicked restart.
Boot#2: When it restarted, my original desktop appeared and I waited for disk activity to stop.
Once again a pop-up said updates had been installed and system needed to be restarted - I clicked restart.
Boot#3: When it restarted, my original desktop appeared and I waited for disk activity to stop.
When it did, I ran various registered software and all worked fine.
I then shutdown the system in hibernation
Boot#4: The next day I booted and got the darkscreen with the underscore.
After 'understanding' the disk signature issue through the Goodell's article.
And the suggestion not to format the 2nd partition, I did the following:
Booted XP0 [original disk] with new disk in USB caddy.
Erased 2nd partition on new disk - XP2
Used DM to set 1st partition [XP1] active.
Shut down, swapped disks and rebooted.
Ran NG from XP1 and cloned XP0 from old disk to 2nd partition on new disk as XP2
Ran MBRfix to change disk signature
Used DM to set XP2 active
Removed USB caddy
XP2 comes up as C: and XP1 comes up as E:
Use MBRfix to look at disk signature - it was changed back
Looked at XP2's registry entries - they have the disk signature of new disk now and not the old disk.
So all is okay - I guess.
This is what Goodell says causes the error: [his XP-1 is equilvalent to my XP0]
'Here's another example of a common cloning mistake: suppose XP-1 is C: on disk-1, and F: is a partition on disk-2. Then XP-1 is subsequently cloned to XP-2 on disk-2, and disk-1 is removed. Again, XP-2 will recognize its partition was previously given a drive letter and will keep it. The boot process may hang (usually at the login or blue "Welcome" screen) while XP-2 searches in vain for "drive C:". '
Why would XP-2 recognize it's parttion was previously given a drive leeter and keep it?
If XP-2 is booted, the disk signature should be different and the registry keys would all get rebuilt in XP-2's registry.
04-15-2012 01:42 PM
XP2 comes up as C: and XP1 comes up as E:
We going in circles. What is the drive letter of XP1 when it is booted?
The drive letter of XP1 when XP2 is booted is irrelevant.
04-17-2012 10:00 AM
It appears that the embedded boot.ini file is the problem
On the original disk it points to partition 2 as there is a FAT16 in partition 1 from Dell
So no matter what I do, it seems to boot from partition2 ok, but then something goes wrong.
There is obviously some inconsistency, but I cannot see how it occurs.
So plan B - bite the bullet and deallocate all partitions on the new disk [throw the tech-house OS away]
I put the old disk in the laptop and bootied with the new one in the USB caddy
I ran easyUS
I deallocated both partitions [tech-house XP1 and my clone XP2]
I then moved partition2 from the old disk to the unallocated space
[It rebooted and did this outside of Windows]
It did not boot, but I got a windows error message that led me to a discussion of the boot.ini file.
"Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem..."
No matter what I tried, I could not get to boot.ini file.
So I booted from the NG15 disk used the edit boot.ini utility.
Selected 'edit' and entered the filename as C:\boot.ini and it found it!
I changed the 2 references to partition2 to partition1 and saved the changes.
Exited NG and the system rebooted.
It is my stuff and there is nothing to conflict with since there is no other partition in use.
So I am going to use it a while and see what happens.
I will use easeUS to expand the partition to use the whole disk.
I will then get a brand new disk to use as a backup medium.