Cloned Drive will not boot...Kind of a 911 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-17-2016, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Cloned Drive will not boot...Kind of a 911

Hey Guys,

I have a friend that is experiencing bad sectors on a machine for his work. In the interest of speed and efficiency, (and also that he never kept the original Windows 7 disc)...I figured the best way to get him up and running was to clone his drive to a new one.

Both drives are the same size. The original is no where near full...

I decided that EaseUs was my best option. The new disc was prepared, and formatted. I created the new disc in the same/original machine by connecting the SATA and power from the optical drive. I made sure the check, and copy all partitions in the interface. The first copy went smooth, and was created in short order. I swapped the cables, removed the original disc from the equation, and booted up the machine, where it proceeded to boot to PXE/Network/LAN. I hit ESC and tried to get around it. After a few re starts, I went in to BIOS and checked boot order. The new drive is not recognized in any of the ports.

At this point, I thought something must be wrong with the clone, and did some online research. I found a couple things, and decided to try the clone again. I paid attention to each step, made sure all partitions were checked off, and noted it was creating new drive letters (A: B: and E: ) and wondered if that were the issue. I checked the box to create sector by sector, which took much longer, but still created a successful drive clone. Went to boot, and had the same issue...boot to PXE, and no drive found in the BIOS.

Re-connecting both drives, and booting off the original drive, I can see the new drive, and firing up EaseUS again, it appears I have made an exact copy, partition for partition...other than the drive letters.

After some more research, I am seeing that the MBR may be missing or damaged. I have a Win 7 disc that I am trying for startup repair, but it loads Windows files and gets stuck at the "Starting Windows" screen and goes nowhere for me to try the repair.


Is it the drive letter issue? (The PC is not seeing a drive C: )Or could it be the MBR issue? I see all the articles stating that cloning your working drive for a backup is a good precaution, and a ton of people are switching to SSD's via clone...but right now, I am not seeing any benefit over a clean install..


Please help if anyone has had any experience. I need to get him up and running before Monday

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Last edited by kevin g.; 09-17-2016 at 06:05 AM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-17-2016, 06:22 AM
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When using a disk copy program you need to delete any existing partitions from the destination drive. There is no formatting required. Make sure the new drive is free of any partitions and then try it again. Disconnect any extraneous devices like extra drives that are connected to SATA ports so you only have the source drive, destination drive, and the optical drive you're booting EaseUS from, unless you're doing it from a flash drive.

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post #3 of 10 Old 09-17-2016, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin g. View Post
Hey Guys,

I have a friend that is experiencing bad sectors on a machine for his work. In the interest of speed and efficiency, (and also that he never kept the original Windows 7 disc)...I figured the best way to get him up and running was to clone his drive to a new one.

Both drives are the same size. The original is no where near full...

I decided that EaseUs was my best option. The new disc was prepared, and formatted. I created the new disc in the same/original machine by connecting the SATA and power from the optical drive. I made sure the check, and copy all partitions in the interface. The first copy went smooth, and was created in short order. I swapped the cables, removed the original disc from the equation, and booted up the machine, where it proceeded to boot to PXE/Network/LAN. I hit ESC and tried to get around it. After a few re starts, I went in to BIOS and checked boot order. The new drive is not recognized in any of the ports.

At this point, I thought something must be wrong with the clone, and did some online research. I found a couple things, and decided to try the clone again. I paid attention to each step, made sure all partitions were checked off, and noted it was creating new drive letters (A: B: and E: ) and wondered if that were the issue. I checked the box to create sector by sector, which took much longer, but still created a successful drive clone. Went to boot, and had the same issue...boot to PXE, and no drive found in the BIOS.

Re-connecting both drives, and booting off the original drive, I can see the new drive, and firing up EaseUS again, it appears I have made an exact copy, partition for partition...other than the drive letters.

After some more research, I am seeing that the MBR may be missing or damaged. I have a Win 7 disc that I am trying for startup repair, but it loads Windows files and gets stuck at the "Starting Windows" screen and goes nowhere for me to try the repair.


Is it the drive letter issue? (The PC is not seeing a drive C: )Or could it be the MBR issue? I see all the articles stating that cloning your working drive for a backup is a good precaution, and a ton of people are switching to SSD's via clone...but right now, I am not seeing any benefit over a clean install..


Please help if anyone has had any experience. I need to get him up and running before Monday
I see no mention of the word "clone" on the EaseUs website. Cloning involves more than simply copying partitions back and forth. I think all you've done is produce a backup of the partitions that are visible to windows.. not the MBR.. and this explains why you can't boot. If you have no master boot record, the BIOS will skip over the hard drive and boot from the next boot option selected in your BIOS. It also explains why the windows 7 repair is failing. It, too, is looking for the MBR and coming up empty.

I think EaseUS is the wrong tool for the job. You need imaging software not backup software. Look into Acronis true image.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-17-2016, 07:25 AM
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It's strange that it doesn't show up in the BIOS but then Windows sees it on boot. You need to fix the MBR for sure. Also, the method of the clone matters. Some clone software copies block-for-block, but if you have bad sectors, it might fail back to file-by-file, which is not good.

Why not just load Windows 10 from scratch and then attach the drive to copy the files back? Yes, he'll need to reinstall all his applications, but the data will be there at least.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-17-2016, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post
When using a disk copy program you need to delete any existing partitions from the destination drive. There is no formatting required. Make sure the new drive is free of any partitions and then try it again. Disconnect any extraneous devices like extra drives that are connected to SATA ports so you only have the source drive, destination drive, and the optical drive you're booting EaseUS from, unless you're doing it from a flash drive.
Yes, did all that on both clones. First time was using a new drive, purchased for this purpose. The second time, I went in and deleted all volumes via the management snap in, and created a new simple volume, ticking the bullet for "do not assign drive letter"

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajkrishock View Post
I see no mention of the word "clone" on the EaseUs website. Cloning involves more than simply copying partitions back and forth. I think all you've done is produce a backup of the partitions that are visible to windows.. not the MBR.. and this explains why you can't boot. If you have no master boot record, the BIOS will skip over the hard drive and boot from the next boot option selected in your BIOS. It also explains why the windows 7 repair is failing. It, too, is looking for the MBR and coming up empty.

I think EaseUS is the wrong tool for the job. You need imaging software not backup software. Look into Acronis true image.
Ease US TODO and Copy Disk both have a one to one cloning feature. I used TODO, because it is done within windows. (I really hate CMD, and DOS based stuff)...maybe that was my mistake.

I have a free copy of Acronis WD edition that I am currently trying right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murphy2112 View Post
It's strange that it doesn't show up in the BIOS but then Windows sees it on boot. You need to fix the MBR for sure. Also, the method of the clone matters. Some clone software copies block-for-block, but if you have bad sectors, it might fail back to file-by-file, which is not good.

Why not just load Windows 10 from scratch and then attach the drive to copy the files back? Yes, he'll need to reinstall all his applications, but the data will be there at least.

That was my thought, I couldn't figure out why the drive didn't show...it's as if nothing is even connected. I was also concerned with the sector copy, since I have verified with a few failed tests that the original drive does have bad sectors...but doesn't Windows re-write bad sectors to new, and keep on pumping?

The Machine wouldn't even boot last week. I got it up and running and ran some tests, verified the bad drive, and ordered the new HDD.

This is Windows 7, and time is of the essence, as it is for his business... (Auto Repair) it is for his computer alignment machine, and I don't know the ins and outs of installing all his software. Snap-On would have to come in and re-load all his stuff, and they have to schedule him for that...he really doesn't have time for that. He's losing money by the day, while it's down

I did tell him it may come to that if we have to re-load windows...but I thought I'd try a clone first.



Thanks for the assist so far guys...I'll let you know how we fare with Acronis

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post #6 of 10 Old 09-17-2016, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by kevin g. View Post

doesn't Windows re-write bad sectors to new, and keep on pumping?

I'm not sure if Windows 7 (it probably doesn't have ReFS like Windows 10) is smart enough to re-write data that it cannot write in the first place. Regardless, bad sectors - if found later on - cannot be fixed in terms of data recovery that I know of. That data is lost and that sector will never be used again.

What I was saying is that a sector-by-sector (block-level copy) usually only works if the source drive is solid and intact...

I just thought of something. Did you try a chkdsk yet? You can boot to safe mode or command prompt with F8 on booting in Windows on the original OS. The command is "chkdsk /F /V /R /X" without the quotes. It might take awhile.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-17-2016, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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This is getting more odd by the minute...the Acronis clone acted exactly the same. I decided to take his drive out and install it in my bench test machine. It booted just fine to an exact copy of his machine...

I reinstalled the drive in his machine, and...nothing. BIOS does not recognize...nothing. Just messing around, I changed the storage control to IDE, and it recognized the drive, and "semi-booted". I'm really not sure what's going on here, but this is really strange. I tried startup repair, but it keeps stalling. Why would this drive not be recognized in AHCI mode?

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post #8 of 10 Old 09-17-2016, 03:28 PM
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^^ how old is this machine? Maybe the BIOS needs a firmware update? Maybe the SSD needs one too? I've had issues in the past with motherboards not recognizing new drives, but if the drive cannot be detected, that's an issue.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-17-2016, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphy2112 View Post
^^ how old is this machine? Maybe the BIOS needs a firmware update? Maybe the SSD needs one too? I've had issues in the past with motherboards not recognizing new drives, but if the drive cannot be detected, that's an issue.
I'm not sure...it's not ancient, as it was a Win 7 machine, but it's looking more and more like that may be the case. Funny, the machine the new drive works in, (my bench test PC) is a DELL C2D, I'm sure much older. Also, the new drive is a standard HDD.

I am stumped. I loaded Win 7 on the drive in my test machine, and changed the drive over to the work machine. Drive not recognized in AHCI, and completely stalls in IDE...Guess I'll try to update the drive firmware first...

So much for getting this thing going for him over the weekend.

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post #10 of 10 Old 09-23-2016, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Just to put a nail in this one...


Did a BIOS update on the machine in question. No love. Looked for and finally found a firmware update for the drive in question...(WD said there was none). HP had one listed in their downloads for a different sku. I had to jump through hoops to add the update to the drive...(make a bootable DOS USB and point to a file on the machine). The update said it did not apply to this drive.

I submitted for a return on the drive with Amazon. They said don't even bother returning it, and gave me a refund for the original drive. I re-ordered a Caviar Blue 320 from a different supplier. It came Wednesday, and I installed it tonight.

After booting to the BIOS, and seeing that it was indeed connected through SATA 2, let the machine boot to Windows and install the drivers for the HDD. I left it raw, and ran through Acronis. The clone took all of 8-10 minutes. Unhooked the old drive from the MB, rebooted, and it came up as a perfect mirror of the old drive.


I guess it was just the ancient drive. Thanks for all the help everyone.
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