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Windows NT cloning

Community Veteran
Posts: 166
Registered: 23-06-2007

Windows NT cloning

I'm not having a good week!

My work pc's hard drive failed last week. It was replaced on Tuesday with a blank drive.

I cloned a working drive across and the drive appeared in my home pc with all files intact.

However, putting the drives back in their respective pcs and all I get is "inaccessible boot device" when booting. If I use something like ERD Commander, the drive contents are accessible and its chkdsk reports no issues.
Windows NT Setup is happy to repair the system hive and boot sectors and reports no errors.

Any ideas? I don't fancy a 3hr trek down to get the two machines rebuilt.
[i]It's the PlusNet Way[/i]
13 REPLIES
N/A

Windows NT cloning

When you say you cloned the drive, what actually did you do? what software did you use?

Your machine for whatever reason doesn't seem to have a boot sector on the drive, this is normal for a blank/new drive.

Try using fdisk to create a partition, set this partion as primary and active, format the partition, then restore the contents of your old drive. This should solve the problem.
Community Veteran
Posts: 166
Registered: 23-06-2007

Windows NT cloning

The new drive was cloned using Ghost 2002 to create the second drive. I've read dozens of webpages Mr Google pointed me to, but none of them seem to relate to the specific details of this issue.

The two machines are identical hardware-wise, so I wouldn't have expected any issues with a direct Ghost clone.
[i]It's the PlusNet Way[/i]
N/A

Windows NT cloning

Normally I would agree with you, but it does appear that your new disk doesn't have a boot sector or primary parition.

Is the new disk the same size as the old one?

It's upto you, why not try what I've suggested, what have you got to lose?
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Windows NT cloning

Check that the BIOS on the machine you are putting the "Cloned" drive into is set to regocnise the drive. You can usualy set this to "Auto" so that any drive will be detected and the BIOS will adjust itself to cater with it.
If it is set up for a different drive and not on auto then it will not see it unless you eaither set it to the size of the new drive or set it to "Auto".
Community Veteran
Posts: 166
Registered: 23-06-2007

Windows NT cloning

I probably wasn't clear in what I've posted...

The two machines are identical, same hardware, same spec, same peripherals, same settings.
The build is identical on the two machines (or would be if machine A's hdd hadn't died.
The replacement drive is identical, same size, make, etc.

I cloned disk B completely to disk A - no other changes (none intentional, anyway).

Now neither machine will boot, both reporting the inaccessible boot device.

I've tried a repair install, which will rewrite the boot sector, but reports a drive "corrupt beyond repair" after that.

ERD Commander can see the contents of the drive and the files seem intact.. I copied a few off to a floppy and tried in a different machine, and they worked fine.

Partition Magic sees the partition and it's a bit less than 4G and at the start of the drive.

Any other thoughts?
[i]It's the PlusNet Way[/i]
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Windows NT cloning

No I'm as baffled as you now Sad
Are you saying that the original drive that you cloned from will no longer work in the machine that it came from?
I can only think that the cloning method has aused some corruption to the drives. I can't think why though as I have often used Norton Ghost 2002 to clone an ailing drive to a new one with no problems.
Have you tried cloning the failed drive to the new one?
I have had success with this in the past where a drive would not boot but cloning it to a new one has created a new working drive.
Worth a go just to see. Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 166
Registered: 23-06-2007

Windows NT cloning

It's a complete mystery to me.

One of the problems with it is that to clone the drives I have to plug them into a box at home. For some reason, the second IDE channel only appears to support optical drives. But I can't really test the install at home because the hardware is too different to the work machine :/

Incidentally, one oddity which did niggle with me and which has only just popped back into my mind was that the drive is only recognised if it's jumpered as a c/s one. If it's set to master or slave, the system locks up at POST.
[i]It's the PlusNet Way[/i]
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Windows NT cloning

Quote

Incidentally, one oddity which did niggle with me and which has only just popped back into my mind was that the drive is only recognised if it's jumpered as a c/s one. If it's set to master or slave, the system locks up at POST.


Is there anything else sharing the IDE channel that is also on cable select as the system will fail if one is master / slave and something else is c/s
Community Veteran
Posts: 166
Registered: 23-06-2007

Windows NT cloning

Not a sausage!
[i]It's the PlusNet Way[/i]
zpeterk
Grafter
Posts: 377
Registered: 14-04-2007

Windows NT cloning

set all your drives to cs - the one on the end of the cable is master the other slave. Don't mix jumper settings and only use 80 pin cables otherwise cs won't work.

Check to see if there is any active partions or virtual active paritions created by ghost, if so CAREFULLY delete them then set original partion active and you should be back where you started
Community Veteran
Posts: 166
Registered: 23-06-2007

Windows NT cloning

There's only one drive on the cable - which is 80pin.

Partition Magic can only see a single partition on the drive and identifies it as NTFS, active, primary, bootable and pre-4G.

FDISK agrees with it.

It's all very odd!

Heffing NT Evil
[i]It's the PlusNet Way[/i]
Community Veteran
Posts: 166
Registered: 23-06-2007

Windows NT cloning

Fathomed it!

When I cloned the drives, they sat on an XP machine. It seems that post-NT versions get a bit carried away and upgrade the NTFS version on any drives they can see, whether you access them or not.

Anyway, copied the ntfs.sys file across from sp6 and now the machines are both booting.

However... they are now both reporting "The system could not log you on
to this domain because the system's computer account in its primary domain is missing or the password on that account is incorrect"

Nothing's ever easy!
[i]It's the PlusNet Way[/i]
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,983
Thanks: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Windows NT cloning

Glad you got to the bottom of it Cool
Just hope you can sort out the other little niggle now.