Slightly OT, but, figured the group would know: cloning disks


S

Susan Miller

Hello everyone.

I have a Gigabyte motherboard media center HTPC running windows 7. I
cloned the hard drive onto a laptop drive and plugged it into my Asus
laptop. It worked (Windows booted) and I was able to update to the
correct drivers.

However, the Asus laptop had other hardware problems and I bought a
replacement Gateway laptop. I took a new HTPC image and cloned it
again onto a fresh hard drive.

When I plug the cloned drive into the Gateway laptop and turn it on, I
get the windows logo and then it blue screens. I tried a clone on
another hard drive just in case the new drive was bad.

I know this is "bad to do" in a general sort of way. It can cause
strange behavior and driver conflicts and the like. However, I had a
great run with the old clone, and I have about a huge amount software
I don't want to reinstall. (It's all legal - I'm not a pirate - it
just took a month of days off to get it all installed).

Back when I was still running Windows 2000 and then Windows XP, I
could take a drive and pop it into a new system, and do a repair
install. It would update drivers and the like but keep my installed
programs. This option has disappeared from Windows 7.

I have a few questions...

1) Any idea why the clone worked going from a Gigabyte motherboard to
an Asus motherboard? The laptop was about 3 years old, and the HTPC
motherboard is about 6 months old.

2) I'd rather not have to give up another month getting the gateway in
shape. Is there any reasonable (or even dubious) way of getting an
existing image onto this new system. I can do a bare windows 7 install
on the hard drive in case that would help.

Sue
 
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M

Mike Easter

Susan said:
I don't want to reinstall. (It's all legal - I'm not a pirate - it
just took a month of days off to get it all installed).

If you are not a pirate, you need to have a/one licensed copy of any MS
OS you want to install on any/one computer.

If you like to hop around from one hardware to another and you only have
one Win7 licensed for whatever is the HTPC^1, then maybe you should
either consider some other free OS like linux distros, or get some more
MS licenses.

You can make a live linux CD and boot it up on the Asus LT or the
Gateway LT and see how well the hardware is recognized. If you
(already) have a Win restore of some kind which came with each of the
LTs, then you can restore that.

Your idea of cloning the media center Win7 and booting it on either LT
as a method of achieving a good Win7 LT install is daft.


^1 HTPC is a generic term meaning Home Theater PC or Media Center - it
doesn't imply any specific OS or hardware according to my understanding
which is elaborated here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_theater_PC
 
P

Paul

Susan said:
Hello everyone.

I have a Gigabyte motherboard media center HTPC running windows 7. I
cloned the hard drive onto a laptop drive and plugged it into my Asus
laptop. It worked (Windows booted) and I was able to update to the
correct drivers.

However, the Asus laptop had other hardware problems and I bought a
replacement Gateway laptop. I took a new HTPC image and cloned it
again onto a fresh hard drive.

When I plug the cloned drive into the Gateway laptop and turn it on, I
get the windows logo and then it blue screens. I tried a clone on
another hard drive just in case the new drive was bad.

I know this is "bad to do" in a general sort of way. It can cause
strange behavior and driver conflicts and the like. However, I had a
great run with the old clone, and I have about a huge amount software
I don't want to reinstall. (It's all legal - I'm not a pirate - it
just took a month of days off to get it all installed).

Back when I was still running Windows 2000 and then Windows XP, I
could take a drive and pop it into a new system, and do a repair
install. It would update drivers and the like but keep my installed
programs. This option has disappeared from Windows 7.

I have a few questions...

1) Any idea why the clone worked going from a Gigabyte motherboard to
an Asus motherboard? The laptop was about 3 years old, and the HTPC
motherboard is about 6 months old.

2) I'd rather not have to give up another month getting the gateway in
shape. Is there any reasonable (or even dubious) way of getting an
existing image onto this new system. I can do a bare windows 7 install
on the hard drive in case that would help.

Sue

You'd start by writing down all the numbers from the blue screen
error, as a means of identifying the reason for the crash.
For example, it could be a 0x0000007B: INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE

http://aumha.org/a/stop.htm

This would be just one possible reason. It could be driver related,
like no driver to be able to read the disk. The OS has some
"built-in" drivers, and occasionally those are what make
cloning work. For example, when I move from one Intel Southbridge
motherboard to another, the standard interfaces modes sometimes
make cloning work.

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=922976

There is another way to make it possible to move a clone between
two desktops, but the method wouldn't be a candidate for
a desktop to a laptop. I use a PCI storage controller card,
and move it into the new computer, as a means of guaranteeing
the same hardware is present so the disk can be read. I did that
when changing motherboards on my current computer. I used a
Promise Ultra133 card, and moved it and the boot disk to the
new motherboard. (I clone there, as a way to do a backup before
making the transition.) It booted up just fine, with a ton of
New Hardware Wizard windows. The really neat thing, is
I didn't get severely flagged on activation. Online
activation worked (WinXP). I'd read that what I was doing
would require a phone call, but it wasn't needed.

On the older OSes, a Repair Install could be used to fix it.
That doesn't change the installed programs (so no "month" to install
them again). But it will mean doing all the Windows Update stuff
over again, and there can be complications if you have IE8 installed
or WMP?? installed. You're supposed to remove IE8 before doing
the Repair Install, or something like that. So nominally, that
is a solution as well. Only time will tell, how well that works out.
Since it's a clone, it doesn't really matter if it fouls up - you can
clone again. It won't take long to find out (probably an hour
watching the wheels turn).

A common ref. for Repair Install - I don't like the colored text.

http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

A simplified version.

http://helpdesk.its.uiowa.edu/windows/instructions/repairinstall.htm

Paul
 
J

John Doe

Susan Miller said:
When I plug the cloned drive into the Gateway laptop and turn it
on, I get the windows logo and then it blue screens. I tried a
clone on another hard drive just in case the new drive was bad.

Try booting into safe mode.
 
S

Susan Miller

If you are not a pirate, you need to have a/one licensed copy of any MS
OS you want to install on any/one computer.

I have three paid Full licenses for Windows 7 (not counting my boys
laptops with it built in).

Thanks for suggesting Linux as well. I am running Fedora 13
kickstarted from my HTPC on the replacement laptop.
Your idea of cloning the media center Win7 and booting it on either LT
as a method of achieving a good Win7 LT install is daft.

Daft is as good a word as any, I suppose. :). It doesn't mean it isn't
do-able. After fighting with Google a while longer I did find what I
needed: Sysprep.

http://superuser.com/questions/54300/booting-a-windows-7-installation-on-different-hardware

It's explained at the above link pretty well.

It does what I want -- it keeps all my installed programs and settings
but goes through the hardware validation part of a new install on
boot.

I did have some trouble already. When reading up on sysprep, it was
suggested that I could activate it, clone the drive while windows was
still runnning, pop the freshly imaged drive into a new machine, and
enjoy the hardware detection.

However, my HTPC system automatically restarted after sysprep was
activated and redetected all its hardware.


You'd start by writing down all the numbers from the blue screen
error, as a means of identifying the reason for the crash.
For example, it could be a 0x0000007B: INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE

http://aumha.org/a/stop.htm

This would be just one possible reason. It could be driver related,
like no driver to be able to read the disk. The OS has some
"built-in" drivers, and occasionally those are what make
cloning work. For example, when I move from one Intel Southbridge
motherboard to another, the standard interfaces modes sometimes
make cloning work.

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=922976

While googling and reading up on the issue, I'm more baffled than ever
that swapping a hard drive from the HTPC to the old Asus laptop
worked.

Different motherboards. Manufactured at least 3 years apart (possibly
longer). Both do have AMD processors and DDR3 RAM but otherwise not
much in common as far as hardware on the motherboard. From reading
about HAL and the early windows booting process, this shouldn't have
worked. Except, of course, that it did.

Maybe its the processors? The old laptop and HTPC both have AMD
processors. The replacement laptop has an intel processor.

I don't really expecting a firm answer, I'm just speculating out loud.
But, if someone has any insight as to why a cloned drive would work
sometimes on very different hardware, I'd love to hear it.

Sue
 
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S

Susan Miller

http://superuser.com/questions/54300/booting-a-windows-7-installation-on-different-hardware

It's explained at the above link pretty well.

It does what I want -- it keeps all my installed programs and settings
but goes through the hardware validation part of a new install on
boot.

I did have some trouble already. When reading up on sysprep, it was
suggested that I could activate it, clone the drive while windows was
still runnning, pop the freshly imaged drive into a new machine, and
enjoy the hardware detection.

However, my HTPC system automatically restarted after sysprep was
activated and redetected all its hardware.

I realize it's kind of tacky to respond to my own message, found more
about sysprep:

http://techgurulive.com/2008/09/25/...plying-sysprep-to-clone-a-hard-drive-windows/

It's a little old but the switches probably still work.

noreboot would keep my system from rebooting before I could clone it!

Sysprep.exe has command line switches you can use:

/quiet Prevents confirmation dialog boxes from being displayed to the
user while Sysprep runs on the master computer. This is useful for the
administrator who wants to automate Sysprep by adding it to the
GuiRunOnce key of the Unattend.txt file.
/nosidgen Notifies Sysprep not to generate new SIDs on the reboot
(note that the disk cannot be duplicated if this switch is used). This
is useful for the administrator who doesn’t intend to clone the
computer on which Sysprep is running or who wishes to preinstall
domain controllers.
/reboot Forces Sysprep to reboot the computer at completion instead of
shutting down, and then start Mini-Setup. This is useful for auditing
the system and verifying that Mini-Setup is operating correctly.
/noreboot Prevents sysprep from shutting down after running.
/pnp Forces a complete re-enumeration of all devices in the system.
This will add about 5 to 10 minutes to the duration of the Mini-Setup
Wizard. For Plug and Play devices, this switch is not required; it is
only useful when ISA or other non-Plug and Play devices that cannot be
dynamically detected exist on the target systems.
/forceshutdown Forces the system to shutdown in the case where the
system will not do so normally after running Sysprep.exe (with or
without using the /reboot switch). This option is available only in
Sysprep 1.1.
 

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