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Dan Goodell's two general rules for successful clo (Read 4340 times)
Brian
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Dan Goodell's two general rules for successful clo
Nov 23rd, 2006 at 7:16pm
 
http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/partsigs.htm

Please help me understand why these two rules don't apply when cloning a HD with Acronis True Image from Windows. You can clone a HD to a new HD that is already partitioned. You can leave the new HD in place for the first few reboots, then remove the old HD and install the new HD as a master. It boots.

 
 
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John.
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Re: Dan Goodell's two general rules for successful
Reply #1 - Nov 23rd, 2006 at 9:23pm
 
I can't give you a definitive reason why it works or doesn't with True Image, but here are a few reasons that can prevent it from working or not.

1. Status of target disk prior to cloning.  This (and other reasons) relate to the DiskID field.  If the target disk is blank, never been used, never been seen by source hard drive, it should clone fine.

2. If target disk is NOT blank, or previously contained partitions, then what was the drive letter of it prior to attempted cloning?  Was it c: or was it d:, e:, etc?

3. Does True Image copy the DiskID field when cloning one (or more) partitions to a target?  Does TI copy, zero, or otherwise change the Master Boot Sector (which contains the DiskID field) on the target drive?

If the DiskID of the target drive matches a drive letter of the registry of the target drive and it's NOT c:, then you will not be able to boot the new target.  This relates to the previously mentioned concept of using a brand new (never before seen) hard drive if possible.  If not possible, then you should clear the DiskID for that drive from the source registry.

Another factor:  Was a Ghost disk-clone performed, or a partition copy?  How does Ghost-clone differ from TI-clone with respect to Master Boot Sector?

I'm sure there are other factors, but there are enough variables here to begin to see what can prevent it from not working after cloning, and the precautions and considerations needed prior to cloning.
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Brian
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Re: Dan Goodell's two general rules for successful
Reply #2 - Nov 23rd, 2006 at 9:45pm
 
Thanks John. I left out my test on Rule #2. I'm just running it again.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Dan Goodell's two general rules for successful
Reply #3 - Nov 24th, 2006 at 1:51am
 
For Rule #2

Old HD had C and D partitions. New HD had a primary and an extended partition, E and F, both containing no data. The True Image clone process was started from Windows (it actually boots into the WinXP DOS, similar to where chkdsk runs, for the process) and the computer was shut down when the clone was completed. It is a disk to disk clone. The new HD was set as Master and the old HD was set as Slave. Early during start-up there was a brief Acronis message about “assigning letters” then a reboot and WinXP started up normally. The first HD showed as C and D but there were no drive letters for the second HD partitions. In Disk Management, the C drive was the System drive. WinXP on the second HD was Active.

I shutdown and removed the old HD. WinXP still booted normally.

The old HD was connected again, WinXP booted normally and there were still no drive letters for the second HD. I assigned drive letters to the two partitions, restarted and WinXP booted normally and all partitions had drive letters.

Acronis TI seems to be “breaking” the rule.

 
 
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Dan Goodell
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Re: Dan Goodell's two general rules for successful
Reply #4 - Nov 24th, 2006 at 8:15am
 
Wow, there's my name, up in lights!  Cheesy


Okay ... let's backup and put some of these programs in context.  For a long time now, "cloning" programs haven't been making true clones.  But that's okay, because most of the time you don't really care if it's a true clone, you just want the end result to boot properly.

A true clone of a partition is an exact copy of the source partition--every sector, every fragmented file, every deleted file, the drive parameter block in the boot sector, the volume ID, the same boot.ini, DiskID, and registry [MountedDevices] key.  However, almost always one or more of these items must be changed for the copy to boot properly.  A few, like the drive parameter block and DiskID, are not directly up to you.  The assorted cloning programs draw the line at different places as to how much of this they will modify ... "on your behalf", as it were.

IME, Terabyte's products, BootIt-NG and Image for DOS, are the most conservative programs (amongst those that are still viable on modern disks).  You cannot even resize a partition when it is copied, it must be exactly the same size as the source.  It tinkers the least with the copy, which makes for an extremely predictable and reliable result, but potentially leaves the most for the user to touch up.

Drive Image 2002 is almost as conservative--fragmented files are left fragmented, and boot.ini and the registry are untouched.  It's not quite an exact clone because certain files aren't copied (such as the paging file and deleted files), and if you copy/restore to a different sized partition, it will obligingly adjust the boot sector and drive parameter block.

Ghost 2003 goes a step further.  As normally used, files are copied instead of sectors (which means the copy ends up defragged in the process).  It also attempts to adjust the boot.ini file, guessing at what will be needed to make the OS boot properly.  But it still doesn't touch the registry.

AFAIK, Casper XP was first on the block to try adjusting the registry.  That was soon followed by True Image (not sure which version--9, I think) and Ghost 10.  (I don't think v9 tinkered with the registry.)  I don't use all of these versions, so don't take my word for which versions do what, but the point is that increasing intelligence is being added (since Ghost 2003) to try and cover as many bumps in the road as possible, so hopefully the user doesn't have to do any touching up.

The caveat, though, is just how good they are with their guesswork.  And it is still guesswork, despite what the marketing brochures would like you to believe--no program can be 100% sure what touchups are needed unless the program sees the copy installed in the exact spot it will need to boot from, and that's seldom the case.  If you don't throw a scenario that is too complex at the program, they seem to guess quite reliably.

So, the general rules I've been propounding for the last several years are just that: generalizations.  Different programs try to achieve different levels of sophistication, and the more intelligent they are the less touching up there may be left for you to do.  But just because the program guesses right in some scenarios doesn't mean it will always guess right in other scenarios.  My general rules will still help reduce the risk of you getting bit in the backside, but the more sophisticated the program, the looser you can be about following those rules.
 
 
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Re: Dan Goodell's two general rules for successful
Reply #5 - Nov 24th, 2006 at 8:51am
 
Dan Goodell wrote on Nov 24th, 2006 at 8:15am:
Wow, there's Dan's name, up in lights!  Cheesy
"... Ghost 2003 goes a step further.  As normally used, files are copied instead of sectors (
which means the copy ends up defragged in the process
).  It also attempts to adjust the boot.ini file, guessing at what will be needed to make the OS boot properly.  But it still doesn't touch the registry..."

Does Norton Ghost 2003
defragment by default
when performing either a "partition-to-image"
or a "disk-to-image" Backup procedure Shocked

EP
Cry
 

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Christer
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Re: Dan Goodell's two general rules for successful
Reply #6 - Nov 24th, 2006 at 11:13am
 
Quote:
Does Norton Ghost 2003 defragment by default when performing either a "partition-to-image"
or a "disk-to-image" Backup procedure

As I understand it, yes but it does not defragment per se. It copies a fragmented file from the source and it ends up on the target in one contiguous chunk > defragmented.

The conclusion I have drawn from this is that the life of Ghost is much easier if the source is defragmented (by the user) prior to creating an image. Read errors should be less likely.

Christer
 

Old chinese proverb:
If I hear - I forget, If I see - I remember, If I do - I understand
 
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Brian
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Re: Dan Goodell's two general rules for successful clo
Reply #7 - Mar 7th, 2009 at 2:27pm
 
Just an update. Dan's first rule is...

Quote:
"do not let old-XP see the new partition before cloning.
Doing so would give XP a chance to assign a drive letter, it will be remembered by the registry when it is cloned, and the clone will adopt the wrong drive letter for itself."


It applies to imaging as well. For example, say you have a partition on the second HD that you intend to use as a target partition to restore an image. Windows has seen and has recorded the position of this partition in the registry. MountedDevices keys. You then image the first HD OS, remove the first HD from the computer and restore the image to the target partition on the second HD. The OS will not boot into Windows. It hangs at the Welcome Screen stage.

Anyone been caught with this? I have.
 
 
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