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Ghost 12 Problems...but with a Happy Ending (Read 6610 times)
Jimbodev
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Ghost 12 Problems...but with a Happy Ending
Apr 8th, 2008 at 10:45am
 
I have used previous versions of ghost with no problems, and currently use ghost 12 to backup up my laptop. So when I wanted t upgrade my laptop hard drive, I did not anticpate any problems.

I was replacing a 60GB drive (partitioned as 38 + 12) with a 160GB drive (partitioned as 50 + 99). I used the 'advanced' "Copy my hard drive", but ended up with a destination drive of exactly the same size as the source drive, and it could not change it. I tried it in other machines (using a USB carrier) and it kept reporting the smaller size. So then I went Googling for some clues (that is when I found this site). I noticed a few people have had similar problems, but no one categorically stated how they recovered from it (apart from sending the disk back).

I contacted Symantec (who said send the disk back, it must be faulty), and Western Digital (who were very helpful and gave me loads of advice, information and pointers, which led me to the solution - many thanks to Patrick at WD).

He mentioned to me a tool called MHDD [I have a link but cannot post it]. This tool is supplied as a bootable CD image. Once burned to a CD and loaded, it gives low level functions to configure a hard drive. I used the following MHDD commands on the new "wrong size" hard drive: INIT, HPA set to the max LBA (in my case 312581807), then CLRMBR. Then I repowered it, and rebooted using the CD to check it had kept the size. Then I booted using the WinXP install disk in the Windows recovery console to run fixmbr (this might be unnecessary). The disk was then back at the correct size. I then created a Ghost image of the original disk, and restored that to the new disk and rebooted It all worked without incident.

Before I finally found the way that did work, I had a few failed attempts, one of which I will mention here. With MHDD I found I could successfully change the size back, but the first few times I didn't run CLRMBR. Then when I tried to boot from the disk (having restored an image to it), it would BSOD during the Windows XP black screen. On investigation, it turned out the disk had reverted to the wrong size again. It appeared, that something was in the MBR that caused Windows to change the disk size while it was booting.

So this problem (apparently caused by using "Copy My Hard Drive") can be recovered from without having to send the disk back.  I hope this information is useful to someone struggling with Ghost 12.

Jim
 
 
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Re: Ghost 12 Problems...but with a Happy Ending
Reply #1 - Apr 8th, 2008 at 12:08pm
 
Jimbodev wrote on Apr 8th, 2008 at 10:45am:
He mentioned to me a tool called MHDD [I have a link but cannot post it].  

This is a security feature of the forum .. to thwart spammers. I think you need one post before you can post a link.

http://hddguru.com/content/en/software/2005.10.02-MHDD/

Looks like a great freeware prgm. I never heard of it. Wonder how it compares to Partition Magic, the de facto partition resizer.

Jimbodev wrote on Apr 8th, 2008 at 10:45am:
The disk was then back at the correct size. I then created a Ghost image of the original disk, and restored that to the new disk and rebooted It all worked without incident.

Nice. Most would omit this step.
Jimbodev wrote on Apr 8th, 2008 at 10:45am:
failed attempts ... didn't run CLRMBR.

Thanks for including this.

Insightful post.
 
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Brian
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Re: Ghost 12 Problems...but with a Happy Ending
Reply #2 - Apr 8th, 2008 at 3:47pm
 
Jimbodev,

Interesting. Was it a Dell laptop with MediaDirect 2? This is an issue with those laptops and is not dependent on the software used. Here is a thread which details all possibilities.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=167401

It's a long thread but the following two posts cover most of what you need to know. In this post, Dan Goodell explains the theory ...

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=167401#21

And a fix summary ...

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=167401&page=2#27



 
 
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Jimbodev
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Re: Ghost 12 Problems...but with a Happy Ending
Reply #3 - Apr 8th, 2008 at 5:40pm
 
Brian,

Yes, it is an Dell Inspiron 6400, bought in August 2007 (just after they fixed the exploding batteries problem!), and it has a Media Direct button (that I've never used).

Thanks for this information, Brian, all is becoming clear now. As one of the posts in that thread says it would be even better if it had a more "Google friendly" title, then I would have found this thread with the full explanation of what was going on.

So by using NHPA and CLRMBR on the new disk (to get it back to "new"), then creating an image of the original drive (without MBR or LBA3), then restoring just the image, means that I worked around the zeroing of LBA3 on the original disk.

I wonder if PatrickR in the thread, is the same PatrickR I was emailing at Western Digital. As well as having the same name, both of them also mentioned the Hitachi Feature Tool.

So next I need to check if I have the blue Dell bar, and if the Media Direct button works. I suspect the answer is no to both (I'll let you know, though). Although how does the code get onto LBA3 in the first place - maybe it will be yes to both -we'll see.

I never imagined that cloning the hard drive could be such a trauma, and that the explanation and remedy would involve such "low-level" actions.

Thanks again Brian
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Ghost 12 Problems...but with a Happy Ending
Reply #4 - Apr 8th, 2008 at 6:25pm
 
Jimbodev,

More info.

Quote:
During the process of cloning, some utilities will copy the entire first track from the original disk, which includes the Dell MBR (in LBA Sector 0) and the HPA boot code (in LBA Sector 3). The problem is caused when both of these sectors are carried over to the new disk. The problem is avoided if either one or both sectors are not copied.


http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/hpa-issues.htm

Here is one simple solution (prevention).

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=167401&page=5#110

The problem is few people are in a position to use prevention. Like you, they discover the new HD is truncated after cloning the old HD.

PS Out of interest, have a look at your LBA-3 with Roadkil. It doesn't need to be zeroed as I think you have replaced the Dell MBR.

 
 
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Jimbodev
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Re: Ghost 12 Problems...but with a Happy Ending
Reply #5 - Apr 8th, 2008 at 8:00pm
 
Brian,

OK, rebooted: no blue Dell bar, and the MediaDirect button does a full boot (not sure what it should do - I've never used it, but I know a full boot is wrong).

I've been learning more about all this at: http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/mediadirect.htm which explains that having used up all four partitions, MediaDirect is the fifth hidden partition and is only accessible by swapping out the DellRestore partion and swapping in the MediaDirect partition. It also explains the partition is completely hidden, so that disk management doesn't even see it.

Using RoadKill, there is a load of code in LBA 3 (I used Goto Sector 3, is that LBA 3?). Towards the bottom it has a message: "[XLDR]  Int 13h error ATA error", so it is NOT zeroed (if I am in the right place), but the MBR was (using MHDD CLRMBR + fixmbr).

As you say, it all looks normal when starting and it will trip up a lot of people thinking cloning a hard disk is simple (it normally is and really it should be simple), and then BAM - it all goes wrong.

I have not copied over the restore partition (as I am unlikely to ever restore to XP), but that appears to be a vital part of the MediaDirect swap out routine. I think I will just cope with the loss of MediaDirect functionality (I might make Ghost images of the Restore and MediaDirect partions - just in case I miss it and decide to spend more time on it - creating a custom MBR!).

I thought I had ticked some wrong box when copying it initiallty, but now I know, I stood no chance! The only prevention would have been if I had the presence of mind to assume it wouldn't work and had done a search on Google on MediaDirect - unlikely.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Ghost 12 Problems...but with a Happy Ending
Reply #6 - Apr 8th, 2008 at 8:35pm
 
Quote:
Towards the bottom it has a message: "[XLDR]  Int 13h error ATA error", so it is NOT zeroed (if I am in the right place), but the MBR was (using MHDD CLRMBR + fixmbr).

That's correct. Here is Dan Goodell's LBA-3.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b16/bjkdegree/lba-3_dan.gif

I always delete the Restore partition on Dell computers as I have my own images. You can extract the image from that partition if you ever want to go back to the factory install and the automatic restore isn't working.

I think that Dell should have warned us about the problem.
 
 
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Re: Ghost 12 Problems...but with a Happy Ending
Reply #7 - Apr 10th, 2008 at 3:42pm
 
Jimbodev,

This may help someone "IF" they are aware of the problem before cloning.

Quote:
If you have a Dell laptop with MediaDirect then read this section. Dell laptops with Vista OS have
a different MediaDirect and aren't affected by the following problem. The theory is here...

http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/hpa-issues.htm ;  

but take special note of the first paragraph. "HPA Problems When Upgrading Hard Disk"

Here are two simple ways to prevent the truncation problem based upon the above theory.

1. If you plan to upgrade to a larger HD by restoring an image then don't tick "Restore MBR and Track 0" during the restore process.

2. If you plan on cloning your old HD to a new larger HD then the older HD needs some preparation before the cloning process. Changing the Dell MBR to a generic MBR is enough to prevent the truncation problem.....

Download this .ISO file from ....

http://www.acronis.com/files/support/mbrautowrite_en.iso

and burn it (as an image, not as data) to a CD. I use ImgBurn but if you use Nero, it's Recorder, Burn image. Boot to the CD. You will see "Press any key to rewrite MBR". Press a key and you will be instructed to "Press ENTER to reboot" so press ENTER and remove the CD. Your computer will still boot to WinXP as usual.

Now you can perform the clone using standard choices.

If you have already cloned (before reading this guide) and have a truncated new HD then visit the forum for help.

People should generally know if they have MediaDirect as there is a special button to boot the software. For those not sure if they do have a HPA (before using the above procedures) then download dsrfix.zip from.....

http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/fixes.htm

Unzip dsrfix.zip and burn dsrfixcd.iso to a CD (burn as an image, similar to mbrautowrite_en.iso).
Boot to the CD and at the A: prompt, type dsrfix and press ENTER. You will see a screen similar to the graphic in the "Understanding the Dsrfix Report" section of the above web page.

Note in the graphic that "48-bit user secs" are NOT equal to "48-bit max secs". This means a HPA is present. If your sectors are equal you don't have a HPA and don't need to use the above two procedures.


 
 
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