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OS Won't Load after Imaging (Ghost 2003) (Read 7007 times)
TheCloudlessSky
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OS Won't Load after Imaging (Ghost 2003)
Jun 29th, 2009 at 6:50am
 
Hello,

I'm using Ghost 2003.793 for imaging machines. All of our current IDE models of laptops work great to have an image created from them and then restored to them.

Our ghost server uses a SATA harddrive to store all of our images.

We have a "newer" model which is an HP NX6715b that has a SATA harddrive. I can install XP, load software etc and then image the primary OS partition to our Ghost Server and it all seems fine and dandy. No errors, no hangs, nothing!

But! When we try and image a NX6715b with the image that was created, the computer POSTS file but then fails to load the OS. It stays stuck at a black screen with the white cursor at the top left corner just blinking.

I've checked and made sure that the partition is active etc and that there are no problems with the partition. I've even run partition table doctor on the harddrive as well. Using a tool such as ERD Commander I can see that all of the files were copied and that it recognizes the Windows installation as well.

Also I've imaged a DESKTOP SATA harddrive with the exact same image and it boots windows fine (minus the driver issues of course because it's a different computer). So this tells me it's obviously not the image itself.

Would anyone know what might possibly be wrong with these machines when imaging BACK to them? Like I said, I'm able to install an OS and everything but as soon as a put an image on the primary partition it does what I've described.

Any help is really, really greatly appreciated Smiley.

PS - I must add that Radified has really helped with several Ghost 2003 issues over the years, such as creating boot discs etc Cheesy
 
 
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TheCloudlessSky
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Re: OS Won't Load after Imaging (Ghost 2003)
Reply #1 - Jun 29th, 2009 at 8:07am
 
Update:

So I just ran Fixmbr from the XP recovery console and it booted into windows fine.

I'm going to re-image the machine again and see if the problem happens again. If so, this time I'll list the boot record and see what's up...
 
 
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NightOwl
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Re: OS Won't Load after Imaging (Ghost 2003)
Reply #2 - Jun 29th, 2009 at 9:11am
 
@
TheCloudlessSky

Quote:
We have a "newer" model which is an HP NX6715b that has a SATA harddrive

Do these machines come with an OS installed?  Are there one or more hidden *utility* or *restore* partitions on the original from HP?

Quote:
I can install XP, load software etc

If you have the above hidden partition(s)--have you deleted them before the install of XP?

Quote:
But! When we try and image a NX6715b with the image that was created

Your image restore--is the process over-writing the hidden partition(s) (if they are present)?

If so, look at the *boot.ini* file--it could be pointing to the wrong partition to boot from.  This tool allows for booting from a DOS boot disk or disc and viewing and editing the *boot.ini* file:  TeraByte Unlimited Freeware--See *EditBini*

Quote:
So I just ran Fixmbr from the XP recovery console and it booted into windows fine

Does the HP come with a special MBR initially?  One could use a disk editor to *zero* the MBR absolute sector 0 before beginning to use the machine.  Then the MBR will be the one you create and not the one from HP that may be interfering--but running *fixmbr* may be just as easy!
 

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TheCloudlessSky
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Re: OS Won't Load after Imaging (Ghost 2003)
Reply #3 - Jun 29th, 2009 at 9:43am
 
Thanks for the reply NightOwl.

I've used Acronis Disk Director Suite for partitioning and don't see any "hidden" HP partitions.

And no, I don't think the machine comes with a special MBR or any utilities for it.

So here's something more strange: I just deleted all partitions, reset the MBR to 0, created two partitons, set the primary one as active, imaged the primary partition with the image. I then tried to boot and the same black cursor was there. Then I tried running fixmbr and fixboot and this time it *DIDN'T* solve the problem... it's still stuck at the cursor??

It doesn't make any sense to my previous findings...???

I appreciate the help!

PS - We have several of these machines that we need to deploy/reimage so getting it to work "once and move on" isn't good enough. We need a good way of at least knowing what's causing the issue and then knowing how to fix it when it comes up.

Cheers!
 
 
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NightOwl
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Re: OS Won't Load after Imaging (Ghost 2003)
Reply #4 - Jun 29th, 2009 at 10:22am
 
@
TheCloudlessSky

Quote:
I've used Acronis Disk Director Suite for partitioning

I don't think the machine comes with a special MBR


So, these units come from HP without any MBR, or OS on them--the HDDs require formatting and partitioning before use?

And you initially create the partitions using the Acronis DD Suite, and then install WinXP to those existing partitions?

Quote:
So here's something more strange: I just deleted all partitions, reset the MBR to 0, created two partitons, set the primary one as active, imaged the primary partition with the image.

Okay--so too many uncontrolled variables--i.e. what tools were used when and before and after what?!

Focus on what you discovered *worked*!--i.e. the *fixmbr* tool!  That replaced the MBR that Acronis DD Suite placed on the HDD (assuming the HDDs came without initial formatting and partitioning) with the XP MBR, and then it booted!

I would use a disk editor to zero the HDD (i.e. zero the first absolute sector 0--that makes the HDD look like it just came from the factory and needs formatting and partitioning).  Use WinXP's installation disc to partition and install WinXP.  Then make an image of the system.  Then test the restore.  Now you know who created what MBR--and it stays consistent from beginning to end.

There appears to be something about creating the MBR for the initial image so that when it's restored--the system will not boot.

Quote:
I'm going to re-image the machine again and see if the problem happens again

Did you try this yet--results?
 

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TheCloudlessSky
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Re: OS Won't Load after Imaging (Ghost 2003)
Reply #5 - Jun 29th, 2009 at 10:47am
 
Yeah I did try the reimage and had the same results minus being able to fix the problem with fixmbr.

I've also imaged the laptop with a DIFFERENT image that DOES indeed work on another machine model (after partitioning the harddrive). The same thing happened: the black screen and blinking cursor. I then tried running fixmbr and it didn't work as well.

From this, can we conclude that it's not the image that's causing the problems?

Running fixmbr seemed to only work (randomly) that one time and doesn't seem to be producing positive results now. What tool would you recommend for completely resetting a harddrive (mbr / partitions etc)?
 
 
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Re: OS Won't Load after Imaging (Ghost 2003)
Reply #6 - Jun 29th, 2009 at 11:48am
 
@
TheCloudlessSky

Quote:
What tool would you recommend for completely resetting a harddrive (mbr / partitions etc)?

Personally, I've been using this MBR tool:  MBRWizard - The MBR Management Utility.  I use the older version 1.52 in DOS--you can get that from here:  Download MBRWizard v1.52 from Simtel here.

This is an achived file of the original v1.52 webpage--but the Simtel link for downloading doesn't work correctly--see the above link that does!  This link comes from MBR Tools from *The Starman*

Other tools: 

MBRtool

MBRutil.exe, a free Copy/Restore MBR Utility from PowerQuest; now owned by Symantec--it is found in the zipped file called *head.zip*.


Below are links to Dan Goodell's MBRSaver program:

How to use *mbrsaver.com*

Manually Repairing Dell's DSR Function

Download *mbrsaver.com* here.  It's included in the dsrfix utility download.
 

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Re: OS Won't Load after Imaging (Ghost 2003)
Reply #7 - Jun 29th, 2009 at 12:53pm
 
Thanks for the tool links.

I tried all of the tools and they said that they successfully restored the MBR but it didn't do anything any differently.

I'm going to try what (I think) you were suggesting before only slightly different. I'm going to install XP on the machine, make a backup of the MBR (as long as it boots ok and everything). Then I'm going to image the machine and then RESTORE the backed up MBR to see if it is the problem.
 
 
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Re: OS Won't Load after Imaging (Ghost 2003)
Reply #8 - Jun 30th, 2009 at 8:41am
 
Alright well I tried copying the MBR from a working windows installation that booted fine on the exact same 6715b.

We've also tried updating the BIOS on the unit and we still have the same results.

Anything you can suggest?
 
 
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Re: OS Won't Load after Imaging (Ghost 2003)
Reply #9 - Jun 30th, 2009 at 9:16am
 
@
TheCloudlessSky

Quote:
Anything you can suggest?

Well, starting to *grasp at straws* now! 

The most common reason for boot failures such as you describe occur when the partition structure is somehow changed--but the *boot.ini* file has not changed and points to the wrong partition.

There's an *undocumented* function in Ghost 2003 (and probably in more recent corporate versions, too) where Ghost edits the *boot.ini* file, changing the *partition* that it points to for booting.  I know this because Ghost 2003 has a *bug* in its programing and gets it wrong if the partition table is not in the same order as the physical layout of the HDD (it does happen!).

Look at the *boot.ini* file on the system that is booting okay--in particular the *partition* it points to.

Perform the image restore that then renders the system non-bootable--use the program I mentioned above in reply # 2, TeraByte Unlimited Freeware--See *EditBini*Has it changed?
 

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TheCloudlessSky
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Re: OS Won't Load after Imaging (Ghost 2003)
Reply #10 - Jun 30th, 2009 at 10:47am
 
Both boot.ini files were identical except for the "timeout" variable which was set to 30 on the working ini and 0 on the non-working ini. I changed the non-working one to 30 (just to check) but it still didn't do anything.

Sad
 
 
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Re: OS Won't Load after Imaging (Ghost 2003)
Reply #11 - Jun 30th, 2009 at 11:02am
 
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TheCloudlessSky

Quote:
Both boot.ini files were identical except for the "timeout" variable which was set to 30 on the working ini and 0 on the non-working ini.

Well, something is amiss here!  Your restored image can not be of the original if the *boot.ini* does not match!  Why is the *timeout* variable different?

Are you actually restoring images of one machine to a different machine?
 

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