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Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations? (Read 23853 times)
voximan
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #15 - Apr 21st, 2011 at 4:45am
 
NightOwl and Brian,

If you google AHCI and hot-swapping, you'll find that there's fevered debate on the subject. With Windows XP, some people falsely believe that all they have to do to put their HDDs into AHCI mode is to change the settiing in the BIOS. This isn't always the case, by any means. Yes, you can do it and take a gamble and you may be lucky in not corrupting one or more HDDs in the process, but with my motherboard and operating system the proper method is to do a floppy or USB-stick F6 instalment of Windows XP. That entails putting additional files on to the floppy or USB-stick and has to be done prior to installing Windows XP. Therefore, if the machine's not already working in AHCI and you didn't do an F6 install, you have to wipe the system drive first, before you can then do it. If you're not specifically running AHCI for RAID, then this isn't worth doing retrospectively, in my view. However, I can believe that some people will take a difference stance.

The literature with some products - my Akasa docking station, for instance - claims, without reference to any OS, that hot-swapping of the drive can be done on both the USB and eSATA connections to it. This is quite untrue. It can be done with USB (provided you demount beforehand using the systray icon) but cannot be done with eSATA. That is, you'd no more disconnect the docked drive than disconnect any other hard drive in your machine while they were running, would you, unless AHCI had been properly set up beforehand?

Brian's findings with using plain vanilla eSATA are precisely what I would have predicted. Like he did, if you use eSATA without an eSATA card, you have to be prepared to power the various drives up and down in a specific order and also have to be careful about getting into the BIOS at the appropriate times, otherwise things can get messy. For me, the eSATA card route is probably going to prove unnecessary, as I'll be cloning/recloning only 2 - 3 times a year and each time will be referring to procedural notes. Otherwise, he's right; use of an eSATA card is better.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #16 - Apr 21st, 2011 at 5:12am
 
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voximan wrote on Apr 21st, 2011 at 4:45am:
Therefore, if the machine's not already working in AHCI and you didn't do an F6 install, you have to wipe the system drive first, before you can then do it. 

Having installed AHCI drivers many times to a non booting system (missing AHCI drivers) I know this is not true. The easy way to do this is with the OSDTool which is part of TBOSDT Pro but here is an early description of the process. This was written prior to the OSDTool being used.

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/howto/howto-drvins-tbosdt-dos.htm
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #17 - Apr 21st, 2011 at 10:35am
 
Brian,

Thus far, I've not needed to configure my motherboard for AHCI and so currently it's operated in just Native IDE mode (for its SATA2 HDD). As I wrote, I'm not convinced yet, either way, as some people have had disasterous results when moving from IDE to AHCI mode, whereas others have had no problems at all. And there are those who say that AHCI mode gives faster HDD operation as well, and yet most of the forums I've come across that have discussed IDE v AHCI have reported either the opposite or no detectable increase in speed at all.

I have to confess that my user manual on my motherboard is completely ambiguous about the matter. It doesn't make a clear distinction between plain vanilla AHCI and AHCI when used with RAID. It seems to say that, for both AHCI and RAID modes, you cannot just alter the BIOS settings from IDE to AHCI, you have to reinstall the OS (applies to WinXP and Win Vista), at the same time doing an F6 install.

I'll see what my motherboard's own forum says about this. A number of confused users on that forum have recently raised the issue again, I think.

So ....... you may well be correct. (I always approach these sorts of things with some caution, as quite often whether certain functions are possible can depend on the particular chipset your board uses, or the way in which the BIOS has been written).
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #18 - Apr 21st, 2011 at 3:51pm
 
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Much of my testing has been with imaging an OS on an IDE HD in one computer and restoring the image to another computer with SATA HDs and AHCI BIOS. The restored OS fails to boot with a 7B BSOD. As expected. This OS can be fixed and booting into Windows in minutes.
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #19 - Apr 22nd, 2011 at 5:16am
 
I've already had some feedback from the forum concerning the type of motherboard I now use. I'm reliably informed that it's NOT possible to properly run my motherboard in AHCI mode, Windows XP having already been installed, without wiping the system drive and reinstalling everything using an 'F6 pre-install'. One other method has been suggested by experts on the forum (moderators who are employed because of their in-depth knowledge of these particular motherboards) but this involves not only some Windows Registry mods but also the applying of some modified drivers. I've been warned that users have had varying success with the latter.

All things considered, my preference is to stay with IDE mode for my SATA ports. When doing Disk-to-Disk copying in G2003 (DOS), as long as I'm careful about the order in which things are powered up and down, working in just IDE mode should be okay.
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #20 - Apr 22nd, 2011 at 5:27am
 
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voximan wrote on Apr 22nd, 2011 at 5:16am:
without performing a modification to the Windows Registry.

How will that be that done? If it can be done before changing to AHCI mode that is a plus.

By the way, OSDTool installs the drivers and modifies the registry.
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #21 - Apr 22nd, 2011 at 5:39am
 
You managed to get in your response before I then modified my last entry, Brian. When I went back to my motherboard forum, a couple of experts there retracted their advice, having realised that changing to AHCI in that simple way was possible only in Windows Vista and Windows 7. It's not workable in Windows XP. With Windows XP, the only recourse is to wipe the disc and do an F6 pre-install.

If you yourself are using Vista or 7 and want to try the simple Registry mod, let me know and I'll pass on the information I've gained from my mobo forum.
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #22 - Apr 22nd, 2011 at 5:54am
 
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Can you ask the forum members if they have tried using the OSDTool (TBOSDT Pro) with WinXP to install AHCI drivers after changing the BIOS to AHCI?

I'm mainly using XP but I do have 4 Win7 partitions on this computer for my testing. This computer multi-boots about 20 partitions. I'm interested to hear more about the registry mod.
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #23 - Apr 22nd, 2011 at 6:09am
 
Brian,

I've left a reply in the mobo forum. It's one that discusses a broad range of Gigabyte mobos, incidentally.

If the two relevant contributors agree to it, I'll paste their recommendation into this forum. I may have to wait, though, as the principal protagonist gives advice on both the american and UK versions of the forum.
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #24 - Apr 22nd, 2011 at 6:40am
 
Brian,

I've managed to get a quick response and have got their agreement to copy and paste the bulk of their replies here.

The first set of instructions below is from one adviser, the second set is from the other adviser. The first set doesn't apply in the case of Windows XP having already been installed (as pointed out in the second set). They tell me that these mods are universal.

How to change IDE mode to AHCI after OS installation.

1. Exit all Windows-based programs.

2. Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.

3. If you receive the User Account Control dialog box, click Continue.

4. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesMsahci

5. In the right pane, right-click Start in the Name column, and then click Modify.

6. In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.

7. On the File menu, click Exit to close Registry Editor.

After this you’ll have to restart your computer, go to BIOS and enable AHCI. When you log in to Windows again, you’ll notice the installation of drivers for AHCI. Another restart will be required to finish the driver installation.


Response from the other expert:

Those registry edits only apply to Windows Vista or Windows 7, for XP a clean install is easiest, XP can be a huge hassle.   Some have success by just updating the driver in device manager to Intel AHCI driver or MS AHCI Driver, but I've never done it personally and I've heard the outcome go both ways.

Or you could use an old outdated program to enable RAID Mode, this will setup the correct drivers and registry entries, and then you can switch the BIOS to AHCI mode instead of RAID once you install the updated RST program mentioned below.
http://mike.geek-republic.com/software/raidfix/

If you use that, I highly suggest you update to the latest RST Drivers and programs right after you get it going though, then switch BIOS to AHCI:

http://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=eng&ProductFamily=Chipset...

You may also need to do a manual registry edit after installing the latest RST, before you switch to AHCI:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\IaStorV << Set start type to 0
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\msahci << Set start type to 0

A clean install using F6 to install drivers from a floppy disk, or a clean install of XP with slipstreamed drivers would be best though, and possibly easier for you to do.
 

 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #25 - Apr 23rd, 2011 at 2:24am
 
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Is anyone in the motherboard forum familiar with using TBOSDT Pro to install AHCI drivers to a non booting system?
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #26 - Apr 23rd, 2011 at 8:37am
 
Not that I'm aware of. I've yet to hear again from the second expert, though. Be assured that if I get any news on the TBOSDT front, I'll let you know.
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #27 - Apr 24th, 2011 at 6:14am
 
Brian,

Earlier in this thread you described how you used to have to do disc cloning, before you finally bought an eSATA card. In it, you stated "When finished, shut down, disconnect eSATA HDD ...... ".

How exactly did you "shut down"? I presume you were performing the cloning exercise using the DOS environment of G2003 and therefore I assume that what you did at the end of the cloning was to Quit, Change directory to A:, Remove the floppy, Power down the PC, then Remove the destination drive. Is this correct?

What I've described above is what I myself used to do when I used to use PATA drives. It worked fine but I was never really happy about powering off the PC. Mind you, at that point, the machine was in just a DOS mode (so not in Windows) and furthermore was in the A: directory, so powering off could do little harm, at least in theory.

Your current solution aside, I'm just wondering if you ever found a more sanitary way of being able to safely remove the destination drive. The trouble is that, when you come out of G2003 DOS, the system will (if you let it) boot straight back into Windows (which you must not let happen, with the two drives still connected up). There's no opportunity to get into the BIOS at that point. So, the only way out of this is to get out of G2003 to the A: prompt and then power off the machine.
 
 
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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #28 - Apr 24th, 2011 at 12:24pm
 
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Quote:
The trouble is that, when you come out of G2003 DOS, the system will (if you let it) boot straight back into Windows (which you must not let happen, with the two drives still connected up). There's no opportunity to get into the BIOS at that point.

So, I still need clarification.  I asked back in reply #12:

Quote:
Perform whatever cloning that I needed to do either directly booting to DOS (or it looks like you first load Windows and use the Ghost 2003 Ghost interface in Windows to set up your cloning and then let Ghost close out Windows and re-boot to DOS where Ghost does its thing--and then Ghost boots back to Windows--is that what you normally do?).

That was in response to your reply #10:

Quote:
what I now remember about it is that, directly after cloning, you have to be ultra-careful not to allow Ghost to boot back into Windows, as otherwise you ended up with two identical drives, each claiming to be the boot drive. Result - a corrupted system. Similarly, when you later needed to re-clone, you had to never miss getting into the BIOS as, if that happened, you also got both drives each trying to boot into Windows.

To my knowledge, the only way to have Ghost 2003 *automatically* boot back to Windows is if you have set up your cloning operations in the Ghost Windows interface, let it close out Windows, re-boot to DOS via the *virtual partition* route, do the cloning operation, then Ghost will shut itself down, switch out of the *virtual partition*, and then re-boot back to Windows.

The only other way I'm aware of is by using a DOS Ghost *switch* to start Ghost that tells Ghost to re-boot after completion of whatever procedure you have set up.  (One can also, after booting to DOS and starting Ghost--go to the *Options* menu item on the opening screen, select the *Misc.* tab, and you can put a check in the *reboot* box*--if you *save* that change--then Ghost will always re-boot the system after whatever procedure it performs--but, you need to have removed a bootable floppy disk or optical disc if your system is set to boot from one of those, and you have used one of those to originally boot to DOS Ghost--being as you will simply return to the DOS prompt if they are still in the boot drive.).

But, with either of the options above, you should be aware that you have set things up that way--nothing should be happening unless you made those things happen!  If your Ghost boot disks or discs are just the plain default versions, then when Ghost is done with the procedure, it just sits there waiting for your next command.  If you elect to *Quit* Ghost, then you are returned to the DOS prompt, and then the system just sits there waiting for next command.  If you press the *Off* button on your system, it powers down--pretty much end of story.

In your original post you said:

Quote:
I'm planning to use Ghost 2003 - from the DOS version on a floppy

So, please clarify--are you booting from a floppy disk to DOS Ghost?

Or, are you using the Windows Ghost interface to preform your Ghost cloning operation?

And, does your system have a floppy drive--even if you are not booting from a floppy disk to DOS Ghost?

***************************************************************************

Quote:
Mind you, at that point, the machine was in just a DOS mode (so not in Windows) and furthermore was in the A: directory, so powering off could do little harm, at least in theory.

In DOS, at the DOS prompt, and with no other DOS programs running in the background that would access the HDDs (you should know if you have loaded any other programs!), then the system is at *idle* and there should be no HDD activity (look at your HDD activity light to confirm!).  If powering off at the DOS prompt did (could) cause harm, that would be fairly common knowledge because it's been done for 20 + years now!  I have never seen any indication that that's a problem!

Quote:
Your current solution aside, I'm just wondering if you ever found a more sanitary way of being able to safely remove the destination drive.

I'm still not sure *what* you're looking for!  You are using a DOS based cloning program!  You power down the system when done, power down the external docking station, and disconnect whatever communication cords are hooked up.  And you power up the system to Windows.

The next time you want to clone--you power down the system, hook up the communication cords from the docking station, turn on the docking station's power and power up the system booting to DOS!

To my knowledge (unless someone has programed a driver that I'm not aware of for DOS), there is no *hot swapping* in DOS, and there is no *AHCI* functions in DOS.  So, those items are *off the table* for DOS cloning!

Quote:
but I was never really happy about powering off the PC

Why?!  What's the problem?
 

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Re: Planning to clone a whole SATA drive: any recommendations?
Reply #29 - Apr 24th, 2011 at 4:27pm
 
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voximan wrote on Apr 24th, 2011 at 6:14am:
So, the only way out of this is to get out of G2003 to the A: prompt and then power off the machine.


Yes, that's what I do when I use Ghost 2003. Just as NightOwl has described above. However I almost exclusively use my eSATA HDs when I'm in Windows, for secondary backup purposes such as copying a backup image from the second HD to the eSATA HD. Or doing a secondary backup of the Data partition.

In Reply #5, NightOwl explained how he uses images rather than clones for backup. I agree. I've never created a clone as a backup. I'd only clone when upgrading to a larger HD but in practice I do this with images. Dan Goodell has written some points about why clones should be avoided for backup purposes. See Reply #7.

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1132968474;start=7#7

 
 
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