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G2003, WinXP, and SSDs: views, please (Read 22858 times)
NightOwl
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Re: G2003, WinXP, and SSDs: views, please
Reply #15 - Jun 11th, 2012 at 1:37am
 
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voximan

voximan wrote on Jun 9th, 2012 at 7:19am:
I think almost all the previous references to SSDs in the context of G2003 were scattered over this website, so you've probably seen them before anyway.

I do remember that SSDs have been discussed here in the past.  But, as I said, I am not using that technology--so to assume that I would recall those threads, their content, and their conclusions is a big stretch--sorry, I don't have a photographic memory--that's why I was suggesting including links to those threads would be helpful.

voximan wrote on Jun 9th, 2012 at 7:19am:
To make it clear, I'm concerned with only Ghost 2003 here, not any other imaging application.

I understood completely--re-read my response:

NightOwl wrote on Jun 8th, 2012 at 10:40am:
Ghost 2003 is an *old* program!  And there could be an incompatibility factor (although--without links to evaluate that issue, I'm not yet convinced there is a problem).

Meaning, I thought there's a possibility that Ghost 2003 may work just fine.  But, obviously from Brian's responses, we now know that the partitioning will have to be handled by some other utility--Ghost 2003 is not up to the task.

voximan wrote on Jun 9th, 2012 at 7:19am:
Why shouldn't I partition my external drive?! It's a personal choice. In the main, I'm doing partition-to-partition imaging.

Actually, you're not!  That's why I was asking the question.  You're later answer to Brian finally answered the question:

voximan wrote on Jun 10th, 2012 at 4:29am:
When I stated that I'm doing 'partition-to-partition imaging', I meant that in the wider sense. I meant that I was making images from one partition into another (and, when necessary, restoring from one image to another). So, in strict G2003 terminology, 'Partition-to-Image' and 'Image-to-Partition'.

I could care less if you partition your external HDD--and for that matter--how you partition your external HDD--I was trying to figure out if you were doing *Partition-to-Partition* cloning, or *Partition-to-Image* backups.

voximan wrote on Jun 9th, 2012 at 7:19am:
As for why I didn't start over when I recently reinstalled everything: well, the original system partition was corrupted on the drive itself. That's to say, the drive had some quite serious faults on it from new, faults that had taken months of work to investigate. In the end, I was able to work around the faults and was able to use the drive for a year or more. It was then at that stage that I decided to buy a completely new drive. It therefore made sense to install everything from scratch, rather than risk transferring the faults across on to the new drive. Besides, there were apps and utilities on the original that I didn't want any longer. (Don't let's digress into a discussion of all the whys and wherefores of this; there's a lot more to the story than I've given. Just accept that what I did was the only sensible recourse).

Have no desire to digress (unless you want to  Wink ) -- just wondered why you thought using Ghost 2003 to switch to the new SSD technology would be easier than switching to a new HDD!

voximan wrote on Jun 10th, 2012 at 4:29am:
I'm on a big learning curve here. 

http://www.crucial.com/support/ssd/ssd_buying_guide.aspx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=N1mpTyBf1IU#t=0s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vRCgNylkOo&feature=player_embedded#t=0s

http://lifehacker.com/5837543/how-to-migrate-to-a-solid+state-drive-without-rein...

http://lifehacker.com/5802838/how-to-maximize-the-life-of-your-ssd

http://lifehacker.com/5837769/make-sure-your-partitions-are-correctly-aligned-fo...

http://blog.superuser.com/2011/05/07/where-did-all-my-hard-drive-space-go/

voximan wrote on Jun 8th, 2012 at 5:51am:
I've been wondering whether I could substitute my single current conventional 7200rpm hard drive in my PC with a couple of SSDs. I'm constantly striving to quieten my system and this would be yet another way of doing it,

The HDD is the least likely source of noise.  The fans are the most likely source--well, after the speakers, of course--power supply fan(s), case fan(s), cpu fan, north bridge fan, and video card fan are the biggest noise makers.

Bigger fans at slower speeds have been the best noise reduction on my system.  And, much cheaper than SSD's--at least for now.  And, you can get video cards without fans at all--much quieter.

Unless the bearings are going bad on your HDD, you should hardly hear a HDD without getting your head very close!  Or, perhaps you are using a noisy brand of HDD.

 

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Brian
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Re: G2003, WinXP, and SSDs: views, please
Reply #16 - Jun 11th, 2012 at 1:38am
 
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NightOwl

TeraByte calls this a Standard MBR...

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b16/bjkdegree/MBR-Standard.gif

TeraByte calls this a Win7 MBR...

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b16/bjkdegree/MBR-Win7.gif

I shouldn't have used the term MS-DOS boot code. GParted actually says MS-DOS partition table. Gparted doesn't create boot code when it creates partitions. BIBM does create boot code when it creates partitions.

As for Ghost 15, "Restore MBR" does restore the first track and over-writes the pre-restore first track. I haven't looked what happens with 2048 sector aligned partitions.

If Voximan creates his partitions with BIBM then he will get a Standard MBR too and will be ready for a Ghost 2003 Partition from Image restore.

Edit... Here is a TeraByte BING MBR...

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b16/bjkdegree/MBR-BING.gif
 
 
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Re: G2003, WinXP, and SSDs: views, please
Reply #17 - Jun 11th, 2012 at 2:15am
 
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Brian

Quote:
TeraByte calls this a Standard MBR...

Well, it has to be in regards to *something*--i.e. DOS  (older vs newer versions?), as of what date, for what file system, for what size HDD, etc.  (For example--old DOS boot code would not allow for booting a partition beyond the 8 GB size limit--newer code in the MBR allowed booting from anywhere on a large HDD.)

If the MBR was a *standard*, how can they keep changing it--at least without giving it a version ID of some sort.

Quote:
Gparted doesn't create boot code when it creates partitions.

Can Gparted add boot code?  Or, does it only make partitions? 

Quote:
BIBM does create boot code when it creates partitions.

What can you boot to?  I guess I'm not sure what *boot code* means--doesn't that have to be added by an OS?
 

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Re: G2003, WinXP, and SSDs: views, please
Reply #18 - Jun 11th, 2012 at 2:28am
 
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NightOwl

It looks like the term Standard MBR has been around for a long time even though it has been changing. I hope Dan can enlighten us.

http://starman.vertcomp.com/asm/mbr/STDMBR.htm

GParted can't create boot code. I regard boot code as MBR code preceding the Disk Signature.
 
 
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Re: G2003, WinXP, and SSDs: views, please
Reply #19 - Jun 11th, 2012 at 6:06am
 
Brian wrote on Jun 10th, 2012 at 5:31pm:
@
voximan

I now think you would be better off using BIBM rather than GParted. Download the 30 day trial from....

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/downloads-bootit-bare-metal.htm

Unzip the file
.....................

A CD will be easier for you to use than a USBFD. We can discuss how to use BIBM later.


Brian,

Can you say why you've changed your mind and are no longer recommending GParted for this?

Do appreciate that I have a FDD built specifically into my PC. It's not a USB FDD that I have. So, if it'll make it any easier to use FDs, please say so. The main problem, of course, with FDs is their extremely limited storage capacity. Fine for running G2003, though. All it takes at present is just the one.

I assume that, as with GParted, the BIBM utility does not get permanently installed.
 
 
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Re: G2003, WinXP, and SSDs: views, please
Reply #20 - Jun 11th, 2012 at 9:54am
 
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Brian

Brian wrote on Jun 11th, 2012 at 2:28am:
GParted can't create boot code. I regard boot code as MBR code preceding the Disk Signature.

Thanks for the links and explanations--helps make things clearer.

A thought--if Ghost 2003 only sees the partition table in the first sector, will that trigger Ghost 2003 to over-write the first sector with the stored MBR as well as updating the partition table during a restore of the image file.  In other words, if Ghost 2003 doesn't see *boot code*, will it restore the MBR it has taken from the original source HDD, and restore it on a HDD that only has a partition table.  In which case, GParted might work fine--might have to test that!

If using GParted on a used HDD that already has a previous MBR--does it over-write what's there and leave only the partition table, removing and zeroing out the rest of the 1st sector--or does it only change the partition table leaving the existing MBR as it originally was except for the partition table.  Are there options to control that behavior?



 

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Re: G2003, WinXP, and SSDs: views, please
Reply #21 - Jun 11th, 2012 at 5:39pm
 
NightOwl wrote on Jun 11th, 2012 at 9:54am:
If using GParted on a used HDD that already has a previous MBR--does it over-write what's there and leave only the partition table, removing and zeroing out the rest of the 1st sector--or does it only change the partition table leaving the existing MBR as it originally was except for the partition table.

It does the latter.  If it zeroed the bootstrap code it would be useless for adjusting existing partitions on a bootable HDD.  We hear a lot of recommendations to use GParted to repartition Windows machines, and we'd never hear that if it zeroed the bootstrap code.





 
 
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Re: G2003, WinXP, and SSDs: views, please
Reply #22 - Jun 11th, 2012 at 5:47pm
 
NightOwl wrote on Jun 11th, 2012 at 2:15am:
If the MBR was a *standard*, how can they keep changing it--at least without giving it a version ID of some sort.

In this context, standard just means, "whatever most computers have."  There really isn't a standard MBR--it would be more accurate to call it a "common" MBR, but good luck getting everyone else to change their terminology.  (Forum regulars can no doubt testify that sloppy terminology is one of my pet peeves.)

Brian's first snapshot (MBR-Standard.gif) in Reply #16 is Microsoft's MBR installed by Windows 2K/XP.  Microsoft used several different MBRs for Win98 and earlier.  The second snapshot (MBR-Win7.gif) is the MBR Microsoft uses for Win7.  Vista's MBR is similar to Win7's but not identical.

(I got well acquainted with various MBRs during my Dsrfix research several yrs ago.  That skill was beneficial when trying to forensically determine what a user may have done to mess up their Dell MBR.)



NightOwl wrote on Jun 11th, 2012 at 2:15am:
What can you boot to? I guess I'm not sure what *boot code* means--doesn't that have to be added by an OS? 

The term is not precise, as you have boot code in the MBR, boot code in the PBR, boot code in the system files (e.g., you may recall DOS's old io.sys and msdos.sys files), etc.  The code in the MBR has also been referred to as bootstrap code and IPL code ("Initial Program Loader"), although I think the latter is more often used WRT the PBR.  And then there's Microsoft, making things even worse by mangling the distinction between "boot" and "system"--we don't need to rehash that debacle here.

The MBR bootstrap code need not be specific to any OS.  All it does is determine which partition to boot and load that partition's PBR into memory, regardless of what OS may be installed in that partition.  It then passes CPU control over to whatever code it loaded into memory.

This is a subtle distinction many people don't fully grasp, but it's at the very heart of why multibooting works at all.  You don't need Microsoft's XP MBR to boot XP, or their Win7 MBR to boot Win7.  In fact, you can even boot Win7 with a Win98 MBR if you wanted to.  All you need is bootstrap code that will find the right PBR and pass control to it.  It's after that point that things start to become specific to the OS.

But you need some kind of code to get you to that point, and in the absence of a standard dictated from above, anyone can come up with their own code to do it.  Microsoft, the linux community, even Dell and HP have come up with their own ways of doing the same thing.

FWIW, note you only need bootstrap code if you need to boot from that HDD.  If it's only meant to be a data disk, then strictly speaking it doesn't need bootstrap code.  Your boot OS (on another HDD) should be able to look over at the secondary HDD and say, "Oh, I see a partition table over there, so let's go ahead and mount those partitions so the OS can use them."  That used to be the case with DOS and early Windows versions, but in more recent versions Microsoft has instead treated empty MBR code as signifying an "uninitialized" disk.  Even if there are partitions on it, Windows won't see the partitions until it has "initialized" the HDD.





 
 
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Re: G2003, WinXP, and SSDs: views, please
Reply #23 - Jun 11th, 2012 at 6:42pm
 
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voximan wrote on Jun 11th, 2012 at 6:06am:
Can you say why you've changed your mind and are no longer recommending GParted for this?


I didn't know GParted couldn't create boot code on an empty drive. Sure, you can create the code in other ways but it's simpler if one app can do the lot. BIBM. Ghost 2003 can't restore the boot code with a Partition From Image restore. So use BIBM and then restore your image into the Active primary partition on the SSD. WinXP will load.

BIBM won't get installed from your CD and it is too big to run from a 1.4 MB floppy. Its precursor, BING, could run from a floppy. I still have floppy drives in my computers but I don't use them anymore. Too slow. When I use Ghost 2003 it's run from a USBFD.



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NightOwl

WinXP didn't boot when I restored a Ghost 2003 image to a GParted partitioned HD without boot code. There was still no boot code.
 
 
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Re: G2003, WinXP, and SSDs: views, please
Reply #24 - Jun 11th, 2012 at 7:11pm
 
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An interesting experiment, for me at least. I restored a WinXP Ghost 2003 image to HD2 and booted it with BIBM using the Swap option. The partitions on HD0 weren't loaded into the HD0 MBR so HD0 showed as entirely "Unallocated" in Disk Management.

Using DE, all bytes preceding the Disk Signature on HD2 were zeroed. WinXP loaded just as before.
 
 
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Re: G2003, WinXP, and SSDs: views, please
Reply #25 - Jun 12th, 2012 at 12:49pm
 
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Dan Goodell wrote on Jun 11th, 2012 at 5:39pm:
It does the latter.If it zeroed the bootstrap code it would be useless for adjusting existing partitions on a bootable HDD.We hear a lot of recommendations to use GParted to repartition Windows machines, and we'd never hear that if it zeroed the bootstrap code.

That makes sense--thanks for the feedback.

Dan Goodell wrote on Jun 11th, 2012 at 5:47pm:
In this context, standard just means, "whatever most computers have."There really isn't a standard MBR--it would be more accurate to call it a "common" MBR

Yes--*currently common*--it will apparently be different in the future (without an identifiable version ID so you know something has changed--and you can't find out what or why it has changed)!  Actually, I think Microsoft used to have a DOS version ID at the beginning of the data in absolute sector 0--but, I don't see a similar ID since WinXP--or there abouts.

Dan Goodell wrote on Jun 11th, 2012 at 5:47pm:
The term is not precise, as you have boot code in the MBR, boot code in the PBR, boot code in the system files (e.g., you may recall DOS's old io.sys and msdos.sys files), etc.The code in the MBR has also been referred to as bootstrap code and IPL code ("Initial Program Loader"........), 

Again, thanks for the clarifications--makes it easier to appreciate why there is *no standard*  Wink !





 

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Re: G2003, WinXP, and SSDs: views, please
Reply #26 - Jun 12th, 2012 at 1:29pm
 
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Brian

Brian wrote on Jun 11th, 2012 at 6:42pm:
WinXP didn't boot when I restored a Ghost 2003 image to a GParted partitioned HD without boot code. There was still no boot code.

Thanks for that info.

You might want to look at one of the links I suggested to voximan above: 

NightOwl wrote on Jun 11th, 2012 at 1:37am:

It talks about using EaseUS Partition Master  to clone your existing Windows OS, and then using Gparted to create the proper alignment by moving the beginning of the data OS partition to the proper location.

I think you can simply substitute Ghost 2003 for where they say to use EaseUS Partition Master (or substitute any other cloning software), and Ghost 2003 will create the necessary, but cylinder aligned MBR, and then use GParted to give the correct alignment using their outline! 

Note, that technique mentions that GParted has a design flaw and you have to use two moves to get the actual correct alignment:

Quote:
Yes, moving it 2MB away then moving it back 1MB seems roundabout, but Gparted measures space in a weird way. When you first start up Gparted, your partition will have less than 1MB of space preceding it, but Gparted will only measure it as 0—meaning if you align it to 1MB right off the bat, it'll keep the drive annoyingly misaligned at 1.03MB. If you set it to 2MB, hit Apply, and then move it back to 1MB, it works fine.


It tells you how to verify what the alignment is:

Quote:
Once you're in Windows, hit the Start menu and search for msinfo32. Start up Msinfo32.exe when it pops up, and head to Components > Storage > Disks. Look for your SSD and find the "Partition Starting Offset". If this number is divisible by 4096 (that is, if dividing it by 4096 reveals a whole number and not a decimal), your partition is correctly aligned. If not, head back into Gparted and try again—make sure there's exactly 1MB of space before your partition, or it won't work.

You can find the same information in WinXP by using *System Information* found under *Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools*, or typing *msinfo32* in the *Start/Run* dialog box.



 

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Re: G2003, WinXP, and SSDs: views, please
Reply #27 - Jun 12th, 2012 at 4:19pm
 
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That would work but I don't like the method. Converting a cylinder aligned partition to a 2048 sector aligned partition can be very time consuming depending on the partition size and amount of data. BIBM only slides the data but I suspect GParted slides the unused sectors as well.

It's far easier to have the correct partition alignment before the image is restored.
 
 
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Re: G2003, WinXP, and SSDs: views, please
Reply #28 - Jun 12th, 2012 at 4:30pm
 
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Quote:
It's far easier to have the correct partition alignment before the image is restored.

No argument here--just mentioning it because it showed that it probably doesn't matter what cloning software is used, and that GParted is an option, as well, if a non-aligned partition is created by older utilities that can not directly create the correct alignment.

Just because there's more than one way to do something doesn't mean there isn't a *best* way  Wink !
 

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Re: G2003, WinXP, USB, SATA, PATA
Reply #29 - Feb 21st, 2013 at 12:24pm
 
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