Cloned drive, now nothing works

#1
This story is far longer than it should be. I'll try to keep it short.

1. I have two 750GB drives. I wanted to clone one entire drive onto the other, Drive 0 to Drive 1. The source drive consisted of Vista (C), and three data partitions. I had done this once before completely successfully.

2. This time the cloning program I used (Drive Clone 3), informed me that it needed to reboot to perform the clone, since there was a locked file on a source drive. This was annoying, but I let it ride.

3. Rebooting my computer, I found to my astonishment that my two drives had swapped drive letters. My previous boot drive (WD 750GB AKS), was now D drive, and my former D drive (WD 750GB ACS), was now my C drive.

4. I wanted to reassign C drive to my AKS, it being the faster drive. I thought this would be a fairly simple operation using Acronis Disc Director. I told it to switch the drive letter of C to N, then the drive letter of D to C, and rebooted.

5. Acronis carried out the changes (allegedly), and my rig rebooted. Nothing had changed. My ACS was still assigned C, my AKS still assigned D.

6. Well, I thought, they both have the same data on them, this shouldn't be a problem. I shutdown, ensured that the AKS was the first boot drive in the BIOS, and rebooted. Bad luck, my ACS was still assigned C, and my ACS was the drive which booted.

7. I shutdown my computer, and pulled out the ACS. This time I was sure I would boot straight into the AKS, and all would be good. Alas no. I managed to get as far as the Windows login screen, and logged in. After a brief 'Welcome' message, I was informed 'Preparing your desktop'. I knew what was to come, having seen this ominous message in a previous install. Sure enough, after about 5 minutes of waiting it threw me into a pale blue desktop entirely devoid of anything but a mouse cursor. The only thing I can do in this state is access the task manager and reboot.

8. I shut down, threw the ACS back in, and booted up. Try as I might, I could only boot successfully into the ACS Vista install. Repeated attempts to repair the AKS install using the Vista repair kit on the original Vista DVD made no difference. Searching through the options of the EasyBCD and following the instructions likewise made no difference.

9. Somewhere along the line, my ACS Vista install decided to do the same as my AKS Vista install. Now it doesn't matter what I try to boot into, I still get the annoying 'Preparing your desktop' message for 5 minutes, before the Blue Screen of Banal and I can do nothing but shutdown or reboot.

Suggestions?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hello fortigurn, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

My suggestion would be to re-clone your disk from the Drive Clone 3 image, boot into a different partition manager (actually boot into the partition manager's Live CD, not use it from the OS itself), and try changing the letter from there.

While you're here, why don't you drop by [thread=7]our introduction thread[/thread] and say hi?
 
#3
Hello fortigurn, welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

My suggestion would be to re-clone your disk from the Drive Clone 3 image...
I would love to. Unfortunately I cannot enter Vista in any way, shape or form, so I am unable to access Drive Clone which is a program installed in Vista.

While you're here, why don't you drop by [thread=7]our introduction thread[/thread] and say hi?
Thanks, I'll do that. :smile:

Addendum:

Newsflash. I threw in the Drive Clone 3 CD in the vague hope that it would boot into something useful. Sure enough, it did. It didn't boot into the full clone program, but it did boot into the recovery program which allows you to restore an image from an external drive.

And what do you know. It was then that I remembered I made an image of my C drive a few days ago onto my Fujitsu Wyvo (external USB 320GB drive), using Drive Clone. Of course this isn't an actual clone, it's a backup image in their proprietary .SCO file format. I'm currently giving it a go anyway, to see what happens.

Ironically I carried out the drive clone after this specifically because I do not trust proprietary backup or disk image formats, after being ripped off (twice), by Acronis backup files which failed to restore. Let's see what happens next. It will be a laugh if this pulls me through.
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
Good luck!

I prefer Acronis TrueImage myself for any imaging-related options, version 11 is quite decent.
 
#5
I successfully re-imaged the C drive on the AKS from the Drive Clone image. Or so I thought. According to Drive Clone, I was definitely re-imaging the C drive, which was now on the AKS.

However, after booting successfully into Windows I find that the active Windows partition is actually still D drive on the AKS. Not only that, but something very odd is happening. Although I can run all my programs without any problems, I cannot install anything. Any attempts to install anything are met with the error 'Not enough storage to complete this command', which of course is completely untrue.

This concerns me, since I want to re-install Acronis Disk Director and check all my disks for errors.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
Run chkdsk /f
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#7
I'd run "sfc /scannow" as well to make sure none of the system's files are corrupted.

What version of Acronis were you using? .tib archives have restored for me flawlessly on serveral occasions under both versions 9 and 10. Then again, I am prob. overconcerned with the protection of my data and verify my backup archives upon completion of creating them.

What applications are you trying to install? It might be an isolated issue.
 
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#8
Windows did this on bootup, checking each and every partition. No bad sectors, and any errors it found were corrected.

I'd run "sfc /scannow" as well to make sure none of the system's files are corrupted.
I'll give that a go.

What version of Acronis were you using?
Version 10.

.tib archives have restored for me flawlessly on serveral occasions under both versions 9 and 10. Then again, I am prob. overconcerned with the protection of my data and verify my backup archives upon completion of creating them.
These files were supposedly fine, until I tried to restore them. One of them wouldn't open at all. I discovered that this file had reached Acronis' size limit, and the program was supposed to create a succession of images to span the image, but didn't. This meant that I was unable to restore any data at all from that image file.

The other image file (of a different partition), was also supposedly fine. Acronis even opened it and restored the files. However, at some point during the restore process it decided the image was corrupt after all, and so it stopped. I lost about 5GB of data.

After these little trials I decided I wasn't going to trust proprietary image files and backup formats. I also discovered that these are very common problems with Acronis products.

What applications are you trying to install? It might be an isolated issue.
For a start, the Windows Installer. But nothing else will work either.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#9
You should use a backup media formatted with NTFS that is large enough to hold an entire archive without splitting it into multiple files. This and booting from the CD to perform backup/restore operations as well as validating your images well assure that they well work. I wouldn't run Acronis within Windows. It has been known to cause compatiability issues with other applications.

Some of the applications you are trying to use may require Windows Installer to already be installed. If you do a search for "Windows Installer 3.1" from live search or at microsoft.com you'll find a download page for it. With the issues you're having, you should prob. just do a clean installation.

3. Rebooting my computer, I found to my astonishment that my two drives had swapped drive letters. My previous boot drive (WD 750GB AKS), was now D drive, and my former D drive (WD 750GB ACS), was now my C drive.
The clone drive feature inside of Acronis is designed to help you transfer your data to a new hard drive if upgrading such as in getting a new hard drive with a higher capacity. It probably switches the drive letters by design because they assume you'll remove the old hard drive from the sytem upon cloning it and use the new one. If you booted from the new hard drive, the OS may have switched the letters itself like Vista and XP do by default in a dual-booted system configuration with XP installed first.
 
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#10
You should use a backup media formatted with NTFS that is large enough to hold an entire archive without splitting it into multiple files.
I did. I was backing up 150GB of data on one NTFS partition onto a 400GB NTFS partition. Plenty of room. But what I discovered was that Acronis has a set limit of about 70GB on each .tib file, and when it reaches that limit it will simply create a new concatenated image, so you end up with several .tib files to restore.

This and booting from the CD to perform backup/restore operations as well as validating your images well assure that they well work. I wouldn't run Acronis within Windows. It has been known to cause compatiability issues with other applications.
Yes, so I've found.

Some of the applications you are trying to use may require Windows Installer to already be installed.
They didn't last time I installed them.

If you do a search for "Windows Installer 3.1" from live search or at microsoft.com you'll find a download page for it.
I already downloaded it. But of course, it won't install.

With the issues you're having, you should prob. just do a clean installation.
Yes, that's about where I'm at right now. I'm learning that reinstallation is actually the new Ghost.

The clone drive feature inside of Acronis is designed to help you transfer your data to a new hard drive if upgrading such as in getting a new hard drive with a higher capacity. It probably switches the drive letters by design because they assume you'll remove the old hard drive from the sytem upon cloning it and use the new one. If you booted from the new hard drive, the OS may have switched the letters itself like Vista and XP do by default in a dual-booted system configuration with XP installed first.
A couple of points. Firstly there is no new hard drive. I already had two hard drives installed, with my original working copy of Vista., and I already had a complete drive image (Vista and three data partitions), of my C drive (the AKS, right where I wanted it), on the D drive (the ACS, my backup drive).

Up until I re-imaged using Drive Clone, I had no problems at all. My AKS was the C drive, and the Vista installation on it worked perfectly. I never had any issues with the other drive.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#11
So did you get anything out of sfc?

As far as the imaging stuff goes, I meant the second drive though that's not what I said. Reinstall Windows to fix the problems. I'm not aware of a limit on the size of archives Acrnois can create, but if you still want to give it a try anyway, I'd backup by using 2 different archives for each disk. (Assuming you haven't already done so). Because if you aren't then that may be part of the problem since Acronis also takes note of the disk's structure. I've never tried to create a single archive containing partitions from multiple disks myself, but that may be the issue if that is what you are trying. No matter what you do at this point, I'd make a backup of your important files using both Acrnois and another backup tool in case one doesn't work.
 
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