Hard Drive cloning with Norton Ghost

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Hard Drive cloning with Norton Ghost

  • I have an Inspiron 8100 / XP that has a hard drive which just started to make the click of death. I have Norton Systemworks Pro 2003 with Ghost and a Media Bay hard drive carrier, so I ordered a replacement hard drive and installed it in the Media Bay, partitioned and formatted it. I cloned the old drive to the new drive and replaced it, but when I boot up with the new drive it gets to the welcome screen without any user accounts listed, and I can't get past that. Control/Alt/Delete doesn't appear to do anything at this point. I also tried this in Safe Mode, but I get the same screen without any user accounts listed and no way to log on.

    My first attempt to clone the drive failed when it locked up, but after an hour in a plastic bag in the freezer I was able to perform the clone operation. The drive is back in the freezer now, so I'm looking for some clues as to why the clone operation didn't perform as I had expected. I found a link from 09/2003 here on the forums from someone who found it necessary to verify that the -id switch was set as an option on the Ghost clone program.

    http://forums.us.dell.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=dim_harddrive&message.id=53426

    Does anyone have some advice on how to use Norton Ghost to clone a hard drive? I'm not sure I'll get many chances before the old drive quits working completely.

    Update: It would appear that cloning the old drive will not allow me to use a new partitioning strategy, it will re-create the existing partitions from the old drive. Cloning the partition is not working for me, so I'll try Ghosting an image and restore it to my new drive.

    Update: I created a Ghost image and restored it to my new drive and got the same results - system boots to the Windows welcome screen but shows no user accounts and offers no response to control/alt/delete or any other keys that I can determine. It does beep if I press the Enter key. Booting up in Safe Mode gives me the same results.

    Update: I was able to restore a Ghost image from a couple of months ago that I had on CD, but I still cannot image from my old drive to the new one. I've got the new drive partitioned with 7.5GB on the primary active partition and about 30GB on the logical drive on the extended partition. The old drive has about 5GB on it. Could some of the data on the old drive be fragmented and located above the 7.5GB I've allocated for the primary active partition? I'll check the fragmentation map and see if I can find out. Will the old drive last long enough to be de-fragged, or will I need to re-partition this new drive to accomodate a fresh Ghost image?

    Update: It appears that my problem may be that the new drive active partition is identified as drive letter E, and it won't change to C. Where was it that I messed up? In FDISK? I'll be backtracking.

    Thanks, GM

    Inspiron 8100 / 866MHz PIII M / 815EP Chipset
    30GB/5400RPM IBM Travelstar HD / 8x4x24 CD-RW
    15" UXGA / nVida Gforce 2Go
    Lucent / Orinoco Wireless PC Card
    Lucent / Orinoco RG-1000 Wireless Residential Gateway
    Windows XP Home / Norton Systemworks Pro 2003 / ZoneAlarm
    AdAware / Spybot S&D / Spyware Blaster / Spyware Guard
    Adaptec-Roxio Easy CD Creator / Musicmatch Jukebox Pro 7.5

    Message Edited by GreyMack on 07-13-2004 11:41 PM

    Message Edited by GreyMack on 07-14-2004 12:58 AM

    Message Edited by GreyMack on 07-14-2004 06:01 AM

    Message Edited by GreyMack on 07-14-2004 06:37 AM

  • I used FDISK /MBR from my DOS Boot Floppy w/FDISK and it re-assigned my drive to C: !!! Boot-up to the new image went fine. That doesn't explain why I was able to boot with the old image though, 'cause it was on the same new drive and the same partition and (presumably) the same drive letter. I'll just go sleep this off now, and in two weeks I'll forget this ever happened.

    GM

  • On my site, I have instructions on how to clone your drive, just like you are doing.

    http://www.bay-wolf.com/ghostclone.htm

    After you clone the drive to the new one, then put it in the MAIN drive bay and boot up.  It should work.  I have done this quite a few times.

     

  • Thanks Baywolf! I did look at your site again yesterday. It dawned upon me that cloning the whole drive automatically creates partitions matching the original drive, and I had planned on a different partitioning strategy for this new drive and had already used FDISK and formatted the partitions to NTFS from within XP. So what I tried was cloning the primary partition from the old drive to the new one. That was probably a successful operation, but what I didn't realize at the time was that the new drive was already tagged with E: and F: labels. That evidently prevented a successful boot-up, and left me hanging at the Welcome screen with no users listed. I got the same symptoms when I Ghosted the image from the old drive to the new one, still not realizing that the problem was the drive letter assignment. I assumed the drive would be C: when it was placed in the main drive bay.

    (I'm still not clear on why the image I had on CD from a couple of months ago seemed to work fine at this point. I was able to log on and go to the desktop after restoring that image to the new drive. But since the image was a couple of months old, and I'd made several changes to the system since then, I continued to look for a solution to get a fresh image working and didn't examine that installation beyond looking at the desktop.)

    It was only after I installed the old drive in the media bay and the computer booted to it rather than the new drive in the main drive bay that I was able to see that the new drive letters were E: and F: rather than what I had expected, and I considered that boot-up to the new drive was unsuccessful because it was looking for user data on the C: drive. I guess I thought the drive label would change depending on which bay it was in. I didn't realize the drive letters were fixed when I performed the FDISK operation. When that finally became apparent to me, I Googled for instructions on how to change the drive letters. I wasn't able to re-name the new drive's primary active partition using Disk Management in XP because it identified the partition as the System Boot Volume (evidently it had started booting from the new drive and completed booting from the old drive when it got to looking for user data on drive C:) If I had swapped the drives around and re-booted at this point I probably would have been able to re-name the new primary partition to C: using the Disk Management utility within XP. I didn't realize that at the time however, and continued to look for a solution to re-name the primary active partition on the new drive. I didn't want to do the registry edit technique if I could avoid it, and found a link that referenced FDISK /MBR. The MS Knowledge Base article indicated that /mbr was an undocumented parameter of fdisk that would re-write the master boot record without altering the partition table information. I tried this using a DOS boot floppy with the new drive in the main drive bay, re-named the primary partition to C: and then it re-booted to the new drive with a fresh image just fine.

    I must have gotten off-track somewhere when the new drive was assigned letters E: and F: and I must have had the new drive in the media bay at that point? It's hard to remember now, and I'm somewhat confused on how I was able to use the DOS boot floppy from the media bay if the new drive was in the media bay. Maybe the problem started because I had to repeat FDISK a couple of times to get the extended partition virtual drive to appear. If the machine hadn't booted to the old drive in the media bay and made it obvious that the new drive was labeled E: and F: even though it was installed in the main drive bay, I'd still be working on it.

    This was my first opportunity to replace a hard drive without having to re-load and re-configure the OS and software, and overall I'm really pleased at how well everything worked out. I hadn't created a Norton Ghost image for a couple of months, but I was able to get a fresh one since the old hard drive still works for a while before it overheats and crashes. The Ghost version from Norton Systemworks Pro 2003 works fine using the Wizard within Windows XP or from DOS on a floppy. I've got a fresh image of the OS and Programs on the second partition of the new drive and another copy on four CD's. I've been trying to develop a backup plan ever since my first hard drive crashed last year, and Norton Ghost takes care of a big part of that. I'd like to thank the regulars here for guiding me into some level of understanding and competence with this machine over the past couple of years.

    GM

     

    My first PC:

    Inspiron 8100 / 866MHz PIII M / 815EP Chipset
    40GB/5400RPM IBM Travelstar HD / 8x4x24 CD-RW
    15" UXGA / nVida Gforce 2Go
    Lucent / Orinoco Wireless Mini PCI Card (MPC13A-20)
    Lucent / Orinoco RG-1000 Wireless Residential Gateway
    Windows ME / Norton SystemWorks Prp 2003 / ZoneAlarm
    AdAware / SpyBot S&D / Spyware Blaster / Spyware Guard
    Adaptec-Roxio Easy CD Creator / MusicMatch JukeBox Pro 7.5

     

    My (wife's) second PC:

    Inspiron 8100 / 866MHz PIII M / 815EP Chipset
    30GB/5400RPM IBM Travelstar HD / 8x4x24 CD-RW
    15" UXGA / nVida Gforce 2Go
    Lucent / Orinoco Wireless MiniPCI Card (MPC13A-20)
    Lucent / Orinoco RG-1000 Wireless Residential Gateway
    Windows XP Home / Norton Systemworks Pro 2003 / ZoneAlarm
    AdAware / Spybot S&D / Spyware Blaster / Spyware Guard
    Adaptec-Roxio Easy CD Creator / Musicmatch Jukebox Pro 7.5

  • Oh my... after reading Bay Wolf's instruction, suddenly I understand now! I made perhaps the very same mistake of assigning a drive letter to my new hard drive. Therefore I created two hard drives with the same content but one was C: and the other was Z:. To fix that and to get around the fdisk (apparently Windows XP doesn't have fdisk??), I used Computer Manager to delete the partition in the new drive, initialized the hard drive, but without formatting it or assigning a letter to it. THEN I ran Norton Ghost 2003 to ghost my old hard drive to the new hard drive.

    Just to be sure that Windows doesn't assign a drive letter again, when the ghosting completed and the Windows booted up, I turned off my computer without logging in. Then I swapped the hard drives and started the computer again. This time Windows booted up just fine and the computer was none the wiser.