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Cloning GPT disk

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May 31, 2011 8:31:37 AM

Hi Experts,

I have a system installed on HDD - GPT partition. I want to transfer that partition to new empty SSD. Size is fitting (SSD lightly larger, than the source partition). I am little bit confused by the content of the GPT, and unsure, what must be copied and what can be ommited.

content of the source disk:

*: FAT32 100MB GPT (EFI System partition)
*: Other 128MB GPT (Reserved partition)
C: NTFS 148GB GPT (Data partition), Boot
D: NTFS 410GB GPT (Data partition)
plus some unallocated space on top and between C: and D:

what is the best way, to copy that C: to the SSD, so that SSD will become bootable? When I initialize that SSD to MBR and copy just the EFI partition and System partition, will it work?

I plan to use EASEUS Partition Master, because my Acronis True Image is somehow unable to work correctly with this GPT disk.

Thanks for any hint


More about : cloning gpt disk

a c 383 G Storage
May 31, 2011 12:07:14 PM

You can't just copy a boot disk and have it work. You would need to clone the drive. Also, when moving from a HDD to an SSD, I recommend a clean install of the OS.

Older version of Acronis don't know how to handle GPT. True Image Home 2011 can handle GPT I do believe.
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May 31, 2011 3:03:35 PM

Ah, my mistake, sorry, of course I mean cloning the partitions, just I don;t exactly know, which of them I have to choose, to keep the newly created disk bootable, operatable. From that list I sent, I need to have that C: that's clear, but, what else. Can I clone these GPT source partitions to target MBR?

I have Acronis 2011 with plus plack addon, but it is unable to see that source drive correctly, it is reporting an unformatted disk...
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Related resources
a c 383 G Storage
May 31, 2011 5:06:59 PM

According to Acronis, you only need the system partition and the reserved partition.

6. Windows 7 restore specifics.

In order to restore an image of Windows 7, make sure that the 100 mb System Reserved partition is backed up and then included in the restore. Please note, that it is not always present, depending on how Windows 7 was installed.


Also, the add on pack is supposed to allow operation of dynamic disks and GPT partitions with some limitations.

http://kb.acronis.com/content/6533
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a c 104 G Storage
May 31, 2011 7:18:42 PM

Hello,

While we are getting into the new world of GPT partitioning and UEFI type BIOS, what is the explanation why there are two separate "reserved" partitons here, one with FAT32 system partition and the other I'm guessing NTFS 128MB reserved partition??

Shouldn't there be just a single 100MB NTFS (reserved, system) partition, ahead of the C: partition, containing the BCD, the boot manager code, and other objects?

It's going to be an interesting experience transistioning to the GPT, and learning where each of the elements hide, and how to edit them.
Are there any good concise papers discussing the same?
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a c 383 G Storage
May 31, 2011 8:07:50 PM

This shows the block structure of a GPT disk.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg4635...

Some other intersting info from that link...

Q. Can a disk be both GPT and MBR?

A. No. However, all GPT disks contain a Protective MBR.

Q. What is a Protective MBR?

A. The Protective MBR, beginning in sector 0, precedes the GPT partition table on the disk. The MBR contains one type 0xEE partition that spans the disk.

Q. Why does the GPT have a Protective MBR?

A. The Protective MBR protects GPT disks from previously released MBR disk tools such as Microsoft MS-DOS FDISK or Microsoft Windows NT Disk Administrator. These tools are not aware of GPT and do not know how to properly access a GPT disk. Legacy software that does not know about GPT interprets only the Protected MBR when it accesses a GPT disk. These tools will view a GPT disk as having a single encompassing (possibly unrecognized) partition by interpreting the Protected MBR, rather than mistaking the disk for one that is unpartitioned.
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May 31, 2011 8:30:13 PM

To the KB article of Acronis, you mention:

Last point in Description paragraph - "Clone disk operation is not supported for dynamic and GPT disks." That could be the problem I have with Acronis. I hope that backup & restore will work, instead of simply clone. Or the fallback - install all fresh...
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a c 104 G Storage
May 31, 2011 10:22:27 PM

Thanks Hawkeye,

that's a good article to digest regarding points of the GPT.

Didn't know about the protected MBR section to protect the GPT from older dos tools which would not edit the GPT properly. Hopefully there will new tools that will make seeing the components and editing them straight forward.

We've got the boot manager being moved from the MBR to the GPT, the boot menu being included in the GPT instead of the boot sector, and I think every partition is to have a GUID identifying it. Lots of changes.

The only book readily available is a 100 page $55 paperback on the GPT, nothing simple for an older betz cells.

Wonder if Pepa11 could copy his data partition D to a separate HDD, then delete that volume, leaving the system, reserved, and boot partitions on that single disk. Thats about 150 GB. Then just clone the disc over to the new SSD.

Still don't know what that FAT32 partition is for...
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a b G Storage
June 1, 2011 9:11:21 AM

why not just do a fresh install?

also perhaps convert back to normal/mbr...?
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a c 383 G Storage
June 1, 2011 11:53:49 AM

I agree. Until more software is GPT aware I'd use MBR on drives that are 2Gb or less.
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June 7, 2011 10:20:26 AM

So - I gave up,
after a few hours of experimenting with cloning the partitions I did not get a bootable disk, so I had to install the system fresh.

thank you all for suggestions
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September 26, 2011 6:35:35 PM

For those reading this thread in the future, I attempted to use Acronis True Image Home 2012 to clone a data drive from a 2TB MBR drive to a 3TB GPT disk and it totally hosed my system. Also I received very conflicting information from Acronis on whether TIH 2012 actually supports such cloning or not, despite the fact that the program clearly attempted to do the operation. Just a warning. It might work for you or it might not, but I wouldn't trust it.
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a c 383 G Storage
September 26, 2011 6:57:44 PM

fanfoot said:
For those reading this thread in the future, I attempted to use Acronis True Image Home 2012 to clone a data drive from a 2TB MBR drive to a 3TB GPT disk and it totally hosed my system. Also I received very conflicting information from Acronis on whether TIH 2012 actually supports such cloning or not, despite the fact that the program clearly attempted to do the operation. Just a warning. It might work for you or it might not, but I wouldn't trust it.


Do you have the plus pack, otherwise it doesn't support GPT disks:

Acronis True Image Home Plus Pack supports dynamic disks or disks with GUID partition tables (GPT). Acronis True Image Home does not

This article applies to:

Acronis True Image Home 2012
Acronis True Image Home 2011
Acronis True Image Home 2010
Acronis True Image Home 2009
Acronis True Image 11 Home
Acronis True Image 10.0 Home


http://kb.acronis.com/content/2974

EDIT:

After more reading, it seems Acronis's web site is giving out conflicting information. Here is something else I found:

Acronis True Image Home 2012 supports Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) and GUID partition Table (GPT) disks. You can back up and recover partitions, volumes, files and folders on GPT disks.

GPT disks are supported with the following limitations:

Operating system on which Acronis True Image Home 2012 is installed must support GPT disks
Try&Decide cannot be used to protect GPT disks

(!) GPT disks are supported by Acronis True Image Home 2012 itself. Dynamic disks support is available only in Acronis True Image Home 2012 Plus Pack.


http://kb.acronis.com/content/24018

I'm thinking the partition types that you backup/restore to must be the same. Without more info from Acronis, it's hard to know.
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January 9, 2012 12:26:29 AM

"When I initialize that SSD to MBR and copy just the EFI partition and System partition, will it work?"
But it won't work. You can't copy the single partitions to make it bootable cause the system can't recognize it, you need to copy the whole disk.

EaseUS Partition Master supports GPT disk partition clone, refer to http://www.partition-tool.com/easeus-partition-manager/...

EaseUS Todo Backup (http://www.todo-backup.com/) supports GPT backup and clone (but not support system partition so far), backup other data partitions to ensure data security. refer to http://www.todo-backup.com/products/features/backup-gpt...
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February 25, 2013 5:53:24 PM

After upgrading to 2013 version and being on the phone with acronis this week, they can't specifically handle GBT hard drives.
They can backup the drives - install os on new drive - and then - restore it to a standard partition, but they told me twice,
can't handle (CLONE) the GBT's.

Working on it, but as of today. can't.

looking for other options - which I am going to try.
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!