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Laptop will boot from only one USB flash drive

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January 31, 2013 6:28:31 PM

Hello again THF.

I am having an interesting problem. I work for a high school that supports a 1 on 1 laptop program. I started here recently, replacing a service company that went bankrupt.

The problem I am having is that the company used Acronis to make a backup of the student's laptops. This was done from one of the laptops that came straight from Lenovo, and is able to be used for all of the student's laptops. I have this "image" stored on my laptop, as well as a flash drive. Since there is usually more than one laptop in at a time, I have a second flash drive that I am trying to use to restore Acronis's backup to speed things up.

The original flash drive that the company left has been working fine, and I have put images from other laptops on this, and switched back to the original image, and everything still works.

My problem is that if I put this same image onto my second or third flash drive, the laptop won't boot from it. One of the flash drives causes the laptop to just hang during post, while coming out of post as soon as I pull the flash drive. I've seen this before, so I assumed this was a defective flash drive, though I am still able to use it inside of the Windows 7 operating system. The third flash drive however, allows me to boot, and when choosing the flash drive as the boot device, all I receive is a message stating "missing operating system". I have tried re-formatting it, deleting the image and putting it back on, and nothing has worked. All three of the flash drives are formatted under FAT32, and two of them are 32 Gigabytes, while the one that hangs on post is a 64 Gigabyte flash drive.

Sorry for the long winded post, but I wanted to get as much information out as possible without needing everybody to ask for any more details.

I hope somebody has an answer to this :) .

Thanks in advance.

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a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
January 31, 2013 6:35:33 PM
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Usually a USB key has to be made bootable, just putting an image on it isn't enough. Even if you don't see the files on there. I would look into the acronis stuff as they have a usb-backup-bootable maker thing that comes with their software.
February 4, 2013 3:07:33 PM

I have tried a couple of programs to make the flash drive bootable. Unfortunately the IT department does not have its own copy of Acronis, but I have asked my boss to purchase a license, so when that comes in, I will check to see if using the usb-backup-bootable aspect helps out at all. Thank you for the quick reply.
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February 11, 2013 1:29:54 PM

So after a lot of formatting and waiting for data to transfer, I have found out my problem. Acronis was the problem. After looking through their forums for a few hours, all I could seem to find was people complaining that their rescue boot media would fail to boot 90% of the time. So I tried running the WindowsPE version of Acronis. Still no luck.

What next? I checked out cnet and found a free program called Macrium Reflect. Low and behold, their software worked like a charm, the first time too! So in the end, the free software works better then the paid software, who would've thought /scarcasm.

Thank you for your help getochokn :) .
February 11, 2013 1:30:04 PM

Best answer selected by twisted politiks.
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