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How to clone windows 7 HDD

Last response: in Windows 7
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January 11, 2012 7:09:38 AM

i'm using windows 7 pc with 2 partition on 160 gb HDD seagate.

my problem is:

i want to backup the HDD so, i make a clone of whole HDD with Norton Ghost vis DOS. The operation successful, all files and folders are ok but windows can't boot from cloned drive<also 160 gb segate>. (i've successfully done several times with win XP)

it say, hardware and software changed and need to repair with windows dvd.

i did repair, windows boot but next time, it happen again requiring the windows dvd.

so what software should i use to overcome this, either free or paid software will be ok?

my only question is "how can i make self bootable clones?"

thanks.

More about : clone windows hdd

a b $ Windows 7
January 11, 2012 9:37:28 AM

Hello myowaiwin;

My guess is you're missing the bootloader on the disk you're cloning.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 11, 2012 11:49:27 AM

myowaiwin said:
i'm using windows 7 pc with 2 partition on 160 gb HDD seagate.

my problem is:

i want to backup the HDD so, i make a clone of whole HDD with Norton Ghost vis DOS. The operation successful, all files and folders are ok but windows can't boot from cloned drive<also 160 gb segate>. (i've successfully done several times with win XP)

it say, hardware and software changed and need to repair with windows dvd.

i did repair, windows boot but next time, it happen again requiring the windows dvd.

so what software should i use to overcome this, either free or paid software will be ok?

my only question is "how can i make self bootable clones?"

thanks.



You cannot make bootable clones because it is illegal to have multiple working copies of software that you only have 1 license for.
Cloning software will make an exact image of a drive with an OS, but it will not include the boot loader if you are not actually changing the drive out with another one. If for instance, if you were changing a drive, it would configure a new bootloader on the cloned drive, but disable the one the drive you just copied. There are ways to fix the problem though as described by other answers in your thread.
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a c 228 $ Windows 7
January 11, 2012 12:12:13 PM

jitpublisher said:

Cloning software will make an exact image of a drive with an OS, but it will not include the boot loader if you are not actually changing the drive out with another one.


This needs reworded or something. What's the point of cloning software if it won't copy the boot loader. Cloning software should make an exact copy of the drive, boot loader and all, and that is exactly what cloning software does.

You can also have both drives installed afterwards, but you have to make sure the bios boot order is set to boot from the correct drive. I'm not sure why you'd want two copies of a drive in a system though, unless you are going to reformat the old drive and use it for storage.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 11, 2012 12:19:32 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
This needs reworded or something. What's the point of cloning software if it won't copy the boot loader. Cloning software should make an exact copy of the drive, boot loader and all, and that is exactly what cloning software does.

You can also have both drives installed afterwards, but you have to make sure the bios boot order is set to boot from the correct drive. I'm not sure why you'd want two copies of a drive in a system though, unless you are going to reformat the old drive and use it for storage.



Really? Please tell me what software you have used that does this, as I have never seen it work as you describe. Perhaps I have be doing something wrong as well. I'll add though that is has been a couple of years since I did any cloning, maybe something has changed?
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a c 228 $ Windows 7
January 11, 2012 12:24:40 PM

jitpublisher said:
Really? Please tell me what software you have used that does this, as I have never seen it work as you describe. Perhaps I have be doing something wrong as well.



Acronis true image, clonezilla, macrium reflect, norton ghost,...
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January 11, 2012 12:29:23 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
Clonezilla and Easeus Backup both work well too.

Easeus worked great for me - however the old drive cannot be in the system when you boot the new drive for the first time. After you get the new drive up and running, the old drive can be set up as a slave drive if you want.
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January 11, 2012 12:36:20 PM

This reason why a clone install doesnt include the bootloader for the OS , is to prevent certain individuals from doing a copy of there hard drive and using it to power and other chasis . Otherwise people would share these all over the internet , because the Os can usually adapt to configuration changes. we call upgrades like motherboard or Cpu swaps *

This is the price we pay for Windows not locking down our install to specific hardware , and being able to hot swap anything out with compatabile hardware and expect the machine to still boot.
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January 11, 2012 12:40:09 PM

I've used gParted in the past and it does the job perfectly (as long as you remember the boot flag).
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a b $ Windows 7
January 11, 2012 12:44:31 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
Acronis true image, clonezilla, macrium reflect, norton ghost,...

I am going to try this today with Acronis. I did find out that when you do make the clone, you need to remove the cloned drive before you reboot. It seems that if you try to reboot with both drives in the system, it will screw up the boot strap and could possibly end up with neither drive being able to boot. Perhaps that was the mistake I was making, been too long don't remember, but I am going to try this again to satisfy myself as I said, I have never got it to work as described either.
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a c 228 $ Windows 7
January 11, 2012 12:45:22 PM

jessterman21 said:
Easeus worked great for me - however the old drive cannot be in the system when you boot the new drive for the first time. After you get the new drive up and running, the old drive can be set up as a slave drive if you want.


I've left the old drive in before, but as I said, you need to change the boot device in the bios so that it boots from the correct drive since you now have two bootable drives.
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a c 228 $ Windows 7
January 11, 2012 12:48:52 PM

jitpublisher said:
I am going to try this today with Acronis. I did find out that when you do make the clone, you need to remove the cloned drive before you reboot. It seems that if you try to reboot with both drives in the system, it will screw up the boot strap and could possibly end up with neither drive being able to boot. Perhaps that was the mistake I was making, been too long don't remember, but I am going to try this again to satisfy myself as I said, I have never got it to work as described either.


I think I know where your problem lies. If you have multiple drives installed when you first install your OS, windows will put the OS on one drive and the boot manager/loader on another drive. This causes problems like you are having. Whenever you install a windows OS, make sure only one drive is attached to the system. This forces windows to put the OS and boot loader on the same drive. Once the OS is done installing, then install your remaining drives. this is what I do for all my systems.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 11, 2012 12:57:51 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
I think I know where your problem lies. If you have multiple drives installed when you first install your OS, windows will put the OS on one drive and the boot manager/loader on another drive. This causes problems like you are having. Whenever you install a windows OS, make sure only one drive is attached to the system. This forces windows to put the OS and boot loader on the same drive. Once the OS is done installing, then install your remaining drives. this is what I do for all my systems.

Yeah, I know about that one.
I am going to play with this today though and see if I cannot figure out what I am doing wrong in the process that makes the cloned drive unbootable when I reinstall it.

OP sorry about sort of hyjacking your thread here, and if this can be done, sorry about the bad info I gave from my own misguided experiences.
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January 11, 2012 2:13:13 PM

There is a Ghost forum on Norton's website where you can get more specific help.

You can clone from one drive to another, in the same computer, and make it work. There is nothing in Windows or the process that will prohibit this. (When you turn the computer on I'm not sure how much control you have over which drive it boots from first though.)

The process of cloning has lots of pitfalls though. With Win7 you probably have several partitions, and they have to be copied in a certain order. Also a problem that I had was that if I initialized the target drive wrong under Windows, it would change my boot loader as if I wanted to be able to boot from either drive. This is not what you want if you are going to remove the old drive and keep the new drive.

There are other free programs that will fix your boot loader if that is all the problem that you have. You can find discussion of these on the Norton forums too.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 11, 2012 3:16:44 PM

FWIW, using a dongle and software provided by a company called Apricorn I recently cloned my 750GB boot HDD XP Pro partition onto a 256GB M4 SSD. It was the smoothest transition I've ever made and the SSD hasn't missed a beat.
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January 11, 2012 3:37:49 PM

In some cases, Ghost will relocate or not flag boot sectors properly. Does the Ghost version you are using support Windows 7? If not, I would almost expect it not to work.

I used Image For Linux to do exactly what you are trying to do. There is a free 30-day trial version, but, IMHO, it is inexpensive.
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January 11, 2012 4:34:57 PM

jitpublisher said:
Really? Please tell me what software you have used that does this, as I have never seen it work as you describe. Perhaps I have be doing something wrong as well. I'll add though that is has been a couple of years since I did any cloning, maybe something has changed?


Last month, I used Acronis to transfer my hard drive to a SSD. Win 7 wouldn't boot from the SSD until I unplugged the old hard drive, then everything worked perfectly.
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January 12, 2012 11:12:57 AM

solved,

thanks to anyone,

the reason the software i used "norton ghost" is very old version, so i don't read ntfs reserved partition, only copying C and D drives, so windows can't boot on clone drive.

i now use easeus disk copy and it copy all 3 partitions, making bootable clones.

thanks to all.
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April 20, 2013 6:54:02 AM

myowaiwin said:
solved,

thanks to anyone,

the reason the software i used "norton ghost" is very old version, so i don't read ntfs reserved partition, only copying C and D drives, so windows can't boot on clone drive.

i now use easeus disk copy and it copy all 3 partitions, making bootable clones.

thanks to all.


Thanks for the information, myowaiwin. Which versiĆ³n of Norton Ghost are you using to clone Windows 7 ?
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