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Why is my backup idea not working?

Last response: in Windows 7
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July 9, 2012 7:12:36 PM

I have a 240GB SSD as my C:\ drive, running Windows 7 and programs. Then I had what I thought was a brainwave. I bought another 240GB SSD and cloned C:\ to it with DriveImage XML. Now I thought, if my C:\ drive fails, I just have to hook up the clone and I'm back in business. Well, I just tested it, and it doesn't work. The clone won't boot. I've changed the boot order, but no dice - all I get is an error message about NTLDR being missing. Why doesn't this simple idea work - can anyone help? Thanks in advance.

More about : backup idea working

a b $ Windows 7
July 9, 2012 7:19:39 PM

I suspect that the clone did not operate properly, formatting and copying the recovery pertition.

If it is an Intel ssd, download their intel ssd migration tool. I know that works.
It is a modification of Acronis true image clone program.

Acronis has a 30 day free trial offer that you could try using.

One other thought, try disconnecting the original ssd before booting the recovery ssd.

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a b $ Windows 7
July 9, 2012 7:25:47 PM

Thinking a bit more about this, it seems like a waste of an expensive ssd.
One problem with a clone is that it is accurate only on the day it was cloned.
Disaster recovery later will restore an out of date image.

Might it not be better to use software, like windows backup to do an image copy to some device, and follow it up with incremental updates on a schedule that is appropriate? At disaster recovery time, boot from your windows dvd and do a recovery.
The backups will be compressed, taking up much less space than the original.
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July 9, 2012 8:04:18 PM

geofelt, thanks for such a swift reply. Yes, I know that the clone is out of date - that's why I want it. I want to return to a system that doesn't have my present problem - an inability to reinstall Paint Shop Pro X2. Since it stopped working, I've been tearing my hair out for two days trying to reinstall it, and had no luck. But the clone already has a working copy of the program, so I'd willingly give up any more recent changes for that alone. (I use PSP A LOT.) Secondly, I did remove the original C:\ drive SSD - I simply connected the cloned SSD with the same cables, which, it seemed to my untutored mind, would create a "new" C: drive as it was a month ago.

So far as I know - which isn't far! - I chose the option in DriveImage XML that would give me a copy identical in all respects to the original C:\ drive. But clearly I must have missed something.

Since posting, I have run EasyBCD. I chose the clone as the second boot option, even though it is in a USB 2 caddy, because EasyBCD says: "Boot anything - Boot both from and into USB drives, ISO images, virtual disks, and more." I took that literally, and chose the clone on the boot screen. I got a brief message that Windows was starting up, then just a flash of a BSD, which was far too quick to read, and the machine rebooted - at which point I had no option but to choose the original C:\ drive.

So would you agree that it seems I'm lumbered? I have a working copy of a vital program on a drive I can't boot from. Meanwhile, on the drive that will boot, I can't reinstall the wretched program (a paid-for, boxed copy, I might add).
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July 9, 2012 8:05:56 PM

No, the two drives are not identical, except in size, and neither is an Intel drive. The original is a Corsair and the clone is from OCZ. So the Intel tool wouldn't work, I guess.
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July 9, 2012 8:13:09 PM

Sounds like you copied just the C:\ partition. That won't contain your bootloader (ntldr) unless you did some major tweaking to the drive after installing Windows.

The C: partition is not enough to boot. It contains all the necessary Windows files to run the operating system, but not the files the motherboard needs to figure out how to start things up. It's like having a car, but no key.

The good news is, you can fix this problem and get your backup booting. The bad news is, none of these are very simple. Here's a link to get you started.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392
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a b $ Windows 7
July 9, 2012 10:56:56 PM

Can you do a system restore to a previous point?
control panel/system/system protection/system restore
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July 10, 2012 7:19:03 AM

willard said:
Sounds like you copied just the C:\ partition. That won't contain your bootloader (ntldr) unless you did some major tweaking to the drive after installing Windows.

The C: partition is not enough to boot. It contains all the necessary Windows files to run the operating system, but not the files the motherboard needs to figure out how to start things up. It's like having a car, but no key.

The good news is, you can fix this problem and get your backup booting. The bad news is, none of these are very simple. Here's a link to get you started.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392


Thank you VERY much. I'll give it a go and report back.
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July 10, 2012 7:41:01 AM

If you want a cloned drive google clonezilla. Download and burn an iso. Use the device to device option. This will make a proper clone of your drive including the bootloader
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a b $ Windows 7
July 10, 2012 7:41:38 AM

I'm with Willard on this one, One way around this would be to have a second drive and actually install a second OS onto it. Then you can select which drive to boot at post. So if the first drive dies you can select the second one. You would of course need to either elect to keep it as a clean start or update programs across to it on a regular basis.

Mactronix :) 
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July 10, 2012 7:50:43 AM

To geofelt and Outlander_04:

Yes, I have already tried System Restore - to three different points. The restore was unsuccessful in all cases. Also, by that time I had uninstalled PSP, so it wouldn't have got the program working.

To tranzz:

I have DriveImage XML, whicih has a good rep. I just couldn't have used it right.

To mactronix:

That was my whole idea - to have a second drive, even if slightly out of date, as an easy backup route.

However, I am going to try Willard's suggestion to get my clone working, and will report back.

BTW, I tried replying to people individually, and it won't work. When I press "Submit", nothing happens.
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August 3, 2012 10:25:03 AM

First of all, my apologies for taking so long to get back. Family problems.

May I thank everyone who has contributed to this thread? I've been given some invaluable free advice, especially about bootrec.exe, which I had never heard of. However, I didn't have the nerve to try it, and found another way around my problem. In the end, I decided to cut my losses. I gave up trying to reinstall PSP X2, bit the bullet and bought X4. That now works fine, and I'm very happy with it.

But I have one remaining question. What was I doing wrong? I still want to create a cloned drive identical in all respects to C:\, including MBR and so on, that could be simply slotted in if my current SSD won't start. There is a "raw mode" in DriveImageXML - should I have used that?

Thanks again to all who tried to help - sincerely.
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a c 228 $ Windows 7
August 3, 2012 12:13:30 PM

When you initially installed the OS, was the SSD the only drive attached to the system? If not, then that is most likely your problem as windows will attempt to put the boot loader on one drive and the OS onto the drive you chose to install to. Now when you clone the C drive you only get the OS. The boot loader is on a different drive.

To prevent this, whenever installing a windows OS, make sure only the install drive is the only drive attached to the system. This will prevent many headaches down the road.
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August 4, 2012 8:54:27 AM

Thank you, Hawkeye. I will try that next time,
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