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Macrium Reflect; clone won't boot.

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#1
Ste

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Hi, after replacing my main board and processor I am having difficulty in successfully cloning a drive that boots.

I like to have a clone of the OS in case a disaster occurs and before my main board died, I had no trouble using 'Macrium Reflect'. I simply cloned the OS from one SSD drive to another the same size and it would boot no problem.

Now after having trouble booting normally (for other reasons) and so having to re-flash the BIOS I find the cloned drive won’t boot. Having said that I have managed to get it to boot after using the windows (10 pro) installation pen drive and using the bootrec /FixMbr - /Fixboot – Rebuild Bcd command prompts. Not sure which caused it to work but it then booted.

 

The problem is when I tried to boot from the original drive it would not boot from it.

 

It seems apparent that it is not recognising the clone as being the same. To me, that means it is not a perfect clone or other info, not cloned, is not being recognised. (This is my guess).

I don’t know what is the norm but when I hear someone in a video talking about choosing the correct disk in the BIOS they refer to the disk with the OS on it, were I have to choose Windows Boot Manager for ‘it’ to choose the correct drive. Not sure if that is normal or not. Help.

 


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#2
SleepyDude

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Hi,

 

Usually when the BIOS is flashed it reverts to the default configuration and that could result in a failed boot when restoring a image backup or disk clone in your case.

 

Revise the BIOS/UEFI settings, things like SATA disk controller mode (AHCI, RAID, etc.) and the options for UEFI boot or CSM, Secure boot ON/OFF must match the same settings when you did the disk clone.


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#3
Ste

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Hi, thanks for the reply. I think I should clarify the order of events. I had trouble booting normally after using ‘Puppy Linux’ to rescue files from previous drives that I could not access after replacing the main board and OS (with the same model of MB & CPU).

 

The file rescue was successful but for some reason the system wouldn’t boot after that so I eventually re-flashed the BIOS. The system would then boot and when everything seemed fine, I cloned the OS, but that would not boot.

 

 So, what I am saying is that no changes have been made to the system from cloning and then testing the clone. Though I don’t know what the best BIOS settings for my system are, they are the same for the original which worked, as they were for the clone.

 

There is something else I noticed (please see image), after performing a full clean and then format of the drive to be cloned to, the 1st partition was still visible in disk management. (labelled 16mb Unformatted primary).

I am including the image in order to ask if it looks normal to you, as there seems to be more partitions than I remember from previous clones.

 

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#4
SleepyDude

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Hi,

 

Thanks for the extra information. Its strange the clone process result on a different partition layout!

 

The image is small and I couldn't see the details! both drives have the same size?

 

 

Did you do the clone using the Macrium Reflect boot disk or from Windows running normally?

 

Unless your intention is to have the hard drive ready to replace a problematic drive and boot immediately I don't think the clone option is the best backup choice.


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#5
Ste

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Hi, I’m not sure how you are reading the image but the OS is the only relevant drive here i.e. the one I am using at the moment. The other drives are just for files. The alternative drive to clone to is the same size as the one in use, both are SSD’s.

I cloned the drive from Windows running normally as I have always done. I didn’t know there was a Macrium Reflect boot disk or how to get it. Do you think that would be a better method?

 

The reason for cloning is that I do like to have a copy of the OS so I can swap them quickly, re-clone the faulty drive and pick up where I left off, always having a usable drive to fall back on. I suppose it does seem a bit archaic but it is something I turned to some years ago after having little success with other methods of backup. I don’t reject alternative methods which have probably improved since then but I would still like to solve this problem.

 

I will probably try another clone when I get time.


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#6
SleepyDude

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Hi, I’m not sure how you are reading the image but the OS is the only relevant drive here i.e. the one I am using at the moment. The other drives are just for files. The alternative drive to clone to is the same size as the one in use, both are SSD’s.

 

Most likely the forum software adjusted the image size when you attached the image, I can't read the partition information at all. Maybe if you upload the image to a image sharing site like https://imgbb.com/I can see the full size image...

 

I cloned the drive from Windows running normally as I have always done. I didn’t know there was a Macrium Reflect boot disk or how to get it. Do you think that would be a better method?
 
The reason for cloning is that I do like to have a copy of the OS so I can swap them quickly, re-clone the faulty drive and pick up where I left off, always having a usable drive to fall back on. I suppose it does seem a bit archaic but it is something I turned to some years ago after having little success with other methods of backup. I don’t reject alternative methods which have probably improved since then but I would still like to solve this problem.
 
I will probably try another clone when I get time.

 

When you do the cloning inside Windows the OS will see all the partitions and to avoid conflicts the software must change things like signatures, drive letters etc. to avoid conflicts... cloning using the Rescue Disk created by the program avoids the conflicts because windows will not know about the cloned partitions, some cloning software will ask if you want to "hide/change" the partitions on the source disk to avoild all the problem that could result if the OS boots with access to both drives the original and clone.

 

I understand your thinking but the option of Image Backups is a better backup method because you can store several backups to an external drive and restore them when you need. Suppose that you find something is wrong with the system because of some change that you did 2 months ago and now you only have the clone that you did last month, the clone already have the problem that you notice now, the only solution would be find a way to solve the problem or start all over again!

 

Restoring a Image Backup is very fast, specially for SSD drives and the software will do all the needed adjustments to make the system boot no matter if the destination is a new SSD that is empty or not.


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#7
Ste

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Hi, well I've been having fun trying to get back to normal. First of all, I did a backup to an external drive ‘using Macrium Reflect’ inside Windows. I then decided to try a clone using the Macrium Reflect rescue disk. I saw that this was going to take a long time as it didn’t move to 1% after about 5mins so I cancelled it with the intention of doing it later in the day.

 

After this I tried to reboot the system but it would not boot.

 

The messages I received, can’t remember the wording, suggested that there was no boot record. I tried to sort the problem out with the windows installation pen drive once again but it still would not boot. Looking in the BIOS I saw that the windows boot manager had disappeared.

 

 

 

 

I then used the disk again in order to access the backup I had done previously. After some time, it completed but the system still wouldn’t’ boot.

 

 

 

 

I tried numerous times to fix the problem using the disk and the Windows pen drive trying both my system drives, (i.e. my original SSD and the last attempt at cloning it, also same size SSD).

 

I can only say it was as much luck as good management that one of them eventually booted and I have since used the online ‘restore health’ check to verify the system files.

 

 

 

 

Since the system has been up and running, I have done another backup to an external drive using Macrium Reflect from within Windows.

 

I am concerned now about using the Macrium Reflect disk again and even changing drives, as the boot record seems vulnerable.

 

 

I also considered flashing the BIOS again but rather than seeing the option to do so there seemed to be other options which I didn’t understand.

 

Not sure where to go from here as I can’t be sure that the backup/s I do will boot. Is there a way check without risk or to protect the BIOS?


Edited by Ste, 17 August 2020 - 04:27 AM.

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#8
SleepyDude

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Hi,

 

I find it strange that the backup using the Rescue Disk performs slower than on Windows when everything is active the backup process can be affected by what is running!

 

The new cloning result on a different disk layout?

 

When the cloned disk doesn't boot you can boot from the Macrium Rescue Disk and inside use a wizard that is prepared exactly to fix boot problems.

https://knowledgebas...s boot problems


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#9
Ste

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Yes, none of the problems I have had seem to be logical. I used the rescue disk a few times previous to my last efforts and it worked, but the more recent attempts showed the Windows OS but then the next part showed nothing. Sorry, should have written down what it said but it seemed it had nothing to reference.

 

I think I’ll probably try another clone sometime after doing a new backup but it takes up a lot of time when the boot manager disappears and I don’t exactly know how I got it back, as sometimes the bootrec /FixMbr and /Fixboot command prompts worked and sometimes not, even though it said they were successfully created.

 

I wonder if the crux of the problem is something to do with installing my original drive to the new main board and processor. Perhaps some slight difference somewhere; just guessing. It does suggest though that if the problem is ongoing I may be as well to consider a new Windows installation.

 

Maybe I should leave it at that for now and hope its in a better mood next time I try it.


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#10
SleepyDude

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Hi,

 

Was the Rescue Disk created after the main board and processor upgrade/change? if not I suggest you recreate the disk just in case something need to be adjusted for the new hardware...


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#11
Ste

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Hi, yes the rescue disk was created after the change over. When I mentioned it had previously worked successfully I was referring to other attempts at booting up which had worked but did not remain working due to new attempts at cloning.


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