Windows 10: inconsistant restults cloning / migrating Windows10 system HD

Discus and support inconsistant restults cloning / migrating Windows10 system HD in Windows 10 Support to solve the problem; My machine is a somewhat dated but reliable Dell T5400, having two quad core intel processors, 8 gig of RAM, and is running Windows-10, 64 bit, and I... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Support' started by PeterPan2000, May 1, 2020.

  1. inconsistant restults cloning / migrating Windows10 system HD


    My machine is a somewhat dated but reliable Dell T5400, having two quad core intel processors, 8 gig of RAM, and is running Windows-10, 64 bit, and I like to CLONE my system drive for my primary means of backup.

    I'm aware of other options, but this is what i prefer to do. Having an externally accessible drive "bay" connected to my SATA-1 and my main HD mounted internally as SATA-0 allows me to fairly easily make clones and remove them from the machine, for storage in a safe place. This way if a HD failure happens I can simply shut down, plug in a clone, turn of SATA-0 in the bios, reboot and be back in business. I've been doing this with all versions of windows since the dawn of 32 bit OS. With windows 10 however, I've had very inconsistent results, with multiple clone programs. I always "test" when the program reports a completion with no problems, by re-booting, turning off SATA-0 in the setup/bios and then restarting. Well sometimes it works, but quite often the boot will result in a black screen with nothing but a lower case "j" appearing, and nothing else. This weird behavior, when it happens, is exactly the same regardless of what I use for the clone process. These include.

    1. An old version (2008) of CD based Acronis "Home" using the "Clone Disk" option
    2. A much more recent version (12.5) of Acronis Disk Director (also CD based) also using the Clone Disk option
    3. The "migrate OS" options of "Minitool partition wizard" (which completes the clone after re-booting
    4. Same "Migrate OS" option from the PAID CD-version of Minitool Partition Wizard"

    I know there are other tools, but the fact that the problem happens exactly the same (black screen boot, "j") tells me the tools are likely not at fault. Plus, all the above tools allow you to clone from larger to smaller capacity disks or vise-versa, as long as it can verify the target disk has sufficient space. In all but the 3rd item, I am making my clone "offline", meaning I'm booting into a CD, so there's no chance of a "disk in use" issue. (That's why the free version of minitool" needs a re-boot to complete the actual clone work.)

    The disks that "fail" to boot as expected always show the "expected" "reserved" partition (usually no letter assigned, just * ). along with the actual system disk. I can verify this by wiping the disk before attempting a clone. Same result. Further checking with various tools show no disk read errors. Where the options exist (such as in "Minitool" versions) I have tried both the option to force partitions to begin on 1Megabyte boundaries (apparently helpful with SSDs) and I've also tried without adding these "unassigned" gaps.

    I do know the old version of acronis (1st item) does not let me clone to a 2-terabyte disk, but I'll grant that it is an old tool. The newer acronis (disk director) has no such problem, and yet can produce the same crazy result. Besides, most of my system clones are in the 1-terabyte or 500gig range where there's never been a problem. The only really mysterious clue I have so far is that the last time I cloned and ran into this problem, after about 4 different attempts with different tools and the same result, I tried putting the failed clone on SATA-1 over to SATA-0, and it booted fine. Ah-ha! I thought! So... problem with SATA-1? I don't think so because (a) if the put the former (source) disk on SATA-1 and disable SATA-0 in the bios and boot, no problem there either!!! OK, so bad SATA cable? Nope... the whole process has failed similarly with different cables on different SATA ports. And the most confusing kicker of all is that when I then switch the so-called "failed" clone (the one that booted to a back scree with a "j") back to SATA1, turn off SATA-0 in the bios and boot, NOW IT WORKS!!

    You would think something like this would be easy enough to "narrow down", but after having happen (and waste 1/2 a day each time) whenever I decide its "clone" time, I have not figured out any rhyme or sensible reason for what is going one here. I'm thinking whatever is going on here has SOMETHING to do with the need for win-10 to have separate "reserved" and "system" partitions, because this NEVER happened with win-XP clones I've tried on this same machine. And obviously the clone/test process is very time consuming, so its difficult to try 50 variations to try to pinpoint the problematic step, or mysterious resolution after a few swaps of SATA position.

    So has ANYONE else had a similar experience and discovered the reason? Anyone else boot into a mysterious "j" on a black screen when testing a clone? Could it be that my Dell BIOS is "remembering" something about a drive that has just been cloned to, and is mistakenly mis-directing the boot process to a wrong area? Maybe multiple power-ups after switching the drives around is causing the BIOS to properly "clear' and re-map the drive layout? Just grasping at straws here!

    :)
     
    PeterPan2000, May 1, 2020
    #1
  2. Don1600 Win User

    Cloning/migrating OS to new HD

    Having difficulty Installing new HD. Can Win10 (32b) be cloned/migrated from MSR to GPT? If so how? I have read it cannot.
     
    Don1600, May 1, 2020
    #2
  3. Don1600 Win User
    Cloning/migrating OS to new HD

    Andre,

    Switched to Legacy, didn't help.

    Trying to add 1 TB HD. Currently have 250 GB.

    New HD is 4096 sectors (GPT), Old is 512 (MSR).

    New is formatted and appears, no errors & active.

    Want to transfer (clone/migrate) win10 to new disk.

    There must be a way w/o purch new OS, I'm sure others have done this.

    Have tried diff softw including microsoft media xfer. read many posts.

    No clues. Error always "incompatible media" (sectors).

    I have read that GPT will only support 64B and cannot run 32B.

    Thanks for your time and comments

    Rgds Don
     
    Don1600, May 1, 2020
    #3
  4. MDxLady13 Win User

    inconsistant restults cloning / migrating Windows10 system HD

    Cloning HD

    Trying to clone HD using Acronis True Image 2015.

    When in the process, requires restart. Restart doesn't finish cloning process, rather it abandons it.

    So, my understanding is that I need to turn secure boot off.

    My BIOS is in legacy mode, and this does NOT provide the option anywhere to turn secure boot off.

    Is there an other way?

    Do I have to use UEFI?

    I need step by step info, I am a novice at this.

    Computer info:

    Dell Inspiron N5010

    Windows 10 Home, 2016

    8 GB RAM

    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU
     
    MDxLady13, May 1, 2020
    #4
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inconsistant restults cloning / migrating Windows10 system HD

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