Windows 7 refuses to boot from SSD after drive clone?

GipsyD

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Jan 10, 2019
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Not sure if this is the right thread or not, so here goes nothing. If this is the wrong thread, could some please point in the right direction for assistance, as this is pretty urgent.

Let's start...

One of our central servers was starting to give up the ghost about 10 months ago, and started to throw a wide array of issues on a daily issue, as well as sometimes crashing multiple times during a single day. Very recently (2 days now), the server has become unusable, and operation are extremely slow, to the point where the system outright crashes on a mouse click. Now, Windows gives us a drive failure warning everytime the server restarts after a shutdown, as well as on the desktop, saying that we should backup our files in the event of total drive failure.

The server it's currently in has a Core 2 Quad QX9650, 16GB DDR3 1066 MHz ECC, a GTX 550 Ti and a 320GB Serial HDD (80 pin). I know, this hardware is pretty old and outdated, but all things considered, it still does the job pretty well. Now this server houses our central Pastel Server for all of our companies, so you would imagine that this server is pretty important to our daily operations, hence the urgency of this thread.

We decided to clone this drive, while it still works. to a cheap ADATA 120GB SSD, with the intent of using that primarily as the boot drive of the server. The clone process was a success (so I am told), with the HDD being successfully cloned to the SSD. But when we install the SSD into the Server again, it refuses to boot into Windows. instead getting to the Boot Screen of the OS and then BSODing almost immediately.

My department and I researched this issue for 3 days straight, trying various methods found online to try and remedy the situation, but all tried have yielded the same result, a brief BSOD before restarting. So far, we have tried to rebuild the Master Boot Record using CMD from a recovery disk, as well as dumping the old Boot Record and rebuilding a new Boot Record, but that didn't do anything. We then changed the SATA Configuration in the BIOS from Conventional RAID to AHCI Mode in the hopes it might boot, but nothing again. We then tried Boot-logging the startup sequence of the Server to see where the break is, and where the file is missing, but instead this produces a blank text file called Recovery.txt.

Now this server has been infected before with viruses originating from my COO's terminal, infecting close to 80% of our network, including our servers, this being one of them. We did clean up as best we could, installing web sifting and security servers as well as various anti viruses programs onto our terminals, but we all know that the best way to get rid of a virus infection is to backup and reinstall the OS. The top brass, at the time, refused to format the hard drives and reinstall the OSes even after we insisted, instead telling us to Damage Control as best we could. Safe Mode does not even work, this being the very first thing that we tried when troubleshooting this issue.

Is there any fixes out there that can help us get this server to at least boot again into Windows? Anything at all?

Thanks for viewing!

Please don't hesitate to ask me any more questions regarding this situation, a solution is needed ASAP.
 

Arthur

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Are you using the SSD in the same system as the duff disk, or in dissimilar hardware?

If dissimilar hardware, a common issue with cloned Windows not booting is the incompatible installed storage driver in the cloned OS.

This is a low-level driver (not plug 'n play) below the NT Executive and HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer). If incorrect, Windows won't find the storage after IML and a boot failure follows.

What cloning tool did you use? Does it have a Universal Restore feature to slipstream in the correct storage controller driver? Is the SID correctly managed?
 

Arthur

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Btw, don't ever boot your Windows machine with two primary active (boot) partitions. Always remove either the original or the clone before even one boot. Reason: On initialising, Windows checks the partition structure of all installed storage. If it find two boot partitions it will use the first one enumerated in BIOS and mark any others as inactive, so they can't be used to boot later, even if they're the only boot ptn.
 

agentrfr

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First backup the MBR from the original hard drive to the target (either write the MBR to the new drive as below, or simply write it raw to a new file). Then copy partitions byte for byte.

On a linux bash terminal from primary hard drive (sda) to a second target drive(sdb):

dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=512 count=1

Now you can copy the partitions over. Clonezilla is fantastic for this. Simply run it in beginner mode and copy partition for partition. Since the MBR from the host and the target are identical, you dont need to worry about sizing etc.

This *should* work unless there is a driver error somewhere using the new drive

Buut, backup the MBR somewhere please. That will save a lot of headache if someone needs to work on it proper if it gets /is proper broken.
 

ArtyLoop

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Dec 18, 2017
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First backup the MBR from the original hard drive to the target (either write the MBR to the new drive as below, or simply write it raw to a new file). Then copy partitions byte for byte.

On a linux bash terminal from primary hard drive (sda) to a second target drive(sdb):

dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=512 count=1

Now you can copy the partitions over. Clonezilla is fantastic for this. Simply run it in beginner mode and copy partition for partition. Since the MBR from the host and the target are identical, you dont need to worry about sizing etc.

This *should* work unless there is a driver error somewhere using the new drive

Buut, backup the MBR somewhere please. That will save a lot of headache if someone needs to work on it proper if it gets /is proper broken.
This... Absolutely this.
I remember having to do something like this to get the sucker to boot.
 

quovadis

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3,068
The server it's currently in has a Core 2 Quad QX9650, 16GB DDR3 1066 MHz ECC, a GTX 550 Ti and a 320GB Serial HDD (80 pin).
80pin Serial HDD? You mean it's a 320GB SCSI or IDE (PATA) drive which you're cloning to a 120GB SATA drive? Is the "server" booting via UEFI / Secure Boot / BIOS?
 

GipsyD

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Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
97
Have you changed the SATA mode to IDE?
Went into the BIOS and had a look at the boot options, the only options available is to boot via a RAID Volume, either through ATA or AHCI, or through the integrated network card.

Default is RAID Volume, but switched to AHCI Mode in the hopes of getting it to boot
 

GipsyD

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Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
97
Are you using the SSD in the same system as the duff disk, or in dissimilar hardware?

If dissimilar hardware, a common issue with cloned Windows not booting is the incompatible installed storage driver in the cloned OS.

This is a low-level driver (not plug 'n play) below the NT Executive and HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer). If incorrect, Windows won't find the storage after IML and a boot failure follows.

What cloning tool did you use? Does it have a Universal Restore feature to slipstream in the correct storage controller driver? Is the SID correctly managed?
We used EaseUS ToDo Backup to clone the disk to the SSD. As for the Universal Restore feature, I don't think this server has that feature. From what I can tell when running the Recovery and Repair tools, the SID is correct, in that the drive is marked as the default C: Drive.
 

GipsyD

Active Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
97
First backup the MBR from the original hard drive to the target (either write the MBR to the new drive as below, or simply write it raw to a new file). Then copy partitions byte for byte.

On a linux bash terminal from primary hard drive (sda) to a second target drive(sdb):

dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=512 count=1

Now you can copy the partitions over. Clonezilla is fantastic for this. Simply run it in beginner mode and copy partition for partition. Since the MBR from the host and the target are identical, you dont need to worry about sizing etc.

This *should* work unless there is a driver error somewhere using the new drive

Buut, backup the MBR somewhere please. That will save a lot of headache if someone needs to work on it proper if it gets /is proper broken.
I know what you mean, I did get it to boot temporarily when in AHCI mode, but it kept crashing to a black error screen saying that the BCD File was either corrupted or missing, so I rebuilt the BCD file and rebooted, only for winload.exe not to be found in the system32 folder.

As for Clonezilla, I might just start again from scratch. This is becoming too much of a issue now.
 

GipsyD

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Jan 10, 2019
Messages
97
80pin Serial HDD? You mean it's a 320GB SCSI or IDE (PATA) drive which you're cloning to a 120GB SATA drive? Is the "server" booting via UEFI / Secure Boot / BIOS?
That is correct, I'm trying to clone the drive to an SSD. As for the type of the drive that is, it is a normal IDE (PATA) Hard drive, not a SCSI drive.
 

Rickster

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@GipsyD I suggest copying over all you sage DB's and essential documents and clean install windows.

You could have been up and running by now.
 

Lord Farquart

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You mention Windows 7 in the thread title, but the thread is about a server????

Anyway, my experience is, many a time I got told the clone process was OK, where infact I screwed up something. Only believe the clone process was OK if the clone works. Untill then it was not. So go clone again.
 

GipsyD

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Jan 10, 2019
Messages
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@GipsyD I suggest copying over all you sage DB's and essential documents and clean install windows.

You could have been up and running by now.
I know, I know. I am so tempted to do that, it's not even funny. The only issue that I face when doing this is facing grief from my superiors, who said that we must not format the hard drives under any circumstances, thus effectively throwing that option straight out of the window (no pun intended)

I think that the reason for not formatting the hard drives is the loss of work, even though we have multiple backups. It is at least a decades worth of work after all, so I would understand their fears
 

GipsyD

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Jan 10, 2019
Messages
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Do let me know if ever that QX9650 comes up for sale.
LOL. No chance of that happening. That CPU is like gold to us. Mainly because it's closest thing we can get to a Xeon on this platform without overclocking anything.
 
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