Cloning a Boot Disk RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello, Presently, I am using a 74gb HDD with a fresh install of WHS (prior version - using a P4 system board).  The existing boot disk has no issues. For backup purposed, I purchased a 160gb HDD (new).  I used Acronis Home Edition to clone the existing 74gb HDD onto the new 160gb drive along with all existing partitions.  After the clone finished (no errors), I unplugged the 74gb and plugged the 160gb HDD. When I boot with only the 160gb drive (recently cloned) gives a bunch of cricital issues, such as backup service not started.  When I unplugged the 160gb and plugged the 74gb back, it booted w/o any issues.  Doing a re-cloning of the existing boot disk (Acronis) yeilds the same error. I do not want the second disk on-line (unplugged), it will only be used if the current boot disk fails. I know any updates would not be on the other drive unless I plug and perform the necessary updates.

    Do I have to perform a fresh install onto the 160gb HDD instead of performing a clone again (via Acronis) ?

    Any assistance would be appreciated.



    Wednesday, May 18, 2011 9:25 PM

All replies

  • Since a clone of the boot drive is not supported in WHS, there is a somewhat involved process that can be used as a workaround.  There is a very detailed and informative post on the MediaSmart Server Net Forums.  Follow this link: http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6826

    This does actually work, but you must pay very close attention to all the details and steps.  I would suggest doing a dry run of all the steps to make sure you understand them and know what to expect at each step.  Be advised you will need to remove your WHS boot disk and "operate" on it in another machine that is running version 6 or later of diskpart.  So that means the workstation you will use to "operate" on your harddrive must be at least running Windows Vista or Windows 7.  I hope this helps you with your problem.

    As always, perplexed by Windows
    Sunday, May 22, 2011 2:36 AM
  • I have another idea, plz let me know what you think when possible.  What if I switch to the new drive and then perform a install of the WHS OS, and all the updates ?  Then install all the apps if necessary.  Might sound time consuming, but might be more reliable or safer then the method suggested.  Once again, I am not an expect it is just a suggestion. 

    Please let me know your thoughts,


    Tuesday, May 24, 2011 1:23 PM
  • That would work but I am not sure what you are trying to achieve as anything you do now could be repeated if your primary HDD fails in the future. If you have data disks they will unfortunately be formatted if you complete a new install - it's only if you are offered a server reinstall at boot will existing data be safe. It may be that the installation boot disk sees the clone as a prevous install and will offer you the reinstall option Proceed with caution and I would suggest backing up your important data somewhere else before you try experimenting.
    Tuesday, May 24, 2011 1:31 PM
  • You are correct in stating that what ever I can do now can be done later.  The reason for this exercise is the following, being this is my home built system (new), there is no data on the SATA Raid.  It is a brand new Raid set with no data.  I was attemping to create an exact dup. of the existing system disk so in the case of a system disk failure, I can install the 2nd copy without installation any software (-minus any updates of course).  I believe, I can add the Raid pool to the new system disk I created (correct me if I am incorrect).  I can also switch system disks, by switching the IDE cables.  The system disk is a clean installation as there is no data on the pool.  After adding the pool to the new disk, I should be able to switch system disks (IDE) w/o any issues.  Once again, if I am incorrect about something, plz let me know..........THank you.


    Wednesday, May 25, 2011 4:51 PM
  • I am not sure if that would work but I agree now (when you have no stored data) is the best time to experiment. You have nothing to loose at this stage so I suggest you go ahead and post the results here as it may help others in the future.
    Wednesday, May 25, 2011 5:36 PM