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Restore Fails to Laptop with new HD RRS feed

  • Question

  • I was really excited that my restore was going to work.  Here is the scenario.  My wife's Inspiron 700m laptop's HD is nearly full. So I was going to replace her 40GB with a new 80GB HD.  

    The restore CD and restore process completed to a success screen.  Howerver, on reboot, the comptuer would not boot and gave me the error that windows could not boot to the drive due to a configuration problem.  

    The restore is for Windows XP so I booted into the recovery console and ran fixmbr and fixboot. Both ran successfully but did not correct the boot problem.

    I put the old HD back in the laptop and all is well.  Here is one area that I think could be the problem. The original HD had a recovery partition that windows home server doesn't back up.  So that HD had 2 partitions. 1 was the dell recovery and 2 was the windows OS C: drive.

    On restore to the new HD.  There is only one partition, my backed-up windows, and not the Dell restore partition.  The boot.ini is wrong and call for windows to boot the (2) partion which doesn't exist.  I just edited that file and am going to try so see if that the fix.

    **UPDATE**
    Yes, this fixed the booting issue of new HD.
    Bobby
    Monday, July 2, 2007 2:28 AM

Answers

  • There actually is an option at the very end of the PC Restore wizard, that says "Edit Boot.ini" and you can edit the boot.ini file and point it to the right partition.

     

    This only works with XP installs though. For Vista, the BCD is automatically modified during the restore process.

    Thursday, July 5, 2007 4:34 PM
    Moderator
  • There's a problem with this option too... When I try to save my modified boot.ini I get an error because the one on C: is marked read-only. So close, yet so far...

     

    I spent a day tracking this down, so hopefully this post will help someone else.

     

    To recap, folks, the problem occurs when restoring to a new hard drive. The original drive had a FAT partition first on the disk, followed by the NTFS partition. (Dell, HP and other mfgrs put these little partitions out there because they contain recovery software, utiilities, EISA configs, etc. They don't get a drive letter so you may not know they are there). When I restored onto the new hard disk, the NTFS partition is now partition 1 instead of partition 2. However,  the BOOT.INI that is restored into the root of C: says that the OS is on partition 2 and so XP barfs when it tries to find partition 2 with this error:

     

    Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem.

    Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware.

    Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information.

     

    Like many others (according to the hits I found in this forum), I thought the restore failed, so I did it again, and got the same error. The fact is, the restore was perfectly fine, but the hardware configuration is now different and so the BOOT.INI needs to be changed. As I said above, you cannot fix it from the restore CD because the file is read only & Notepad is too lame to save over a read-only file. (Note to MS: you could make this a bit easier, folks!)

     

    I finally found the solution with a simple floppy. (I think the same this would work with a flash USB drive if you don't have a floppy).

    1. Format the floppy on another working XP system. Don't create a DOS disk. You just want an empty disk.
    2. Copy the files NTLDR and ntdetect.com from the root of C: onto the floppy.(These files are hidden, so you need to set the View properties properly to see them).
    3. Create a BOOT.INI file on the floppy to match your config. If your disk is the first one on the first controller, you probably want this:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    Default= multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Windows XP"

     

    Next, boot your PC from the floppy. NTLDR is the bootstrap loader for XP. Your BOOT.INI is telling it where to find XP, and it should then boot from the freshly restored partition. Once your system starts up, you can fix the BOOT.INI in C: using something better than Notepad. (I used TextPad... a very worthwhile shareware editor). You should then be able to restart normally without the floppy.

     

    This was the 3rd PC I upgraded to a bigger hard drive using WHS restore. The 1st 2 were easy because they didn't have the little phantom partition. This was a pain, but overall it was still a heck of a lot easier than a full rebuild & reinstall of everything. WHS rocks! (I'll really be a happy camper when the data extender corruption bug is fixed and I can use it to its full capabilities.) But the backup/restore alone is worth the price of admission.

     

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 2:35 AM

All replies

  • I had that issue when I restored to a new hard drive using beta 2 I am glad to see there is such an easy fix to the boot issue after restore since I still have 2 home computers with restore partitions on them.
    Monday, July 2, 2007 3:09 AM
  • Although the fix is easy, the target audiance that this product is aimed at wont appreciate it. This should be fixed MS Smile
    Monday, July 2, 2007 11:52 AM
  • There actually is an option at the very end of the PC Restore wizard, that says "Edit Boot.ini" and you can edit the boot.ini file and point it to the right partition.

     

    This only works with XP installs though. For Vista, the BCD is automatically modified during the restore process.

    Thursday, July 5, 2007 4:34 PM
    Moderator
  • There's a problem with this option too... When I try to save my modified boot.ini I get an error because the one on C: is marked read-only. So close, yet so far...

     

    I spent a day tracking this down, so hopefully this post will help someone else.

     

    To recap, folks, the problem occurs when restoring to a new hard drive. The original drive had a FAT partition first on the disk, followed by the NTFS partition. (Dell, HP and other mfgrs put these little partitions out there because they contain recovery software, utiilities, EISA configs, etc. They don't get a drive letter so you may not know they are there). When I restored onto the new hard disk, the NTFS partition is now partition 1 instead of partition 2. However,  the BOOT.INI that is restored into the root of C: says that the OS is on partition 2 and so XP barfs when it tries to find partition 2 with this error:

     

    Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem.

    Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware.

    Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information.

     

    Like many others (according to the hits I found in this forum), I thought the restore failed, so I did it again, and got the same error. The fact is, the restore was perfectly fine, but the hardware configuration is now different and so the BOOT.INI needs to be changed. As I said above, you cannot fix it from the restore CD because the file is read only & Notepad is too lame to save over a read-only file. (Note to MS: you could make this a bit easier, folks!)

     

    I finally found the solution with a simple floppy. (I think the same this would work with a flash USB drive if you don't have a floppy).

    1. Format the floppy on another working XP system. Don't create a DOS disk. You just want an empty disk.
    2. Copy the files NTLDR and ntdetect.com from the root of C: onto the floppy.(These files are hidden, so you need to set the View properties properly to see them).
    3. Create a BOOT.INI file on the floppy to match your config. If your disk is the first one on the first controller, you probably want this:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    Default= multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Windows XP"

     

    Next, boot your PC from the floppy. NTLDR is the bootstrap loader for XP. Your BOOT.INI is telling it where to find XP, and it should then boot from the freshly restored partition. Once your system starts up, you can fix the BOOT.INI in C: using something better than Notepad. (I used TextPad... a very worthwhile shareware editor). You should then be able to restart normally without the floppy.

     

    This was the 3rd PC I upgraded to a bigger hard drive using WHS restore. The 1st 2 were easy because they didn't have the little phantom partition. This was a pain, but overall it was still a heck of a lot easier than a full rebuild & reinstall of everything. WHS rocks! (I'll really be a happy camper when the data extender corruption bug is fixed and I can use it to its full capabilities.) But the backup/restore alone is worth the price of admission.

     

    Sunday, February 24, 2008 2:35 AM
  • I backup up my Thinkpad T60 running Vista Business to the WHS server, which backuped the restore OS partition, Vista system partition and data partition.  I then replaced a new bigger harddisk on the Thinkpad and proceeded to restore all the partitions using the PC recovery disk.  All partitions were restored with no errors.  However, the Thinkpad can't boot.  I tried to repair the boot sector using a Vista installation boot disc which stated that there's no error in the boot sector.  But also failed to solve the Thinkpad boot problem.

     

    Appreciate any help.

     

     

    Saturday, March 8, 2008 4:03 AM
  • Are you sure that the partitions on the new disk are in the same physical order as the old one? Did you look at the old disk using disk manager to view the partition structure?

    If so, what is the error message you get when you try to boot?
    Saturday, March 8, 2008 11:50 AM
  • Hey - same problem here.

    IBM Lenovo T60.

    Yes, I used the Management Console to create the appropriate volumes and recover the partitions to the drive as they were originally.

    (I used another, identical system to verify the order of the partitions.)

    I verified that the partitions were written correctly, but startup just shows a blinking cursor forever.

    I have two home servers in two sites, and they've been nothing but a big headache.

     

    i just can't get over is how nice everyone is, in this forum.

     

    Am I the only one who thinks this product sucks?

     

     

     

     

    Sunday, March 9, 2008 9:30 AM
  • I reported the same problem earlier and had done exactly what you did, using the Management Console to create the appropriate volumes and recovery the partitions from WHS.  The partitions were in their the order of the original disk.

    I managed to recover the system and my data partition doing the following:

    1. Use the Recovery Discs to fully recreate a factory reset condition on the new drive.
    2. Shrink the system volume to allow data partition.
    3. Then restore the system and data partitions only.  Do  not try to restore the recovery partition!

    The steps above worked for my two Thinkpads, X60 and T60.

    Hope this helps.
    Sunday, March 9, 2008 10:13 AM
  • Hey Aerojet

     

    Thanks for replying to me so quickly!

     

    Can you clarify what you mean regarding the system and data partitions?

     

    I only have one big system partition (Primary, NTFS) and a an IBM utility/recovery partition (EISA)

     

    If I understand correctly, I am to:

     

    1.  Re-install the system to it's factory state using the IBM recovery DVDs

    2.  Run the WHS recovery CD to replace the system partition with my backed up partition.

     

    Is that correct?

     

    Thanks again

    Sunday, March 9, 2008 10:37 AM
  • Sunday, March 9, 2008 3:22 PM
  • I divided the disk into system partition (containing the operating OS i.e Vista) and another partition that contains all my data.  I do this in case I have to use a utility like TrueImage to back up the OS image to the data partition and also saves me the trouble of copying individual folders to offline backup storage.

    In your case, you need only to restore your big system partition.  Please do not restore the IBM utility/recovery partition from WHS.  If you do so, the Thinkpad will not boot.

    Hope this helps.

    aerojet
    Sunday, March 9, 2008 3:30 PM
  • I just experienced this problem on a Dell with an extra partition, but I did not experience the problem of being unable to edit the boot.ini file.

     

    I had already started the restore process a 2nd time when I went online and found I needed to edit the boot.ini file (The Mrs. had rebooted the computer at the end of the restore so I never saw the button the first time).

     

    The button was labeled "Review" (not edit) boot.ini.

     

    The file opened in notepad.

     

    Because some folks said they couldn't save the file... I tried a save as, but in the save as dialog the new harddrive was not available.  So I went back into notepad... changed the (2) in both places to (1).. and clicked the save button. (I figured if it didn't work it would only take 30 seconds of time to try).

     

    To check the save, I closed notepad, and reopened the ini file by clicking the review button once more.  SUCCESS.  The file displayed had my changes recorded in it.  so with great hope, I clicked close and then the restart button.

     

    Windows XP Home booted succesfully a few minutes later.

     

    Just FYI that sometimes and in some configuration the 'Review' button will fix the problem.

     

    Kevin

     

    Friday, July 18, 2008 1:33 AM
  • Thanks all for posting this tip, I was hitting the same thing and pulling my hair out, problem now resolved and restore went flawlessly otherwise.

    Sunday, July 27, 2008 6:12 PM
  • Tom

     

    It would be really useful if some of the advice on editing boot.ini, found its way on to the help files on the restore CD. I had this problem over the weekend and while I saw the option to edit the boot.ini file, I needed a clue as to why and how. [I got passed the problem by reinstalling windows on the new HD and then restoring the backup over that.]

     

    Cheers

     

     

    Paul

    Monday, August 18, 2008 12:00 PM
  • I tryed this option will not get you anywere due to the file being write protected (read-only). So much for this being a painless process! Do you know any way to fix this problem with out getting a UBCD or reinstalling xp-MCE and restoring?

    Friday, August 22, 2008 2:42 AM
  • I too need advice.

    Although I have managed to get around the BOOT.INI "problem" by doing an in-place repair-install instead of modifying the boot.ini.  Funnily enough the REVIEW Boot.ini at the end of the system restore had the correct settings but it would not boot.

    However, the issue I have is this:

    On my original backed up partitons, this was the configration:

    Disk 1 (Raid 0 on a PCI card)
    Partition 1  C: WINXP **
    Partition 2  S: SWAP
    Partition 3  P:PROGRAMS  **
    Partition 4  F:PERSONAL  **
    Partition 5  H: EXTRA
    Partition 6  E: GAMES
    Partition 7  T: BOOTMAGIC (FAT)

    Disk 2  (MOTHERBOARD PRIMARY)
    Partition 1 D:DOWNLOADS

    Disk 3 (MOTHERBOARD SECONDARY)
    Partition 1 G:BACKUP

    Only the ** are backed up to the server

    My C: drive developed disk errors so I decide to wipe D and restore to that physical drivebut replicating the partitions as on the Raid Disk 1 (C: S: P: F: K: E: T:)

    When I do the retore I make sure each partition is properly identified with respect to the drive letters on the primary and logical partitions. I set the Disk 2 to be active using Partition Magic. 

    However, I had configured XP to store my userprofile (documents and USER.DAT) on the F: Partition.  I have a suspicion that as the new restored system boots it reassigns the sequence of drive letters and as a result I just get to a blue logon screen but with no logon dialogue and I am unable to get any further.   I am stumped.  Any clever suggestions anyone?

    Thanks

    • Edited by BobC_01 Saturday, November 8, 2008 8:24 PM
    Saturday, November 8, 2008 8:20 PM
  • Hello,
    restoring to a different disk functions, but is not a supported process.
    The restored system with the fixed boot ini may have run into boot problems due to different drivers needed for the RAID array and for the single disk. Here the OS usually react harsh with a nice annoying BSOD.

    And as you mention, Windows XP can mix up the drive letters, even more, if you perform a repair install.
    Your situation is described in http://support.microsoft.com/kb/223188/
    To try the described fixes you can use a Vista CD with it's repair environment (command prompt) or a BartPE disk and rund regedit from there, loading the registry hive of the installed Windows manually.
    Maybe it would have been better, if you would perform the restore to the disk mentioned and boot XP without the RAID disks physically connected at the first boot.
    Even more, if you have to perform a repair installation.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Saturday, November 8, 2008 10:05 PM
    Moderator
  • Would Windows Home Server Be better for storing user states.  You could also use the imagex tool to make a wim then apply the wim to the drive if its fails.  Also you could store cd/dvd restore disk .iso images to the drive.  Many new computers have EISA recovery partition for complete restore.  Then you install applications back restore backup individual files and load user state back to the drive.  The factory base image restore is full proof and easier for novice users then they just copy individual files.  I don't think the novice is going to mess with boot ini or bcd.  Also if something goes wrong you loose all the freebies installed with the system like the dvd software microsoft works and other stuff thats not available for download from manufacturers site.   Complete PC backup of vista would not mess up like this because you can include the recovery partition so ultimate users would just need to map a share for complete pc backup and do the restore from the share using vista dvd.
    Saturday, April 18, 2009 2:52 AM