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I am in the process of upgrading a laptop from a hard disc to SSD. I have imaged the discs via a SATA dock on another PC so they should in theory be identical.

Unfortunately, when I've put in the SSD, it boots up as far as the windows login screen, and accepts the password. But then it says 'Logging off' and throws me back to the login screen.

I'm a bit stuck now. The old hard disc works fine (I'm using the laptop with HDD now) but with the SSD, it won't get past the login screen, even in safe mode. I've tried recovering from the Windows XP CD, and manually expanded the CD copies of the userinit.exe and winlogon.exe but no change in behaviour.

Any other ideas on what to try?

Update - it seemed a borked image was the most likely cause, but I have just finished taking a new image from the HDD, and copying it back onto the SSD, but the new image behaves identically to the last.

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was this originally on a domain or workgroup? was it removed from the domain before imaging if it was? logging on using the builtin admin account? –  Logman Jan 12 '13 at 2:24
    
btw, what app did you use to image the system? –  Logman Jan 12 '13 at 2:31
    
Long ago it was on a domain, but not at the time of the imaging. I use DriveImageXML to image the disc. I've got images of all my PCs done with this tool and done various restores previously. –  asc99c Jan 12 '13 at 19:45
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you might want to check this link out: computing.net/answers/windows-xp/… –  Logman Jan 12 '13 at 22:03
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Awesome! I used chntpw in partition magic, deleted the \DosDevices\C: value, and now I'm now up and running on the SSD. Fancy swapping the comment for an answer so I can accept it? –  asc99c Jan 12 '13 at 22:55
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Delete the \DosDevices\C: key prior to cloning.

  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Mounted Devices
  • Search the list for \DosDevices\
  • Delete the \DosDevices\C: key value

link ...

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Is this a legal copy of Windows?

I have only seen this behaviour on cracked copies - a hardware change has probably caused reactivation to be needed and the activation components are corrupt which is causing Windows to log off straight away.

If this is not a dodgy copy of Windows, I apologise to you!

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It is legal! It's a HP laptop so it came with OEM XP preinstalled. –  asc99c Jan 12 '13 at 19:55
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