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I am tasked to clone an IDE HDD from an industrial computer. The HDD has on it a Windows 2000 and MS-DOS partition. I want to clone the entire disk to another IDE disk of identical size.

The original HDD presents a boot menu prompting for which operation system to use, Win 2000 or MS-DOS.

I removed the source HDD in question from the computer and ran Disk Part => Clean on the target HDD. I have the two hard drives connected via a IDE-USB adapter to a workstation computer via USB.

I decided to use a Clonezilla live USB to clone the source HDD to target. I want a bit-for-bit clone of the source because I don’t want to mess around with bootloaders and whatnot for the two old OSes (Win 2000 and MS-DOS). I was under the impression that Clonezilla did this but I could be wrong, because I ran the disk-to-disk clone in easy mode, went through the clone successfully and was not able to boot the newly cloned HDD in the source computer. Upon attempting to boot the target HDD in the source computer as if it were the source HDD, I get a “could not find boot partition.”

Granted, Clonezilla did prompt to copy over the MBR of source HDD and I did so, but I was hoping that this would be a clean bit-for-bit clone, kind of like how a scanner scans a paper.

What am I doing wrong here? How can I get a clean bit-for-bit clone? Thank you.

  • Pretty sure disk-to-disk should copy the mbr. Have you tried to repair the mbr with a windows install cd? – Darren Feb 22 '17 at 19:11
  • I have not tried to repair the MBR. The source HDD mbr works. If this is a bit-by-bit clone, then shouldn't the target HDD MBR work the same? – user1330287 Feb 22 '17 at 19:19
  • since it is an old computer that probably still uses C/H/S addressing, can you post the geometry as detected by the BIOS for both disks? In case the number of heads or sectors detected is different, there is no way to clone the disk in a way so that both CHS addressing (used by DOS and by some boot managers) and LBA (used by Win2k) don't see a difference... – mihi Feb 22 '17 at 19:34
  • Fortunately, it should usually be possible to ignore the C/H/S, just clone the partition content, and then recreate the partition table and boot sector. And if the IDE disk size is indeed identical (to the sector), you should not have this problem as the geometry will be same. – mihi Feb 22 '17 at 19:35

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