I have cloned a hard drive to an SSD using Clonezilla. Both drives were of identical size, and the process appears to have worked successfully.

I can boot into Windows 10 from the SSD without any apparent issues, however the other disk (the original source drive) is offline. Computer Management's Storage section displays the following tooltip for the offline disk:

Offline (The disk is offline because it has a signature collision with another disk that is online)

I've done some reading into this, and it looks like this disk signature is something that is stored in the "Master Boot Record" of the disk, and is also referenced by Windows in its "Boot Configuration Database", and the exact copy of the disk done by Clonezilla has also duplicated the disk signature.

Is the SSD okay considering it's had its disk signature replaced with that of the old disk? Research suggests that it should be fine, and indeed that the destination ssd's drive signature would need to have been changed in order for me to boot from the cloned Windows installation, but because I lack knowledge in this area, I am uncertain whether or not this assumption is correct.

Also, just in case I want to boot from the old disk, but still see the SSD in Windows (and vice versa), what would be the best way to go about updating the disk signature of either the old hard drive or the new SSD (so that I can boot from either drive and also be able to see both drives no matter which one I choose to boot from)?

I did try and do some research on this, and had a look at an article (https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/markrussinovich/2011/11/06/fixing-disk-signature-collisions/) regarding this issue, but it's not clear in the article (where it talks about restoring the Disk Signature) whether they're talking about somehow magically restoring original Disk Signature of the destination drive to what it was before it got replaced in the cloning process, or if they're talking about generating a new Disk Signature with Windows (by bringing it online) and then using BCDEdit to update the Windows BCD on the old disk.

  • Yes; It's fine; Don't attempt to boot with both devices otherwise that will cause a problem obviously – Ramhound Sep 13 '17 at 21:32
  • multibooters.com/tutorials/… Suggests a program that can modify the signature be sure to update the bcd entry to which ever drive you do chnage – Ramhound Sep 13 '17 at 21:35

You should be able to fix colliding disk signatures with the diskpart command line utility that comes with Windows. It allows you to view and change the disk signature.

Open a command prompt (cmd.exe) as administrator. Type:
diskpart and hit ENTER after each command;
the prompt changes to DISKPART>
list disk to get a list all mounted physical disks.
Now, type select disk xy, e.g. select disk 1.
after the disk is selected, type:
uniqueid disk to show the signature of the disk.
To learn more, type help uniqueid disk
To change the signature, type: uniqueid disk ID=NEWSIGNATURE
(I suggest to increasing or decreasing the (hexadecimal) id by 1, [1-9A-F])
Finally, type exit, then reboot.

Warning: Do this on your own risk.

  • 1
    What's the difference between this and simply bringing the Disk 'Online' via the Disk Management section of Computer Management? Would the disk still be bootable from the existing Windows installation that's on it? What about the Windows BCD? Would that be where the article I linked above comes in (with BCDEdit)? – Interminable Sep 14 '17 at 6:46
  • No, you would have to fix the MBR of the disk with the changed signature. Bringing it Online as described in the linked article is indeed pretty much the same. Maybe I misunderstood your question. – wp78de Sep 14 '17 at 7:16
  • Of the two questions in bold, I have reworded the second one to try and clarify things. Does that make things clearer? – Interminable Sep 14 '17 at 10:22

As @Interminable said in the comment to the other answer, the solution for me was to just right-click on the offline disk and select 'Online'.

  • 1
    Doing so crashes disk management for me. – user2924019 Aug 1 at 15:27
  • Bringing it online is not likely to work well: "As it is used to uniquely identify disks, Windows will not allow multiple disks with the same disk signature to be online at the same time. If you attempt to bring a second disk online, windows will re-calculate the disk signature on the second disk. This will potentially make it not bootable and also change any drive assignments." kb.macrium.com/KnowledgebaseArticle50152.aspx – danio Sep 7 at 20:21

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