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After cloning some of my partitions to SSD (I only left the file partition not cloned yet) I can't boot from my new SSD. The screen is blank with the underscore blinking in the top left corner.

The whole story:

  1. I cloned the C: drive with AOMEI Backupper. C: drive contained my windows files.
  2. Tried booting without SSD -> got message: "Operating system not found"
  3. Booting with SSD -> blinking underscore
  4. Cloned system partition containing BOOTSECT.BAK file (the one that is 100MB) -> note that now the order is not the same as in old HDD (i) and (ii) the old HDD has *: partion, after cloning I have I: partition - it now has a letter assigned to it
  5. Booting -> Still blinking
  6. After a couple of minutes of thought I thought that since I have a dual boot (Win7 + Ubuntu) I need to clone the partition that contains Ubuntu files as well -> D: . It also contains the pagefile.sys (not sure if it is important but i don't think so, as the file can be deleted).
  7. Booting -> Blinking
  8. Now I'm writing here as I want some thoughts as there are many paths to explore

Note: I can navigate the files in the SSD and the SSD seems to be recognized (the BIOS screen is displaying the size of the SSD correctly). Also I did partition cloning - one by one (not whole disk cloning as I wanted to increase the new boot partition on the SSD and make the others smaller)

A couple of thoughts I have and would like to get a comment on:

  1. The partition names and drive letters changed: from Local Dick (C:) -> Copy of C (G:). Renaming is easy but does it make a difference?
  2. The system partition state wories me: does it matter that it has a letter assigned or should it be hidden? Also does the order matter (previously it was first, now it is second - see this: http://postimg.org/image/3ybyh49vn/ (sorry, I can't add screenshot directly).
  3. Maybe it is not possible to create a bootable SSD by cloning the partitions separatelly somehow? Only if the disk clone is made?
  4. Any other things to check? Things to do?

Thanks.

1

Most probably there are couple of problems. One is the fact that you're copying only one of the OS partitions while the dualboot is usually handled by the Unix loader.

The other issue could be the software itself, since it does not copy the windows boot partition (the *:) correctly.

My suggestion is that if you want to copy only the windows OS, just go ahead and clone the unnamed partition and the one containing windows. Then disconnect the HDD, run windows installation disk or USB and select the repair option. This will almost certainly fix the boot process.

If you want to keep the existing state, do a whole disk clone, and you could use software later to move and resize the partitions as you wish. Hiren bootcd contains what you need for this. And you can use Rufus to make bootable USB

  • I copied the second partition as well (the one with the linux files). Also marked the system reserved partition as active - does not help... I think I will try the second option for resizing partitions after the cloning - will I be able to resize the partition that contains windows files? – Mindaugas Bernatavičius Jan 10 '15 at 10:11
  • Try marking the Linux one as active. The loader probably is on it. But the order does matter, so you should try copying them again. – Stoinov Jan 10 '15 at 10:13
  • Will mark the linux one as active (though in the original hdd the system one is active) and try to re-clone with the original order. Can you also advice on (i) why unix loader handles the boot and how? and (ii) how and why does the order matter? - maybe you have a good resource (a book or article) on these things? – Mindaugas Bernatavičius Jan 10 '15 at 10:26
  • You mentioned Ubuntu, here is the official how to for dual boot. Note the section about Master Boot Record. You can also try Reinstalling GRUB, if this is the boot loader that you use. – Stoinov Jan 10 '15 at 10:36
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That image from your cloning software looks really strange. The 100MB partition should not get any letter IMHO, because it contains windows boot files. More info here http://www.howtogeek.com/192772/what-is-the-system-reserved-partition-and-can-you-delete-it/ Try to boot your pc from the Windows installation DVD, select "repair your computer" and in a command prompt type bootrec /FixMBR. Maybe /Fixboot will be needed as well. For more info check https://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392?wa=wsignin1.0 If you would like to use GRUB instead of Microsoft Bootmgr then you should boot from some Linux live DVD and use some commands to fix GRUB. I guess it should be update-grub ...

  • Thanks for the information. I followed the above advice of re-cloning the entire HDD with "smart-sector" option and then will resize partitions latter. ... I will upvote your answer when I get enought rep. Thank you – Mindaugas Bernatavičius Jan 10 '15 at 21:32

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