Cannot log on after cloning Hard Disk

#1
I migrated from a 250 GB HDD to a 500 GB. I had around 230 GB of information wich I really didn't want to loose, so I cloned the old HDD to the new one with the software Acronis True Image Home.

Apparently, the cloning succeds, but when I disconnect the old Disk and try to boot from the new one, when I log on I get stuck in "preparing your session". Any clues?
 


Mike

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#2
It sounds like your profile was corrupted during the backup process and this would explain the issue straight away. If the system is live therein is a major problem with cloning. If you do it from a cold boot (boot disk) this is called a bare metal backup. Even though Acronis Home uses some methods to circumvent file locking, the backup can still miss or only get partial files when the system is live and the backup takes place. The idea you can reliably backup a complete image of a hard drive while the computer is running live, especially with disk activity or user interaction, is somewhat of a myth.

I have not used the Acronis Home software, but their older enterprise software in the past. Is there any chance you could boot from disc to do both the backup and restore? You will have a much higher success rate. Being unable to login to your profile almost certainly implies that the backup itself missed a file that is essential to loading your Windows profile.
 


pbcopter

Honorable Member
#3
Hi,
This is caused by the clone not using the drive letter C: when booting.

Do the following:

Boot into safe mode and find how the system drive is lettered. Remember it.

Open Regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\MountedDevices

In the list of DosDevices, look for DosDevices\C: and change it to an unused letter (it may not exist, however and that is okay). This is only done so that you can rename the real system drive back to C if the letter C is used.

Then find the DosDevices\ that matches the system drive letter found in the first step.

Change that letter to C

Reboot and that should fix your problem.
 


Mike

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#4
Thanks for this info, pbcopter. Lagkiller, please report back your findings and let us know if this works for you. I will try my best to follow up with this thread if it does not.
 


#5
I tried booting in safe mode, but the problem persists. I still get stucked when logging at "preparing yor desktop". After a while, I get an empty screen (it loggs but nothing is loaded, so i can't do anything).

I noticed that i also got in the corner of the screen a warning telling me that "this is an illegitimate copy of Windows". Is there any chance Windows has an anti-cloning system which prevents me from logging? Anyway, I can't introduce my key, due to Windows not logging my session.

I haven't erased the old Disk, so re-cloning is still an option, if you think this issue could be due to some problem happening during the process of cloning (although according to Acronis, it was succesful).

BTW, thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.
 


Mike

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#6
Windows 7 will prevent cloning and require re-activation on systems with different CPUs and hardware, but not the same hardware when done properly.

I think you should re-clone the disk using a bootable media with the OS off. You load a CD or DVD and perform the backup and restore with no files being used. What I am saying is redo the backup with the old disk with the operating system turned off. I don't know if Acronis Home gives you this option to create such a disc, but it certainly should. Paragon Backup & Restore does, as well as Clonezilla, which is freeware (but with a shoddy looking and possibly confusing interface). I think the fact that you backed up while the system was on and files were in use is the main problem.

Also: Do not try to re-size the partition if given the option when restoring. Wait until after you get Windows loaded. You can run diskmgmt.msc and combine the new space on the new drive after the restore is completed. If given the option, verify that the restore is correct. But remember, the verification is basing it on the backup, which could be messed up to begin with. The backup probably isn't getting every file.
 


pbcopter

Honorable Member
#7
When you are in safe mode, type CTRL+ALT+DEL

Then select Task Manager.

Then select file and start new task.

Type Regedit.

Then navigate as I posted before.

You can also start explorer in Task manager as well to find the drive letter of the system drive.
 


#8
Changing the Drive's letter, as pbcopter said, did the trick!

Thank you both!
 


pbcopter

Honorable Member
#9
You are welcome. I'm glad it worked out.
 


#10
Hi pdcohter, I tried changing the cloned harddrive letter from M to C, then changed my original harddrive from C to A using your instructions (however, I forgot to do it in safe mode). Unfortunately, both the cloned drive and original drive boot to the blue screen that says "not geniune - build 7601". Windows 7 came preinstalled on my computer. I was able to boot windows normally before I changed the drive letters. Since my original drive worked I'd be happy just getting windows booting on it again, but ultimately, I'd like to be able to boot windows from the cloned harddrive. Thanks.
 


#11
When you are in safe mode, type CTRL+ALT+DEL

Then select Task Manager.

Then select file and start new task.

Type Regedit.

Then navigate as I posted before.

You can also start explorer in Task manager as well to find the drive letter of the system drive.
This procedure didn't work in PC. Actually I have MAC PC & same problem annoying me, please help me out.
 


#12
Hi!
I had Lagkiller's issue this week on my 3OS-boot laptop while upgrading from a 500 to 750GB HDD. Two years ago I upgraded the same machine from a 250 to 500GB HDD and I used Acronis True Image 11 (the old build) to clone it without any problem.
This time, it simply did not work. XP and Vista worked well after cloning but Win7 got stuck in "Preparing your desktop" exactly as this thread's issue. It took me two maddening days to solve so I wish to contribute to this thread with my experience.
It was immediately obvious that the problem was a drive lettering issue that somehow was sneaking into the new disk. It was not a cloning problem, I checked with several cloning programs and Linux and the problem always replicated.
So the solution was to change the lettering once Win7 started BUT explorer and the win7 disk management snippet were not loading correctly adding to my frustration. Same problems with safe mode, nothing worked in a way to enable drive letter switching. The situation was driving me mad.
I was able to run regedit, so I could follow Pbcopter's instructions above but I did not understand them very well and my registry entries seemed valid when compared to the original disk as well as other similar machines I have here.
Finally I thought about trying to run acronis disk director via the task manager in the semi-started temporary desktop that was available, and to my relief Acronis Disk Director ran ok. After that it was a matter of minutes to change the disk letter assignments (from within the Acronis interface) to the ones the original disk had, hoping they will stay that way after reboot and fortunately this worked.
Everything runs fine now but the question remains: Why is it that on the same machine and the same configuration using the same tools, the first cloning (250GB-->500GB) works fine and the next (500-->750GB) creates so many problems?
Anyone with a logical or even plausible explanation?

By the way, happy New Year to all!
 


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