HP x4000 will not boot Maxtor U320 SCSI after Cloning

I have two matching Hp x4000 dual XEON systems one of which is running out of disk space on the C: primary FAT32 partition.  I have attempted to clone the existing 73 Gig  Maxtor V U320 SCSI drive to a Maxtor V U320 147 Gig drive (same drive -  larger) to gain more space for the operating system etc.  I have tried Acronis True Image v10 and then v11 several times using both the automatic mode and manually and mapping the partitions either proportionally or as "same size". The original system shipped with Win 2000 Pro and a 36 Gig Maxtor Atlas III SCSI drive andI I cloned that drive to the current one using Drive Copy 4.0.  Earlier this year I installed Windows XP Pro Upgrade over Windows 2000 and everything works just fine.  All I had to do was update the Laserjet 4 driver.

The installed drive's partitions contain a FAT16 HP Utilities hidden partition which employs their idea of pre-boot hardware checks and their version of e-Diagnostics which is a tool for communication web based problems/solutions with their support people. The system is long out of warranty and that's not going to be used.  But the cloning process copies that "primary" partition anyway because it is necessary for initial checks and posts.  My C: partition is FAT32 and the rest are logical NTFS.  The latest version of their Utiilities ahs been installed and so has the latest BIOS which is HP US16 and a modified Phoenix Bios for a Tyan 2603 Thunder dual XEON motherboard (no, you can't flash a BIOS from them).  The  HP/Phoenix BIOS is XP compatible but has not been re-flashed since installing XP over Win 2000, and I have not had to.

I am not networked to a server, but have a NIC card, US Robotics cable modem and router for both systems.  I also use a Belkin electronic printer switcher to switch among 4 printers, (not manual switching).     The systems also are connected to Kurta drawing tablets via a 9600 baud serial interface.  I have an Adaptec DUO USB2/Firewire card installed and an extended USB2 4 port powered adapter running off the Adaptec DUO.  Logitech MX300 Mouse (wired), Sony GDM-F500R monitor, 3DLabs Wildcat IV 7110 graphic card, 2 Gig RDram memory, Maxtor Atlas III 73 Gig second drive on SCSI ID(1) and on one system an HP 6100 SCSI scanner, and on one system a Maxtor 300 Gig USB2 One-Touch backup drive.  The computer I am doing the cloning operation on is not connected to the scanner or the backup drive.

During the cloning process, all background programs including Norton Internet Security and UniBlue Spyware were running.  The cloning operation simply involved pulling out the secondary drive, installing a new sealed unformatted Maxtor drive and pinning it to SCSI ID(1).  The original drive is SCSI ID(0).  After cloning, the system is shut down, the pin on the  destination drive is pulled to reset it's ID to (0), and the system is reconnected with that drive.  Then I power on and on startup, it goes through the usual hardware /ROM Bios checks showing me a screen that has detected the LSI U160 drive controllers ( 2 port SCSI) and that the Maxtor drive is "there".  Then it flashes a screen I can't read of the detected hardware and goes into the HP Utilities portion on the hidden partition and presents a blinking cursor (5 second timer) that normally precedes another 5 second timer which offers the option to hit F10 and configure SCSI controller/drive options.  If one does not do that, then the normal sequence is to boot on into the 30 second timer to pick the operating system.  And, normally, one can just hit any key and the system boots on into  the Windows XP splash and squence for continuing the boot-up there.

With the cloned drive installed, the system gets through the 5 second cursor blinking after the hardware checks and then pops up HP's e-Diagnostics menu which is launching out of the hidden partition.  Apparently, there is something about the presence of the new drive the hardware check does not like.  I see no error messages at all, it just goes to the e-Diagnostics menu and I cannot continue.  I have run the e-Diagnostics and printed the report.  There is nothing in the report that is abnormal, no conflicting IRQ's or anything that would indicate a problem.  Acronis support has asked me to run their Acronis Report tool with both drives installed to see what my system and the results of cloning look like.  I submitted that and a detailed letter of my experiences nearly two weeks ago and have not heard from them since despite my pleading.  So that's probably a lost cause.  My Drive Copy 4.0 box has a little note there that says Drive Copy supports XP and drives up to 80 Gig in size.  Sadly, it does not say whether that is the source drive or the destination drive.  Various submittals on forums suggest Drive Copy will not work with XP, so I have not tried that yet.  However, when re-pinning the drive back to (1) and rebooting with it and the original drive installed, things boot up fine again and I can brouse through the cloned drive with Partition Magic and see that everything was cloned with some slight differential in partition sizes (just a few megs.).  The HP Utility partition clone was exact in size.

What's the problem here?  I've searched forums and white papers and Microsoft's pages for days and can find nothing to guide me any further.  I'm getting kicked out of the boot sequence before ever arriving at Windows XP.   Thanks for any comments!

TDK
tdkdesignAsked:
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wrenhalCommented:
So you never get the 5 second option to go into scsi options?  If that's the case then it sounds like the message that flashes on the screen could be something related.  Could Drive Image somehow be setting the hidden partition as active and unhidden?  I've had that problem with ghost before (much older copies though).  hmm....  Could the scsi bios have a problem with a drive that big??  I wouldn't think so, but is worth a look.  Maybe there is a separate BIOS update for the SCSI firmware???
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tdkdesignAuthor Commented:
Yes, it always dumps me into the diagnostics menu.  HP does not offer a separate SCSI controlled update, but the BIOS update includes a firmware update and it is current, just not re-flashed under XP.  Since the current disk is the same and the one I am attempting to clone, how is that a problem?

TDK
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Chris BRetiredCommented:
I have had ghost clones fail to boot due to the boot sector getting copied resulting in a failure due to the disk architecture not matching. The fix is to boot to an XP CD entering recovery console and executing fixboot and fixmbr. Will it work with SCSI? Don't know, but can't hurt to give it a go.

Chris B
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wrenhalCommented:
I believe foxboot and fixmbr will eliminate the ability to boot to the diagnostics partition.    But it is worth a try since you still have the current drive to reimage.  As for the type of drive that doesn't matter.  Type is NEVER an issue when cloning.  The issue could be size and the size of the partitions it's setting or the way in which it is copying the boot sector.  fixboot and fixmbr should be able to set XP as the ONLY bootable partition and make it boot straight to windows.
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tdkdesignAuthor Commented:
I started down that road a week ago, that is, trying the recovery console.  I was asked for an administrator password.  Well, I don't have one, did not create one and have no idea how to recover something that is not there.  I ran across a Microsoft document that described how to recover a lost password and considered that to be complicated and foolishness, since I have not set a password.  By the way, I did a search on "foxboot" and only find forum talk on using it, but not where to get it.  I see fixmbr is a command one can execute in the windows recovery console if I could get past the password issue?

This whole project started off because I had set the original C: partition to FAT32 for 4K clusters at a 15.9 gig size.  I thought I was being cute and that was enough space.  Since Windows and Norton Internet Security have eaten up all the disk space over time with automatic upgrades, I thought it might be wise to clone to a new drive and then convert the C: partition to NTFS and expand it using Partition Magic.  Not wanting to risk data loss by first doing a FAT32 4K aligned conversion and then a NTFS conversion, I figured I could experiment on a cloned disk.  Some idea, huh?  Drive won't boot.  Well if anyone knows where to find foxmbr iI'd appreciate it.  Seems fixmbr might be the thing since the "i" and the "o" are so close on the keyboard.  Is it fixmbr instead?

TDK
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Chris BRetiredCommented:
It is fixboot as stated earlier. When it asks for the Admin password, just press enter.

Chris B
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tdkdesignAuthor Commented:
One more question...is there an order to this? Run fixboot first and if that doesn't work fixmbr?
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Chris BRetiredCommented:
Don't know if there is an optimum order. I do fixboot first - try a reboot then fixmbr if it fails.

Chris B
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tdkdesignAuthor Commented:
Thank you gentlemen!  This time around in recovery console, simply hitting "enter" for a password worked the first time.  Then "fixboot" ran without a hitch (2 seconds) and I had a C:\WINNT prompt so I cruised around a bit to make sure the structure was there and then rebooted.  This time I found that the HP Utilitiles wanted to crowd in the same sequence as before, but there was a whole screen of messages that flashed by which had not done so before, so I figured I was on to some kind of sucess.  Then rebooting into Windows again from the CD and doing the recovery console routine again this time getting to a prompt and running "fixmbr" brought up a screen stating I had a non-standard system (meaning HP and its utilities) and I may screw up the partition structure and find the drive inaccessible....as if it had not been for a week, so I ran that and another 2 seconds fixmbr was done successfully.  Another reboot got me into Windows XP without a hitch, but it bypassed the preboot option in HP Utilities that allows one to hit "F10" and order the drive structure.  Once in XP, I tried to move a USB icon out of the way before all other drivers such as Plextor Tools and other items had flashed up.  XP froze and I was dumped into a reboot.  This time I left things alone and the reboot went just fine.  I've checked most programs to see if they load properly and execute something, particularly the structural engineering suite whose manufacturer used a hard drive ID key unlock scheme to activate the licenses for each program.  No need to do that either, the cloning process seems to have masked over that requirement as well.

The last bugaboo was HP's extended keyboard driver from 2002 for Windows 2000.  When XP was upgraded over 2000, I kept getting a keyboard error message when booting up that I would click off with some annoyance.  So, I downloaded the 2000 driver for that and apparently XP now likes that two, no more error.

The last piece of the puzzle is to convert the FAT32 C: partition to NTFS. As I understand it, once one does that, if he ever has to do a "fixmbr" routine again, one might be screwed since it then wants to place that in the middle of the drive.  The motive to convert the FAT32 partition to NTFS was to enable a larger partition for the operating system and it's files and the programs on the root drive setting the size to 2K bytes or something a lot smaller than the 8K or more for clusters I would need with a partition larger than 16 Gig under FAT32.

So last question, based on the commentary above, is there some compelling reason to stay with FAT32?
I could recover perhaps a Gig of space in the partition if I deleted all those Windows uninstall files that seem to accumulate with Bill Gates' forever automatic updates.

Thanks again for the help.  I things become unstable, I'll be back soon.

TDK
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wrenhalCommented:
No, there's not any advantage to FAT32 over NTFS in my experiences.  And actually there is a program you can run that will remove the obsolete uninstall files for those updates that are installed.
Here is the link:  http://www.dougknox.com/xp/utils/xp_hotfix_backup.htm
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Chris BRetiredCommented:
As wrenhal indicates, there is perhaps not as much advantage to NTFS as there should be. However, there are some gains in terms of security and efficiency which may tip the scales in favour. Personal choice really.

Chris B
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tdkdesignAuthor Commented:
From the reading I've done, NTFS carries some overhead that FAT32 does not.  I found on my first couple of clone attempts (when doing a proportional clone) the C: partition size doubled and the cluster size doubled (or thereabouts).  So, in that instance, I gained nothing except the future opportunity to expand the C: partition some to accommodate Mr. Gates continual bloat flow.  And by the way, Acronis sent me an email last night with "their solution" after the problem had been solved suggesting I should run "fixmbr".  This only took them two weeks to arrive at.  It did leave me wondering whether I should have run "fixboot" though, since I no longer have access to that pesky HP Utilities.  It's only useful for one thing.

Back to NTFS....I'm trying to figure out how much disk space I need to allow for the conversion of the current C: partition to save steps and errors in Partition Magic later on the cloned drives.  Both systems have a 15.9 Gig partition for C:, but one has only 1 Gig of free space under FAT32 and the other about 5 Gigs.  I wll likely re-clone both systems in the manual mode after doing all the experimenting on the current clone.  No sense screwing up original drives.  So I need to figure out how much space certain NTFS partition sizes will need for conversion.

On the re-convert I'm going to try "fixmbr" only and see if that yeilds similar results.

TDK
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Chris BRetiredCommented:
Probably correct that fixmbr would have resolved it more appropriately. You can of course make the utility partition active with partition magic whereby it will boot to that, but no need given that you have the ability to start over. At least you are heading in the right direction. Good luck.

Chris B
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