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"a disk read error occured, press CTRL+ALT+DEL" after cloning a partition on another machine

Posted on 2013-12-01
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Hi,

I'm having problems booting into Win7 after I cloned it with Clonezilla onto another machine.

What I DID:
I cloned a partition (after shrinking it to fit the target drive) containing a working Win7 system onto another machine. The target machine has one HDD, containing two partitions, a small recovery partition and a large system partition.

After completing the cloning process, I tried to boot into the newly cloned system but only got a blinking cursor. So I booted from a Windows 7 install disc and ran bootrec /fixmbr, bootrec /fixboot and recreated the BCD. I also ran bootsect /nt60 all.

Now I get the error "a disk read error occurred, press CTRL+ALT+DEL" when trying to boot.

What WORKS:
When booting from a Boot CD and selecting the option "Boot from first HDD second partition" the system will boot normally. This uses apparently a bootloader integrated in a Boot CD, as it is in a different language.

What else can I try to fix the Windows 7 bootloader?
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Question by:alexandrus
7 Comments
 
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39688701
Boot with another boot CD (not a product that may contained pirated applications) and run CHKDSK on the drive. It is feasible there may be another disk error.

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:alexandrus
ID: 39688735
CHKDSK ran automatically when I booted successfully into the system. Aditionally I ran CHKDSK from the repair console, but got the same result.
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Expert Comment

by:web_tracker
ID: 39688748
I would try reimaging it again, see what happens, it may not have copied everything correctly this can some times happen when you are shrinking the image to a smaller drive.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39688755
So it would look the hard drive has a physical (hardware) error and will need to be replaced. I do not think "disk read error" will accompany a logical error ("cannot read boot record", etc.).

Do you have a spare disk to test with?

... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:Thomas Grassi
ID: 39688843
First thing you must know about cloning computers is that most cloning programs do not yes do not allow you to clone from one computer type to another. they only work by cloning to the exact same computer type.

Bios LAN adapters, video adapters processors are different between computers that information is saved in the clone and when you image that computer it will only work with the same computer

This is with ghost drive image etc,

Only found one program that will do that does it
Acronis snap deploy 4 with an optional feature that allows this
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Accepted Solution

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McKnife earned 500 total points
ID: 39688848
Experienced the same error symptom more than once and took the time to figure it out.
I could overcome this problem after hooking the drive to another computer and simply expanding the partition next to c: by 1 MB. [in another case where there was no partition next to c:, so c: was the only partition on the drive, I had to expand c:]
That 1 MB was of course not needed, but that action apparently corrected something, because afterwards, it booted alright. Did this twice after finding out, worked both times.

If you have no second system to hook it to, use the setup dvd and do the expansion from the command line using diskpart. The command line can be accessed at any time during setup after pressing shift+F10 together.
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Author Comment

by:alexandrus
ID: 39689125
Thanks for the pointer McKnife, moving the Partition did work! I moved the system partition by 1 MB torwards the beginning of the drive using GParted, ran the auto startup repair and was able to boot right away.

First I had tried to expand the partition torwards the end of the disk, but that didn't help, so I had to expand it the other way, which effectively moves all data on the partition (took ~3hrs on a 320 GB HDD).

I guess Clonezilla messes up the partition table in some way, maybe simply rebuilding it would suffice.

@trgrassijr55
I have done this successfully many times on quite heterogen systems. Windows 7 is pretty robust in that aspect. But even in XP this can be done with a little preparation.
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