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How do I make a (Windows 7) bootable clone of my Seagate Hybrid SSD?

Posted on 2014-04-20
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I am trying to make a BOOTABLE clone of my 500 GB Seagate Solid State Hybrid Drive to a 1TB Seagate Solid State Hybrid Drive for my Windows 7 Sony VAIO VPCF1 notebook computer

I have tried using all four of the following programs and in every case I am able to make a good clone, but the clone is not bootable:

Seagate DiscWizard
xxclone.exe
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition 5.5
EASEUS Todo Backup Home 2.0

In each case, I carefully follow the instructions and check the appropriate boxes in each program to make the new disk bootable, but I have not had any success booting from the clone yet.

The cloned disk is perfectly useable as an "external" removable disk and I can see/use all the files that were copied to it, however my computer does not recognize it as a bootable disk when I attempt to boot from it.  

I have tried and tried again.  I have even attempted to use BCDedit based on information available on free online forums, but have still had no success in making my cloned disk bootable.

Please help!
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Question by:Donny34
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 40011494
That utility should work, however the partition is probably not marked as Active.

Another tool we have used to perform the same function is Paragon Software Partition Manager. it works very well also.

Hope this helps!
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Author Comment

by:Donny34
ID: 40011503
I have verified that the supposedly bootable partition on the newly cloned drive is marked as Active using Windows 7's Computer Management, Disk Management Tool.

I will try downloading Paragon's software and see if I have any luck.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40011507
If you want to boot from a cloned disk, you must install it inside the PC, you can't boot windows via a USB connection from it. Don't forget to remove your other disk when you do that, and make sure it is the first disk in your boot priority.
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Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 40011511
I've found that when creating a clone, if you want that clone to be bootable, it MUST be in the laptop (and not connected by USB) when you are cloning.

In other words:

Remove current bootable disk from laptop.
Put new (blank) disk in laptop.
Boot from bootable CDROM with cloning software.
Clone FROM USB DRIVE TO INTERNAL DRIVE.

Now you have two identical bootable drives.

If you attach the new drive as a USB drive, and clone from the internal drive to the USB drive, the USB drive will rarely then be bootable.
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Author Comment

by:Donny34
ID: 40011577
Thank you for your comments/suggestions...

I have tried booting the clone from inside the computer and not via USB.  That still doesn't work.

I am unable to create the cloned disk while it is inside my computer because I don't have a bootable CD and cannot boot from the USB drive.

Is there a way I can create a bootable CD with cloning software on it?  I do NOT have a Windows 7 CD.  None came with my computer purchase... only the soft copy on my main HD.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40011580
As I said, you need to install the disk internally in the PC. You can't boot cloned windows from a USB disk. The tool you used for cloning is normally irrelevant.
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Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 40011581
Acronis Tru Image does a good job for me.

http://www.acronis.com/en-us/personal/pc-backup/
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 40011582
You clone a Disc in Paragon by backing up the partition and restoring it to another drive.

Making a Partition active is an option to chose in the restore process.
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Expert Comment

by:insidetech
ID: 40011993
How are you cloning the drive?
From your laptop to USB or are you doing it on entirely different system using SATA to SATA  ?
The Acronis will be a great choice or if you can get your hands on the Norton Ghost.

Another option if you have access to another external USB or  network storage would be to run a backup, swap the drives and follow by a restore. In fact... use the already cloned 1 GB drive and restore just the "boot" partition. That should do the trick.
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by:insidetech
ID: 40011994
Correction ... 1 TB drive and also run the Windows 7 Backup. ( you can create an emergency restore disk from your running OS )
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40012085
if i want to clone a disk with Paragon, i select the whole disk - not a partition
for W7  -you have at least 2 partitions, (system) 100 or 200 MB and OS
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Author Comment

by:Donny34
ID: 40013478
Fail. I attempted to boot to from my cloned drive and it says, "BOOTMGR is missing."

I swapped my original HDD back in and now it also results in BOOTMGR is missing. Now I have no way to boot my computer with either drive and I do not have a windows 7 recovery CD nor did I create one (like I should have) prior to messing around with it.

I don't understand why my original HDD won't boot anymore. I didn't change anything on that disk. Any suggestions now or am I screwed?
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 40013491
I think you hVe chosen the correct description of your situation. Is there a garbage can close?
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40013553
Make sure you have selected the correct device to boot from in your boot priority of the BIOS.

If that doesn't help, it could be that you cloned from the wrong disk to the wrong disk.
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Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 40013602
"I don't understand why my original HDD won't boot anymore. I didn't change anything on that disk."

Either you DID change something on that disk, or your BIOS is attempting to boot from the wrong drive.  Hopefully the latter.
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Author Comment

by:Donny34
ID: 40014023
Good news. I found an old HDD with win 7 on it and used it to create a repair cd.

I have since repaired my original HDD and am now back to my originally posted problem.

I am currently in the process of cloning my old HDD to the new one (again) and then I will place the new one in the computer (and remove the old one) and run startup repair and see if that gets me anywhere.

Thanks for everyone's help so far...
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Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 40014027
Based on this description:

"I am currently in the process of cloning my old HDD to the new one (again) and then I will place the new one in the computer (and remove the old one) and run startup repair and see if that gets me anywhere."

YOU'RE STILL DOING IT WRONG.

As I mentioned above, you must put the NEW disk in the computer, connect the OLD disk via USB, and clone from the old to the new by booting up from a CDROM containing the cloning software.

The target disk must be in the laptop (not connected via USB) during the cloning process, or it (probably) won't boot.
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Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 500 total points
ID: 40014118
sorry -  i don't ssee anything wrong with the disk being on usb for imaging - then installing and booting from it - though it is a lot faster if the drive is connected to sata

may i resume ?
you image the original drive (OS) to new drive on USB
you selected the WHOLE disk for the image - not only 1 partition
then you connect the new one in the laptop - disconnect the old one  -  and boot
it says boot mgr missing
this means that the boot sector is incorrect -  so look intot the bios, and check if the boot priority is set to the disk
windows recommends a startup repair for this error
or if you boot from the install DVD after the repair; select Dos Prompt and run
 Bootrec /RebuildBcd and hit  ENTER
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Expert Comment

by:akahan
ID: 40014146
As I said, in my experience it works much better if the disk is in the laptop, not connected via USB, when you're cloning to it.
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Author Comment

by:Donny34
ID: 40014876
The good news is, I have successfully cloned my new hard drive and it is bootable!

The part I don't understand is I didn't actually do anything different than the first 6 or 7 times I tried cloning it and booting from it.  I even used the same software and process as two of my previous attempts.

I essentially did what "nobus" said, but that's what I had already been trying for weeks before joining this site.

I left the old/original HDD in the computer and cloned the new HDD via USB using Seagate Disc Wizard.  I cloned the entire disk (not just the main partition), then removed the old HDD, put in the new one and started my computer.  

To my shock and surprise, my computer booted up properly and everything seems to be working perfectly.  Was I just lucky this time?  

While I'm sure the method suggested by akahan will work, I do not have a bootable CD with cloning software on it and I don't know how to make one.  I also am not sure how to connect the drive via SATA for cloning, as suggested by nobus.  Can this be done with a notebook or do you need a desktop?  Showing my ignorance, no doubt...

Either way, my problem is solved.

Thanks for everyone's assistance.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Donny34
ID: 40014900
Thanks for your solution.  To be honest, I didn't read it until this morning, after I already solved the problem myself, but it turns out your solution is exactly what I did so it makes sense to award you the points.  

I am mildly frustrated that the solution to the problem is the same thing I had been doing for weeks and it never worked and all of a sudden it worked this time.  I must have invested 20+ hours into cloning, re-cloning, modifying the boot sector, BCDedit, and any number of other things, none of which worked at the time.

Anyway, thanks for your help!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40015089
>>   Was I just lucky this time?  <<  not at all - i jinxed it during easter  :-))
somewhere there should be difference in my list -and what you did
or maybe you changed a setting in the bios already

but to my stupefaction i gave a fully working answer - and only got a B grade ??
according to EE rules - this should be changed to A
you can do this by usi,ng request attention in the top post

**beware - or i'll jinx it back to non bootable  :-))
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