problem cloning new drive for HP laptop.

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by JohnF, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. JohnF

    JohnF Guest

    I got a new larger HD for my HP XE-2. Trying to use Ghost DOS to copy
    original Op sys to new drive. New Ghosted drive will not boot, NTLDR
    missing keeps comming up. I've tried everything I can find online to
    solve the problem but can't get anywhere so far. I even tried
    installing XP Pro on the new drive in the laptop then Ghosting it in a
    separate desktop using DOS but still get the same error. Did repairs
    with XP CD all 3 ways you can including installation repair. NADA.
    Copied NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM to root, no improvement.

    What else can I try besides reinstalling XP, all the upgrades and all
    my software over again?


    JohnF, Oct 11, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  2. There is a "repair install" that will preserve your installed software
    and settings. Proceed as if it was a normal install and let the
    installation program "find" the already installed copy, and offer to
    "repair it". This doesn't always work, I've had it wipe out an
    installation, so be prepared for that.

    The utilities "Fixmbr" and "Fixboot" might also get you up and going
    without a reinstall.

    My experience with using imaging programs (Ghost, Drive Image, Acronis,
    etc.) has been inconsistent. Sometimes a Ghosted NT/2000/XP image will
    boot, other times it will not and requires anything from minor
    maintanence to a reinstallation. And I have not been able to pinpoint
    just what determines when it succeeds and when it fails.
    Barry Watzman, Oct 12, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  3. JohnF

    Unk Guest

    It means the boot block that initiates the Windows OS is damaged.

    A quick, TEMPORY, fix is to format a floppy on a good XP machine, and
    copy "Boot.ini", "", "Ntldr" to it. Boot your system with the
    floppy in the drive.. For a permanent fix........

    Repair the Boot Sector using the Recovery console on the CD.
    < to Repair the Boot Sector:>

    To repair a damaged Boot Sector, run the Recovery console from the CD. At
    the command prompt type FIXBOOT and press Enter. Then answer "Y"

    Microsoft resources:

    HOW TO: Troubleshoot the "NTLDR Is Missing" Error Message in Windows 2000

    You Receive an "NTLDR Is Missing" Error Message When You Start Your Computer

    "NTLDR Is Missing" Error Message When You Upgrade or Install Windows XP
    Over Windows 9x, or Windows ME

    Windows XP Does Not Start on a Computer That Is Configured for Dual Booting

    The Computer Does Not Start After You Change the Active Partition by Using
    the Disk Management Tool


    To resolve this problem, contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the Bcupdate2

    You can get bcupdate2.exe here:

    Copy it to a floppy or cd.
    Use a bootable XP boot floppy to start the computer and then run the utility from a cmd prompt.
    bcupdate2.exe c: /f

    Other command line parameters supported:
    /q - Quiet mode (must include /y).
    /y - Don't confirm.
    /f - Force update of in use volume.
    /t - Only test for old boot code.

    Download Hiren's BootCD, burn the ISO to CD, boot to it and use the "fixboot" utility to make
    the XP drive bootable again
    Rar password is:
    Unk, Oct 12, 2005
  4. JohnF

    JohnF Guest

    Great links, Unk. Some I've tried, some I haven't. Couple are

    cross posted to:
    JohnF, Oct 12, 2005
  5. JohnF

    mike Guest

    Don't know whether you have a floppy.
    Don't know anything about XP.
    But I do have some experience with hard drives on laptops.
    Problem seems to be that the laptop geometry is autodetected
    differently on laptop than on desktop.
    Had a problem with an IBM HD just this morning in a floppyless laptop.
    Wouldn't boot.
    Put the drive back into the desktop, turned off drive geometry
    autodetect and set it for LARGE. Fdisk/Format/System.
    Put it back into the laptop and it booted...back into the desktop
    and loaded the files. (Tried all combinations of BIOS geometry
    before I found that LARGE worked.)

    Wanted, Serial cable for Dell Axim X5 PDA.
    Return address is VALID but some sites block emails
    with links. Delete this sig when replying.
    FS 500MHz Tek DSOscilloscope TDS540 Make Offer
    Bunch of stuff For Sale and Wanted at the link below.
    mike, Oct 12, 2005
  6. JohnF

    Jimmy Dean Guest

    Don't forget to set the drive Active using FDISK or it will not boot.

    Jimmy Dean, Oct 13, 2005
  7. JohnF

    John Doue Guest

    mike wrote:



    What you are saying confirms my suspicions, especially regarding
    Thinkpads. I had several contacts with Acronis tech support regarding an
    image I made with True Image and they finally decided that my Bios
    recognized my drive in a manner not exactly consistent with the drive's
    specs. And since AFAIK, most laptops bios do not allow any fiddling with
    HD parameters ... This would explain too that Partition Magic has
    problems with a secondary drive in a Thinkpad: it sees it as defective
    with its partitions if the drive has been cloned on the Thinkpad. This
    does not happen if the cloning is done on a different machine, but then
    the drive does not boot if put back in the Thinkpad.

    A nightmare.
    John Doue, Oct 13, 2005
  8. JohnF

    cmdrdata Guest

    Just to put my two-cents, based on experience: I was doing similar
    thing on a Thinkpad 600e, using the target mounted in a USB drive.
    XXCLONE and True Image copied disk will not boot. However, I later
    re-imaged the disk (using True Image), with the second drive mounted in
    an UltraBay adaptor, and the disk will boot (also the imaging takes
    less than an hour whereas the USB method tokk several hours). Along the
    way I went from FAT32 to NTFS.
    cmdrdata, Oct 13, 2005
  9. JohnF

    JohnF Guest

    What I'm trying now, again, is doing an XP install on the new drive
    installed in the laptop, removing the drive and then copying the old
    drive image to the new HD on a desktop. I copied the boot.ini, NTLDR,
    and NTDETECT from the new install in the laptop to a floppy hoping to
    be able to copy them back to the new HD when reinstalled. Is there any
    way to prevent Ghost from reformatting the drive and to just copy the
    image from old HD to the extsting partition on new one? I'm going in
    circles right now. I have Acronis True Image 8.0, Ghost 2003 and 9.?
    and Partition Magic 8.? available to work with.

    getting dizzy


    Great info everybody, glad to know this c*^p happens to other people,
    JohnF, Oct 13, 2005
  10. JohnF

    dg1261 Guest

    John has touched on the root of the problem, guys. This has long been an
    issue with IBM laptops and, I've recently discovered this also seems to be a
    problem with HP/Compaq laptops (I don't work on too many of those). The
    problem is that the bios in these particular laptops autodetects the HDD
    geometry differently than most other machines. Most machines will
    autodetect the geometry with 255 heads, but the IBM autodetects 240 heads
    (and adjusts the cylinder count accordingly to maintain the correct disk
    size). Note I'm not talking about using two HDDs with different parameters,
    I'm saying the exact same HDD will autodetect differently in different

    So when you remove the HDD and put it in a desktop to do the cloning, the
    clone is configured with a geometry as detected by the desktop. When you
    move the HDD back to the laptop, it autodetects a different geometry and
    things are out of whack.
    dg1261, Oct 14, 2005
  11. JohnF

    rothers Guest

    Same problem here with a HP ZD8181 - put old drive in desktop, did a "backup
    image" with Drive Image 7, put new drive in desktop, restored image to new
    drive, new drive in laptop - won't boot.

    What I now do which works great using Drive Image 7 is to:

    1. Take a backup image (I stored mine onto desktop over network)

    2. Put new drive in Laptop

    3. Do a default install of Windows, let it partition & format the disk and
    create boot sectors.

    4. Boot Laptop from Drive Image CD, open up Image Browser, delete all existing
    Windows files on new hard drive, browse to the backup image, choose all files
    and restore.

    Laptop now boots fine, this get's round any Laptop BIOS oddities with regard to
    drive geometry.


    rothers, Oct 15, 2005
  12. JohnF

    John Doue Guest

    Thanks very much for this very interesting information. It is a shame to
    have to resort to such approaches. AFAIK, those problems are unheard of
    with desktops and it seems to me, manufacturers are pressuring bios
    editors to oversimply the geometry choices. Another question: would not
    it be possible for Editors like Acronis and Powerquest to take this
    problem into account? I must say, I do not know whether it is reasonably
    possible but I resent being obliged to resort to such complications just
    to restore an image.
    John Doue, Oct 15, 2005
  13. JohnF


    Apr 13, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I hate HP!!

    What kind of backwards thing is this? So i purchased a 300GB drive to place into the laptop. copied the content using my desktop and ghost. Placed the drive in the computer and got nothing. just '_' on the screen. The copied hard drive works or atleast attempts to boot on the PC, fails do to drivers. But when ever i place into the bloody laptop I get '_'. So i go to ebay figuring that perhaps the drive is not compatible with hp for some weird reason. buy another drive that is hp model compatible. new drive arrives and i get the same problem. Why do they have to be different?!! why?? it makes no since!! if everyone is using 255 why use 240?? who are they trying to help here? I now believe i hate them more than i have ever hated anything before!!!!
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
    rurena, Apr 13, 2009
  14. JohnF


    Dec 12, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Slightly different, but related problem

    I have a Thinkpad R40, which is old now. I bought a new HP Pavilion dv6t. Would love to keep the disk image from the Thinkpad. Cloned the Thinkpad disk to a USB drive (identical size) using EaseUS Disk Copy 2.3 -- disk copy, not partition copy. Then cloned the USB drive to my HP disk. There was a warning that geometries don't match -- 240 head on the USB drive vs 255 head on the HP drive -- but that EaseUS Disk Copy will handle this correctly. Checked various low level details in MBR and boot loader, and all known fixes reported on the web were indeed correctly set in the cloned version on the HP (with the exception of what's suggested in killchs.c).

    However, HP machine does not boot -- starts the boot loader and then hangs with a blank screen and blinking cursor at top left corner. I tried the changes in the bootloader as suggested in killchs.c (manually editing disk content for these 4 bytes) and that causes boot loader to proceed a shade more, but then it flashes what looks like MS blue screen of death; but instead of dying, the machine goes back into reboot, so that I cannot capture the error message.

    Any further suggestion? Would really appreciate some help here.
    dbh, Dec 12, 2010
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.