boot directly from external clonezilla image

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by samm, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. samm

    samm [H]ard|Gawd

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    I recently came across a system that I was toying with, long story short it needs to be restored from a backup made with clonezilla.

    System specs

    SSD Primary OS installation of W7
    1x HDD 3W paritions for the W7 installation above and 1 Ubuntu partition

    Total sizes
    240 SSD + 1tb HDD

    Clonezilla imaged all partitions with system reserved on a 4 tb external

    Went to boot from the external only (internals unplugged), system returns to bios (indicating that it cannot find the boot drive).

    My question lies in that, if is their a way to boot from the external clone on the system?
     
  2. CVNet1

    CVNet1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    So are you saying you tried to boot the Clonezilla images that were stored on a 4tb external drive, or are you saying you had these Clonezilla images somewhere which you Restored back to the 4tb drive?

    If you restored images to the 4tb external, Did you use any tools to prepare the 4tb? (I generally use Gparted to setup partitions to match the partition data i will be restoring. Then i restore each Clonezilla file to the partition section i created for that single partition backup. In this way i was able to leave space for expanding a user partition when the restore drive is larger than the original backup drive).

    Also, i typically have checked after restore the partition flags assigned on the restored drive partitions. You may need to mark the boot loader partition as active and boot.

    Edit: If you used Clonezilla to do a whole drive backup rather than backing up at the individual partition level, then if I recall correctly, restoring those whole disk backups would over-write anything present on the 4 TB drive. So Restore 240SSD to 4 tB drive wipes everything else out and leaves only the 240 SSD data, then restoring 1 TB HDD wipes out the 240SSD data and leaves only the 1TB data. This is of course only applicable if you did the whole drive backup option in Clonezilla and does not necessarily apply if you backed up each single partition separately.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
  3. samm

    samm [H]ard|Gawd

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    I cloned individual partitions on both drives to individual partitions on the external hdd.

    THe method i followed was:
    Using Windows disk management, formed multiple partitions with correct size.
    Using clonezilla imaged each partion to a respective parrition on the external (including the system reserved)

    If I plug the external hdd to any other system, all files are readily available. I plug the external onto the system, the system cannot find a boot drive
     
  4. CVNet1

    CVNet1 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I wrote some instructions awhile back about using CloneZilla to go from a Larger HDD to a Smaller SSD. Obviously you aren't doing that exact operation, so I've cut/paste applicable instructions from that group into this response. Based on my previous experience with CloneZilla, I am thinking you have an issue with the correct Boot flags not being assigned to the partition on your External HDD. If you find your flags are correctly set, and none of the other instructions help solve the trouble, then check and make sure the system you are trying to boot this external HDD on actually supports boot from USB.


    ------------------
    Obtain Gparted (Downloadable here)

    1) Using your Gparted live disk, identify the entire partition structure details of the original drive you will be cloning. Make note whether your original drive is setup as a GPT or MSDOS partition format by looking up that information in the Gparted program too. Write this information down or put it in notepad or Excel on an separate system that is not being upgraded. I used Notepad++ for handling this information. It is critical that you identify the original drive's reported sector size correctly (512 bytes or 4k bytes). The data to record should look something like this:


    Code:
    You can copy the text below into a text editor and save it as a CSV. 
    Then it should load in Excel formatted in a readable way.
    ****************************
    
    Original Partition Structure:,
    
    Model:,ATA Toshiba MQ01ABD0,
    Size:,698.64 Gib,
    Path:,dev/sda,
    ,
    Partition Table:,gpt,
    Heads:,255,
    Sectors/Tracks:,63,
    Cylinders:,91201,
    Total Sectors:,1465149168,
    Sector Size:,512 bytes,
    ,
    ,
    Partition,File System,Label,Size,Used,Flags,Start Sector,End sector,Total Sector,
    dev/sda1,NTFS,WINRE,400 Mib,235.27 Mib,hidden;diag,2048,821247,819200,
    dev/sda2,fat32, ,260 Mib,100.77 Mib,boot;esp,821248,1353727,532480,
    dev/sda3,unknown,Microsoft reserved partition,128 Mib, ,msftres,1353728,1615871,262144,
    dev/sda4,ntfs, ,398.98 Gib,226.00 Gib,msftdata,1615872,838334463,836718592, 
    unallocated,unallocated,273.05 Gib, , ,838334464,1410965503,572631040,
    dev/sda5,ntfs, ,450 Mib,337.72 Mib,hidden;diag,1410965504,1411887103,921600,
    dev/sda6,ntfs,RECOVERY,25.4 Gib,22.37 Gib,hidden;msftdata,1411887104,1465147391,53260288,
    
    
    *** Compare the partition table (especially the flags assigned to each partition) on the original drive to the drive where you cloned your images. Make sure the flags assigned on the Original drive(s) are set to the appropriate partition(s) on the Cloned Drive. Also make certain that the bootloader (on a windows only machine it is usually the partition assigned FAT32 for File System, but if you are using some other bootloader that supports Windows + Linux dual boot, then it maybe different for your case) partition is assigned the specific flags that you found on the original drive.

    Now if your problem turns out to be related only to Windows and you are using Win7 / 8, then you may be able to use the following windows commands from your Win7 / win8 Installation CD. I am not certain if Windows Installation disk will complain about a USB connected HDD or not and I don't have Win10 myself, so I cannot guarantee you will have success if you are using Win10).

    23) If boot fails, boot from Windows Installation CD.
    24) Go into the repair install, run the command line for Windows Repair installation CD.
    25) Run the bootrec.exe program and run /fixmbr, /fixboot, /scanos, /rebuildbcd commands.

    If you get the system to attempt to boot Windows from the External drive, but you find a critical error that Blue screens almost immediately, it may be that you setup your OS on the original drive for AHCI and it may need to be setup for IDE access from a External USB drive. Of course if your external drive is connecting through an eSATA connection, then it shouldn't make any difference presuming you are loading the external drive on the same hardware you had run the original drive from.
     
  5. samm

    samm [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thanks for the info, i tried assigning the boot flag but it kept coming up with the same issue; no boot drive.
     
  6. HammerSandwich

    HammerSandwich [H]ard|Gawd

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    How's the external connected? You might need to tell the mobo it's a boot device. And Windows can still give (fixable) problems when you switch to a different storage controller.