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First post, by maximus

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Hi, all. Been using Clonezilla to save and restore disk images for years. Has saved me tons of time over manual Windows 98 and Windows XP installs.

Recently I installed Windows XP SP3 on the following hardware (everything known good and working fine):

Compaq Presario SR1215CB
Sempron 3000+
1 GB DDR
60 GB HDD

Decided to create a new disk image before installing drivers and whatnot. Used the "savedisk" option with default settings as usual, and everything seemed to work fine (saved image checked OK). I did, however, use a newer version of Clonezilla that I had not tested before: clonezilla-live-20200302-eoan-amd64. This appears to have been a mistake.

Today I tried to restore that image and now the system will not boot. After POST it displays the following message:

Error loading operating system

Lovely 😒

Here's what I've tried so far:

1) Booted a Linux live CD and checked the hard drive. GParted showed a single NTFS partition with the boot flag set, which is what I expected.

2) Booted from the Windows XP installation CD, started the recovery console, and ran the following commands:

fixmbr
fixboot

No change. The output from fixmbr did report that the MBR was borked, but apparently it did not fix it.

3) Tried restoring the image again with a slightly newer version of Clonezilla (clonezilla-live-20200428-focal-amd64). Clonezilla reported that the image was successfully restored, but it still won't boot.

Not really in the mood for another manual Windows XP install, so I figured I'd ask around here first. Anyone else run into this issue before?

PCGames9505

Reply 1 of 6, by jsp

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Hi there,

sorry to hear about this, my experience with clonezilla has been not so great in terms of user friendliness, but in the end I have always had success restoring my backups. Something that may work to fix your boot is:
https://sourceforge.net/p/boot-repair-cd/home/Home/

I've used it in the past with great success rate, especially to fix my boot in dual-boot systems. It's a linux tool, but AFAIK it works for pure windows systems.

Let us know if you changed anything in your setup to try to understand why restoring didn't work. You seem to imply there is a problem with the version of clonezilla you used, do you have any evidence of this version being buggy or is it just a guess?

Good luck!

maximus wrote on 2020-05-31, 18:21:
Hi, all. Been using Clonezilla to save and restore disk images for years. Has saved me tons of time over manual Windows 98 and W […]
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Hi, all. Been using Clonezilla to save and restore disk images for years. Has saved me tons of time over manual Windows 98 and Windows XP installs.

Recently I installed Windows XP SP3 on the following hardware (everything known good and working fine):

Compaq Presario SR1215CB
Sempron 3000+
1 GB DDR
60 GB HDD

Decided to create a new disk image before installing drivers and whatnot. Used the "savedisk" option with default settings as usual, and everything seemed to work fine (saved image checked OK). I did, however, use a newer version of Clonezilla that I had not tested before: clonezilla-live-20200302-eoan-amd64. This appears to have been a mistake.

Today I tried to restore that image and now the system will not boot. After POST it displays the following message:

Error loading operating system

Lovely 😒

Here's what I've tried so far:

1) Booted a Linux live CD and checked the hard drive. GParted showed a single NTFS partition with the boot flag set, which is what I expected.

2) Booted from the Windows XP installation CD, started the recovery console, and ran the following commands:

fixmbr
fixboot

No change. The output from fixmbr did report that the MBR was borked, but apparently it did not fix it.

3) Tried restoring the image again with a slightly newer version of Clonezilla (clonezilla-live-20200428-focal-amd64). Clonezilla reported that the image was successfully restored, but it still won't boot.

Not really in the mood for another manual Windows XP install, so I figured I'd ask around here first. Anyone else run into this issue before?

Reply 2 of 6, by maximus

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Thanks for the recommendation! boot-repair-disk got the system booting again.

I don't have any direct evidence that Clonezilla was the culprit, but this seems pretty likely. I have successfully saved and restored disk images for this machine before using an older version of Clonezilla. None of the following has changed:

hard drive (60 GB Maxtor IDE)
motherboard
CPU
USB IDE adapter

I run Clonezilla on a different (newer) computer, but it hasn't changed either.

I found some reports on the Clonezilla forums of similar problems, but those were all quite old (circa 2010). Probably not too many people saving and restoring Windows XP images these days, so it's possible a regression crept in recently.

PCGames9505

Reply 3 of 6, by aha2940

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Glad you could fix your Windows install. I usually use the trusty old one:

dd if=/dev/sda | xz image.xz

If I want to send it to a remote host, I use nc to pipe it to the remote host. Granted, I have many linux machines, so i prefer to use that, however I've successfully backed up and restored both Windows and Linux installs that way.

Reply 4 of 6, by Horun

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Yes there are other good ways to image an HD. for the error: I would have tried Bootpart from the maker of Winimage, it has properly restored the MBR on many a NT, Win2k, XP install for me even when the restore console cannot. As for: boot-repair-cd I would prefer to know what is in that. There is no manual, no readme.txt, no screen shots, no anything other than "A rescue disk that includes the Boot Repair tool" description. Glad it worked for you but will stick with the known good tools that have used before.

Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 5 of 6, by jsp

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Thanks for the tip about Bootpart, looks pretty handy indeed. For MBR fixing this may have been a better choice, at least faster and easier. boot-repair is a beast, it can repair pretty complex setups with dual-boot, secure boot, etc. Perhaps an overkill solution in this setting, I agree 😁

One positive point about boot-repair is that it is open source (https://github.com/yannmrn/boot-repair) while bootpart isn't. I tend to favor open source solutions when available.

Glad the OP solve the issue .

Cheers!

Horun wrote on 2020-06-01, 02:37:

Yes there are other good ways to image an HD. for the error: I would have tried Bootpart from the maker of Winimage, it has properly restored the MBR on many a NT, Win2k, XP install for me even when the restore console cannot. As for: boot-repair-cd I would prefer to know what is in that. There is no manual, no readme.txt, no screen shots, no anything other than "A rescue disk that includes the Boot Repair tool" description. Glad it worked for you but will stick with the known good tools that have used before.

Reply 6 of 6, by wirerogue

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just fyi, the latest edition of macrium reflect free edition still works perfectly on xp.
no need to boot to live cd.
creates perfect images while xp is running and adds recovery option to xp boot menu.

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