First post, by Riikcakirds

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Is this possible, to clone a Windows XP SP3 partition using a file-based copy utility, not sector/block based on an offline system.

So far I have tried: Partition and format a new drive (1 partition, full size of drive - 120GB NTFS) made active and has NTLDR boot sector.
Booting from a Winpe 10 usb drive on the XP source system (it contains a single 80GB NTFS partition), then copying all files using cmd:

Robocopy c:\ d:\ /e /COPYALL /DCOPY:DATE

Checked new drive against the source and all files are copied - same md5 checksum of all files. When I unplug the source drive and boot with the copy, it starts to load XP but then bluescreens with IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL.

At first I though it might be the NT Disk Signature (ID in the MBR ) but that seems to only cause problems if two drives connected have the same ID.
Has anyone been able to do this, copy an XP boot drive without using a sector based imaging software.

Reply 1 of 3, by bakemono

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I have copied an XP install before using Windows Explorer. (For that matter, I have also copied Windows 7 and gotten it to work)

No idea what would cause your bluescreen but did you try booting in safe mode?

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Reply 2 of 3, by Riikcakirds

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I got it working, the problem was I didn't delete a registry key, namely :
located on the newly cloned drives' Windows\System32\Config\SYSTEM registry hive before booting from the cloned drive (this still points to the original drives NT disk signature, which caused the problem)

To go over what i did. Cloning an 80GB old XP-sp3 boot partition to a new 120GB SSD drive.
Downloaded a Windows 11 image from MS, created a bootable usb stick with it , booted the XP computer with it and selecting startup options/cmd prompt. Ran diskpart, created a single active primary partition. Quick format with NTFS. Exited diskpart and ran bootsect /nt52 D: /mbr (d: is ssd drive letter).
Ran - Robocopy c:\(source drive) d:\(cloned drive) /e /COPYALL /DCOPY:DATE'
Then I mounted the cloned drives SYSTEM registry hive from within Winpe regedit and deleted MountedDevices\DosDevices\C.
Apart from the registry step, similar to cloning a Win9x system if you don't want to rely on any cloning software.