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Issue when cloning XP to identical PC


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#1
Quaraxkad

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I've built 4 identical PCs for my office. I installed XP Pro SP3 on one of them. I used nLite to include an Intel AHCI driver and pre-configure a few things. I also used WinSetupFromUSB because none of these PCs have optical drives. I installed all of the other required applications for work on it and let it free within the office for a couple of days to make sure it was working well and everything was set up as needed. Then the goal was to clone that drive to the remaining three, which I did with Clonezilla. I assumed that it would work fine since all of these computers use identical hardware, so Windows shouldn't think it's on new hardware and crash with the usual BSOD when you move a drive into another PC. But, each of the cloned systems start to boot, they show the XP boot screen for a short time, and then a BSOD with error code 7B. To confirm that my clones were successful, I removed a cloned drive and installed it into the original "source" PC. It boots right up, the same as the original. I figured I would just do an XP repair installation and everything should be fine. I started the repair, it seemed to finish successfully, then on the first boot I got a BSOD with code 6C if I remember correctly. Rather than begin troubleshooting this new issue, I figured I'd go back to step 1. I tried cloning the source drive again, this time using Acronis TrueImage, and used the Universal Restore option, installed the clone in a new PC and get the same BSOD 7B. Then I tried running sysprep on the original installation. I put the drive in another PC, BSOD 7b. Put it back in the original PC and it boots.

I have some boot CDs (BartPE, UBCD, and the like) that may help diagnose or repair this issue, but they are on CD and as I said before, none of these PCs have optical drives. I also don't have the capability of plugging in an optical drive, as the motherboard has no IDE ports and I don't have any SATA optical drives available. It may be possible to get these boot CDs on USB, but I'm not going to go through the trouble on the off chance that one of them *might* be of some assistance. I do *not* want to set up three new computers from scratch, installing and configuring all the required software manually. But I'm running out of things to try to get my clones to work. Any suggestions? Or more information required?

Edited by Quaraxkad, 05 January 2013 - 06:52 AM.



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#2
submix8c

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First, nLite is not for Commercial Use (you said "office").

Second, BSOD 7b is technically "0x0000007b" and further info is given, which you failed to provide.

Third, that's "basically" Inaccessible Boot Device.

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#3
cdob

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I've built 4 identical PCs
each of the cloned systems start to boot, they show the XP boot screen for a short time, and then a BSOD with error code 7B.

Compare storage controller BIOS settings.

#4
Quaraxkad

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I see this thread was moved, however I originally posted in the general WinXP subforum because I wasn't sure that my issue had anything to do with either of the tools I had used in creating the initial installation. I mentioned them because I thought they may be relevant to the solution.

First, nLite is not for Commercial Use (you said "office").


I see no mention of that on nliteos.com. It only says Freeware, with no other stipulations specified. If that is not the case, then that was my mistake...

Second, BSOD 7b is technically "0x0000007b" and further info is given, which you failed to provide.


Yes, it was 0x0000007b, not having the exact code next to me I just left out the obligatory 0x00's. There was however no other message or description aside from the generic text on every BSOD screen. There was no name or description. I did not make a note of the following codes (if there were any) because it was not my intention at the time to post here for assistance. And now that I have, I am not currently at the office so I can not confirm any further codes at this very moment. If needed, I will do so later.

Third, that's "basically" Inaccessible Boot Device.


I've had a look at that page, and another linked at the bottom that sounds even more specific to my case (KB314082: You receive a Stop 0x0000007B error after you move the Windows XP system disk to another computer), however that one suggests the problem should not occur when the secondary computer has all of the same hardware. Other things mentioned in KB324103 (viruses, driver issues, etc) sound like they should also result in the cloned drive causing a BSOD when it's installed in the original "source" PC, however that does not happen. All three clones boot into Windows on the original PC. But all of the clones have the same BSOD when installed in the other three PCs.

Compare storage controller BIOS settings.


BIOS settings on each PC should all be the same defaults except for changing the SATA ports to AHCI, rather than their default which if I remember correctly was RAID. I will double-check my settings and report back. I suppose I could also try using the RAID and IDE settings instead of AHCI.

#5
submix8c

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Well, Nuhi (the Creator) apparently didn't make it quite clear BUT if you look in the nLite folder you'll see a "LICENSE.TXT".

I, however, see no reason why you can't use it to determine what files get integrated and modified so you can replicate it "by hand" for your "commercial" purposes. Just don't use any nLite modules, etc.

IDE won't require SATA Drivers - RAID is probably not what you want.

edit - MSFN nLite FAQ. And we'll still help as long as you adhere to the Agreement. ;)

Edited by submix8c, 05 January 2013 - 10:37 AM.

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#6
dencorso

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[...] however that one suggests the problem should not occur when the secondary computer has all of the same hardware.

Windows is behaving as expected. You think it's the same hardware. It knows it's not (different serial numbers and the like). If you had cloned without first activating, it might work. By cloning after activating you're trying to use the same license on 3 further machines and windows is refusing to comply. That's by design. BTW, read the Rules, especially #1a.

#7
submix8c

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AH!!! And by not Activating AND using the "Change License Key" provided by MS and THEN Activating, you would be totally within bounds.

Your "process" looks like it would only work with a PURE OEM-specific Install. I haven't tried it myself and would rather not get into it. The info is here on MSFN and throughout the Web as to the requirements and won't be reiterated in this thread. Other option is pretty expensive (so-called Volume) and may no longer be available anyway, besides not being worth it for four PC's.

I think that's all the info you'll get on that from dencorso and I (Rules link at the top).

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#8
Quaraxkad

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edit - MSFN nLite FAQ. And we'll still help as long as you adhere to the Agreement. ;)


I suppose that means I will have to make another installation without using nLite (which I only used for convenience in the first place and wasn't necessary in the least, for some reason I was thinking I needed to run it through nLite before I could install from USB), and reinstall from that on the "source" PC... What about the license for WinSetupFromUSB? I don't see any mention of it in the thread, am I allowed to use that? If not, then I have an entirely new set of questions: What *can* I use?

Windows is behaving as expected. You think it's the same hardware. It knows it's not (different serial numbers and the like). If you had cloned without first activating, it might work. By cloning after activating you're trying to use the same license on 3 further machines and windows is refusing to comply. That's by design. BTW, read the Rules, especially #1a.


I do have 5 genuine and valid XP Pro licenses for my office. Legally I can only use one key per computer, but after each machine is configured I can activate them using their own keys. Aside from accidentally misusing nLite, have I broken rule 1.a?

Edit: The "source" PC is already activated, because I needed to let the other employees use that computer for a while to make sure it was working fine and everything that needed to be installed was installed and everything that needed to be configured was configured. This way I didn't have to do the same thing on 4 separate computers, I just did it once and then *hoped* I could just make clones. The license issue never occurred to me, knowing that I had 5 available.

Edit 2: Also I thought that creating the image and restoring using the Universal Restore option in TrueImage would have cleared up exactly that issue of using the drive in another computer. That's precisely what that feature of TrueImage is for, to be able to restore your backup to a hard drive that's going in a completely different PC using new hardware.

Edited by Quaraxkad, 05 January 2013 - 11:10 AM.


#9
submix8c

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No, you're cool. You were just being informed.

WinSetupFromUSB (AFAIK) is only setting up a USB device for further use. We have a few Topics on Install From USB via different methods/software.

As I said, nLite as an example will alleviate your efforts in setting up the Install. After that, as I said.

We will help within bounds as necessary. :thumbup

edit (following your edit) -
Sadly, it look like they'll have to live with a reinstall? OR (unsure about this - haven't tried in a while) In Registry, try this -
http://www.ehow.com/...roduct-key.html
Sounds vaguely familiar to me. Unsure if this will allow "clones". Maybe try it on another PC "offline" edit (e.g. LiveXP/WinBuilder/WinPE) after Clone the Drive and before Boot.

edit2 - AH! You may need to do a couple more things anyway. Some tips. The HDD (in the MBR) is directly tied to that entry. Also note that the Computer ID will need to be different between them before allowing Local Communication.

Edited by submix8c, 05 January 2013 - 11:18 AM.

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#10
dencorso

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Edit: The "source" PC is already activated, because I needed to let the other employees use that computer for a while to make sure it was working fine and everything that needed to be installed was installed and everything that needed to be configured was configured. This way I didn't have to do the same thing on 4 separate computers, I just did it once and then *hoped* I could just make clones. The license issue never occurred to me, knowing that I had 5 available.

No, you didn't need to activate for that reason, since there's a grace period (30 days, I think, it's been a long time since I used that for anything). So you could have set everything up and had it run in the office for a couple of weeks legally, whithout activating.

#11
Quaraxkad

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No, you didn't need to activate for that reason, since there's a grace period (30 days, I think, it's been a long time since I used that for anything). So you could have set everything up and had it run in the office for a couple of weeks legally, whithout activating.


It is indeed 30 days. Not knowing how long it would be before I had the chance to set up the rest of the computers (it's *not* a part of my job, I volunteered to do it in my free time as available), and not wanting to fight with potential nag screens, I activated it.

Edited by Quaraxkad, 05 January 2013 - 11:34 AM.


#12
Quaraxkad

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Well, I went back to the office... First thing I did was double check my BIOS settings. And for some reason the original source PC *was* set to IDE, and I had only changed the other three to AHCI. I don't know how that happened, I must have forgotten to save the changes when I exited the BIOS. I had intended to choose AHCI for its potential performance benefit, and then it occurred to me that was why I used nLite in the first place, to ensure it had the correct driver prepared. I switched the other three computers back to IDE and they all booted immediately. Though I guess I need to start over now anyway to get everything "legal"...

Thanks to everyone who helped, and especially to cdob, I probably would have spent countless hours assuming I already had the proper BIOS settings, I only double checked myself because of your mentioning it.

#13
Phenomic

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You don't need Clonezilla or Acronis TrueImage, the built-in robocopy.exe will do just fine. However, to backup/copy/clone a live running system you need an alternate method of copying the registry (like erunt) and then apply a small registry tweak to make it bootable. I've used this to create bootable backups for years, works in both 2000 & XP.

#14
jaclaz

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You don't need Clonezilla or Acronis TrueImage, the built-in robocopy.exe will do just fine. However, to backup/copy/clone a live running system you need an alternate method of copying the registry (like erunt) and then apply a small registry tweak to make it bootable. I've used this to create bootable backups for years, works in both 2000 & XP.

Yes and no.

You need *something* that will clone/copy over the Disk Signature (or remove drive letter assignment in DosDevices, which I presume is the "small registry trick" you are talking about).

And you might well get away with using vshadow and dosdev together with robocopy (in "one pass").

In any case it is the "base" approach which is not "right", if in a networked environment, you may get issues with SID, computer names and what not. :ph34r:

If you need to deploy a "same" operating system install to several PC's you normaly use "deploy tools", such as Sysprep, or in the case of different hardware, Offline Sysprep:
http://www.911cd.net...hp?showforum=43
(also handy in the case of "same" hardware)

jaclaz

#15
Phenomic

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You don't need Clonezilla or Acronis TrueImage, the built-in robocopy.exe will do just fine. However, to backup/copy/clone a live running system you need an alternate method of copying the registry (like erunt) and then apply a small registry tweak to make it bootable. I've used this to create bootable backups for years, works in both 2000 & XP.

Yes and no.

You need *something* that will clone/copy over the Disk Signature (or remove drive letter assignment in DosDevices, which I presume is the "small registry trick" you are talking about).

And you might well get away with using vshadow and dosdev together with robocopy (in "one pass").

In any case it is the "base" approach which is not "right", if in a networked environment, you may get issues with SID, computer names and what not. :ph34r:

If you need to deploy a "same" operating system install to several PC's you normaly use "deploy tools", such as Sysprep, or in the case of different hardware, Offline Sysprep:
http://www.911cd.net...hp?showforum=43
(also handy in the case of "same" hardware)

jaclaz


Right, you need to tweak \DosDevices\C: , I do it by batch file or VBS. It works just fine, it should be a piece of cake if all machines are identical. Copies all files from running OS and the clone is bootable and ready to use.

#16
jaclaz

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Right, you need to tweak \DosDevices\C: , I do it by batch file or VBS. It works just fine, it should be a piece of cake if all machines are identical. Copies all files from running OS and the clone is bootable and ready to use.

BUT; as said if these two (or more) "clones" are on the same network, conflicts may (and will) arise, either trivial or "serious".

jaclaz




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