Clones of drives, living together, mass hysteria
May 24, 2012 10:30 AM   Subscribe

Cloning a boot drive and then deleting the original drive? But if I boot with both plugged in, it boots from the original drive. Possibly need to make a boot disk in Windows 7? Is this different now that we don't have floppies?

I had a 64GB SSD as my Windows boot drive. But it was running low on space, so I bought a 128GB SSD.

I used Clonezilla to clone the 64GB SSD to the 128GB SSD so I wouldn't have to reinstall everything, but maybe that's come around to bite me.

I want to boot from the 128GB but use the 64GB as a caching drive for an NLE. My problem is if I boot with both drives in, it boots from the 64GB drive and puts my 128GB drive offline because of a "signature collision."

If I just unplug the 64GB drive, it boots from the 128GB drive fine.

I thought I could make a boot disk and then clean the 64GB from there, but for some reason, on either a writable CD or Flash drive, the option to create a boot disk is greyed out.

What do I do so I can use both drives? I'm kind of hoping the answer isn't "reinstall everything from scratch."
posted by RobotHero to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would think doing either of the following would work:
A) Go into the BIOS and change the order of the boot drives so it starts with the 128GB one.
A) Delete everything on the 64GB drive. It might try to boot from there, but since there's nothing on the disk, it'll move on to the next boot drive.
posted by Grither at 10:38 AM on May 24, 2012

You need to make sure the new drive is properly setup to be the bootable primary drive, and then you need to reformat the old drive. Since you cloned them, the disks seem to have the same disk-label / GUID / signature, whatever they're called in Windows. Modern bootloaders are a bit smarter than they used to be and can search for a disk by it's volume label or GUID, for instance my machine does this:

UUID=e24f6e52-b033-4aaa-8a06-a878d68a75fa / ext4 noatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1


LABEL=MyDisk1 / ext4 noatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1

instead of the old:

/dev/sda1 / ext4 noatime,errors=remount-ro 0 1

So whatever is booting your system that works when the new drive is alone but fails with 'signature collision' when both are installed is hitting this problem that both disks have the exact same Globally Unique Identifier and getting rightly pissed off. There's usually a command somewhere to change the GUID. Boot back with the old drive installed and find the place to change the GUID, or reformat, etc.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:22 AM on May 24, 2012

A: Okay, I've tried playing with the boot order. It claims it needs to "repair" my Windows install before it will let me start Windows, but I'm wary of letting it do that. What if the repair changes good stuff on my 128GB? Like I said, it boots fine from the 128 if the 64 isn't plugged in.

B: Won't it prevent me from deleting a bunch of the system files that are currently running? I would think I need to make it boot from elsewhere to properly clean it.

But now I'm wondering if Clonezilla is the answer? I can boot from the Clonezilla disk, so maybe I can clean the 64GB from there?
posted by RobotHero at 11:22 AM on May 24, 2012

How does Windows know you aren't trying to cheat/pirate by cloning disks (and cloning to different sized disks). So, yeah, it's not gonna like booting from the cloned disk for some good reasons.

(Corps get away with this via corp licensing for the roll-out and the computers are largely homogenous)
posted by k5.user at 11:27 AM on May 24, 2012

Well if I was trying to pirate, why would I put both drives back in the same computer?

I booted from Clonezilla and repartitioned the 64GB from there. I'm now running both drives, and booting from the 128GB. Everything seems to be working the way I want it, at least for now.
posted by RobotHero at 11:47 AM on May 24, 2012

If I just unplug the 64GB drive, it boots from the 128GB drive fine.

OK, from that, if you are absolutely sure that everything on the 64gb is safe and copied, you can delete the partitions on the 64gb, then repartition and reformat it as a data only drive. That will get rid of its old "boot sector" which your machine keeps finding.
posted by caclwmr4 at 11:48 AM on May 24, 2012

After posting, ah.
posted by caclwmr4 at 11:49 AM on May 24, 2012

Yes, I thought that was the plan, but my only memories of making boot disks are now several years out of date, and involved actual floppies. It didn't occur to me right away that this was something I could do from the Clonezilla.
posted by RobotHero at 11:55 AM on May 24, 2012

Download dban and create a cd with it. When you are absolutely sure the cloning process went correctly, shut down, UNPLUG THE 128gb DRIVE, and then boot with the dban CD and zero out the 64gb drive.

Then, plug the 128gb drive into SATA-0 and the 64gb drive into SATA-1, put the BIOS back the way it was, and boot back up. You should see a blank disk that you can then partition and format.

(If your drive letters aren't right, like C: = 128gb, D: = DVDROM and E: 64gb, you can fix this. In disk management, right click on the dvd drive and change its drive letter to F:. Then you can change the 64gb to D:, and then the dvd back to E:. It doesn't matter, but that's how to do it if the letters aren't to your liking.)
posted by gjc at 7:57 AM on May 25, 2012

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