Cloning failed.. system logs me off as soon as I log in

MDesigner

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2001
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Anyone have any idea why this might happen? I tried Norton Ghost to copy my WinXP install from my old 80GB to my new Seagate 160GB. Then I boot up the 160GB, boots fine.. I log in, and right away it says "Logging off" and kicks me back out. What the hell?

Any suggestions?
 

Rapidskies

Golden Member
May 27, 2003
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Your profile might be corrupt, try logging on as a different user (administrator). Also try Safe Mode (F8 at boot).
 

MDesigner

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2001
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How'd that happen? I thought cloning was an exact duplicate of another HD? Assuming I can log in as administrator, what can I do to fix the other profile?
 

Valkerie

Banned
May 28, 2005
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After you clone, repair Windows XP with the boot CD. It should leave almost everything the way it was before. However, you might have to reinstall any Service Packs, etc.
 

ITJunkie

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Apr 17, 2003
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www.techange.com
Originally posted by: MDesigner
How'd that happen? I thought cloning was an exact duplicate of another HD? Assuming I can log in as administrator, what can I do to fix the other profile?

keep in mind that "cloning" is just that. It makes a copy of your current harddrive. Going from an 80GB to a 160GB may be part of the issue. I am not saying that it is but I have had issues like this restoring to different hardrives. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. You also might just try doing it again. I've had ghost crap out on me the first time then work well the next.

Go figure....
 

spherrod

Diamond Member
Mar 21, 2003
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Originally posted by: ITJunkie
Originally posted by: MDesigner
How'd that happen? I thought cloning was an exact duplicate of another HD? Assuming I can log in as administrator, what can I do to fix the other profile?

keep in mind that "cloning" is just that. It makes a copy of your current harddrive. Going from an 80GB to a 160GB may be part of the issue. I am not saying that it is but I have had issues like this restoring to different hardrives. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. You also might just try doing it again. I've had ghost crap out on me the first time then work well the next.

Go figure....

Yeah, I used to clone systems for demonstrations at shows. Hardware was identical yet out of the 15 or so cloned machines a couple would always be flaky. Reghosting may be worth a try
 

MDesigner

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2001
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Thanks for the tips. I'll try doing a repair. Thankfully I won't have to reinstall SP2 because I slipstreamed it onto my XP CD. But I'll try cloning it one more time. Do I need to do a reformat before using Ghost? Or is that not necessary?
 

Fern

Elite Member
Sep 30, 2003
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I use the clone feature in Ghost quite often, but not with winXP (mostly 98se and win2k).

I have read that when cloning (not ghosting) XP, you remove one of the HDD b4 rebooting. Articles say XP gets confused when it sees two identicle installs and tries a repair, resulting in the foul-up.

Don't know if this affects all version of ghost. But might try again, and remove one of the drives b4 rebooting.

Good Luck with it,

Fern
 

Valkerie

Banned
May 28, 2005
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Western Digital software (for example) sets up the cloning so that the primary boot directory is on the copied drive.
Reformatting is not necessary unless you want to erase old files you know you won't be using anymore (you can still reformat without losing any files), but as far as you're concerned, Windows XP does not require reformatting if it's being repaired.
 

MDesigner

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2001
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Awesome, thanks for the tip! I'll try Ghost once more. If it doesn't work, screw it.. I'll give Acronis a try.
 

Smilin

Diamond Member
Mar 4, 2002
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Smells like guesses in here :D

It's nothing wrong with Ghost or Acronis. Nothing is corrupt, and you don't need a repair.

It sounds like XP has done a drive letter shift. Winlogon is trying to spawn Userinit.exe from the C:\ drive but your drive letters have shifted over.

If you have another machine on your network the easy workaround is to remotely edit your registry. If you don't have another machine, boot to your original drive with your new drive mounted as a secondary. Load up your Software hive in regedit from the windows\system32\config (see "load hive" in regedit help if you don't know how). Once you have access to your bad registry, edit the following value:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon ! Userinit

Set the value to just be "userinit.exe," with no path.

That will let you logon. It doesn't solve the root issue though. You'll need to edit your mounteddevices key to fix your drive letter shift. Winlogon may work fine now, but lots of other crap will be wrong.

Info for joo:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;223188

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249321/
 

MDesigner

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2001
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Drive letter shift? Ok.. well, I am cloning from C: to G: (G=new drive). But when I'm done, I shut down, disconnect the old drive.. and boot on the new drive, and the new drive boots as C:

So do I still need to go through this whole process?
 

SUOrangeman

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
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I found myself in this situation before. My drive letters had somehow gotten shifted. The info Smilin posted should get you going in the right direction.

-SUO
 

MDesigner

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2001
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This is a fairly drastic change, I'd like to understand this better before I go forward with it.

First off, if I use Ghost to clone the C: drive to the G: drive... all of the registry information on the G: drive should have references to C:, not G:.. correct? I mean, isn't Ghost smart enough to handle this? If I boot the newly cloned drive, it should NOT have any weird references to "G:" anywhere.

I guess I don't understand why this isn't a "known issue" and hasn't been addressed in the latest Ghost software. I think I will try Acronis out to see if it's intelligent enough to handle this situation. If that fails, then I'll have to follow the KB articles above. Question is, do I need to do both of those? In which order?
 

MDesigner

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2001
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And the verdict is: Acronis rocks! It cloned perfectly, zero issues. Why? Because unlike Ghost, it actually reboots and does all the cloning on the XP blue DOS screen (same one chkdsk uses), rather than in Windows. And it shuts down from there, and when you boot back up with the cloned drive, it corrects the drive letters & all that necessary stuff.

Thanks for the tip on Acronis. Blows Ghost away...
 

JesseKnows

Golden Member
Jul 7, 2000
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First off, if I use Ghost to clone the C: drive to the G: drive... all of the registry information on the G: drive should have references to C:, not G:.. correct?

Yes, the registry says C:. However, the identification of C: with your new drive is deficient. There is a drive table in the registry, and that table doesn't include the new drive when you do the ghosting - that's logical, right? Then during boot, the system looks for c:\...userinit.exe but the drive registered as C is not there - that is the drive you removed.

Arconis may know enough to tweak the registry and fix this, kudos to them. But Ghost is doing the right thing, and it's Microsoft who are at fault.
 

pcgeek11

Lifer
Jun 12, 2005
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Quote:
" Yes, the registry says C:. However, the identification of C: with your new drive is deficient. There is a drive table in the registry, and that table doesn't include the new drive when you do the ghosting - that's logical, right? Then during boot, the system looks for c:\...userinit.exe but the drive registered as C is not there - that is the drive you removed.

Arconis may know enough to tweak the registry and fix this, kudos to them. But Ghost is doing the right thing, and it's Microsoft who are at fault. "

Bologna!!!

A clone is a clone. It copies ones and zeros from one disk to another, Bit by bit copy. Ghost is hosing up the copy period. The registry in the first disk should match the second disk bit for bit REGARDLESS of how the drive is attached during the cloning process. I have used Acronis TrueImage to clone a drive to a USB enclosure... removed the drive from the enclosure and booted from it. If what you are saying is true that would never work either..... because the drive would be " Marked " as a USB drive. Acronis is just a much better product. Ghost is just that sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Acronis doesn't fix anything it just does it properly to begin with. It has nothing to do with Microsoft or Windows. If it looks for anything that would be missing it would be the "G" drive, as it is now "C". This drive list is Dynamic and is refreshed at boot time, That is why you can install a drive then shut down and remove it then reboot without any ill effects.

pcgeek11
 

Smilin

Diamond Member
Mar 4, 2002
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Did you try modifying your userinit value? I guarantee you had a drive letter shift because that is what causes that error. It's not a guess.

This isn't a problem with Ghost, Windows or Acronis. It results from how you perform your image and how you setup your drives during the next reboot.

Were you leaving the old disk in after the clone or removing it? Were you doing a partition level clone or a disk level? Although your mounteddevices key is cloned perfectly (as is the rest of the registry) if you do a partition level clone the disk signature that corresponds to the mounteddevice key won't get cloned. This signature is store in the MBR in the bytes just before the partition table. A disk level clone will avoid this.

Another potential issue arrises if you leave the source drive in while you boot from the destination drive. Depending on how BIOS presents the drives to Windows you can have shift from this too.

More info:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;234048



 

MDesigner

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2001
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Sorry guys, pcgeek11 is right. A true clone from C: to G: would result in all of G:'s system info pointing to "C:".. that way, when you remove the old C: drive and boot up the new clone, it will show up as C: and everything will be properly set.

Cloning of an HD should not be this complicated. You should not have to mess with the regsistry, period, especially when you're paying $40-$70 for cloning software. It should be plug-n-play. Clone from drive A to B. Shut down. Remove drive A, set B to boot properly. Boot. Done. That's all anyone should expect. Acronis delivered. Ghost failed miserably at doing its job.

But, to be fair and answer your questions: no, I wasn't leaving the old disk in after cloning. I believe I did a partition clone. I don't recall any specific options about partition vs. disk level. I copied the MBR over. I'm very sure I did everything properly in Ghost. Its mistake was cloning while logged into the OS. Acronis, as I said, reboots immediately and does the whole cloning process in DOS mode as it SHOULD. So there are no locks, no surprises.

Brb, need to go tell the company IT guy about Acronis and how it blows Ghost away. :)
 

Smilin

Diamond Member
Mar 4, 2002
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mmm, kinda.

The registry cloned by Ghost does indeed match bit for bit. Ghost didn't hose anything up and this wasn't the source of your problem.

Knowing how drive letters are assigned, how the mounteddevices key is structured, and how Windows boots to a desktop can all be used to correct problems after the fact. A little care upfront will avoid this though. People use Ghost all the time for this sort of thing. I've also helped people correct the same error you experienced after using Acronis.

You used a product A, had problems, never found root cause, switched to product B and the problem went away. In your eyes product A has problems and B doesn't. I'm glad you're happy with the outcome, but you shouldn't be.
 

pcgeek11

Lifer
Jun 12, 2005
21,304
4,422
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smilin,

It doesn't make any difference if it is a drive level clone or a partition level clone.

" A little care upfront will avoid this though. "

Like what? What he did sounds perfect to me. If you know what he did wrong, please let us know! I would like to hear this myself. If you don't mind me quoting you:

" Smells like guesses in here "

" You used a product A, had problems, never found root cause, switched to product B and the problem went away. In your eyes product A has problems and B doesn't. "

In everyones eyes product A has problems, I have used Ghost many many times and it was a hit and miss operation, sometimes it worked sometimes it didn't. I switched to Acronis and cloned hundreds of drives and partitions and it has worked perfectly everytime. What conclusion would you make ?

" I'm glad you're happy with the outcome, but you shouldn't be. "

Why not ?

Bologna
pcgeek11

 

Netopia

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,793
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81
Two things...

1) SUOrangeman.... good to see you. I've been wondering about you lately as it seemed I hadn't seen you in a long time! :D

2) All the people who talked about drive shifting were 100% on the money. I've had this happen and usually it's because the box was rebooted before the drive cable was moved into the EXACT position that the original drive was in. Always had to fix it over the network and BINGO... worked fine.

Joe