Recovery Disks - A Cunning Plan!

  Mike.B.64 16:11 06 Mar 2008

This is my first post, so please bear with me. (I tried earlier this afternoon, but I think I had been logged out for some reason before I pressed the final button).

I run an Advent 3509, with XP Home and Service Pack 2. Because it is nearly six years old, I thought of replacing the hard disk drive before it fails on me. I bought a Seagate 320GB ATA-100, and initially installed it as a slave to the original Maxtor 80GB. I initialled and formatted the Seagate without problem, and then came my cunning plan.

I cabled the Seagate as master - the jumper is set to cable select - and disconnected the Maxtor. I then installed my Recovery Disks on the Seagate. (I do not have XP Home disks as the PC came with bundled software). The installation seemed OK, but when the PC rebooted at the end of the second disk, I caught a brief glimpse of the black XP screen, closely followed by the blue screen of death. The blue screen error message refers to UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME, from which I infer that the boot.ini file cannot be found. I suspect the Recovery Disks detect a new PC, and there is some anti-piracy issue, or perhaps the software on the Seagate is beyond the early version of XP on the Recovery Disks. Or it may simply be my lack of knowledge.

I tried booting from the floppy drive using six disks copied from the Microsoft website. They installed OK, then asked me to insert the disk for Service Pack 2, but did not seem to recognize it, as there was no response to pressing enter.

There is no urgency, as I have recabled the Maxtor as master, with the Seagate as slave, and my PC is running normally - for the moment - but it seems unreasonable to have to purchase XP Home, or change the PC, if the drive fails.

If any kind person knows a workround for this problem, I will be most grateful for any information you can give.


  Devil Fish 16:15 06 Mar 2008

grab a copy of acronis true image

click here

clone your master on to the slave and voila

hope this helps

p.s keep this open some one on the night shift may come up with a free alternative if not the above will work

  Shortstop 16:17 06 Mar 2008

Recovery disks frequently install the PC from a hidden partition rather than simply installing windows and it sounds like this is the problem.

A way around this is for you to copy the contents of the original harddrive onto your new one, then swapping them over. This should solve the issue if it is due to the comments in the first paragraph.

You need hard drive cloning software for this.



  daba 16:18 06 Mar 2008

Sounds like you need software to shift your C; drive to a new drive (initially as slave).

Then reboot with the new drive as master.

I did this a while ago using Seagate's Diskwizard program, but I don't have it anymore.

You can download it from click here

  Shortstop 16:19 06 Mar 2008

Great minds.

Sorry Mike should have pasted this on my post:

click here

lots of cloners there to choose from ...


  Demora 16:19 06 Mar 2008

I Bought Acronis Disk Director when I got a new hdd for my Toshiba laptop. Cleaned as much rubbish off the old hard drive, made backups of important stuff then cloned the drive to the new drive. Then I swapped them over. I now have 120gig drive instead of 40 in the laptop.

I think you can download a trial and see what you think.

  Diemmess 16:27 06 Mar 2008

Personally I use and like Acronis as with Devil Fish.

However, various HD manufacturers provide a freebie download which will do a oneway transfer of everything.

Have a (careful) look at this click here I know it is for Maxtor but it might work for Seagate or perhaps seagate offer similar software.

  DieSse 16:31 06 Mar 2008

The Seagate Disk Wizard software, which is a free download - is a cut-down version of Acronis True Image, and will clone you drive for you.

And you can also use it for backups in the future (although it has some of the functions disabled, it works just fine.)

  Mike.B.64 16:57 06 Mar 2008

My grateful thanks to all of you for the prompt responses. It is very reassuring to know that there are good people out there willing to help.

Imaging software seems to be the best way forward. If it works, I will mothball my original Maxtor drive while it still has life in it, and keep it safe in case I need to repeat the process at some future date. I will then install a second new hard drive to image all my files.

I will leave the post open for a little while in case someone has a different suggestion, but I feel quite elated by the stuff you have given me.

With best wishes to you all.


PS - You will probably guess that was my age - once!

  Mike.B.64 17:00 06 Mar 2008

Sorry, senior moment - I forgot to say that I was aware of imaging software, but I did not realize it could copy the operating system. I thought there would be some protection to prevent that.

Thanks again.


  Mike.B.64 12:56 07 Mar 2008

Following your kind advice, I installed Seagate DiskWizard (free) and cloned my original Maxtor disk onto my new Seagate. Everything works perfectly, including both XP Home and Office XP being recognized as genuine by Microsoft so that I can get updates.

I suspect that there must be a way to edit or overwrite the boot.ini file installed from my recovery disks to make it work as a clean install on the new drive, but I will not be losing any sleep about that one.

I will mothball my original Maxtor drive in case I need it for a recovery at some time in the future, and I will buy a second hard disk to image the new drive to. With luck, I should be able to keep XP going until Microsoft finally calls time on it.

Over and out from a most grateful reader.


This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Dell XPS 13 9370 (2018) review

HomePod review

Comment regarder les Oscars 2018 ?