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 Post subject: Re: Backup vs Clone
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 2:32 am 
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SUCCESS!!!

I HAVE succeeded in booting to Windows 10 via a USB external drive made with Acronis boot media.

Well, kind-a sort of...


Dang, I wish I had gone further with my main system after the failure with EaseUS. (I'm sure that I will do.) On the other hand, if I had, I may never actually found the answer. From what I've done it does seem that the BIOS is a big factor as to if this will work. I made an external clone of my laptop. I did the entire drive which is partitioned for system and data. The combined laptop drive is 1 TB. The destination external USB drive is 2 TB.

Acronis was fine with everything and made the clone.

This is where the BIOS seems to be a factor.

  • The danged clone would not boot on my laptop but it should unless something is preventing; dag-nab-it! May or may not be able to fix.
  • I don't exactly know why I tried the following but I DID previously imply that I thought that the BIOS could be a factor.
    1. I put the external clone on my main and re-booted selecting to boot to the external and the danged thing booted!
    2. Reasonably it wanted to restart to install found hardware. Restarted and again selected to boot from the external. Booted to Windows 10 from the external without issue.
  • A clone of my laptop will boot on my main but not on the laptop even though both are running the same builds of Windows 10.

Bottom line is that I can, in fact, boot to an external clone of Windows 10 but the system BIOS needs to allow. This is going to be system specific.

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 Post subject: Re: Backup vs Clone
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 3:49 pm 
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To add to my last post I wanted to prove things out.

First image is the BIOS boot menu for my main system. All three HGST/Hitachi listings are the same external drive connected via USB 2. I think it best to use USB 2 as USB 3 often will not work until Windows is loaded to apply USB 3 drivers.


Attachment:
IMG_2131.JPG
IMG_2131.JPG [ 166.5 KiB | Viewed 226 times ]


This is This PC with the system booted as normal. Note the C: size. Also note that C: is labeled as "Win 10 (C:)".

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external boot 1.jpg
external boot 1.jpg [ 64.67 KiB | Viewed 226 times ]


This is This PC after booting to the USB external drive. Again note the size of C:. I would think that the different sizes shown for C: is proof enough that it is in fact booting to the external. Also note that the drive labeled as "Win 10 (#:)" is no longer C:.

Attachment:
external boot 2.jpg
external boot 2.jpg [ 31.05 KiB | Viewed 226 times ]


So... it appears that you can boot to an external but it may depend on the BIOS. I'll have to try again on my laptop to see if I can get it to boot. I'll probably also test on my second desktop and possibly my surface.

<edit>
Does not seem to want to boot on my Surface. While I want to try booting on my laptop again it did fail on the first try. So, it boots on my main system which has a UEFI BIOS and has failed on two systems that do not have a UEFI BIOS. Way too small of a sample to prove anything but it makes me wonder if a UEFI BIOS is the key. Not going to do at the moment but it will be interesting to see what happens when I try on my second desktop. My second desktop was built when UEFI was starting and is sort of a hybrid between old style BIOS and UEFI, mostly old style if I remember right. It DOES have EFI but not UEFI. Since EFI allows for multiple boot loaders, as does UEFI, it may be possible that EFI is the key. If it boots on my second desktop it will still not prove EFI being the key as it is still too small of a sample but I will point in that direction if two systems with EFI boot and two without EFI fail.


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 Post subject: Re: Backup vs Clone
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 5:43 pm 
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Interesting. So if I understand correctly, if you select "Windows Boot Manager (SATA3_5: HGST...)", it will not boot.

But if you select "USB: Hitachi...." it will boot.

When I tried my USB Storejet clone, it was only listed as "Windows Boot Manager (Storejet)" and it failed. I did not see a "USB: Storejet" listed.

When I tried mine, I did not invoke Boot Manager via F8; instead, I went into my BIOS via F2 and then selected Boot. Could that have made a difference? I guess I need to generate another clone and see (I deleted my previous clone since it wouldn't work).

EDIT: And I was using a USB 3.0 port (instead of a 2.0)

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 Post subject: Re: Backup vs Clone
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:28 pm 
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I did not add the USB drive to the boot order in my BIOS. I only used the boot menu. I do the same with my normal clones on my main system to test. The only item in my main's BIOS boot order is the normal boot, nothing else. If I want to boot to something else I use the boot menu.

"Windows Boot Manager (SATA3_5: HGST...)" fails but the other two listings work. This actually surprised me as I figured that the boot manager would have the best chance.

I stated that EFI being the possible key may be associated to its allowing multiple boot loaders so how can a dual boot on a system without EFI work? The simple answer is that no matter how many OSes you have in a multiple boot there is still just one boot loader. Throwing a second boot loader (the external clone) on a system without EFI may possibly confuse the system into failure.

BB, all this is speculation and guesswork. All I can report is what happens on my 4 systems which is too small of a sample to draw definite conclusions. Bottom line is that I don't know but, so far, the results support my speculations. If it boots on my second desktop I will be more confident as that would mean that two EFI systems boot and two non EFI systems do not. Would still not be a large enough sample but would strongly point to EFI being the key.

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 Post subject: Re: Backup vs Clone
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 8:13 pm 
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Jay, I am sorta tied up for the next couple of days, but then I will again create a clone of my C: drive onto my Transcend StoreJet external USB drive. After that I will do two things differently, as you did:
(1) I will connect the clone to a USB 2.0 port instead of a 3.0
(2) I will invoke my Boot Manager rather than going through the Boot menu in my UEFI BIOS

Hopefully my clone will then boot.

P.S. I plan on using the paid version of Macrium to create my clone.....that was an easy process.

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 Post subject: Re: Backup vs Clone
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:08 pm 
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Jay, I created another clone drive and was careful to connect the drive to a USB 2.0 port. And this time I invoked the Boot Manager rather than the BIOS menu. And sure enough, my clone drive was listed so I elected to boot from it.

But there was no Joy in Mudville. I could not boot from the clone. As soon as I tried, I got the message "Preparing Automated Repair". And I don't care what troubleshooting or repair options I invoked after that, nothing helped.

Then something dawned on me from you last posting. I had been doing all this clone work on the 4-year old Dell Inspiron computer that my sister gave me last year after I helped her set up a new Win 10 computer. Now I'm thinking this Dell has the old legacy BIOS and not a UEFI BIOS like my primary computer has. Later tonight or in the morning I will check that out. I may be running into the same problem you did, where non-EFI systems will not boot with a clone. :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Backup vs Clone
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:20 pm 
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A 4 year old system? To be honest I'd expect a UEFI BIOS but legacy is still possible.

How well did you look at the boot menu? In the case of my main I have three listings for the same drive. The SATA and USB options both work but the boot manager option will fail. The "Preparing Automated Repair" alert is the same as I get if I try to boot from the drive's boot manager. Make sure that there is no other option for booting the external and don't be surprised if it is listed as SATA even though USB. If there is more than one for the drive try all boot options.

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 Post subject: Re: Backup vs Clone
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:40 pm 
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I'll have to take a closer look tomorrow. My boot manager specifically listed the Storejet and that's what I chose.

And I thought you told me to use the boot manager and not the BIOS boot menu. So maybe that is my problem. Tomorrow I will go back to the boot menu, write down what I see, and then seek your advice on which way to go.

Thanks for all your help and guidance......

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 Post subject: Re: Backup vs Clone
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:55 pm 
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bbarry wrote:
I'll have to take a closer look tomorrow. My boot manager specifically listed the Storejet and that's what I chose.

And I thought you told me to use the boot manager and not the BIOS boot menu. So maybe that is my problem. Tomorrow I will go back to the boot menu, write down what I see, and then seek your advice on which way to go.

Thanks for all your help and guidance......

Not sure that I understand what you are asking. Initially I did say that the boot manager option was likely the best to try first but I later said that the boot manager option failed on my main system.

I have no idea as to what you actually mean by boot manager and not the BIOS boot menu as they are sort of the same thing as both offer different boot options.

When I say boot menu I do not mean anything directly associated with BIOS settings.. There should be an F# key you can hit to bring up a menu of any and all drives considered possibly bootable.

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 Post subject: Re: Backup vs Clone
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:15 pm 
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Jay, when I press F2 on the Dell, I get the BIOS menu where I can select 'Boot' and then arrange/rearrange the boot order.

When I press F12, I directly get a listing of available boot drives. This is what I was calling the boot manager.

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 Post subject: Re: Backup vs Clone
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 12:11 am 
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The F12 option is where you should be looking for external boot options. Try ALL options that look like they could apply to the external dive.,

This stuff either works or not. If you try all the displayed options and they all fail it is highly probable that your system just can't do it.

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