Monday, September 5, 2016

Clone SSD to larger SSD, and how to fix Windows 10 afterwards...

Once in a while, one needs new challenges. Or one simply buys a new SSD drive because she likes the idea of more hard drive space. Big mistake?

As you might have already guessed, I recently acquired a Crucial 750GB SSD drive to upgrade my Lenovo u430 touch machine. The plan was to "simply clone the old SSD to the new SSD", so I got myself a "SSD to USB adapter" and connected the empty drive to my machine. There are various tools out there which claim to be able to clone the drives, but none of them worked for me. Booting into (USB-)Ubuntu, I opened up GParted and noticed that my old SSD already had 8 partitions, some of which could not be read properly...

Long story short, I ended up formatting the new SSD into a GPT (not MBR!) drive, created the same partitions (just allocated a bit more space to the main ones) and, after chatting with a friend, who mentioned the "DD"-command to me (learn something new everyday, right?) cloned all partitions from old drive to new drive, partition by partition, like sudo dd if=sda1 of=sdc1. 

Worked like a charm (at least that's what I tought). I switched drives and fired up the machine - only to run into a BSOD. First it said something like winload.efi was missing, but didn't allow me to enter recovery, later on I was getting the dreaded BDC files missing or corrupted message. 

I figured out I could use the original SSD to get into recovery, but that didn't help much, so I'll just skip over the next 24 hours. By then, I also had issues on the old SSD - I couldn't use the bootrec command any more to fix the MBR / Boot sectors.  That's when I (accidentally?) disconnected the new drive while working in recovery - and voila, seems like bootrec has issues with two drives (probably with similar volumes). I managed to fix the original SSD like this:

bootrec /fixmbr
bootrec /fixboot
bootrec /scanos
bootrec /rebuildbcd

Since I figured that I won't be able to use the old SSD's recovery console to fix the new one, I finally created a recovery / installation disk (I didn't have any disk / USB media holding a Win 10 installation, so I googled the Microsoft Windows Media Creation Tool and used it to create a recovery DVD). 

Now the bootrec /fixmbr, bootrec /fixboot and bootrec/scanos worked, but I couldn't manage /rebuildbcd to complete successfully (it couldn't access the drive somehow, claiming it couldn't find the required system device). I tried it all, bcdboot, diskpart, renaming drives, chkdsk, you name it.

Some more googling, and someone mentioned somewhere that it could help to boot the installation media dvd (U)EFI version instead of the (legacy) CD-Drive. I gave it a try and voilĂ  - bootrec /rebuildbcd finished without any complaints. Reboot, done. If only someone had told me earlier to use this damn disk, would have saved like a week of work, aggression and frustration... :-D