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  1. #1
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    "No boot device..."

    I use my laptop (Dell Latitude E5420) at work a lot. It rides around in my truck, and when I'm using it, I'm on one of three large walking draglines filling out reports. These machines have various normal vibrations in the course of their activities, some of which can be large scale. The Dell has Free Fall protection, and has hesitated from time to time.

    Yesterday I saw a black screen with the title message three different times. A couple of times I got the Windows sad face light blue screen saying that Windows had encountered a problem and had to shut down. Each time I managed to reboot, run diagnostics, get a couple more error screens, then it would boot normally and allow me to finish what I was doing. My laptop is 4 years old and has had some rugged use.

    After work I went to Office Depot (Amazon would have been cheaper, but I didn't have time) and picked up a Toshiba Q Series Pro 256GB SSD for $189.99US. When I got home, I booted my laptop with my Image For Windows Rescue USB stick, and created a full drive image with validation (root and all 8 partitions in one fell swoop). That took two hours sixteen minutes. I have images of the laptop, but the full disk images I had were too old to use for my purposes. Had I been unable to get a fresh image off the failing drive, I could have used one of the older images and retrieved newer data from partition images, but that would have taken longer.

    After the image was complete and validated, I removed the 240GB Seagate spinner that came with the laptop, replaced it with the Toshiba SSD, powered back up and booted my Rescue USB once more, and restored the image to the new drive. No format needed, just ticked the box in the restore menu for "Align to target". The restore took thirty six minutes. After the restore, I removed the Rescue USB and rebooted. The SSD is quick; boot time cut in half, more or less.

    On boot up and login, I clicked on Windows Update (to check if my Windows Validation was still good) and Windows had two important updates and one recommended update (Windows Defender definitions). I ran those (one failed, but after the mandatory reboot on the one that took, ran the failure a second time and it installed successfully). No validation issues; but then it was just a hard drive change.

    All in all, a little over three hours for the swap, no complications to speak of, no validation issues. Toshiba offers a cloning download, but I decided to stay in my comfort zone with something I know works, Image For Windows, and I'm not in the least disappointed. So, back to work today for a road test. I think I'm gonna be alright, though.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

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  3. #2
    Platinum Lounger
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    Unless it's a motherboard connection that's loose!

    cheers, Paul

  4. #3
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Unless it's a motherboard connection that's loose!

    cheers, Paul
    True enough, but with the time constraints, I needed a positive solution at the ready. On the E5420, the SATA connector goes through an adapter that plugs into the HDD on one end, and makes the connection with the motherboard at the other end with gold hairpin-spring contacts. There's room for flexibility, but still having a positive force on both ends of the connection.

    At any rate, I've made my rounds this morning, and have had no further symptoms. I'm posting this on my laptop.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  5. #4
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Two days at work, no worries. There are some "unknown"s in my BCD Store that I need to clean up, but I can select Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 8.1 Pro from the boot menu and boot into either one without a hiccup. I put my BootIt Bare Metal CD in the drive and booted to it to get a closer look at the SSD, and there are a couple of 6MB slices of free space between a couple of partitions. They don't seem to be getting in the way of anything, both OS's run normally, just noticeably snappier.

    I'll clean those up and sort out my BCD Store this weekend, but I'll give Image For Windows two thumbs up for converting from spinner to SSD on a laptop. A desktop with a big spinner would require a couple of more steps, but still very do-able. I may just jump on that sometime in the near future, if I run across a good sale price on a reputable SSD. (I picked the Toshiba Q Series Pro based on some favorable reviews)
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  6. #5
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    A good experience there. It pays to keep your images up to date .
    Rui
    -------
    R4

  7. #6
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I used BootIt Bare Metal to absorb the bits of free space into adjacent partitions. Doing that sorted out some of the oddities in the BCD Store, so all I really had to do there was change the default OS to Windows 8 and shorten the boot delay.

    It's all good, now.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  8. #7
    3 Star Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    bbearren
    Just a thought (ouch) but could that empty space be for alignment purposes or is that for HDDs only??


  9. #8
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    bbearren
    Just a thought (ouch) but could that empty space be for alignment purposes or is that for HDDs only??
    Any sectors necessary for alignment are part of the drive formatting, and won't show as free space. The drive geometry/settings are "in use", regardless of drive type.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  10. #9
    3 Star Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  11. #10
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Wavy, thanks for that link. The empty spaces I had weren't alignment spaces. My Windows 8 partition and one other were correctly aligned just with restoring the image. I used BootIt Bare Metal to make some minor adjustments to my other partitions. I wound up with 2MB free space after my Microsoft Reserved partition, and all the rest assigned.

    I could get rid of the 2MB, but I would have to delete and recreate the MSR partition to include the 2 MB, so I'm not really losing anything, anyway. Everything's like it should be now, all partitions aligned, and both sides of my dual boot working as they should.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  12. #11
    3 Star Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Glad to hear all is well. 2Mb is just big enough to be annoying if one thinks about it, but negligible for modern HDD.

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

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