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17 Posts

07-09-2008

Toronto, Canada

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X61 - Can't get sysprep'ed image to boot on it.

2008-07-10, 21:24 PM

Scenario
I am the senior desktop analyst in the offices of an international business travel company.

We recently won the Lenovo account and the employee of our company that manages the account needs to use a Lenovo laptop exclusively so I was sent a brand new X61 to configure for the rep.

X61 originally came with Vista preloaded but I slapped XP SP2 on it using the enclosed bootable Rescue CD and six XP recovery CDs.

Since we already use a single working corporate image for the 6 different non-Lenovo hardware platforms we currently use, I want to deploy the same image to this user.

I was the person that created the image from scratch and I see no problem with it actually working on the X61.

To create an image for the laptop, one of our fastest desktops was imaged with our corporate master image and brought up normally as if the PC was being readied for deployment.
Once everything had completed, the HD in the desktop had the proper Lenovo x61 drivers added to it and the SATA drivers added to the sysprep.inf file as well.
After that it was sysprepped, shutdown and left lying in its original desktop ready to be cloned over to the drive in the X61 where it would be booted up for the first time after sysprep, in the X61.

So I would still be able to keep the preload on the x61's original hard drive, I used a SATA laptop hard drive from one of our current non-Lenovo systems for the image transfer to the x61.


Problem
When I clone the sysprepped image from the desktop hard drive over to the laptop hard drive, it refuses to boot in the IBM.
It just sits at the screen with a blinking cursor doing nothing.

Troubleshooting so far
I have put the corporate image on the x61's original hard drive [with the XP preload] by just replacing the original data partition and leaving the recovery partition alone = blinking cursor.

I have cloned the whole source drive over to the Lenovo preload HD, removing the recovery partition completely = blinking cursor.

I have installed XP from the original CD using a USB-floppy drive and the F6 key to add the SATA driver during startup.
Once completely installed, I figured that it had a valid boot sector and I Ghosted over the sysprepped image without the IB switch and I still get the blinking cursor.

I have researched on the Internet using Google and have found a couple of links that seem to indicate what the problem might be and have listed them below

Predesktop Authentication
This has nothing to do with the issue at hand as this option lies in the BIOS under Security,FingerPrint.
Its BIOS description also states that this option decides whether fingerprint access is required to boot the laptop and this option has been in the disabled state even while the laptop was booting the Factory Preload.

SATA set to Compatibility instead of AHCI
This setting only affects how the OS sees the HD, not how the laptop sees it and I tried it anyway and it has no effect.
If your XP image isnt properly sysprepped to handle the SATA drive using the proper driver, you will need to set it to Compatibility mode to get into Windows.
As it stands, this is not an issue as I have edited the sysprep.inf to add the SATA driver reference for this laptop and if it ever boots the image, I expect it to never BSOD but thats if it ever boots which it hasnt so far.

Ghosting using the IB switch
I was SO sure that this would fix the issue but I get the same blinking cursor.
Booting into DOS and using Ghost 8.3, I ran "ghost -ib" and selected the sysprepped desktop drive as the source and the laptop drive as the destination and it still leaves me at the blinking cursor when I try it in the laptop.

Re-creating the MBR
I have done this two different ways, one using Norton GDISK and one using a regular Windows 98 bootdisk.
The Windows 98 bootdisk kept saying "No fixed disks present" so it never worked.
Nortons GDISK didnt have any issues re-creating the MBR on the laptop or on the laptop HD plugged in the desktop but the drive still doesnt boot.

Signature failure error
I have heard about people having the same issue as me and getting this error but so far I have not received this error.

As of now, I have restored the XP SP2 preload back on to the laptop to get the original boot sector back as I believe that is the key to solving this whole nightmare.

There are other things I have tried as well and since I have been at it exclusively for almost two full business days now, everything is much upstairs right now but I will remember what I have tried if anyone wants to e-mail me any suggestions. 


I await and welcome anyones advice.
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9380 Posts

11-27-2007

SK

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Re: X61 - Can't get sysprep'ed image to boot on it.

2008-07-11, 7:24 AM

nikonf5, welcome to the forum,

 

Are you cloning to the drive inserted in the X61? Whenever a clone has gone bad on me is because the drive wasn't in the destination ThinkPad. (I use Acronis rather than Ghost)

 

This thread might have some usefull information for you, especially about capturing the 4 boot sectors.

 

The only other idea that springs to mind is to try the Rescue and Recovery - Recovery repair diskette with the drive in the X61. I've never used it for the exact situation you have, trying it can't hurt.

 

Hope this helps

 

edit: typo

Message Edited by andyP on 07-11-2008 09:26 AM

Andy  

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83 Posts

06-01-2008

Dallas

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  • Message 3 of 13

Re: X61 - Can't get sysprep'ed image to boot on it.

2008-07-11, 13:29 PM

 re:  Ghosting using the IB switch

 

Did you use the IB switch on BOTH the capture and the apply? Need to use it both times.  

 

 http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-57590&selectarea=SUPPORT&tempselected=5

 

 

 

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17 Posts

07-09-2008

Toronto, Canada

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  • Message 4 of 13

Re: X61 - Can't get sysprep'ed image to boot on it.

2008-07-11, 14:40 PM
Some very informative replies.

So far, all imaging I ever did was on one of two SATA laptop drives [one from our Fujitsu laptop and one from the x61] slaved on one of our Fujitsu desktops.

Therefore, the imaging was done desktop SATA disk to laptop SATA disk and I DID use the IB switch in Ghost but that still didnt work.

I believe strongly that the IB switch DOES need to be used for the source creation to a file becuase too many people have mentioned this in their forum postings for this issue.

The Lenovo person who last replied to me mentioned that it needed to be used when imaging the laptop from a file as well.

I will try that as well as it cant hurt.

It only needed to be done once for me because in my case there was no intermediate Ghost file to work with as I was doing it Disk-To-Disk.

The one big clue for me so far is the brief remark made in the first reply above which made me realise that I had never actually tried dumping an image on to the laptop hard drive while the drive was actually IN the laptop.

I have a feeling, and please corroborate if you know for sure, that the IBM laptop writes its boot sector differently than "standard PCs" and, therefore, the drive needs to be IN the laptop for it to work AND the Ghost IB switch has to be used.

I am currently in the process of modifying my Bart network boot disk to add the newer e1000 drivers in for the x61 in such a way that the older e1000 drivers still work.

If there is anything I need to know about the e1000.dos file, please let me know.

Once thats done, I will upload an image from the Fujitsu desktop to the Ghost server using the IB switch.

I will then unicast the newly created image to the laptop using the modified Bart network boot disk also using the IB switch.

Please reply with any information you can think of.

If there is anything I am missing, please let me know as well.

Thanks.
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1 Posts

07-23-2008

Minnesota

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  • Message 5 of 13

Re: X61 - Can't get sysprep'ed image to boot on it.

2008-07-23, 16:27 PM

Hello,

You're problem sounds similar to what I'm going through with just trying to image a drive for replacement in a T61.  I've tried Ghost both with and without the -IB switch, Acronis True Image, and another imaging program.

Same result each time, I had both drives connected externally via USB, so I did not actually try imaging the new drive while installed in the laptop.  I just get a black screen w/ flashing underscore cursor each time I try.


Plugging the new imaged HD into a dell laptop, it starts to boot just fine...of course I get a BSOD after the Windows splash.  I can even get the recovery started with F11.  So, the image itself must be ok....it boils down to something with the boot record and the way the Lenovo starts up.

 

Customer needs the laptop for business so I can't just take it and spend a couple days trying to get this to work, I need to be able to go with a promising solution and get it working.

Anyway, I am definitely interested in seeing what you find to solve your problem.

 

Thanks and good luck!

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17 Posts

07-09-2008

Toronto, Canada

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Re: X61 - Can't get sysprep'ed image to boot on it.

2008-07-23, 17:12 PM

Hi all,

 

Sorry about not updating this thread but here is the solution and the explanation, hopefully, I dont miss anything because I would like this all in one place so it can be referenced in the future.

 

The Lenovo's and the Dell's and maybe other OEM's [not Fujitsu-Siemens] use a recovery partition and the boot table that references it is based on some form of Linux as also is the recovery partition itself.

 

As far as I know, all flavors of Linux use 8,192 bytes for a boot table [4 sectors of 2048 bytes each] whereas a standard boot table is only 1 sector and 2048 bytes long.

 

This is the reason for the problem that happens with OEM laptops like this one.

 

What you need to do to get the image to boot is the following [BSODs after booting is another issue]

 

 

  • Create the image to a ghost file on whatever platform you want but use the IB switch in Ghost to create the image with the boot table intact.
  • Deploy the image to the IBM laptop hard drive ALSO using the IB switch
  • When doing ANY image deployment to the laptop, the hard drive MUST be IN the laptop itself. The laptop writes its boot sector differently so the hard drive must be in it for the image to work. I was doing everything right but this step and I was still having the issue so this is crucial.
  • If you are testing the image by deploying straight from the test PC to the laptop by using the Ghost Peer-2-Peer TCP/IP option, start Ghost on both ends with the IB switch but remember the destination SATA drive MUST be in the laptop itself.


Thats it.

Hope this helps everyone out.

0 person found this solution to be helpful.

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9380 Posts

11-27-2007

SK

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Re: X61 - Can't get sysprep'ed image to boot on it.

2008-07-23, 17:44 PM

nikonf5,

 

Thanks for coming back and posting the update, and glad to see you got it all working :smileyvery-happy:

Andy  

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8 Posts

03-06-2009

Singapore

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Re: X61 - Can't get sysprep'ed image to boot on it.

2009-03-09, 14:53 PM

Hi,

 

I have a similiar problem with except that I am just installing a new drive on a T42, I bought 2 refurbished laptop(T41 and T42) from an auction, HDD have been reformatted, based on the install the recovery paritition is also removed. I dont have recovery disk except for Window XP professional and Window Pre-installation disk. When I do a reformat on the HDD and begin to installed the HDD, everything go smooth until the reboot part , it will show on the cursor on the top left corner and nothing happens. How do you think I can solve the problem. Both the laptop T41 and T42 is showing the same problem.

 

I can only mange to boot it up only if I partition it into 2 partition C:drive at 8MB and E: Drive at 38 GB

Installing the window at E: will work, it will boot up to windows but a new set of problem comes, driver cannot be installed as the direction is to C: drive, try changing the E: to C: under disk management but this will cost Windows to hang.

 

Try also to go to Windows recovery to fixboot , diskpart and reformat and fixmbr, I did this for about 30 time for both laptop till I am about to smash my laptop. Also try to install window on C: drive based on 2 partition still did not work, hang with cursor on left side.

 

Any advise is appreciated

 

ktak888 

 

 

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1 Posts

07-16-2010

US

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  • Message 9 of 13

Re: X61 - Can't get sysprep'ed image to boot on it.

2010-07-16, 19:49 PM

In case anyone else is following this thread later, I just wanted to share my experience.

 

What wasn't working:

- used clonezilla to clone an image of my installed 80GB SATA drive to a remote drive

- removed my 80GB SATA drive and replaced with the new 320GB SATA drive

- used clonezilla to restore the image from the remote drive to my new 320GB SATA drive

 

That had always worked for me in the past ... but not this time.

 

After all the reading (and having no success), I decided to try this:

- removed and connected my 80GB SATA drive to a USB port

- installed my new 320GB SATA drive in the drive bay

- used clonezilla to clone the 80GB drive directly to the 320GB drive

 

This worked!  Rebooted and was up and running with no problems.

 

I followed this up by using the WD Data Lifeguard Tools (my 320GB drive is a WD Scorpio Black) to modify the OS to support +137GB drives.  Then I used EASEUS to add the extra 240GB capacity to my C: drive.

 

Meanwhile, I'll keep an eye on things as I approach the 137GB capacity ...

 

Thanks for the help folks!

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9380 Posts

11-27-2007

SK

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Re: X61 - Can't get sysprep'ed image to boot on it.

2010-07-16, 20:08 PM

CPoirier22, welcome to the forum,

 

thanks for posting your experiences and what worked for you.

 

It's kind of special when someone pops up with a first post in the boards acknowledging that a thread helped them. :smileyvery-happy:

 

Thank you.

Andy  

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Forum Search Option T430 2347-G7U W8 x64, Yoga 10 HD+, Tablet 1838-2BG, T61p 6460-67G W7 x64, T43p 2668-G2G XP, T23 2647-9LG XP, plus a few more.

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