Cloning Ubuntu drives

Last week I cloned a Xubuntu 12.04 system disk from an old IDE drive to a brand new drive. Acronis True Image reported that the process succeeded, but Xubuntu refused to boot from the new drive — the PC simply restarted without booting Xubuntu. I uttered a sound that you don’t want to hear from the guy who’s upgrading your system: “Uh-oh.”

Why it won’t boot
I learned in that Ubuntu relies upon disks’ uuid (Universally Unique Identity) numbers. Apparently Ubuntu first loads the Grub start menu. Grub reads /boot/grub/menu.lst, which uses the disk’s uuid number to define the disk on which the operating system to be booted is stored. Since the new disk’s uuid differs from the old disk’s uuid, we must edit /boot/grub/menu.lst.

A quick fix
Eventually I found a simple alternative to manual editing. The Lubuntu-based open-source Boot Repair CD repaired the problem with just one click. It takes a while to load but it’s a great little tool that claims to repair Windows boot problems as well. I’ve added it to my toolbox.

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© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695


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