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

Saturday, July 16, 2016

How to reanimate dead Leonovo u430 touch

So I opened up my Lenovo Ideapad 430 touch today because I wanted to check whether my new SSD drive would fit in. When I reassembled it to transfer the data, I connected it to power and nothing happened. Not even the A/C light came on.

Since I didn't screw back all the screws, I opened it up again and put everything back into place (suspecting it was something to do with anti static precautions, but what do I know of physics...)

Well, it didn't help, and I got kind of freaked out. I googled and found nothing, except a fairly old entry about ThinkPads mentioning the Power Button.

Out of some kind of weird thought I pressed the Power Button for like 15 seconds - and a light came on. Pressed it again, and the machine came alive. [I'll spell the Power Button with Caps from now on since it is the HOLY Power Button obviously.]

Tech guys will most likely laugh at me now, but since I read nothing about this (and since I'm really glad I don't have to get a new Laptop or go ask some guys for help) I decided to share.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Eureka! Intel N 7260 Issue Appears To Be Solved

For a while now I've been having annoying trouble with my wireless adapter (Intel N 7260 - yes, I know it is known to cause trouble...). Not only did it not connect properly, it broke the wifi and the internet connection of the router in a way that no other device in the network could access the internet any more.

I might just have discovered another possible cause: And guess what, Windows took me there. I know, right? So, this is what I did (I am on Win 10 right now):

- It did not connect properly, as usual (for me this only happens when at home, where I am using a Speedport W 504V router) - so I ran Windows "troubleshooting" (right-click on the wifi icon in the task bar to get there)
- It told me that there was an issue with a network protocol missing on my machine (which is rather ridiculous)
- BUT at the bottom of the window it offered me a link to detailed information about the issue, which took me to a quite detailed troubleshooting report
- This report lists all kinds of information about the device, known networks and available networks, and at the very bottom something very interesing was laid out to me, which confirmed my suspicions: My wireless adapter is not compatible with the router (access point). Go figure. Well, anyways, not like it was configured. Turns out that Windows 10 has quite detailed energy management settings, which seem not to be compatible with all network access points.

To solve the issue: Right-Click the battery icon in your task bar, open energy management. Go to your active energy management mode and click "change settings" and click on "change advanced settings". Go to your wireless device, and check if both battery and a/c-mode are set to medium.

The theory has yet to be confirmed after an extended testing period, but for now, it works!