Friday, 6 December 2013

Dell Inspiron 530 + WD Passport 2TB USB drive troubles!

Today I tried to backup my Dell Inspiron 530 system's internal SATA hard disk by booting from my 2TB WD Passport USB 3.0 hard disk installed with Easy2Boot and containing the Clonezilla ISO and the .mnu file detailed in the previous blog post.
It was the first time that I had tried to boot the Dell system from the Passport drive and it seems that the Dell doesn't like it! If I connect the Passport drive to one of the Dell USB 2.0 ports, not only does the Dell BIOS not detect the Passport USB drive, but it also does not detect any other USB drive which I also have connected at the same time.
Even if I connect a single USB Flash drive only, press F12 to get to the BIOS Boot Selection menu and then connect the Passport hard drive, the BIOS fails to boot from the USB Flash drive (the symptoms indicate that the USB Flash drive is no longer accessible as it only tries to boot from the other internal drives in the system).
In the end, I found that I needed to boot with only an E2B USB Flash drive connected, boot to the E2B menu from the Flash drive and then connect the Passport USB hard drive. Then, when I booted to the Clonezilla ISO, Clonezilla saw the two USB drives and all the internal hard disks.
The problem now was that E2B had enumerated the hard drives in the system incorrectly and so it had set the Passport USB drive as sdd1 (my Dell system has 3 internal hard drives), whereas the Passport USB hard drive was designated as sde1 by Clonezilla once it had booted.
To fix this I modified the Clonezilla menu that I posted in my previous blog. Now the user can override the drive designations chosen by the E2B grub4dos menu code if they wish (see below):

I have updated the previous blog post with the new menu code and also updated the .mnu file in Tutorial 118. So now you can boot from an E2B USB Flash drive but you can store the Clonezilla backups on another drive (or even backup or restore a different drive in the system).

Let me know if you try this and tell me how you got on.