How to clone a Dell Optiplex 7050 M.2 NVME Hard Drive with Clonezilla and an External USB HDD

I ran into trouble when trying to clone a new Optiplex 7050. My normal procedure for cloning with clonezilla required a little tweaking to accommodate Windows 10, UEFI, NVME M.2, Secure Boot, and RAID On. Follow the procedure below to clone your systems on these newer hard drives and BIOS versions.

As a side thought, I enjoy using Clonezilla and have used it for many years. I love the convenience of it and not having to manage Windows images with something like SCCM. While SCCM has a place in some organizations, I believe it’s perfectly fine to use Clonezilla to create OS images of different models of computers. I have approx 15 different OS images; everything from Lenovo laptops to Dell Optiplex 380’s to Optiplex 7050’s.

Requirements:

  • 1 x USB 2.0 or 3.0 USB thumb drive min 2GB capacity for the clonezilla bootable USB drive made bootable to 20170905-zesty version of clonezilla
  • 1 x USB 3.0 USB External HDD with a minimum HDD size that is larger than the TOTAL size of your M.2 NVME HDD. (I use a 4 TB Western Digital My Passport) – In my previous experience with Clonezilla, it has created images only writing images of the Used Space on the Source HDD, in this case with UEFI / NVME HDD’s, the image created on disk is the total size of the NVME drive.
  • 2 x Dell Optiplex 7050 (Source and Target) computers
  • 1 x Separate PC or laptop you can use to create a bootable USB Clonezilla Thumb Drive

1. Configure your Source Windows 10 Dell Optiplex 7050 machine as necessary. Install all applications, create user accounts, and uninstall bloatware. Make sure you create an administrator user account and password. In final preparation for cloning, either run Sysprep (found in C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep), or alternatively ensure you shut down Windows 10 completely by creating a Shutdown /s /t 0 shortcut and executing it.

2. On a separate PC, download Rufus which we’ll use to create a bootable USB thumb drive.

3. On a separate PC, download the AMD64 version of alternative (Ubuntu-based) as outlined on the Clonezilla website (this version is required for newer BIOS’):

4. Change the file type to ISO and hit Download.

5. Attach your USB thumb drive into your separate computer, run Rufus, tell Rufus to use the drive you just attached under Device, point Rufus ” to the .iso file you just downloaded.

6. Hit Start and the bootable USB thumb drive with Clonezilla will be created.

7. On the Source computer, insert the USB thumb drive into one of the front panel’s top (black) USB ports, and insert the USB External HDD separately into the Blue USB 3.0 port. Attach the keyboard, mouse, power, and monitor.

8. Power on the Source computer and start mashing the F12 key on the keyboard to get to the one-time boot menu.

9. Before we begin, we need to make sure clonezilla can find our NVME HDD. By default UEFI and Secure Boot will be enabled. We need to disable these as well as Boot Path Security so that we can continue.

10. Select Setup from the Boot Menu:

11. In the BIOS, under the General Heading, select UEFI Boot Path Security and change it from Always to Never.

12. Next change System Configuration > SATA Operation from RAID On to AHCI

13. Lastly, change Secure Boot > Secure Boot Enable “Enabled” to “Disabled”

Apply, Save and Exit the BIOS. On the next boot, start mashing the F12 key again and this time select UEFI: USB DISK 2.0 PMAP

Clonezilla will boot from the USB drive so choose the default (hit Enter):

Select English > Don’t touch keymap > Start Clonezilla > device-image (Ok)

Under Mount Clonezilla image directory, choose Local_dev (Ok)

Press Enter to continue.

Review the clonezilla Scan disk preview to ensure it’s found both your Source and Target hard drives:

Press Ctrl-C to continue.

Arrow down and select your large external USB hard drive (sda1) to set the location of /home/partimg . This is where the clone image will be stored.

In the Directory Browser, hit “Browse” and go to your Parent Directory (top-most level) and select Done. This is where your image will be saved. You can see in my screenshot I’ve already saved an image here.

 

You will get a Summary location of Source (dev/sda1) and Target (/home/partimag). Press Enter to continue.

Choose Beginner mode

Choose Save Disk (Save_local_disk_as_an_image) – in my previous experience with Clonezilla, using normal spinning HDD’s and even SSD’s, I’ve used Samba to save my images to a separate server over the network using gigabit ethernet perfectly fine. However, in the case of these new computers and hard drives, I would get a permissions error when selecting SAMBA/SMB 2.1. The imaging would begin to take place and a couple smaller partitions would copy, but as soon as the primary large partition started it’s copy, I would get the permission error and the clone would halt. This is why we are using a local external USB hard drive.

Give a descriptive name for the image (Dell7050_NVME_256GB_DATE-IMG) hit OK.

Select the local disk as source (should only be one here)

Select -sfsck (Skip Checking)

Select Yes, check the saved image

Select -senc Not to encrypt the image (or encrypt if desired)

Select Action to perform when everything is finished: -p power off.

Press Enter to continue, (Yes/Yes) – the image process will run and the image of the Source PC will be written to the External USB HDD. The machine should shut down when complete.

Image Target Computer

Now that we have our image saved on our external HDD, we can image our Target PC. On the powered-off PC, Connect the USB thumbdrive, External HDD, keyboard, mouse, and monitor, and again Boot into the BIOS.

On the new target computer, we want to again change the BIOS settings to mirror those we made in steps 11., 12., and 13.

After saving the BIOS, restart and hit F12 again, select the USB thumb drive, and boot Clonezilla.

Start Clonezilla > Device Image > Local_dev > select image repository (sda1) > in Directory Browser, browse to the image we created, highlight it and select Done:

Choose Beginner Mode > Restore Disk:

Choose the image to restore:

Select the target disk to restore onto (Should only be one listed here):

Select “Skip checking the image before restoring” > poweroff > Enter >

Heed the warning here. If important data is on the target disk, do not proceed. All data will be overwritten:

Hit y (enter) > y (enter) >

Partclone will run, clone the image to your disk, then shut down:

With the system powered down, remove your external HDD and boot thumb drive.

Power on the newly-imaged PC, hit the F12 button to go into the BIOS again. Reverse the changes made in steps 11, 12, and 13. Save the BIOS settings, and boot normally into windows. Congrats, you’re done! Hope this helps someone clone their newer systems with Clonezilla.

 

 

 

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Solved – Dell Latitude 7370 cannot login to domain – No Logon Servers available

Solved – Windows 7 – WiFi login: There are currently no logon servers available to process your logon request.

I had an associate drop a Dell Latitude 7370 laptop on my desk saying he cannot print. I found that the user is able to logon to local workstation desktop using cached credentials but cannot logon to the domain. He is only logging into the laptop with his cached credentials, is not authenticating with the domain, and therefore cannot print. Logging off of the user’s account, and then trying to login as myself I get the error:

“There are currently no logon servers available to process your logon request. ”

I log in with his cached credentials again and right-click on the wifi adapter and choose Troubleshoot but can’t find any problems. I occasionally and intermittently get the “Windows needs your current credentials” Pop-up notification in the lower right near the clock/systray but clicking on that icon does not do anything. I even set the Wireless network adapter properties for TCP/IP 4 to use the DNS IP Address of the domain controller explicitly instead of getting the setting from DHCP, but still, the laptop is unable to login to the network with the new domain password I set for the user’s account.

There is definitely something wrong with the wireless adapter. I notice that when disconnecting/reconnecting to the wireless SSID, that the Intel WiFi drivers pop up stating that I’m connected and that there is a signal strength. Knowing that Intel drivers sometimes try to do too much and interfere with wireless connections I do the following and fix the issue.

  1. Uninstalled Intel wifi driver package from Windows Control Panel > Programs and Features. (I uninstalled both the WiDi package as well as the Intel Wifi Drivers package). This removed the device from the Device Manager
  2. In device manager, right-click on the Network Adapters and choose “Scan for Hardware Changes.” This, in turn, finds the WiFi network adapter but it does not have drivers yet.
  3. Go to https://support.dell.com and type in the Service Tag, find the drivers section and download the following driver: Intel-8260-7265-3165-7260-WiFi-Driver_YM1PH_WIN_20.10.1.1190_A24.exe
  4. Run the .exe and when it asks if I want to install the driver or extract, I chose Extract only. I make a new folder under the root of my C: drive and finish the extraction. 
  5. Back in the Device Manager, Right-click on the WiFi adapter and choose to “Browse my computer for driver software”. 
  6. Point to the location of the extracted drivers, finish the installation and log off. The laptop can now find the logon server/domain controller and the user is back in business.

For some reason the full suite driver for this model of laptop interferes with DNS and the laptop cannot find the logon server and login to the domain. By extracting the drivers only and telling the device manager to use only the .inf files for the device, we can circumvent the driver suite and get our adapter talking to the domain controller for authentication.

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Dell Latitude 3570 SSD HDD upgrade procedure reinstall reset recover Windows 10 on blank disk from DVD

So you received a Dell Latitude e3570 for business and the laptop already has a downgrade Windows 7 Pro Operating System installed on the existing 500GB 7200RPM hard drive. You want to make the machine faster and upgrade to Windows 10, so you decide to install a 120GB SSD HDD (or a Samsung M.2) and then install Windows 10 Pro from scratch. You already have the Dell Windows 10 Pro DVD. The problem is that you don’t have a hard disk image, clone image, cloning software, or machine to clone from the old HDD to the new SSD, nor do you even want to use an existing Operating System image. You don’t want to go through the steps of an upgrade from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro and then perform a clone as well. Well, that’s what happened to me and I usually prefer to perform a clean installation from a certified Dell Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit DVD for use with a licensed Dell computer like the one in the picture below. After banging my head over what amounts to a relatively simple solution, and doing some research, I thought I’d spare someone else the pain of what I went through by documenting the solution here.

So, you gleefully pop open the back of the laptop by loosening the cover screws, replace the SATA HDD with your new SSD HDD, and close up the cover again. With an external USB DVD drive, power on the laptop, hit F12, select the Dell DVD as your boot device, and hit a brick wall with the following sequence:

Language > Country > Choose option: Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Reset this PC: Remove everything :

Error: Reset this PC – Unable to reset your PC. A required drive partition is missing. (cancel)

In this event, what the setup is doing is that it’s assuming you already have Windows 10 installed on the hard drive, and that perhaps it’s corrupted, and you are choosing to have the installer find the default recovery partition that’s already on the hard drive (which it isn’t because it’s a brand new-wiped-clean-by-the-factory SSD). Also, you’d already probably know that if you DID already have the recovery partition on the hard drive that you’d choose the “Repair my computer” option in the boot menu by hitting F12 when starting…

So the problem is actually not difficult to resolve because, in summary, the solution is you merely need to choose the following sequence instead and perform a “Recover from a drive“, not “Reset this PC”. *Note: if you do this, your BIOS may still hold non-recommended Boot and Drive configurations for Windows 10, so be sure to follow the instructions after the screenshots that your BIOS and new SSD HDD is set up for correct secure-boot operations.

Language > Country > Choose option: Troubleshoot > Recover from a drive > Fully clean the drive

At this point, if you have replaced an M2 hard drive, you may have received the following error:  “Unable to reset your pc. The system drive cannot be found.” If this is the case, skip to the bottom of this post to find new information.

Like I said, it’s a good idea to check some BIOS settings and secure your new SSD HDD boot device prior to running the system Recover > Fully clean the drive operation.

  1. First hit F12 and select OTHER OPTIONS: BIOS Setup
  2. Next under General > Boot Sequence, set the Boot List Option to UEFI
  3. Next, under General heading, select Advanced Boot Options and uncheck “Enable Legacy Option ROMs”
  4. Next, under System Configuration, make sure SATA Operation is set to AHCI:
  5. Next, go to the heading Secure Boot and set Secure Boot Enable to Enabled:
  6. Now save all the changes to the BIOS and restart/Save, and hit F12 again, where at the next menu you will use the UEFI BOOT: to your external USB/DVD drive:
  7. Now go ahead and go back to the Troubleshoot > Recover from a drive > Fully clean the drive. *Note: this action will completely destroy anything that is already on the hard drive so before you do this action, be sure you have a backup of what was previously on the drive; if anything.
  8. Once the procedure runs and the machine reboots, you should see the “Recovering this PC” and a percentage status.
  9. The machine will complete the procedure and you may receive the following warning: A configuration change was requested to enable, activate, clear, enable, and activate the TPM – This action will clear and turn on the computer’s TPM (Trusted Platform Module) – WARNING: This request will remove any keys stored in the TPM: Press F12 to enable, activate, clear, enable, and activate the TPM or Press Esc to reject this change request and continue. Unless you have stored keys and want to retain them, go ahead and hit F12. 
  10. The machine will restart a couple more times and finally, you should be prompted with the traditional setup:
  11. Complete the setup, remove the DVD from the computer, restart and enjoy your newly installed Windows 10 Pro on your Latitude 3570 with an SSD hard drive. In my opinion, this is a very worthwhile upgrade and the speed difference between Windows 7 Pro on a spinning HDD as compared to Windows 10 on an SSD is like night and day.

__________________

So if your error encountered during a “Recover from Drive” was:  “Unable to reset your pc. The system drive cannot be found.” then you’ll want to take note. The Purple DVD you are trying to recover from may not include the required M2 Hard drive drivers in order for the installer to find your new hard drive. “Extra Fudge” found some success by downloading the drivers manually (which did not solve the problem for me – more below…) from Intel (if you’re installing an Intel M2 HDD, that is) and that information can be found here:

Dell Recovery disc not working. “Unable to reset your pc. The system drive cannot be found”

The link to the updated drivers in this post can be found here:

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/27147/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-?v=t

Like I said earlier, this fix and was not successful (perhaps because I was installing a Samsung NVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2 drive.)

Finally what solved my problem was to use the new Dell Operating System Imaging Tool, which assumably has the correct M.2 drivers baked into the image.

You’ll need an 8GB or larger drive USB thumb drive to complete this task. Go to Dell support https://support.dell.com, enter in the Service Tag, Select find Drivers Myself, > Select OS Windows 10, and then download the Operating System Image tool.

Next, run the tool and the rest is pretty self-explanatory.

 

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