I'm helping a friend with a dead hard drive on a Windows XP machine. He has full backups with Norton Systemworks' Save & Restore. Our hope is to restore a backup to a new hard drive without having to reinstall Windows on the new disk. Is that possible? What's going wrong?
We've been through about 10 round-trips of the Norton system restore disc process. We've done what looks like a full restore: a spot check shows lots of files are on the new disk, including a populated \Windows\System folder, user files, etc. But when we go to boot from the hard drive it never starts loading Windows, just displays a text mode screen with a line of ANSI garbage on it starting "U___h". The ANSI smiley faces are a bit ironic, but not helping us. I've never seen a Windows box fail to boot in this way.
My guess is Norton Save & Restore has not restored some essential part of the bootstrap to the new disk. I can't figure out whether the restore even should be able to do that. There's no DOS fdisk tool on the recovery disk. There is a special program for activating a boot partition, another (terrible) program for editing the partition table, and a third program for writing "the first track". Sadly, we have no separate copy of the first track from the old dead disk to copy from.
Is there some way to do a complete restore from Norton Save & Recover? I'd like to avoid booting and recovering from Windows install media because I have no confidence that reinstalling Windows on top of (or underneath) the Norton recovered disk would result in a system that works like it did before the drive crash.