Laptop boots to blinking cursor after hard drive clone
Short version of story - Gateway (ugh) laptop with Vista Home Premium, 160gb sata Hitachi drive is full, so I purchased a 500gb sata Hitachi drive to upgrade. Attached new drive via USB caddy and cloned using Easus Disk Copy, which I have used successfully many times before. Plunked in new drive and system won't boot - just gives me flashing cursor.
Pulled new drive, replaced old drive, examined clone which looks good except that on the original drive the restore partition is the second logical drive, on the clone the restore partition is on the first logical drive. I try recloning, nothing changes. I look up reviews on the new Hitachi drive I purchased and see some stuff I have no clue about regarding alignments - Hitachi has a free Align tool - turns out Vista and this drive are incompatible unless the data is aligned. I download the Align tool, create a bootable "rescue" disk, and run it on the new drive. Success, drive is now all aligned. Try to boot, still get flashing cursor.
I think that perhaps the swapped partitions is the problem and I will try to make the OS partition bootable. I try to boot with a Vista boot disk and it tells me it sees no operating system and I need drivers for the hard drive. Hitachi has no drivers. The drive is visible in the BIOS but this is the most stripped down BIOS imaginable so no changes available. I go to Gateway to see if there is a new BIOS and voila - there is one that is listed as 2 years newer than the installed BIOS. However, funny, after I extract the file I see it's got a lower number and an earlier date than the one actually installed on the system. The read me for the BIOS says to install it if you are upgrading to Vista, and the model number of the system I have in hand isn't on the applicable list. Thanks Gateway!