SOLVED Seems like you are trying to restore to an empty disk. Be aware this will most probably cause trouble.

  • Fog Server 1.4.4
    Ubuntu Server 16.04

    Re: "Seems like you are trying to restore to an empty disk" issue

    I seem to be having this issue when deploying a certain image. In this case the image is from a normal EFI Windows 10 install. I’m trying to use Fog to make an image of a mechanical hard drive so I can turn around and deploy the image to an SSD. I’ve done this probably a 100 times over the last year or two with no issues (once I figured out that sometimes a partition just can’t be resized and the image type in Fog needs to be set to Multi Partition, No Resize). Capturing the image from the original hard drive works normally and succeeds. I’ve got ~150GB of image files in the /images folder associated with that image, so everything looks normal there. When deploying the image to the SSD, it goes through all the normal steps until it’s time to launch partclone, just as the picture shows. I’ve tried capturing the image again by putting the hard drive in another more trustworthy machine, and it captures just fine but still won’t deploy at all, even using a different machine and a different SSD. I’ve even tried deploying to another hard drive.

    I’ve ruled out the original PC, the new SSD/hard drive, and even tried it on a different network using a different Fog server. I’m thinking there’s something weird about the original hard drive and/or the way it is partitioned. I plan to try a debug deploy to see what info that may reveal. I’ve never done a debug task before so that will be a new experience. Any ideas what is causing this?

  • @Quazz Nice explanation of the issues regarding the order of the partitions and the starting positions. I think that’s exactly what was going on. Since the actual usage of the original 1TB drive was only ~150GB, I went with a 240GB SSD which has always worked for me before. It gave me that “Seems like you are trying to restore to an empty disk…” error every time I tried to deploy that image to anything smaller than 2TB. Now that the two little partitions at the end of the original drive are gone, I recaptured it and it deployed just fine to a 240GB SSD.

  • Moderator

    @Padcotton FOG saves the starting positions of partitions to a file which it then uses in deployment.

    FOG does not change the order of partitions, which means that ideally you want all of your partitions that won’t be resized (such as OEM and recovery) to come before the partitions that will get resized. (since then all the start markers are early on on the disk)

    This should produce far better results overall.

    Not sure why you got the empty disk error in this context, I’d rather expect the bootloader error or such…

    But I’m assuming your target disk is smaller than the origin disk, thus causing the issue (eg 1TB HDD -> 960GB (“1TB”) SSD)

  • So interesting, but would like to get more info about the issue !

  • Success! The issue all along appears to have been the fact that the original 1TB hard drive had two small partitions at the end of the drive. I know one of the partitions was a 20GB recovery partition, and the other was 2GB and I don’t know what it was for. The last things I did was delete the partitions using gparted, make sure the drive still booted windows, then manually resize the main partition and start a capture. I believe it will work just fine the way I’m used to it working now that the two partitions at the end are gone. I normally look at the size of the data on the drive and chose an SSD based on that, even if the original hard drive was 1TB, 2TB, or more.

    In short, if you run into this issue, make sure there are no partitions hanging around at the end of the drive after the main partition. It would be helpful if Fog / PartClone could see that and give a slightly more detailed error. I appreciate everyone’s help on this.

  • @Sebastian-Roth I’m building a server that has to be ready first thing tomorrow morning so I haven’t been able to put as much time into this as I would like. Based on your suggestion, I tried using a hard drive that was => the original source drive. This worked perfectly, just like pretty much every time I’ve tried to do this type of thing before. Looks like something to do with where the partitions were on the original drive not being properly mapped to the new SSD…? I’m going to take a closer look at all the partitions and where they are located on the drive. It might be as simple as getting rid of a little recovery partition at the end of the drive or something like that. I’ve never had to use a drive that was => the original drive. It has always captured the images and as long as total contents of each partition is less than the capacity of the destination drive it works fine.

  • Senior Developer

    @benc I’d suggest looking into a debug deploy task (tick the debug checkbox just before you click the button to create the deploy task in the web UI). Step through the task till you hit the error and when you get back to the command line run gdisk -l /dev/sda

    One thing that could cause this is if you try to deploy an image that came from a source disk larger than the destination SSD. Even if the image is set to resizable there are situations where the partition layout does not allow to resize to fit onto the smaller disk.

    Please post the contents of d1.partitions and if available d1.original.partitions and d1.fixed_size_partitions (from /images/PiearcyLaptopNoResize).

  • @benc said in Seems like you are trying to restore to an empty disk. Be aware this will most probably cause trouble.:

    Would you suggest doing anything to Ubuntu as far as upgrading or updating?

    The fog installer ensures the packages it uses gets updated, so you don’t need to worry about updates. But - if you want an updated OS, you could absolutely update the system (after you snapshot). The one-liner I use for updating Ubuntu and Debian is:
    apt-get update;apt-get -y dist-upgrade;apt-get -y autoclean;apt-get -y autoremove;reboot
    Updating doesn’t hurt anything, and it’s good practice, as long as you have a healthy snapshot to go back to should something go wrong.

  • @Quazz Here is a picture of the error.


    @Wayne-Workman I will snapshot the VM now and get Fog upgraded to the working branch. I’ve never done that but I remember reading about it. Shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. Would you suggest doing anything to Ubuntu as far as upgrading or updating? It’s been a few months since any OS updates have been applied.

  • In addition to what Quazz has suggested, you could also take a snapshot of your VM (for backup), and then upgrade to the working branch. There’s a lot of fixes in there. Here’s instructions: If this doesn’t work out for you, you can always revert to the snapshot and it’ll be like it never was done.

  • Moderator

    Can you take a picture of the error? A picture of someone else’s environment doesn’t really help us since their problem seemed to be related to a specific system.

    Double check host settings primary disk field. Possibly the primary disk for the SSD is not the same and thus the disk can’t be found on deployment.

  • It’s a VM running on Server 2008 R2 with VirtualBox.

  • @benc Is your fog server run in a VM or on bare metal? I ask because there are options to try if it’s in a VM that otherwise are not very easily possible.