My wife's laptop has been acting flaky, so I wanted to clone her hard drive to anther SATA drive I have to have a backup of the OS. She runs XP. It is an HP business laptop, Model 6530B. It is 4 years old and has run/otherwise continues to run great. There have been some issues at boot, when the SP startup screen shifts to the welcome screen. I updated her video drivers, and that seemed to help (the old one may have been corrupted. It booted in Safe Mode just fine).

The cloning process runs just fine-I have done this many time with my Windows 7 HP laptop. However, the cloned drive will not boot. I get a disk read error.

I tried:

1. Updating the SATA drivers before cloning.
2. Running a repair install with the XP disk. It would not let me proceed-said there was an issue with my drive-unspecified.

I note that her drive, which is original to the machine, has a hidden partition to make restoration easier. Could the existence of the hidden partition be my issue?

I don't think there is an issue with the integrity of the cloned drive. I have cloned by Window 7 machine to it as a backup a few time, and it always boots. This time, though , with XP, no boot.

I was convinced it was an XP SATA driver issue, but apparently not (the old drive is a Toshiba, the new drive is a WD).
I have not had Acronis fail me before, and this has thrown me.

Any suggestions gratefully accepted. I could re-format her drive and reinstall (without that hidden partition), but that is a lot of work.