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Windows 7: Moving Boot manager to Different Drive


27 May 2009   #1
OEM

OS3.5
 
 
Moving Boot manager to Different Drive

Went to test drive Windows 7 drive image backup and because the Vista/Windows 7 boot manager is on XP (triple boot), Windows 7 needs to run the backup to include XP drive as well.

Can I move the boot manager from XP to the Windows 7 drive so I can run the backup of Windows 7 without including XP's drive?

Note: Because I use Dell's Media Direct on Vista, only the XP drive is a Primary Drive, Vista & Windows 7 are Logical. Not sure if thats going to matter.

I'm OK with command prompt & bcdedit. What I'm not sure about is the term "store", Is it the store that contains the boot manager and by moving the store, will it reassign/rework the boot loaders for each OS drive?

I understand its critical to not make mistakes here and have exported the store to different locations including a thumb for backup. But if this goes bad, I might need help getting a bootable system back.

Wish I had a spare 2.5 drive lying around, it would have made testing Windows 7 a lot easier.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 May 2009   #2

7600.20510 x86
 
 

Yep, you can move the boot files, no problems. You will not have to reconfigure anything. And you can fully test after you do it so you will know for sure that you can delete the original boot files.

Copy bootmgr to the 7 drive. Then copy the boot folder to the 7 drive, ignoring the warning that it can't copy bcd and bcd.log. Just tell it to skip them.

Then do from elevated command prompt:

bcdedit /export X:\boot\bcd


where X is your 7 drive.

Change bios to boot from 7 drive and you should be good to go.

As a side note, you can take ownership of the boot folder and then delete all the language folders inside that do not apply to you. All that is needed to keep is one folder for your language (en-US), the fonts folder, bcd, bootstat.dat and memtest.exe.

Also, your Win 7 partition should be set as active.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2009   #3
OEM

OS3.5
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by torrentg View Post
Yep, you can move the boot files, no problems. You will not have to reconfigure anything. And you can fully test after you do it so you will know for sure that you can delete the original boot files.

Copy bootmgr to the 7 drive. Then copy the boot folder to the 7 drive, ignoring the warning that it can't copy bcd and bcd.log. Just tell it to skip them.

Then do from elevated command prompt:

bcdedit /export X:\boot\bcd

where X is your 7 drive.

Change bios to boot from 7 drive and you should be good to go.

As a side note, you can take ownership of the boot folder and then delete all the language folders inside that do not apply to you. All that is needed to keep is one folder for your language (en-US), the fonts folder, bcd, bootstat.dat and memtest.exe.

Also, your Win 7 partition should be set as active.
Hi torrentg,
Thanks for posting,

At what point can 7 partition be marked as active. It's not showing that option as of now and if needs to be active in order to boot after the change, how will I be able to it if I can't boot?

Also note, 7's partition is logical, not sure if you can set a logical drive active. In Disk Management many right click options shown for primary drives are not shown for logical drives.

This looks to be a show stopper???

This is on a Dell notebook with only one drive and in order use Dell Media Direct, I had to setup the disk in this manner. Otherwise Vista and 7 would be on primary drives and not logical.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


27 May 2009   #4
OEM

OS3.5
 
 

Welp, using diskpart it doesn't seem possible to mark a logical partition as active.
If the partition with the boot manager needs to be active, then I don't think it will work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2009   #5

7600.20510 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by OEM View Post
This looks to be a show stopper???
You're welcome. Yeah, only primary partitions may be set active. So looks like a show stopper to me.

You said: "Note: Because I use Dell's Media Direct on Vista, only the XP drive is a Primary Drive, Vista & Windows 7 are Logical. Not sure if thats going to matter."

Curious now...What is that software? And how many physical drives do you have? Where's each OS on it/them?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jun 2009   #6
OEM

OS3.5
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by torrentg View Post
You're welcome. Yeah, only primary partitions may be set active. So looks like a show stopper to me.

You said: "Note: Because I use Dell's Media Direct on Vista, only the XP drive is a Primary Drive, Vista & Windows 7 are Logical. Not sure if thats going to matter."

Curious now...What is that software? And how many physical drives do you have? Where's each OS on it/them?
Dell Media Direct is software and kinda a hardware thing too. It allows the user to boot into a Media Program when the notebook is off. The user would not have to boot into the OS. The notebook has a separate button to launch the dell media program.

The notebook has just one hard disk. It's first setup partitioned using the dell media direct dvd. It creates a utility, c:, d (extended), and a "media direct" partition.
D: drive is extended and thus logical partitions can be created. After media direct dvd is ran and creates the partitions, you run xp which installs to c:. From there I created 3 logical partitions on the extended partition. One for vista, seven, and storage.

vista and later os's, it is possible to install them on logical partitions. Imagine its due to the new boot manager. After all OS's are installed, you have to pick one to finish the media direct install. This is so the media direct program knows which os to access the media files in. Pop in the media direct dvd and install within os and it builds the media direct partition with the needed info.

I'd post a picture of my disk manager, but I have a different hard drive installed in it right now. I will have to install it again at some point and will post pic's when I do.

Hope this helps.

Added Picture of Disk Management:

Attachment 15934
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2009   #7

7600.20510 x86
 
 

What you could do is completely backup your Win 7 partition. Then use Acronis Disk Director Suite to convert the 7 partition to a primary one, in advanced mode. I am not sure if this will wipe the partition or not of data, so that is why you must completely backup first.

After converting to primary, see if the data has been wiped. If not, good. If so, replace it from the backup.

Then move the boot files as previously discussed, to the 7 partition. Then set 7 partition active. Reboot and go to command prompt, type bcdedit. If it all looks well that it has booted off the 7 partition (also in disk management, the 7 drive should now show as system and boot), you can go ahead and delete the boot files on the XP partition.

Good luck!

Or a different approach would be to take a small amount of that free space, say 50 mb, and try to create a primary partition out of that. 4 are allowed per disk and it looks like you only have 3 already, so 1 available. Then move the boot files there and set that active.

Let me know if you decide to try either approach and how it goes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2009   #8

XP, Seven, 2008R2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by torrentg View Post
I am not sure if this will wipe the partition or not of data, so that is why you must completely backup first.
It shouldn't harm any data. At least it didn't for me last time I converted my XP partition from logical to primary. But certainly backup is still a good idea if you're worried.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2009   #9
OEM

OS3.5
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by torrentg View Post
What you could do is completely backup your Win 7 partition. Then use Acronis Disk Director Suite to convert the 7 partition to a primary one, in advanced mode. I am not sure if this will wipe the partition or not of data, so that is why you must completely backup first.

After converting to primary, see if the data has been wiped. If not, good. If so, replace it from the backup.

Then move the boot files as previously discussed, to the 7 partition. Then set 7 partition active. Reboot and go to command prompt, type bcdedit. If it all looks well that it has booted off the 7 partition (also in disk management, the 7 drive should now show as system and boot), you can go ahead and delete the boot files on the XP partition.

Good luck!

Or a different approach would be to take a small amount of that free space, say 50 mb, and try to create a primary partition out of that. 4 are allowed per disk and it looks like you only have 3 already, so 1 available. Then move the boot files there and set that active.

Let me know if you decide to try either approach and how it goes.

I have Norton Save & Restore 2 (similar to ghost) and will backup all partitions and see if it has a tool to convert a logical partition to a primary one. I kinda like the idea of a small boot manager partition all by itself. What I'll do is reserve the front side of the free space and leave 50 mb at the end to create a boot manager partition. Then try to convert it to primary with Diskpart, Acronis Disk Director Suite, or Norton S&R2 .

Don't think I can split the extended partition by converting the Seven partition to a primary, but it might work if that 50 mb partition is the last one in the extended partition. If that works, I'll then follow your instructions on moving the boot manager. Its worth a try as I would like to test the windows 7 recovery and including the 50 mb boot manager partition is no big deal; its a lot better than having to back up all of XP's.

Thanks for the Help, we'll give it go some time tomorrow.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2009   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

You can only have 4 partitions in Total - including the extended partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Moving Boot manager to Different Drive




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