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Windows 7: How do I copy the entire contents of boot drive?

23 Nov 2011   #11
Melor

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
I'm confused. If you had a fresh clean install, why not just copy your user files from the "bad" drive? you'd have no need for hidden and system files since they should be in the new install. You will still have to reinstall your software.
This what I am trying next. I am going to copy over the files,but have not yet decided what files to copy. Now that I have learned about the boot directory, that is not going to be copied but I think everything else.

Paul


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Nov 2011   #12
Melor

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Trying to copy my system information, setting, program files, etc. was a miserable failure. The program I was planning on using ( second copy ) fails to copy over system/program information due to security settings. I disabled UAC, fiddled with file and folder permissions and still was unable.

What I need to do is backup my boot disk and restore portions of it, or simply copy from one disk to another. The reflect program I used to make images is great at restoring the entire disk, but not individual directories, which is what I am after.

Any suggestions?

Paul
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2011   #13
CarvedDuck

Win7 Starter
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Melor View Post
...is that the original drive does not boot AND contains a system partition that I don't want to bring along.
Is the "System Partition" a system recovery Partition. Both of my Acers have System Recovery Partitions. Using Macrium, make images of both partitions and then use the macrium recovery process on a CD or USB (if your system will boot to a USB) and place both of the Partitions on the new drive.

Even though the Windows partition will not boot on the new drive, you can use the recovery software to use the System Partition to rebuild a bootable windows.

I had to do that about 12 months back and it took about an hour and needed no special skills other than patience. On the Acer, I think I tapped F5 repeatedly during the initial start up for it to go into eRecovery and reinstate windows. I am using that computer as I type.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Nov 2011   #14
flemur13013

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Melor View Post
If the machine boots on a fresh copy of Win7, is it possible to simply copy over all the system files/folders, etc from the non-booting drive? I have a second machine to do this on, so I am not trying to do this on the non-booting box
That's exactly the method (brute force) I've used a couple of times:
- system fried
- install Win7
- boot from CD and delete all the files on C: w/explorer.
- copy all the files from the other disk (USB or whatever).
- reboot

It's a bit slower than necessary but dead reliable and NO extra software needed after booting from CD. "Reliable" is the most important thing for backups. Data files (mp3s, etc) are on a different partition, as they always should be, so they don't get copied.

I know a lot of people here like Macrium, but it caused me more problems than it solved (don't recall exactly what, it was a couple of years ago). And I see so many problems on this forum with Windows Backup/restore/whatever that are similar to what I saw with it that I'll never bother with that MS stuff again.

I use "drive image XML" (AKA dixml, tho most partition SW works too) to copy entire partitions (it can run while you work normally) and Vice-Versa pro for incremental backups; it's great because you can clearly see all the new or changed files after installing or removing programs - or if some suspicious file that just showed up. The backup is just a copy of the original C: drive, no funny formatting, no funny files and no funny procedures. (dixml also backs up to some sort of XML file, but I've never bothered with it).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2011   #15
Melor

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
I'm confused. If you had a fresh clean install, why not just copy your user files from the "bad" drive? you'd have no need for hidden and system files since they should be in the new install. You will still have to reinstall your software.
What I'm DESPERATELY trying to do is prevent the need for a software reinstalletion I just discovered the file/folder backup and restore on the Macrium software. I am going to give that a try next.

Paul

.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2011   #16
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

It looks like you are in trouble because you forgot to image and restore the 100MB hidden active partition. At least that is how it looks from here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2011   #17
Melor

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
It looks like you are in trouble because you forgot to image and restore the 100MB hidden active partition. At least that is how it looks from here.
That was an early concern of mine, but I found the fresh install of win7 resides on a single partition without the 100mb hidden partition. My conclusion is that the 100 mb partition is not needed.

Paul
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2011   #18
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Melor View Post
I found the fresh install of win7 resides on a single partition without the 100mb hidden partition. My conclusion is that the 100 mb partition is not needed.

Paul
You don't need it, but you need the boot files it contains.

As you discovered, it is possible to install without creating that 100mb partition. In that case, those boot files are instead on C.

But if your install includes a 100 MB partition, I think you should image it if you use an imaging application at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2011   #19
Corazon

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Melor View Post
That was an early concern of mine, but I found the fresh install of win7 resides on a single partition without the 100mb hidden partition. My conclusion is that the 100 mb partition is not needed.
Oi...it would've been good to know that before. My plan was built on the assumption that you did have the separate boot partition. Now I'm not surprised it failed. :/

Maybe you could fresh-install Windows 7 yet again and go for another attempt at replacing it with your old system, and this time really leaving the boot files alone.

You'd have to either completely wipe the SSD and leave no partitions on it, so the install will automatically create the 100MB boot partition, or partition it manually to have the 100MB and another partition for Windows itself, then set the 100MB partition as active and proceed with the install, choosing the larger partition as your destination to install Windows into.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2011   #20
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
But if your install includes a 100 MB partition, I think you should image it if you use an imaging application at all.
Not only "should" but "must". Else you are constantly trying to repair the bootmgr - which does not always work as designed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How do I copy the entire contents of boot drive?




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