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


20 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
How do I copy the entire contents of boot drive?

I have been having issues with the booting of my c drive. I just installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 64 onto a fresh hard drive and it is booting. What I want to do is copy over the entire contents of my original C drive over to the new drive. I have a second computer to do this on and am not sure how to do it. I doubt that dragging and dropping will copy all the hidden and system files, which is what I want to do.

The reason I don't want to simply make an image of the first drive and restore that is that the original drive does not boot AND contains a system partition that I don't want to bring along. I am hoping to marry the bootability of the new drive with the files and information on the original drive.

Any advice?

Paul

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

20 Nov 2011   #2

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Why not image your C: partition, but ignore the small system partition? Then restore that image to the partition holding your newly installed Windows system, overwriting it.

The new system partition will remain in place and not be touched by the image restore. You'll probably end up with a non-booting system again, but circumstances will be completely different and you have a much better chance of successfully using the Startup Repair.

Basically it'll just be a matter of "re-detecting" the Windows system and creating a new boot entry for it.

(I actually used precisely this same method - successfully - to manually align my system partition when I was cloning it from HDD to a new SSD.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corazon View Post
Why not image your C: partition, but ignore the small system partition? Then restore that image to the partition holding your newly installed Windows system, overwriting it.

The new system partition will remain in place and not be touched by the image restore. You'll probably end up with a non-booting system again, but circumstances will be completely different and you have a much better chance of successfully using the Startup Repair.

Basically it'll just be a matter of "re-detecting" the Windows system and creating a new boot entry for it.

(I actually used precisely this same method - successfully - to manually align my system partition when I was cloning it from HDD to a new SSD.)
I am up for this. What software do you recommend for imaging the old C drive? The software I used before grabbed the entire drive including the unwanted partition.

Once I get this up and running on my "new" c drive, I will then be restoring it to my old physical C drive which is a SSD. What a pain in the butt this has been and I am not even through. I am not opposed to buying software to make the move as I will need to do this twice to get it back on the SSD.

Paul
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


21 Nov 2011   #4

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

The free edition of Macrium Reflect is a favorite around here, and definitely won't backup or restore any other partitions besides what you tell it to. It'll do the job very nicely.

Macrium Reflect FREE Edition - Information and download
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Nov 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Downloaded and made the image last night. Will try the restore after work today. Thanks for your help.

Paul
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2011   #6

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

You're very welcome. Please keep us posted on your progress; if any new issues crop up we'll be glad to help you along.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I got home too late last night to work on my project, so I started tonight.

As mentioned before, I did a fresh installation of Win7x64 on a hard drive. It booted fine. I used reflect to take my crapped out Win7x64 installation onto the bootable fresh installation. In the advanced options in reflect, I opted NOT to replace the MBR as I knew the MBR was bad on the crapped out Win7x64 installation. It wouldn't boot, but I was expecting this.

I entered the windows recovery environment, opened a DOS window and went to c:\boot and renamed the BCR to BCR.old, ran Bootrec /rebuildBCD

Crossed my fingers and it now gives me an error saying that pwnative is missing, skipping and autocheck is missing, skipping then it bluescreens and reboots.

Any suggestions? I am at a loss as to where to go now.

If the machine boots on a fresh copy of Windows 7, 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.


Any help is appreciated, and I will reward anyone who is able to help me resolve this issue.

Paul
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2011   #8

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Hmm. You should probably simply have run the automatic startup repair 3 times before just rebuilding the BCD store. That may well have broken things, not fixed them.

Just to avoid any misunderstandings: you have only one harddisk (the new one) in the computer, correct? Or did you add the new disk to the existing one and both are in the computer now?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

The computer I am trying to fix has four hds. I have disconnected all but the boot drive. Before the computer failed I hav the system on drive c, ( a ssd of only 150 mb ) and program files on both the c an d drives. The other two drives were only data.

During my efforts to rebuild I have pulled the ssd and have been imaging the ssd to a spare 500 gb hd so as not to kill the data on the ssd while playing around trying to fix.


Paul
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

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.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How do I copy the entire contents of boot drive?




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