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Windows 7: How do I clone an MBR partitioned boot disk to GPT partitioned disk


04 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
How do I clone an MBR partitioned boot disk to GPT partitioned disk

My current hard drive is dying, so claims Windows and Hitachi Drive Fitness Test. I bought a replacement drive 3TB drive which requires GPT partitioning.
I have 64 bit windows and a UEFI motherboard, so I know I can use the drive as a boot drive for a brand new installation.

My question is how do I move the entire contents of my old drive to this new drive and keep it bootable?

I asked on other another site and they suggested I first let the Windows installation disk partition the drive GPT correctly for Windows, then copy the contents of the old drive to the new one. However, another person on that site said that that would break all the symlinks (didn't know symlinks played such a crucial role in the OS) and that I should use a cloning utility that knows how to copy NTFS. Was this person off base, or is it impossible to create a bootable copy of a Windows installation by just copying all the files (this would be from live linux of some type, not Windows itself)? If it is impossible, is there a utility that can copy the contents of a partition correctly, without needing to clone the entire partition table?
Also, I have no room to make an image of my old drive anywhere.

Finally, does anyone know if clonezilla can copy an mbr partition to a gpt partition automatically, essentially doing exactly what I need, or will it always copy the partition scheme as well?

Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jul 2012   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

After more searching, I found another SevenForums thread which may answer my question. Obviously my pre-post research was not thorough enough.
Anyway, in this thread arkhi said:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by arkhi View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Winefly View Post
Can data that was stored in a MBR partition be cloned, then copied onto a GPT drive? Is this even possible? Basically what I want to do is have my existing drive be converted and all data, including OS be restored. Possible, or not possible?
This is the command I used in command prompt to backup my drive to move it to GPT:

Code:
robocopy C: D: /mir /zb /copyall /dcopy:t /sl /xd "System Volume Information" /xf hiberfil.sys pagefile.sys /xj /r:0 /w:0 /tee /log:robocopylog.txt
Replace C: (Source) and/or D: (Destination) with your appropriate drive letter or folder path. Note that /mir will MIRROR your harddrive with the path, so if there are files in the destination that is not from the source, it will delete it. Make sure you put an empty drive or folder as the destination.

Also, if you're copying a Windows Vista and up installation, your junctions won't be copied and you'll need to do a repair install once you boot up your new GPT drive.
My only issue is that I only have one motherboard with UEFI and it is still in a box since I planned to replace my motherboard and update drivers after I had cloned my installation to the 3TB drive.

Can I use robocopy like this while booted from the drive being copied? Otherwise, I have a computer running Windows 7 Ultimate x64, could I plug both of the drives into that and copy one to the other with robocopy, even though the motherboard does not have UEFI (will the 3TB drive even mount?)?

Also, is there a flag I can use to force robocopy to continue copying if it comes across bad sectors?

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2012   #3

W8 Pro, W7 bogus Ultimate [resolved] watch what ya buy at ebay. W7 Pro, Vista Prem, Xp Pro
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jul 2012   #4

Windows 7 x64 Professional SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DanielBlakemore View Post
After more searching, I found another SevenForums thread which may answer my question. Obviously my pre-post research was not thorough enough.
Anyway, in this thread arkhi said:

-SNIP-
Hello and welcome to the forums DanielBlakemore,

I believe the 3TB drive can be mounted on any Windows 7 x64 system, even those without UEFI if it's not set as the boot drive. UEFI is only crucial for allowing GPT drives with partitions of > 2TiBi to act as boot devices.

The robocopy procedure you intend to perform can be done on a secondary machine without UEFI on its motherboard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by n2gc View Post
I suppose I could, if I wanted to buy Norton Ghost on top of the new motherboard I already bought, and the new hard drive I already bought (getting kindof expensive here). But I was hoping that I would be able to do it with clonezilla, or using the robocopy command. Plus, to do that, I would have to boot and use my dying hard drive which I am (baselessly?) paranoid about doing lest I exacerbate the problems with the drive and corrupt more data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2012   #6

Windows 7 x64 Professional SP1
 
 

Hello, DanielBlakemore.

Have you read my previous post?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2012   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by solarmystic View Post
Hello and welcome to the forums DanielBlakemore,

I believe the 3TB drive can be mounted on any Windows 7 x64 system, even those without UEFI if it's not set as the boot drive. UEFI is only crucial for allowing GPT drives with partitions of > 2TiBi to act as boot devices.

The robocopy procedure you intend to perform can be done on a secondary machine without UEFI on its motherboard.
Well that is great to hear! I was beginning to think I'd gotten myself in a bit of a catch 22 needing the motherboard to use the new disk, but needing the new disk to be set up before I could install the motherboard drivers.

As for the additional part of my question, I'll look into the robocopy docs on Technet, but does anyone know offhand whether robocopy can continue if it finds bad sectors?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by solarmystic View Post
Hello, DanielBlakemore.

Have you read my previous post?
Yep, I saw it after my last response.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

So after looking at the Microsoft Technet page on robocopy, I think I will not be using /tee since I know from experience writing CLI tools that printf's or other console printing is really slow (which would slow robocopy if it were copying lots of little files). I also think I will be using /MT:2 since the computer I will be copying on has a dual-core processor.

Does anyone have any other recommendations or warnings about using robocopy like this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jul 2012   #9

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

As I mentioned, I was also asking this question on another site. That was Superuser.com. One of the users there has given me an answer that seems good too, so I am linking it here so the internet of the future isn't pulling their hair out when they have this same problem and the thread just ends. I'll also report back with the results of my attempts.

The question was:
Clone a Windows Installation to a 3TB Hard Drive; MBR to GPT - Super User
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jul 2012   #10

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

[QUOTE=DanielBlakemore;1990834]
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by solarmystic View Post

As for the additional part of my question, I'll look into the robocopy docs on Technet, but does anyone know offhand whether robocopy can continue if it finds bad sectors?

Yep, I saw it after my last response.
Yes, it can with the /R:n option. I personally set it to something rather low, like 2 or 3 (default is one million tries). It would look like "/R:3". The sample robocopy line above has it as "/r:0" for no retries if it fails the first time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How do I clone an MBR partitioned boot disk to GPT partitioned disk




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