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Windows 7: Change boot disk / reassign C: drive?!

06 Feb 2014   #1
raudog

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Change boot disk / reassign C: drive?!

Here's the deal...

I bought a new hard drive that is a little bit faster and a more reliable brand than the original ... My original swap went just fine without a hitch (details on my process below), and I was running totally fine for a few days on my new hard drive.

So... now I decided I didn't need to save the data on my old drive anymore and I wanted to reformat it for use as an internal backup (it was old and slow but it still worked)... this is when things went a little wacky...

Because of my process, both HDs have nearly identical partitions including a "System Reserved" partition and a second bootable partition... but when Windows boots up with both HDs connected for some reason it is using the System Reserved partition from Disk 0 (my new HD), but assigning C: to the partition on Disk 1 (my old HD)... since this is then assigned as C:, I can't reformat it... So... How can I re-assign the C: back to the partition on Disk 0 in order to free up Disk 1 to be completely re-formatted?

In case it helps... this is a step by step of my whole process...

1. Before changing anything, I created a backup system image on an external drive
2. I removed the old HD and installed the new HD
3. I booted up using a Windows 7 repair disk
4. I restored the system image from the external drive onto my new HD
- At this point both drives were identical copies, but the old drive was physically removed.
5. I was working completely on the new drive for several days without any problems
- At this point System Reserved and C: both were assigned to the new HD in Disk 0
6. I decided to re-install my old HD as a secondary drive as Disk 1
7. Windows booted up OK with both HDs installed... but...
- Now the System Reserved in use is on Disk 0, and the boot drive (C is on Disk 1... YIKES!
- I want to reassign the boot drive (C back to the partition in Disk 0 like it was earlier today!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
06 Feb 2014   #2
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Thats a very common issue. The easiest way to solve this to move the boot manager to C: thereby making the System Reserved partition redundant. It can then be removed, and the free space merged into the existing C: partition.

A minority of purists consider this some form of heresay, but since you already (wisely) use system imaging, the System Reserved partition serves no useful function to you (assuming you don't use bitlocker drive encryption) so the practical solution is to remove it.

This is how you do it, but I would encourage you to post a screen capture image of your disk management screen before you proceed, so we can review it.

Bootmgr - Move to C:\ with EasyBCD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2014   #3
raudog

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

See attached.


Attached Thumbnails
Change boot disk / reassign C: drive?!-capture.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Feb 2014   #4
raudog

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

I renamed what was originally also named "System Reserved" to "Old System" just for clarity.
I actually want what is currently being called F: to become the new C:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2014   #5
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Can you please redo the image, but open the status column by dragging the column border to the right?

Just checking : what imaging software do you use? Windows inbuilt, or 3rd party such as Macrium?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2014   #6
raudog

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

I just used the built in Windows software to create the backup image... and I know that what is currently identified as F: is already bootable, since I was working only with Disk 0 for a few days... seems like I shouldn't have to move the Bootmgr... is there another way to simply tell Windows it should instead be looking to the partition on Disk 0?

p.s. - I think this is what you wanted to see in my Disk Management window... right?


Attached Thumbnails
Change boot disk / reassign C: drive?!-capture.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2014   #7
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

There are always other ways of doing things...moving the boot manager to C: is just an easy solution. But, since you use native Windows imaging, I'm not sure that this should be the approach....unfortunately I know nothing but Windows imaging, except that it can be flaky.

That disk management arrangement is quite a mess. I'll ask SiW to have a look at this for you....he is more knowlegable in this area than I am. Keep an eye out for his post here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2014   #8
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

NT6REPAIRE.zip


1) In drive letter fix, select F in dropdown, click FIX.

2) Open Admin cmd , type

bcdboot f:\windows


My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2014   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The problem was created in step 6 of your first post. You apparently did not disconnect Disk 0 when you installed a new system on Disk 1 and the installer grabbed the system reservef partition of Disl 0 to install the bootmgr for the Disk 1 installation - the installer always grabs the first primary active partition it can find.

Now you have a valid bootmgr for Disk 1 on Disk 0. The original Disk 0 bootmgr should also still be there - check that with EasyBCD - first tab "View Settings". Post the result here and then we'll see what should be done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2014   #10
gregrocker

 

To repair Disk0 to boot itself, power down to unplug Disk1, boot into Win7 installation media or System Repair Disk to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times until Win7 boots itself.


You can then plug back in Disk1 to delete its partitions in Disk Mgmt, create and format new partitions as you please.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Change boot disk / reassign C: drive?!




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