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Windows 7: Multiboot HDD-W7 + HDD-XP + SSD-W7

04 Mar 2015   #1
AlanRR

Windows 7 - 32bit
 
 
Multiboot HDD-W7 + HDD-XP + SSD-W7

I have an idea I'de like to bounce off the experts here - please excuse if its silly - I'm still learning - because I hope to learn if it is - or want to understand if it is not . . . . .

Presently I have XP(HDD) and W7(HDD) setup as a dual boot system and all is running very good.

I propose to add a SSD to run W7 from to step up the speed ladder.

Have done a lot of reading and thinking - do you think the following would work? (Yes I know AHCI is not an option and if you see my previous thread you'll see I am happy to live with that.)

Add SSD to the system using spare SATA lead and power lead.

Boot into XP and run EaseUS or whatever to clone the dormant W7(HDD) partition to the SSD.

Boot into W7(HDD) and run EasyBCD to add W7(SSD) Partition to MBR?
I assume this will now offer me 3 OSs at boot stage. All SATA drives will be IDE as I understand XP prevents anything AHCI.

Reboot and select W7(SSD) to run.

That's it - or not

The above seems a nice easy way to achieve what I want, ultimately I guess I will run just W7(SSD) cos it will be the best, with an occasional venture into XP (decreasing with time) until ultimately its just W7(SSD) and the other partitions can be freed up for more storage.

Can you think of any reason why this would not work or might not work - and if not - an explanation would be very much appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Mar 2015   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Not sure whether that would work because of the current location of the bootmgr. Post a picture of disk management and we'll have a look.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2015   #3
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Complete this tutorial by Golden and post here.
This should give Wolfgang the information he desires.

Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Mar 2015   #4
AlanRR

Windows 7 - 32bit
 
 

Here we are.....


Attached Thumbnails
Multiboot HDD-W7 + HDD-XP + SSD-W7-diskmanagement.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2015   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Hmm, you have 2 active partitions, P and H. I suspect that the bootmgr for Windows 7 is on H but you can only make sure if you physically disconnect Disk0 and then try to boot into Win7. Because it could also be that during the installation of Win7, the installer grabbed Disk0 for the Win7 bootmgr.

Another way to check is to make an image of C with command prompt. Use this command:

Quote:
wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:X: -include:C: -AllCritical -quiet

You have to replace "X" with the volume letter of your backup device.
When you mount the image(s), you will know where the bootmgr is because the "AllCritical" command will automatically grab the right partition. If you watch the command prompt window during the imaging process, you may also see which partitions it grabbed.

Once we know where the bootmgr is, we'll see what we can do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2015   #6
AlanRR

Windows 7 - 32bit
 
 

P: is an old XP system partition and exists here only for historic reasons, it is never booted.

H: is my current XP partition and is the partition booted from when I select XP at boot time.

Disc 0 containing P: and Q: was added after Windows7 was installed, and I expect to remove it as soon as its purpose has been fulfilled. It was extracted from my partners old pc when she bought a new one and installed in mine to enable all her personal files (from Q) to be copied across our network to her new pc.

I would therefore agree with your suspicion that W7 bootmgr is on H:

Hope this (not having to open the case) answer makes things clear.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2015   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

OK, if disk0 was installed after the Win7 installation, then things are clear - H is our bootmgr partition. I would do the following:

1. Copy the bootmgr to C: Bootmgr - Move to C:\ with EasyBCD

2. Make an image of C and restore it on the SSD. Make sure you first align the SSD - see here.

You may end up with 2 BCD entries in the bootmgr (XP and 7), but we'll fix that later.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2015   #8
AlanRR

Windows 7 - 32bit
 
 

Ok thanks for that - this seems to be moving in a positive direction

At this point practical progress will pause as I do not yet have the SSD but I am very much interested in progressing the theory and so far I think I am keeping up with you.

Not sure I fully understand the act of copying the boot manager from H: to C: as the linked how-to article suggests this will deactivate H and activate C. If that happens surely my dual boot system will not boot?

Would I be right in assuming you may be trying to create the SSD partition as a clone of C: ready with a copy of the boot manager??

I would like at all times to retain my dual boot setup and am hoping this process will lead to a triple boot system allowing me to choose XP(HDD) or W7(HDD) or W7(SSD). In the future (once happy with all the migration) I will just have one single boot system namely W7 on SSD, but for now my cautious nature would be happier not burning my bridges as I go.

You mention making an image of C and restoring it on to the SSD - is this the same as cloning the C partition to the SSD? or have I missed something subtle here?

Not too familiar with the actions you are suggesting - but very much interested understanding and learning what's what and how to go about things - so your patience is very much appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2015   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
If that happens surely my dual boot system will not boot?
The dual boot should still work. The bootmgr is just in another place but the MBR will point there. It always points to the active partition.

Quote:
Would I be right in assuming you may be trying to create the SSD partition as a clone of C: ready with a copy of the boot manager??
Nah, a clone is something else. You create a primary active aligned partition on the SSD (see my tutorial) and then you just restore the image into it. But don't drag it in the Macrium recovery page. That would assume the alignment of the HDD which we don't want.

Quote:
You mention making an image of C and restoring it on to the SSD - is this the same as cloning the C partition to the SSD? or have I missed something subtle here?
Cloning is something different. You can try that too. But I prefer to work with images. Then I know what I am doing.

The easiest cloning is with this program. It does the job in 3 clicks. It is on sale today (but hurry) for $9.95. Completely trouble free. I have used it many times.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2015   #10
AlanRR

Windows 7 - 32bit
 
 

Ok - bought Paragon at the special offer - ready for when I need it.

Thank you very much for your help so far.

So when I've got my new SSD - installed it - and done the necessary alignment / Paragon migration - will I have a triple boot system? Or still a dual boot? Can I still have a triple or will I be limited to a dual XP/W7(SSD) system?

My present W7 system is only 26GB but maybe might grow a bit yet, but ....

Another thought I am having - go for a 128GB SSD - make 2 partitions (64GB each) - run W7 off the first and have some sort of a backup/recovery image on the 2nd? I've suffered a few virus attacks over the years and the thought of a pristine partition offering near instant recovery rather appeals. Is this too ambitious and would a 2nd partition used in this way be relatively safe from virus attack? What are your thoughts?

Thanks again for your prompt and interesting replies.
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