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Windows 7: Move Win7 to different drive on same PC


03 Sep 2010   #1

Win7 32 Ultimate
 
 
Move Win7 to different drive on same PC

In the forums I have not found a precise answer so I am hoping for some help here. I have a PC with 3 physical internal hard drives.

Disk 0 - Raptor with XP and program file partitions
Disk 1 - 2 x Seagate 1 TB drives in RAID 1. Win 7 OS Ultimate 32 and Data partitions

The system dual boots fine, but now after 6 months of no software incompatibilities with Windows 7, I am looking to move the Windows 7 partition to the Raptor. I don't need the C:\XP OS or D:\Programs anymore since Windows 7 is working so well.

The problem I have is how to move Windows 7 to the Raptor and still use the O: drive letter so I don't have to re-install all of my programs that point to that drive. (All of my programs under Windows 7 are installed to the O: partition). Is there a way of doing this without a complete Win 7 installation and re-installing all programs?

Thanks



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03 Sep 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

I don't believe you can clone or reimage Windows 7 from RAID1 to single HD. I have asked the experts on this here and they say no.

You can of course try it using cloning, imaging or Moving with free Partition Wizard bootable CD which allow you to choose a drive letter for target. But don't get your hopes up. If it will reimage/Move, you may need to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times to repair the MBR making sure partition is marked Active first.

Since you'll likely need to clean reinstall (a very good thing) to the Raptor, why not also reinstall the programs properly to the OS partition. They really should have never been separated out into their own partition since they are integrated into the registry during install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Sep 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

When going to restore a full system image from the host drive here onto the second identical drive there came a few problems with the "autochk.exe program missing - skipping autochk" and then only see a restart without being able to load into the image there.

That was run into when trying to add an entry into the host BCD store however to see if a dual boot between drives was possible while the initial restoration ran with the host drive unplugged first. Besides drive types and sizes the manufacturers are also different where you would need a second identical array of Seagate 1tb drives for reimaging or a direct cloning to work.

There are simply too many variables between the 2 HDs. gregrocker called it right when advising a clean install on the WD Raptor drive would be the recommendation. You can still use the Windows Easy Transfer tool for files and settings once all program were installed fresh to bring back some familiar themes as well as the program settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Sep 2010   #4

Win7 32 Ultimate
 
 

Thanks guys. A full install it is then... When I restart, will have have a dual boot menu showing 2 different Windows 7 options (C: drive and O: drive)?

Once I feel the Windows 7 C: is working I will delete O: and expand E: to take up the slack. Will I need to modify the boot menu or will it just recognize that O: is gone?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

Windows 7 clean install will not letter itself O using any method. It will correctly (and conveniently) give itself the C drive letter which will appear as C when you are in Windows 7, then when you are in XP that will also be C. This relative drive lettering is completely normal and has not interfered with any normal functioning since it came about in beta phase in spite of much skepticism.

You don't need your Windows 7 lettered O anyway since you cannot save your programs on a separate partition to run from Windows 7 as they must be reinstalled to integrate into the new registry. It is never a good idea to put programs on another partition for this and other reasons. They are effectively part of the OS once installed.

Be sure to unplug the old Windows 7 O drive during install so that a multi boot isn't configured by the installer with both Windows 7 OS's and XP., Afterward you can plug it back in to act as a data drive and copy files over to Windows 7, or even boot it using the one-time BIOS Boot Menu key, but I would not allow the installer to configure it as a part of your new Dual Boot setup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2010   #6

Windows 7
 
 

this is a hard try but it can work sometimes.... evrythn is all about registry...

boot your system using xp/seven disc.. and delete format the XP partition... now login to windows 7 and using NORTON GHOST make a image of yur windows 7 drive.....

use this image and make the contents available in C:\... and change the drive letter to O:/ (when doin this disconnect the Disk 1)...

just a rough try may work... n reply if this method works...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

While the two drives are identical here I ended up using the full version of Acronis True Image to restore an image of the host drive onto the second seeing everything work out. The entry for it was also added into the host BCD store and see the second drive used for beta tests on different things while keeping the host the way it is now.

That worked out mainly from having the same type of drive as well as being identical not going from a Raptor onto Sata II. With a clean install in mind the Windows Easy Transfer tool would be the thought for preserving the files and settings once everything is back on the clean install. You would simply restore that type of backup. Later you would then see a full system image of the clean copy of 7.

That wouldn't have any problems with different drive types as well as brand change since you wouldn't be dealing with any boot or partition structures but simply files and settings for both Windows and the programs installed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Move Win7 to different drive on same PC




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