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Windows 7: Relocate System Files on a Dual Boot


31 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
 
 
Relocate System Files on a Dual Boot

I've replaced Windows 7-32 with 64 a few days ago after formatting the drive. I have four partitions on three discs. The largest dusk has two – a very small one with XP and a very large where I save all my stuff.

The problem appeared when I tried to use Windows Backup to save an image file of Windows 7. It only allows me to save the backup on the smallest partitions without enough free space, not with Windows 7 or on the largest one where I have over 600GB free. I checked and found the reason is probably because this partition contains the system files for both XP and 7, So the Backup forbids saving the image file on it as well as on the one with Windows 7.

I think I need to relocate the Windows 7 system files from the large partition to the partition containing Windows 7. I downloaded and installed EasyBCD, as sometime ago recommended to me in this forum to use instead of VistaBoot Pro (now DualBoot PRO), but I never used it. Could someone tell me how to proceed before I spoil the installation, please?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Feb 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Please post back a screenshot of your full Disk Mgmt drive map and listings, using Snipping Tool in Start Menu.

You are trying to save a Windows 7 backup image to another HD and it wants to save both XP and Windows 7? This means that they share some system files. We can help you recover those into Windows 7 if this is what you want.

It should become apparently why it won't let you save the image to the larger partition. Can you try one more time and post back the exact error message?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
 
 

Hi gregrocker,

Thank you very much for trying to help again.

The configuration is almost the same as on my other thread. I just changed 3 drive letters. After that I could make it work, but never properly again and never knew what it was. Last week I reinstalled, but this time the 64-bit version. I want to make a disk image just in case… and I don’t understand why the system files fell on the only drive with enough space.

If I start by clicking on “Create a system image” I can chose the destination on D: or E. only (both too small), and it wants to backup both B: (Windows 7 system files on the root) and C: (Windows 7 OS).
If I start by clicking on “Setup backup” only the same smaller D: and E: are available for saving the backup, but I can chose what to backup (“Let me chose”).

I can't understand how the system files happened to go to another disk because I followed the previous configuration, and also because B: and C: are on separate physical disks . Maybe I should have disconnected the other disks when installing.


Quote:
This means that they share some system files. We can help you recover those into Windows 7 if this is what you want.
Exactly! I want to separate the system files, placing them with their respective OSs – Windows 7 (Disk 1) on C:, and XP (Disk 0, Partition 2) on E:.


Quote:
You are trying to save a Windows 7 backup image to another HD and it wants to save both XP and Windows 7?
That’s right. And only to the smaller partitions.


- - - - - - - - - - / / / / / - - - - - - - - - - / / / / / - - - - - - - - - -


Diskpart information.
Disk Mgmt snapshot at the bottom.



System configuration as per the other thread (3 changed drive letters):

Disk # . . . . Size. . . . . . Type . . . .[Names]
------- . . . . -------- . . . ----- . . . .-----------------------------------
Disk 0 . . . . 112 GB . . . SCSI . . . C: Windows 7 /64-bit
Disk 1 . . . . . 72 GB . . . SCSI . . . D: Backup (No OS, no root files)
Disk 2 . . . . 963 GB . . . ATA . . . . E: Windows XP /32-bit & B: Basic

B: has all system files, and plenty of free space.
D: is nearly full, and E: is a very small partition also nearly full.
Windows Backup only lets me save the image on the two smaller partitions (D: and E: ).



Detail Disk 0

DISKPART> DETAIL DISK

WDC WD1002FAEX-00Z3A0 ATA Device
Disk ID: 47257801
Type : ATA
Status : Online
Path : 0
Target : 0
LUN ID : 0
Location Path : PCIROOT(0)#PCI(1100)#ATA(C00T00L00)
Current Read-only State : No
Read-only : No
Boot Disk : No
Pagefile Disk : No
Hibernation File Disk : No
Crashdump Disk : No
Clustered Disk : No

Volume ### Ltr Label Fs Type Size Status Info
---------- --- ----------- ----- ---------- ------- --------- -------
Volume 2 B Basic NTFS Partition 891 GB Healthy System
Volume 3 E Windows XP NTFS Partition 39 GB Healthy



Detail Disk 1

DISKPART> DETAIL DISK

ST312002 2A SCSI Disk Device
Disk ID: 0ADF0ADF
Type : SCSI
Status : Online
Path : 0
Target : 0
LUN ID : 0
Location Path : PCIROOT(0)#PCI(1404)#PCI(0600)#SCSI(P00T00L00)
Current Read-only State : No
Read-only : No
Boot Disk : Yes
Pagefile Disk : Yes
Hibernation File Disk : No
Crashdump Disk : Yes
Clustered Disk : No

Volume ### Ltr Label Fs Type Size Status Info
---------- --- ----------- ----- --------- ------- --------- -----
Volume 4 C Windows 7 NTFS Partition 111 GB Healthy Boot



Disk Mgmt Snapshot



Attached Thumbnails
Relocate System Files on a Dual Boot-list.png   Relocate System Files on a Dual Boot-compmanager.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


01 Feb 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

Unplug XP HD, swap it's cable to Windows 7 HD or set Windows 7 HD as first HD to boot in BIOS setup.

Boot the Windows 7 DVD Repair console or Repair CD, accept any offered repair. If it doesn't start boot back in to Recovery Tools list to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots until Windows 7 starts up on its own. Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times

Now plug back in the XP HD, try booting it from Asus one-time BIOS Boot menu key which is F8, ESC, or DEL. If it still has a Windows Dual Boot menu, remove Windows 7 listing in XP msconfig>Boot tab by highlighting and deleting, or by installing EasyBCD 2.0 to XP to delete Windows 7 entry on Edit OS tab.

Try this method for awhile with Windows 7 starting by default, or by tapping one-time BIOS Boot menu key at bootup to trigger XP HD instead. This keeps the HD's independent to come and go as you please.

If you decide you'd prefer having a Windows-managed Dual Boot screen then install EasyBCD 2.0 to Windows 7, add XP on Add OS tab.

Be aware that your XP boot files are stored on B partition rather than on E as they should be. If you'd like to move them while Windows 7 HD is unplugged, mark XP partition Active then use bootsect from Windows 7 DVD Repair console or EasyBCD>Useful Tools>Command Line to run bootsect /nt52 E: after confirming the drive letter as viewed by diskpart.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Good answer.

Except he apparently has a hard time with booting 7 dvd - any other ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

I cannot find the report of failure to boot DVD. You want to give him commands to run to write System boot files to Windows 7?

Since you may need it, you can also burn a Windows 7 Repair CD: System Repair Disc - Create

Or extract the 7 DVD ISO using ImgBurn, write it to flash stick using Ultra ISO trial version: On File tab open ISO, on Bootable tab Write Disk Image, Format, then Write. Boot under USB or HD's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Quote:
Every time I use the Windows 7 DVD (for the Windows 7 OS, of course) I have to load drivers because, as I have not enough motherboard sockets for my older drives (3 HDDs + CD + DVD = 5) I had to connect two HDDs through an adapter.

Try using easybcd command line to fix boot files on 7 and XP, then shutdown pc and change bios boot order.

(I don't think it can be done from xp commandline)


Just noticed your MVP badge - is that new , or am I very unobservant - Congratulations, Greg.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

From EasyBCD>Useful Tools>Command Line type:

bcdboot c:\windows /s c:

bootsect /nt60 c:

Or plug in your DVD drive to use DVD Repair with steps given earlier.

Thanks, Si.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
 
 

Thanks. Here are the results, only now because it has taken me a lot of time, so I made several daily trials.

I started as per your first post, and also relocated all boot files and directory that were on Disk 2 (B: Basic and E: XP). First, it offered immediately to repair after reboot. I accepted and came back for the second and third repair session, but here there was a problem.

After loading the drivers to the PCI SCSI adapter for Disk 0 (C: (Windows 7) and Disk 1 (D: Backups disk – not important – not OS), Windows 7 appeared on the small window to choose the system to repair. When trying to follow to the Startup Repair menu I got a message telling the version of System Recovery Options was not compatible with the version of Windows I was trying to repair . Why?

I have done lots and lots of this, as you may remember from my other thread where you helped, so I have some experience here. I went around to the system image repair (bottom choice on the small window to choose the system to repair), then cancelled twice on the two following windows and the Startup Repair menu appeared. I run it. On the message to send report it said there was no OS installed, and on the detailed description, at the end was this:

Boot cause found:
No OS files found in disk.

Repair action: Partition table repair.
Result: Failed. Error = 0x490.


I rebooted and repeated two more times with the same result. I rebooted again, but now to the HDD with Disk 2 (B: Basic, and E: Windows XP) still unplugged and the system started in Windows 7. Then I rebooted and before starting I plugged in Disk 2. It didn’t start, the BCD file was missing. I rebooted, unplugged Disk 2 again and Windows 7 (C: Disk 0) started.

Then I tried your suggestions on your last post. The first command (bcdboot c:\windows /s c: ) is executed, but after the second (bcdboot c:\windows /s c: ) I get this answer:
Updated NTFS filesystem bootcode. The update may be unreliable since the volume could not be locked during the update:
Access is denied.

Starting up behaviour didn’t change.

Conclusion:
The computer does not start with Disk 2 plugged in. I can plug it in after starting and scan for hardware changes, but this is not what the way to do it and it does not solve my problem of backups on my first post. It is also possible that it will start if I put the the put files and directory that I removed from Disk 2 back to where they were: It would boot either on either, but again, it doesn't solve the same problem.

I believe the MBR should be rebuilt and other things changed to avoid startup being redirected to the old way. Maybe rebuild everything regarding the startup to have it clean. Here I need a hand please, because I don't know EasyBCD and I can't find any tutorial explaining what the options on app do, even on its developer's site. Do you know of any tutorial deserving that name?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

I'm not sure why you copied boot files manually since that wasn't included in steps given and is performed by Startup Repair.

Can you unplug all other HD's besides Disk1, make sure it is set first to boot in BIOS setup, mark Windows 7 partition active and run Startup Repair three times again to see if it will repair? If not, boot back into Command Line to type bootrec.exe /fixmbr and bootrect.exe /fixboot then try the repairs again.

Next boot free Partition Wizard bootable CD to make sure Windows 7 is marked Active, then from Disk tab Rebuild MBR.

If this fails again plug back in all drives and post back a screenshot of your full Disk Management drive map and listings from Windows 7?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Relocate System Files on a Dual Boot




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