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Windows 7: A question about removing Windows 7 from HDD

06 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 
A question about removing Windows 7 from HDD

I just installed Windows 7 on a new SSD and now want to use the HDD that previously contained the same copy of Windows 7, as a storage drive. The problem I am having is that when I hook the old HDD back up into my system, Windows won't bring it online because of a signature conflict. I know I could create a new MFT on the drive and make it work again, but then I would lose the data on the HDD as well. Is there anyway of doing it so I wouldn't lose that data?

Thanks for any advice you can give me!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Feb 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

Rescue the files using the booted Windows 7 DVD or Repair CD: Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console or using Paragon rescue disk; recover data.

If you need to boot the HD OS to export email, favorites, etc. unplug the SSD and set the HD first to boot, then you could also copy your files to external.

When ready you can wipe the HD from booted DVD/Repair CD: Diskpart Clean Command
DISKPART At PC Startup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

Thank you for your reply gregrocker. Most of the data I would need to transfer is music and video files, which is contained in a rather large folder on the HDD. So I was hoping against hope that I could get away with not having to transfer all that to another HDD. Oh well, I guess I will just have to bite the bullet and get er done.

Quote:
With the clean command, the data on the HDD is only marked as being deleted instead and is only written over when new data is written/saved to the same location on the HDD next
Just noticed this in the tutorial and I am not sure what it means exactly. If the data is still on the HDD can the partition be fully recovered after running the "clean" command? Please forgive me if this seems like a dumb question.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Feb 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

I would not attempt to Clean a HD if you still need the data as you would then be at the mercy of data recovery software.

I'm curious as to why you cannot access this HD after install to SSD and have never heard of this situation. Could it be something extra you've done, as I see you also asked how to avoid the harmless 100mb System REserved partition?

What exactly happens when you boot the SSD with the HD attached as secondary? How about vice versa?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

When I boot the OS on the SSD and migrate to My Computer the HDD does not show up in the listing. When I open Disk Management it does list both drives, but shows the HDD as being "offline" due to a signature conflict. I figured this was probably due to having the very same copy of Windows 7 installed on both both disks, but maybe something else is casuing it. And yes, I have the System Partition on the old HDD, but preferred not to have it on my new installation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2012   #6
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by LittleJay View Post
Thank you for your reply gregrocker. Most of the data I would need to transfer is music and video files, which is contained in a rather large folder on the HDD. So I was hoping against hope that I could get away with not having to transfer all that to another HDD. Oh well, I guess I will just have to bite the bullet and get er done.

Quote:
With the clean command, the data on the HDD is only marked as being deleted instead and is only written over when new data is written/saved to the same location on the HDD next
Just noticed this in the tutorial and I am not sure what it means exactly. If the data is still on the HDD can the partition be fully recovered after running the "clean" command? Please forgive me if this seems like a dumb question.
'Clean" marks the space on the disk as available but does not really wipe the data. 'Clean All' in contrast writes zeros over the data.

If you do not give the HDD to someone else (like on Ebay), clean is enough. But e.g. if you donate an older system to charity, you want to run 'Clean All" a few times to make sure nobody can recover your data.

For yourself, 'Clean' is enough. It makes the whole disk available.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

How about moving the HD data into a partition on the right end of the HD which you create by shrinking it in Disk Mgmt, then delete the OS partition using Diskpart "Delete Partition Override" to see if it will recognize the HD then?

If this fails rescue your data as given to the SSD, another HD, External, DVD's, another computer on the network, or up to 15gb free on Skydrive with each Windows Live ID.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

Just tried it with the OS booted up on the HDD and now it shows the SSD as being offline. Here is screen shot of what it looks like.


Attached Thumbnails
A question about removing Windows 7 from HDD-capture.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2012   #9
Microsoft MVP

 

Make sure the files are accessible booting the Windows 7 DVD, try copying some to SSD now.
Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console

Can you rightclick on the Disk Management pane which says Offline to bring it Online?

You can also use Diskpart to bring it online:
Quote:

1. Open an elevated command prompt:
2. type diskpart. (this will switch to the DISKPART prompt)
3. at the DISKPART prompt, type list disk.
4. Make note of the disk number of the missing or offline disk
(offline disks are numbered 0, 1, 2, etc..)
(Missing disks are numbered M0, M1, M2, etc..)
5. At the DISKPART prompt, type select disk and disknumber and then enter.
example: select disk 0 and enter.
6. You should see "Disk ... is now the selected disk.
7. now type online and enter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
How about moving the HD data into a partition on the right end of the HD which you create by shrinking it in Disk Mgmt, then delete the OS partition using Diskpart "Delete Partition Override" to see if it will recognize the HD then?

If this fails rescue your data as given to the SSD, another HD, External, DVD's, another computer on the network, or up to 15gb free on Skydrive with each Windows Live ID.
Thanks, I will give that a try. Since I already have the HDD partitioned that way, I can easily delete the OS partition and save the storage partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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