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Windows 7: Moved OS to ssd, now Win7 running from both drives!


06 Jul 2012   #1
Craigwac

windows 7 home premium 64
 
 
Moved OS to ssd, now Win7 running from both drives!

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit came pre-installed on my Dad's HP. He bought an OCZ Vertex 4 SATA III 128 Gb ssd to run the OS on. HP does not provide a Windows install disk, and can't download it from Microsoft without buying another copy of Win 7.

We burned the recovery disks (4 DVD's) from the recovery partition on the 2TB HD. So we have that in case of emergency.

Installed the ssd hardware easily enough. Formatted the drive. Labeled it drive E: to begin with. On the 2TB HD, there is the 100Mb system partition, a 1.75Tb partition with the OS (labeled C: ), and the recovery partition (labeled D: ).

I shrunk the C: partition with the OS on it to 115Gb so that it would fit on the 128Gb ssd. Then used the free DriveImage XML program to copy the partition to the ssd. It has a "disk to disk" feature that creates and image from one disk and burns it to another on the fly. This worked fine.

Made that cloned partition on the E: drive active in the Windows Disk Manager (I'll call that WDM from now on). Then restarted the pc, opened the bios and changed the boot order so that it boots from the E: drive (after removable media).

Windows runs well, but when I open the Windows Performance monitor, under "disk" it shows which processes are running from which locations, and while the majority of them are running from the E: drive, many are still running from the C: drive.

I feel pretty confident that if I could switch the ssd drive letter to C:, the pointers in the cloned OS would start all processes from that drive. But this is kind of impossible. I first need to change the 2Gb HD's drive letter to something else. I actually was able to do that in WDM, but it warned me that the change would not take place until after restart. So "C:" was not available for me to change the ssd's label to. I restarted the computer, and it gave me a message about trying to populate the desktop (sorry I forgot the actual phrasing), sat for about 30 seconds, and then went to a blank blue screen - pretty much bricked, but Ctrl-Alt-Del worked, and I tried to use the 'run' option from there. The Windows Explorer window that opened saw both HD's (the ssd as E:, the HD as M: ), but would not run WDM from either drive (or other programs). I ended up changing the boot order back, then using DriveImage to write the OS from the HD to the ssd again, overwriting the previous copy. This fixed the drive letter situation, as the changes I had made were apparently only in the copy of the OS on the ssd. The computer now sees the HD as C: and the ssd as E: again. I changed the boot order back and am back to the previous point - boots from the ssd, but runs Win processes from both the E: and C: partitions.

Other details:
I tried copying the 100Mb partition to the ssd in front of the partition with the OS, but then after changing the boot order to start from the ssd, ALL windows processes ran from the C: drive (the HD, not the ssd). So leaving that partition off works fine as long as I make the E: partition on the ssd active in WMD.

HP of course includes a good bit of bloatware in the OS when the pc shipped. It is also in the recovery image. So there are some HP programs, and a Norton's program included in the startup. But these don't account for the processes running from the C: drive. Those processes seem to be part of the OS, as they run from C:/Windows.

I thought of deleting the OS from the C: drive and running Windows Startup Repair, but I'm kind of scared to do that. I DO have the recovery disks burned, so if it bricked the OS I could restore that drive back to the original state (if anyone thinks this would have a chance of working).

I'm convinced that if I could find a way of changing the ssd's drive letter to C:, that would fix all issues, and I could erase the OS from the HD, expand the partition back, and use it as a data drive (the original plan).

My Dad obviously wants to avoid spending another $125 on a Windows install disk. HP wouldn't send us one (asked them to when ordering, they said no). NOT going to use a pirated one (even though the OEM key would allegedly work), due to obvious risks involved. If I had one though, I would just use it in a heartbeat to do a clean install straight to the ssd. It annoys the crap out of me that when spending all of this $ for a new pc, we are not given an install disk, and are forced to both deal with this migration issue as well as the bloatware issues.

thanks in advance for any advice!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2012   #2
Craigwac

windows 7 home premium 64
 
 

sorry for the smileys. That was me attempting to use a colon after the drive letter, inside of parentheses!
Ok, was able to edit them out. Ignore this post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2012   #3
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

Win7 is designed to always see itself as C if it is correctly installed from boot (and not an OS which locks out C) or is set to Automatic during imaging also done from boot.

In your case I would strongly recommend dumping the bloatware which on HP's is the worst in the industry, so that you can enjoy unhindered performance on your new SSD. Everything you need is here to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 . Unplug all other HD's.

If you want to stick with imaging the bloated HP preinstall then I'd use this: SSD - Install and transfer the Operating System.
Set imaging app to Automatic and include MBR and track 0, unplug source HD unless cloning. Then if it won' t start on its own when set to boot first in BIOS setup, unplug source HD, make sure 100mb System Reserved partition is marked Active, then run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times.
Partition - Mark as Active (Method Two)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2012   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

As far as I can tell you did not copy the bootmgr to the SSD - it still running off the bootmgr on the HDD. You got yourself kind of a 'hybrid' installation.

A clean reinstall with the bloatware free installation disc that Greg recommends is your best option. But make sure you disconnect all HDDs during the installation.

But if you prefer to work with an image of your current system, you either need to also image and restore the 100MB partition that contains your bootmgr or you copy the bootmgr to C before you image C. Then you can disregard the 100MB partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Moved OS to ssd, now Win7 running from both drives!




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