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Windows 7: Booting From Multiple Drives


15 Aug 2012   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Booting From Multiple Drives

Hi everyone, I have two hard drives each with it's own operating system, one for my work and one for leisure stuff.
For the last few years I have been pressing the delete button at boot time to decide which drive to boot from, which has worked without problems.
I have just purchased and installed a new Windows 7 Ultra operating system for my work stuff. At first glance it all seems to work perfectly normal, it boots correctly into my work desktop, but on closer inspection, I notice that when I boot from my work stuff drive, I am actually booting from my e: drive instead of my c: drive.
So when I open my Windows Explorer, I have to navigate to e: drive to look at my program files. I can live with this but it can be a bit confusing.
Has anyone got any idea how I managed to get into this situation, and more importantly, how I can remedy the situation
Many thanks
David

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Aug 2012   #2

Windows 7 x64
 
 

When you install Windows 7, when using 2 drives, it is very important to know which one is set to primary. This controls where the boot files are placed.

But to make it easier for us, could you use the snipping tool to take a picture of your Disk Management Window, while expanding it to see the comments on the different partitions and the graphical presentation. Then attach using the paperclip.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2012   #3

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks, I have attached an image of File Management.
At Boot time I selected to boot from My Business Drive, and it looks like it booted correctly because it has my new desktop that I set up when I installed the new operating system. But the files are on drive E: and not on C:
All help appreciated
David


Attached Thumbnails
Booting From Multiple Drives-disk-management.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


15 Aug 2012   #4

Windows 7 x64
 
 

From the picture, it looks like you are booted into the Seagate Drive install, which now shows as C: If you choose to boot into Disk 2 or your Business drive, it should then show as System, Boot and C:

You have an active partition on Disk 1, Partition 1 in your Monday Backup. Don't know if any boot files are there, but be aware of it. If you boot into your Business install, either Disk 1 or Disk 2 should show as system, unless all the boot files are on the Disk 0, which would not seem to agree with your description.

Not sure exactly where we stand on answering your questions, but having two drives the same size with the same size partitions can be confusing. And since the C: drive letter is not fixed to a particular partition (but the boot partition), it is extra confusing.

Maybe checking your disk management picture after you boot to your other install might help you see what is happening.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2012   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

What happens when you set the BIOS boot priority to boot from Disk2 first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

As long as you correctly boot the installer and not run it from C then it should show C when booted into either OS. However because you didn't unplug C during install it placed the boot files for the new install on C to create it's Dual Boot.

If this is the only problem then you can either leave it that way, or if you want to go back to booting via BIOS Boot menu key at boot, mark new install Active, unplug all other HD"s, set it's HD first to boot in BIOS setup, run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times to write the System boot files to the new install.

If you incorrectly ran the installer from C so that it locked out C for use then I would reinstall with all other HD"s unplugged, unless you can live with Windows 7 being on E.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2012   #7

Windows 7
 
 

Thanx Saltgrass, you are correct when you say it looks as if I have booted into the Seagate drive, but I didn't, that's the problem, I booted into the Business Drive e:
If I do boot into the Seagate drive, I get exactly the same File Management screen. Both boots have completely different desktops, menus and programs.
I hope that you can now understand the problem. It looks as though the Disk Management program and programs like Windows Explorer are wrongly reporting the drives when I boot from my Business drive, as though it is reporting drive c: as drive e: and vice versa.
David
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2012   #8

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks gregrocker, will try what you suggest tomorrow, its getting late now and my brain is hurting from all this stuff. Sounds like you understand the problem I am experiencing.
David
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2012   #9

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Well, how about opening an Administrative command prompt and type bcdedit then hit enter to get the results. Copy and paste the results, or use the snipping tool to take a picture. And this might show different things, depending on which OS you booted into.

That should show your exact boot options. But whichever partition shows BOOT, that is the OS you are booted into. Whichever partition shows System, is where your boot files are for that situation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

There is a screenshot just above.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Booting From Multiple Drives




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