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Windows 7: Windows boot files NOT on the drive with Windows. Moveable?

25 Feb 2013   #1

Windows 7
Windows boot files NOT on the drive with Windows. Moveable?

So this is a bit of a weird one and I wracked my brain to think of the right place to put it.

I'm going to try and make it as simple as possible, but I really don't understand how it turned out in the first place so it might be tough.

I was trying to back up my windows drive, i've been intending to upgrade from windows 7 Premium to Pro (or ultimate) so i can use more RAM, but i wanted to make sure i had a backup first, just in case.

Well, any time i try to make a disk image with windows, it INSIST on also using drive E (I have drives C, D and E as well as externals). I don't want this at all, because it makes the image huge. On a little inspection (showing protected operating system files) i've found that E is littered with things like boot directoriesm autoexec, boot, bootmgr, bootsect, and so on.

They are all OLD (last modified 2009) but i don't think i can deleted them, and it won't let me reformat the drive either.

I worry, that aside, that windows NEEDs these files even though Windows is installed on C. Is there any way to find out if they are actually needed, and being used, and/or move them if they are being used, so i can delete them (also.. how do i delete them?) so i can do the backup without taking that entire drive as well.

Also.. if they are being used on that drive as opposed to C.. it can't be good for it either and fixing that is probably good.

Any help at all would be appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Feb 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP


Ultimate and Pro are the same exact OS with a few extra expensive features unlocked that most consumers don't need. Only if you're running 32 bit is your RAM restricted to around 4 gb if it isn't also reserved by Hardware. So you can change to 64 bit to use the extra RAM, using the same Product Key to Clean Install Windows 7 .

Please post back a screenshot of your Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image - Windows 7 Forums telling us what is on each partition so we can help you move your System Active boot files to C if you decide not to change to 64 bit.

This is another reason why all other HD's should be unplugged during install, and why you should delete all partitions during booted install to create new as desired - shown in Steps 6-7 in first tutorial.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2013   #3

Windows 7

Thank you muchly. I suspect I played around with the windows install too much when i put it all together, the computer is a bit of a Frankenstein unfortunately.

The reason for the upgrade is, mostly, RAM. I intend a big upgrade soon, which will net me a drastic increase in RAM. I read somewhere that certain versions of windows cap out in RAM - someone even said that includes RAM on your GPU, meaning a 4GM card plus 12GB of physical RAM would equal 16GB. I'm not so sure about that, but it did make me think so I went and checked and according to This Home Premium is capped at 16GB of memory, while even Professional is capped at a whopping 192GB. Unfortunately even Professional costs over $200, so it might not be worth it any time soon, but it has exposed this problem so its not a total loss.

Attached Thumbnails
Windows boot files NOT on the drive with Windows. Moveable?-disk-management.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Feb 2013   #4
Microsoft MVP


C is being booted by D right now. To resolve this power down to unplug all other HD's, boot into BIOS setup to assure that Disk0 is set first HD to boot, after DVD drive.

Now boot into Windows 7 DVD to run Startup Repair - Run up to 3 Separate Times
with reboots to write the System boot files to the Active partition, until Windows 7 starts and C holds the System Active flags.

You can now plug back in the other HD's. If you still need to boot any OS on D trigger it using the one time BIOS Boot Menu key at boot. If not mark it inactive: Partition - Mark as Inactive - Windows 7 Forums.

If going forward D in any way interferes with Windows 7 boot, move its data off to wipe it with Diskpart Clean Command to clear the boot sector, then repartition as a data drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows boot files NOT on the drive with Windows. Moveable?

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