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Windows 7: Cloning win7 to new sdd for dual boot

04 Jul 2013   #1
Tuner

Windows 7 64
 
 
Cloning win7 to new sdd for dual boot

Hello.

First, thanks to this forum, I have solved many problems over the years on my own. I'm a long time visitor but at my wits end so I decided to join in the hopes of getting my computer running the way I like it.

I was running WIN7 + WIN7 and XP as a multi boot system and everything worked great except now I'd like to migrate away from XP and have only win7.

I have a 500GB SDD which I would like to multi boot with 4 Win7 installations. Trouble is, I hope to do this by cloning my existing WIN7 partition 4 times instead of installing fresh win7 each time.

1) How many OS's (win 7 ) can I setup on a single drive ? Some say you can only have 4 primary partitions. If the boot partition eats up one of those, I'm left with 3.
2) What's the best way to accomplish my goal without installing fresh windows?

I almost got everything setup the way I like it until I cloned to the 4th partition. After that, I could only boot into the first win7 even after trying a dozen different suggestions to fix mbr and bcd. I've since wiped the 500GB drive clean and am ready to start all over.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jul 2013   #2
Ztruker

Windows 8 Core X64
 
 

Post a snapshot of a fullscreen Disk Management:

To open Disk Management, press Windows key+r, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter or click GO. Make it full screen.

See here: How to Use the Snipping Tool in Vista - Vista Forums (says it's for Vista but also works with Win 7/8).

Once you have the image saved, click on the Paperclip Icon next to the Smiley Icon.
In the Manage Attachments window, click Browse and navigate to where you saved the image and select it.
Click the Upload button.
Close the Manage Attachments window.
Click on the Paperclip Icon again and select the image you uploaded. It will be placed in your post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2013   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You need only 1 primary partition for the active system partition that houses the bootmgr (that can also be any one of the OS partitions or an independent partition). The (other) non-active OS partitions can be logical partitions.

I think though that you may have another problem - for multiple installations you may need multiple product keys.

Btw: I do not understand why you would want to make such a setup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Jul 2013   #4
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
My understanding is that if one wants more than 1 bootable Windows 7 on the same computer on would need a COA key for each.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2013   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
My understanding is that if one wants more than 1 bootable Windows 7 on the same computer on would need a COA key for each.
That is my understanding too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2013   #6
Tuner

Windows 7 64
 
 

Thanks for the input.
Main reason I need set up like this is to avoid conflicts with different programs I use for work. Some newer stuff is recommended to run on 64bit while other stuff on 32.

I used to have 2 hdd which is pretty easy to swap in the toughbook but even easier would be to have single ssd with 4 options at boot menu to choose from depending what programs I need running.

I don't think multible keys are needed since it's all running on the same iron. I did not need 2 keys in the past but even if I do, I'll buy them.

Here is my goal:
1)Clone a working Win7 64bit partition to first partition on new sdd.
2)Clone same working Win7 64bit partition again to second partition on new sdd.
3)Install fresh Win7 32bit to third partition on sdd.
4)Install either XP or Win7 32bit (undecided still) to fourth partition on new sdd.
5) Have all of them bootable from boot menu

Where I'm at:
After cloning and messing around with startup recovery advice found on this site for countless hours I ended up with disk error during boot so in frustration I deleted all partitions on new sdd and I am ready to start from scratch.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2013   #7
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

You'll need to get one OS running on the HD by installing, cloning or imaging it from boot Primary Active, including MBR and Track 0, Auto drive letter.

The clones or images applied to other partitions can be be Primary but not Active, should not include the MBR and Track0, but if offered accept Auto drive letter assignment. You can even clone or image them from the original first partition - I use Acronis which works well doing this. Then add them using EasyBCD installed to the first OS. It still may require running Startup Repair to get them booting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2013   #8
Tuner

Windows 7 64
 
 

I will begin by installing fresh win7 as my first step rather then cloning.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2013   #9
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 
 

What imaging app do you prefer? Can you install it to the original installation to clone or image to the other partitions, add with EasyBCD. I have good luck doing it this way with Acronis which has a free premium app when any WD or Seagate HD is involved.. You only need to remember to use a Primary (up to 4 total) partition, not Active, no MBR or Track0 copied, Auto drive letter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Jul 2013   #10
Tuner

Windows 7 64
 
 

Update: win 7 clean installed on first partition.
Issue: using easus disk copy to try clone working win7 from existing sdd to second partition of new sdd but Disk Copy won't let me choose Disk 1 as source and says THIS IS A DYNAMIC DISK.

Afraid to do more for fear of losing my current working setup. Better image it first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Cloning win7 to new sdd for dual boot




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