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Windows 7: How to create system partition for Win 7 custom install?

07 Jan 2014   #1
WinXPtoWin7

Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit w/SP1 (install pending)
 
 
How to create system partition for Win 7 custom install?

I discovered this forum while planning my system upgrade from XP to Windows 7. There is so much useful information here, thanks to the many contributors.

I am in the planning stages before my Wndows 7 install which is based on Kari's old school geeks method. I have been browsing through the tutorials related to partitioning and dual booting. I have downloaded EasyBCD and Partition Wizard, including the bootable CD to use if needed during the install.

I currently have an XP system, and am upgrading the motherboard/CPU/RAM but keeping the same HDD. My user profile system specs are the existing XP hardware.

I have some additional requirements - I wanted to keep some XP data on the HDD before my installs (also backed up to my USB drive) to load into the 'user/library' partitions. I prefer to keep the extra copy of my data on my HDD rather than relying on my USB drive in case something goes wrong during installs. I also plan to put a fresh XP SP3 install on the same HDD to occasionally run some old programs. I want to have a 100MB system boot partition created to keep Win XP and Win 7 more independent to allow me to easily remove the XP partition some time in the future.

I have free space on my HDD, I was planning to copy data from my XP install to a temp logical partition at the end of the drive, and also run the Windows Easy transfer and save the output there. I would then delete the XP partitions on the drive, then allocate new partitions for Windows 7 and XP during Windows 7 install, then install Windows 7 with a system partition for the boot manager and BCD. I would install XP last, fixing the MBR and BCD with EasyBCD as described in the dual boot tutorial.

I was wondering if the Windows 7 install would create a system partition if there was unallocated space at the beginning of the drive, but there were no active or primary partitions on the drive, just a logical partition? The examples I have seen only show it being created on a completely empty drive. If not, then I might have to forego pre-loading user data onto the HDD before deleting my XP partitions.

Another alternative could be to manually allocate a 100MB system partition with partition wizard boot CD and mark it active before the Windows 7 install. Would a clean Windows 7 install add a boot manager and BCD to an ***empty*** active partition on the same HDD? I did a test install of Windows 7 to a new partition after XP, and it added boot manager and BCD to my active XP partition.

I would like to know what will work before deleting my existing OS.

Thanks for the wonderful Windows 7 resource.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
07 Jan 2014   #2
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

You should create a partition for Windows 7 with the PW boot cd, that way you won`t get a system reserved partition.

If you have unallocated then yes, windows will make the SR partition, a waste in my opinion.

Older OSs ( XP ) should be installed 1st, but it can be done either way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2014   #3
WinXPtoWin7

Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit w/SP1 (install pending)
 
 

I don't think you followed what I was asking, I will try again -

I am wanting to get a system partition when installing on an hdd with a non-empty partition.

I want to have a 100MB system partition with the boot mgr and BCD but no OS, and a second partition for Windows 7, a third for Win XP, and an extended partition with additional data partitions.

If I create all of these with PW boot CD before windows 7 install and mark the 100MB partition as active, then install Windows 7 to the second partition, will the Windows 7 install put the boot mgr code and BCD in the empty first partition marked as active?

Thanks for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

07 Jan 2014   #4
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Yes, it should make the SR partition, but at the same time, you are pre partitioning so it may not. But since you`re making that 100 MB partition Active it should work out the way you want it.

But another approach would be to leave the entire hard drive as un allocated space, But keeping your 1 logical partition, and do your partitioning afterwards, then you should definitely have the SR partition.

Let us know how it turns out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2014   #5
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by WinXPtoWin7 View Post
If I create all of these with PW boot CD before windows 7 install and mark the 100MB partition as active, then install Windows 7 to the second partition, will the Windows 7 install put the boot mgr code and BCD in the empty first partition marked as active?

Thanks for your help.
Yes.
I'd make the system reserved partition 200MB to avoid possible problems if using Windows inbuilt system imaging.
This tutorial may also be useful
Dual Boot Installation with Windows 7 and XP
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2014   #6
gregrocker

 

Please post back a screenshot of Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
so we can better advise you.

Generally when you boot the Win7 installer, you'd want to delete the SysReserved and WIn7 partition, possibly any Recovery or OEM partition if they exist which we can discuss if so. Then in that space you'd create and format a new partition which will still issue the 100mb System REserved partition. This is done during the booted Custom Clean Install Windows 7 using the Drive Options in Steps 7 and 8.

As long as you don't touch the XP and Logical data partitions they will not be affected, and XP should be added to a Dual Boot by the WIn7 installer. If not install EasyBCD to add XP. EasyBCD (click Download - no Name or Email required)

Please also take the time to look over these steps for a Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 which are the same for retail and compile everything that's worked best in tens of thousands of installs we've helped with here. You will get and keep a perfect install if you stick with the steps given there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2014   #7
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

One small thing I would do differently: Copy the XP user data and WET file to an external drive instead of the HDD, and wipe the whole HDD when beginning the installation of whichever OS you decide to install first.

Why? I am not sure . I'm just so old school I feel better when starting from scratch (clean install) that I'd rather do it to a completely empty HDD, which I will partition using Windows installation drive tools or using any partitioning tool prior to installation.

Just my two Euro cents...

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2014   #8
gregrocker

 

Totally agree with Kari. Only use a data partition at the end of the HD if you have no other storage method.

Also thought you were replacing XP which is nearly a defunct OS now. I would wipe the drive also if you decide not to keep XP.

I also would not use WET which can lose data and copies way too much junk you should not reimport into a fresh install. Those Appdata settings are a corruption path. Start over with fresh settings. It shows how to reimport your data for vital programs which need it in Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7. It also shows the easiest way to back up data is to sort it into the User folders and drag them to external.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2014   #9
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

@ WinXPtoW7
In addition to my comment above you should backup any of your data to another (eg. external drive). I agree with you that a system reserved is the way to go for multi booting W7 and XP but make it 200MB not 100MB.

Just noticed Kari also recommends ext HDD backup as well.
I assume that your plan was to partition your HDD before installation and set the first partition, for system reserved, active.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2014   #10
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Yep, that`s what he said in post # 3
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to create system partition for Win 7 custom install?




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