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Windows 7: How to change System and Active HDD

14 May 2015   #1
bmalbert81

windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 
How to change System and Active HDD

I basically want to swap the C: Drive for F:

Windows is installed on both right now, but I want to make F the main system/boot and active drive going forward




My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 May 2015   #2
pbcopter

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Did you install Windows to the F: drive with the now C: drive installed?

Go into the BIOS and change the boot order to have the F: drive boot first.

It will then become C:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2015   #3
bmalbert81

windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pbcopter View Post
Did you install Windows to the F: drive with the now C: drive installed?

Go into the BIOS and change the boot order to have the F: drive boot first.

It will then become C:
Windows is installed on both, right now I have F set as boot #1, but C is still on there as well, so the PC gives me the option to pick which Windows install I want to run each time I boot up.

Also I already transfered everything from C so I want to format it and use it as external storage but my PC won't let me. It gives me an error "Windows was unable to complete the format"

Can i just uninstall windows from C?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 May 2015   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I would be careful. If the C drive was attached when you installed Windows on F, it may be the bootmgr on the C drive that boots F. If you delete C, you will have no bootmgr.

Make the test - disconnect the C disk and try to boot into F. If that works, then F is self contained and you can delete C. For that I would use the bootable CD of Partition Wizard.

Bootable Partition Manger | MiniTool Partition Wizard Bootable Edition
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2015   #5
iTRiP

[Genuine Custom DOS 5.0] & [Genuine Custom Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit SP1]
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bmalbert81 View Post
Also I already transfered everything from C so I want to format it and use it as external storage but my PC won't let me. It gives me an error "Windows was unable to complete the format" Can i just uninstall windows from C?
Pc won't let you because windows is programmed to protect its self, You should start the computer with the windows install media dvd, usb, boot into the setup again, select the drive you want to free, format it there, delete or recreate partitions on it, then exit the setup on that same screen without touching the windows that you still want to use drive and without proceeding further into setup, Restart, set windows drive boot first in bios, then boot normally into windows again to welcome you with your newly free'ed drive to do with whatever you want, now you can even format it in windows again if you so desire.

Check out this tutorial, and keep it handy if you run into any windows boot errors that could occur: (http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/104341-bootmgr-missing-fix.html)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2015   #6
gregrocker

 

We know that C is booting F now because it is labeled System while F is labeled Boot meaning it's the running OS.

So to make F bootable on its own Mark F Partition Active then power down to swap DISK0 drive cable to F drive, unplug all other drives, boot into disk to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times. Always Keep the OS hard drive in DISK0 slot to avoid derailing the boot during repairs or reinstall to the first available Primary partition.

Once F boots, you can plug back in the other drives making sure F drive remains set first to boot in BIOS>

Most people would not want WIn7 on another lettered drive besides C, which happens when you install Win7 while the OS is running blocking the use of letter C. I would consider Clean Reinstall Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2015   #7
bmalbert81

windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
I would be careful. If the C drive was attached when you installed Windows on F, it may be the bootmgr on the C drive that boots F. If you delete C, you will have no bootmgr.

Make the test - disconnect the C disk and try to boot into F. If that works, then F is self contained and you can delete C. For that I would use the bootable CD of Partition Wizard.

Bootable Partition Manger | MiniTool Partition Wizard Bootable Edition

Crap you're right, unplugged C: Drive and got an error message "reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media"

I guess I'm going to have to wipe the F: drive and just use Macrium Reflect or something like that to clone from the current C drive to the larger HDD which is currently F.

If anybody has a better solution please let me know, but for now consider this solved.

Thanks guys

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2015   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You can try to copy the bootmgr to F. Boot into F and try this:

Bootmgr - Move to C:\ with EasyBCD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2015   #9
gregrocker

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bmalbert81 View Post


Crap you're right, unplugged C: Drive and got an error message "reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media"

I guess I'm going to have to wipe the F: drive and just use Macrium Reflect or something like that to clone from the current C drive to the larger HDD which is currently F.

If anybody has a better solution please let me know
, but for now consider this solved.

Thanks guys
Did you read the solution I posted just above, before you asked if anyone had another solution?

This is the fix that has been given and worked for countless thousands here ever since Win7 was released and has never failed to work.

As Wolfgang says, you can also move the Bootmgr to F using EasyBCD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 May 2015   #10
bmalbert81

windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
You can try to copy the bootmgr to F. Boot into F and try this:

Bootmgr - Move to C:\ with EasyBCD


That did the trick
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to change System and Active HDD




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