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Windows 7: Replace RC in multiboot & Get boot files on 100MB part.


20 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Replace RC in multiboot & Get boot files on 100MB part.

This computer (different one than I posted about before) is XP-XP-7(RC), and the boot files are all on one of the XP partitions. I would like to end up with XP-XP-7(new install) and the Windows 7 boot files on a Windows 7 created separate 100MB partition, and the XP boot files left where they are.

I have this in mind: 1. Boot into XP, delete all the 7(RC) boot files, then format the 7(RC) partition. 2. Boot to the 7(new) DVD, delete the old RC partition, and hope that Windows 7 might create the 100MB separate partition for the boot files when installing itself. 3. Recover the XP boot with EasyBCD.

Another option: 1. Boot into 7(new) DVD, delete the RC partition, make 2 partitions, one is 100MB, and install to the other. 2. If 7 puts the boot files back on the XP partition (likely), then move its boot files to the 100MB partition with something like this method: Moving Boot manager to Different Drive (post #2)

Does this sound feasible? I could just install new over old and leave the boot files to stay where they are, but where's the challenge in that? And with boot files arranged as I propose, it should make future reinstalls of XP or 7 easier.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Feb 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

looks to me, you are making thing harder for yourself.

Check Your first post.

Replace one XP in XP-XP-Windows7 multiboot
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Feb 2010   #3

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Is this all on one drive?

Maybe some rules will help. Win 7 will put its boot files in an active partition on the primary drive. If there is no active partition, it will make one active. So, if you don't want Win 7 putting its boot files in one of the XP partitions, make sure they are not active or not on the primary drive.

You cannot make a logical partition active (if it becomes a factor).

The System Reserve Partition will become one of the 4 primary or one of the 3 primary and an extended partion allowed.

Win 7 will make its System Reserve partition if you create the partition from within the install. It will put its boot files there if no active partition is already available on the primary drive. If there is another active partition, it may not make the System Reserved partition anyway. If you format prior to the install, it will use just what you provided. But you can tell because it will show a message about how Windows needs to make space for itself or something like that.

Make sure and use the latest (82) EasyBCD 2.0 beta for the XP boots, especially if you have the System Reserve Partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks for the info, Saltgrass.

This is one HDD with 3 primary partitions for XP, XP, and 7, and another logical partition for data only. From what you say: "make sure they are not active or not on the primary drive", I guess there's no way to get 7 to create the "System Reserve" 100MB partition in this case, if it makes other primary partitions active during install. Correct me if mistaken, but you can't change primary into logical except by formating, which I do not want to do to the XP partitions. When I installed the XP systems, I thought they had to go on a primary partition - is that not the case?

2nd choice for me is to get the 7 boot files on the 7 partition instead of on the XP partition. This should happen automatically when I install from the DVD and format the current 7(RC) partition, right? Got the EasyBCD 2.0 beta82.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Feb 2010   #5

Windows 7 x64
 
 

A utility like Partition Wizard can change logical to primary, so I assume it will go backward, but not sure. Download and burn the bootable version. An OS can be on a logical partition, as long as the boot files are not.

I found out today, if you have an unpartitioned drive as primary and install win 7 on a secondary drive, it will put the System Reserved Partition on the unpartitioned drive since it is primary. But since we are talking about only one drive, that won't be a problem.

These types of operations can run into large problems, make sure you back up!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Feb 2010   #6

 
 

Hello debugged;

Here are some step by step, with pictures where you can add the 100MB partition to your system, and you can put all of you OSs in logical partitions and boot to them. I did this by using Partition Wizard to copy my XP partition to logical drive, then when I could boot to it, I deleted the XP partition on the Primary partition:

http://www.sevenforums.com/installat...ndows-7-a.html

http://www.sevenforums.com/installat...wont-boot.html

Remove Grub - Restore Windows 7

Cheers!
Robert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2010   #7

Windows 7
 
 

Hey, Saltgrass - That's interesting: "An OS can be on a logical partition, as long as the boot files are not." That opens the way for using the System Reserved mini-partition as the sole primary, and everything else logical.

When you say "drive", I think you mean the physical hard disk drive - some people refer to each partition with an operating system as a "drive", so it can get confusing. Changing a primary to a logical partition? And keeping the system all intact? Hard to fathom.

Robert - In your excellent 100MB partition guide I noticed that you didn't copy the bootmgr or grldr files to the S: partition - is that because they don't need to be there, or because the bcdboot C:\Windows /s S: command moves them there with the BCD file and Boot folder? Also, right after setting up the S: partition, why not boot into the XP system to edit the boot.ini file in advance, then when you boot to Windows 7, copy and paste to the S: partition, and then update the BCD for the new boot location for XP?

I'm going to play with all this on a less critical computer - this one has such highly tweaked XP systems, that it's too risky.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2010   #8

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by debugged View Post
When you say "drive", I think you mean the physical hard disk drive - some people refer to each partition with an operating system as a "drive", so it can get confusing.
Yes, I mean an unpartitioned, empty hard drive. It is really not related to your situation, but just in case the situation came up. Partitions are not set to primary.

I also try to use partition number instead of Drive letter. That really gets confusing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Feb 2010   #9

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by debugged View Post
Robert - In your excellent 100MB partition guide I noticed that you didn't copy the bootmgr or grldr files to the S: partition - is that because they don't need to be there, or because the bcdboot C:\Windows /s S: command moves them there with the BCD file and Boot folder?
Correct. "bcdboot C:\Windows /s S: command moves them there" Everyone's computer and needs can be different, so you are wise to adapt what I did to your setup. I already had the OSs installed so needed to move the boot code to S (see the MS link). In your case, as you are going to install 7, you need only create the 100MB "Systen Reserved" partition and mark it active (make sure the other partitions are not active), and install 7 to create a functional 100MB boot partition. Also, as the 7 DVD will not create a logical drive for you, I suggest you create it before hand, then tell 7 to install there. It seems to work well. 7 may automatically include your menu entries for XP as well.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by debugged View Post
Also, right after setting up the S: partition, why not boot into the XP system to edit the boot.ini file in advance, then when you boot to Windows 7, copy and paste to the S: partition, and then update the BCD for the new boot location for XP?
Again adapt for your needs. Remember, the ntldr boot manager depends on this: "default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS" to boot to XP. As soon as you add the 100MB partition, XP moves to "partition(2)", so how will you boot to XP to make the changes? One suggestion would be to add entries for partition 1, 2, 3, etc. and lable them based on the partition location. Then use entry one before and entry two after. Later you can edit out the unwanted entries. I also observed that using the boot editor in the XP properties edited the boot.ini file located on S.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by debugged View Post
I'm going to play with all this on a less critical computer - this one has such highly tweaked XP systems, that it's too risky.
A wise thing to do ... as my esteemed colleague Kari says: "Backup, backup, and backup!"

Thank you for your kind words. As there are many here with more knowledge and experience than I, I hope to have helped is some small way.

Cheers!
Robert
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2010   #10

Windows 7
 
 

Robert (iseeuu) - I tried to get the system reserve S: going on another computer with XP and 7. I was unable to get any free space in front of XP with Partition Wizard - maybe because it was a small (2.5GB) partition? In the end I deleted XP and made the 100MB primary partition. I booted to 7 to see if I could move its boot files to S: with the bcdboot command. They all appeared there (except grldr) and I made S: active. I was able to reboot to 7, but all the boot files were still in the 7 root C:, as well as in S: - and it wouldn't let me delete them. In EasyBCD the 7 partition was pointed at C: , yet S: is marked Active, System. Can you explain? How can I know if it boots from S: unless the boot files are removed from C: ?

I think bcdboot copies the boot files from %windir% , it doesn't move them from the Windows 7 root C:. How do you get rid of them from C: ?

I then moved on to another experiment - formatted the disk and started over, making 100MB Primary partition S:, then 2 logical partitions for XP and 7, marked the 100MB Active, and installed XP. XP boot files landed in S: Then installed 7 and all the boot files are in S: and nowhere else, and XP is ready in the boot menu. Very neat. Then just to see what would happen, formatted and re-installed XP, then repaired 7 startup with DVD Startup Repair (just once), and both 7 and XP are immediately ready in boot menu. This is a tidy setup.

I still want to know how to delete the boot files after copying to S: , for future reference, and I'm not sure if the bcdboot move really took.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Replace RC in multiboot & Get boot files on 100MB part.




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