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Windows 7: Want to make Win 7 System Partition DualBoot


30 May 2010   #1

Vista Windows 7 each 64 bit Home Premium
 
 
Want to make Win 7 System Partition DualBoot

I have two hard drives and have each of them partitioned.

I have Vista on C: and did a custom install of Win 7 on the first partition of my second hard drive, which is F.

I wanted to create a backup image of Win 7 on the first hard drive's other partition but kept being told there was no room, because it was imaging C and F.

I found this from technet.microsoft.com's library
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee829683(WS.10,printer).aspx#BKMK_Step1

I made the 200 mg partition at the end of my second partition on my second hard drive with Windows 7 on the first partition. However, I can't mark the 200 mg partition as active, evidently because I already have one active partion.

Any advice as to how I can achieve my goal without messing everything up? I thought Win 7 automatically made this partition, but it didn't. I have programs installed on Win 7 so hate to re-install it, if there is some way to do so and get the 200 mg partition. Would a repair installation fix it?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 May 2010   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Let me try to understand

1. on disk drive #1 you have Vista
2. on disk drive # 2 you have Windows 7
3. on disk drive #2 you also have another partition of 200MB to which you want to image Windows 7

Well, you need a much bigger partition to image Windows 7. To be safe, I suggest you create a 20GB partition. That should be enough for 1 image or use an external disk which is usually the preferred solution. This can be any partition type and need not (must not) be active. Since you are double booting, you have a little complication though. The MBR is most likely on your Vista partition. So whenever you are in a need to restore the Windows 7 partition, you have to hope that this MBR still functions - and during the restore you must NOT replace the MBR (that would be different if you were imaging the Vista partition).

Here are 2 tutorials:

1. How to create a partition: Data Partition
2. Imaging with free Macrium: Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

It will depend on two things for what you are trying to do there.
1)How large is the image for the 7 drive?
2)How large is the second partition on the Vista host drive?

With one image for 7 here as well as the files already on the image was 131gb in size. That is with files like icons, wallpapers, updates, and other things being stored locally bringing up the total.

If the second partition on the Vista drive is too small to begin with that will see the backup stall immediately. The size of the image was simply too large for the amount of drive space available. If the second part on the 7 drive was added in that would result in seeing a larger image then simply creating one from the 7 primary by itself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 May 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

The reason Windows 7 Backup Imaging wants to include both OS's is because Vista is the System Active OS containing the MBR for both OS's in the Dual Boot, as is expected when you install Windows 7 after Vista.

The solution to this is to create a better Dual Boot via the BIOS so that both HD's become independent and can come and go as you please. You can then image Windows 7 by itself and store it wisely on the Vista HD in a Primary partition so it is easily detected for reimage.

The way to accomplish this is to install each OS with the other one unplugged, however since you didn't do that you can now do this by marking Windows 7 active in Vista Disk Mgmt, power down to unplug Vista HD, set Windows 7 HD as first HD to boot in BIOS setup (after DVD drive), then boot the Windows 7 DVD Repair console or Repair CD, click through to Recovery Tools list to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots to write the System MBR to Windows 7 and start it up.

Once Windows 7 starts, power down to replug Vista HD, set your preferred HD first to boot in BIOS setup, then trigger the other HD when you want to boot it using the FKey given on first BIOS boot screen for one-time Boot Menu, normally ESC on HP's.

Now you can save just the Windows 7 backup image to a Primary formatted partition on the other HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2010   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

It appears Vista is the system partition.

Is your new 200mb partition a logical drive ?

You can only mark a Primary partition Active.

I would make the Windows 7 partition into the system partition. (Assuming it is a Primary partition )

Rt click and run as admin on sispar.cmd

sisparV6.zip

Enter the drive letter you want to make into the new system partition - the win 7 drive letter ( that will probably be C if you are booted into 7 ).

Enter Y to include the existing boot menu items ( assuming you want the Vista entry to still appear).

Enter Y to mark partition INACTIVE, and enter the letter of your Vista partition.

Restart.



After that, you might want to make the HD containing 7 the first HD in bios boot order. Not essential, but saves bios checking the other HD first.

To do that, you can enter bios setup and change the bios boot order so the HD containing 7 is first in the HD boot order. Alternatively, you could just swap the cables from the HD to the mobo, so the win 7 drive is now plugged in where the Vista drive used to be and vice versa.







Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Oldroser View Post
I have two hard drives and have each of them partitioned.

I have Vista on C: and did a custom install of Win 7 on the first partition of my second hard drive, which is F.

I wanted to create a backup image of Win 7 on the first hard drive's other partition but kept being told there was no room, because it was imaging C and F.

I found this from technet.microsoft.com's library
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee829683(WS.10,printer).aspx#BKMK_Step1

I made the 200 mg partition at the end of my second partition on my second hard drive with Windows 7 on the first partition. However, I can't mark the 200 mg partition as active, evidently because I already have one active partion.

Any advice as to how I can achieve my goal without messing everything up? I thought Win 7 automatically made this partition, but it didn't. I have programs installed on Win 7 so hate to re-install it, if there is some way to do so and get the 200 mg partition. Would a repair installation fix it?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

What I ended up doing for the XP/Vista dual boot prior to 7 would work the same for a Vista/7 stand alone OS install on each drive while dual booting across by way of the EasyBCD program. You could perform a repair install if not able to rebuild the 7 BCD and mbr entries on the second drive there while the first Vista drive was temporarily unplugged making it a stand alone drive.

Once the 7 boot information was set you would add Vista in as the second OS with the change of the default boot order to the 7 drive as suggested. From there 7 takes over as the default OS and enables you to create and store an image on any other drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2010   #7

Vista Windows 7 each 64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Gregrocker, you have understood my problem exactly. I've printed out your solution and will try to find time to implement it in the next few days.

No one seems to have read the Microsoft article which is supposed to allow "Using a disk configuration with a separate System partition for boot files supports a multiple boot configuration and allows a system image backup of Windows 7 without Windows Vista files." This was to be done by:

Using bcdboot.exe to copy the Windows 7 boot files to the 200 mg partition that I was unable to make active, once I'd made it active.

Rebooting, then importing the Vista boot files to the 200 mg partition.

Then updating the Windows Boot Manager to the 200 mg partition.

This still would mean both Vista and Windows 7 dependent on the small partition on the second hard drive, I think the idea of each being separate, which I think is what gregrocker's method accomplishes will be better.

No, I was not intending to install or to image to this little partition, only to make a new System partition so I could image Windows 7 to a much larger partition on the first drive with Vista.

It is marked as a logical not a primary partition, and I don't understand why. A third partition I made on the first hard drive is marked as primary. I'd appreciate it if someone would explain why it is marked as logical.

SIW2 I don't understand what you mean by "make the Windows 7 partition into the system partition. (Assuming it is a Primary partition )" Windows 7 is on the first partition on the second hard drive, a primary partition and is active. It has my swap files. I don't know that I could swap cables, but I could switch positions of the hard drives in the laptop which I would think would accomplish the same end.

Perhaps when I am performing gregrocker's method I should put the second hard drive in the slot of the first, Vista, hard drive once I have removed the Vista drive.

Night Hawk, I don't know what you did "for the XP/Vista dual boot prior to 7", but I gather that if gregrocker's method doesn't work I can do a repair install of Windows 7 and once that is successfull, then reinsert the Vista hard drive.

Maybe the Tutorial for installing Windows 7 as dual boot when you have two hard drives should be amended since I gather that as it is, should Vista fail, I wouldn't have Windows 7 working either.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2010   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Once you have the Vista drive unplugged you may want to notes on the MS article "How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows".

This applies to both Vista and 7 as fixing startup problems as well as rebuilding the bcd. How to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair startup issues in Windows

When having the RCs as stand alones on 3 separate drives at one point I just happened to toss the 32bit disk in instead of the 64bit for fixing a minor Grub issue on the 64bit host drive at the time and .... The 32bit repair tools actually turned around and added the second 64bit install on another drive(stand alone) into the boot options.

The boot options menu following listed "Windows 7(recovered)" until the entry was renamed later. But what happened was the 32bit tools detected that 64bit installation and added the wrong installation into the 32bit bcd and not the host install that would later remain. Surprizingly however the host drive became bootable again showing that these repair methods do work.

The repair install or even clean install most often preferred for any new or recent install will automatically create the bcd store and mbr entries. The option for performing an upgrade to repair install using that instead is to preserve all the present files and software installations while some things may still need to be redone over.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2010   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi Olroser,

Yes , everyone here understands how to make /change a system partition.

The system partition contains the boot critical files and needs to marked Active.

It can be a separate small partition if you wish, but it is not a requirement.

You could make an o/s partition into to the system partition instead of having a small separate one.

It seems that you currently have your Vista partition as system .

Very easy to make the 7 partition system instead.

That little app. I posted is written specifically for that purpose.

The boot critical files would then also be on the 7 partition - it will become the system partition if it the first Active partition in bios boot order.

( The boot critical files currently on the Vista partition stay where they are - they will not be used, but you could always make the Vista partition the first Active partition in the boot order again - then you would boot through the Vista partition again - if you ever want to do that. )

The advantage of this is they are not both dependent on the single 100mb partition.

You will be able to make a windows system image of each partition separately if you wish.

Each partition can be restored and will be bootable without also having to rely on yet another ( small ) partition to boot up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2010   #10

Windows 7 + Windows Xp Pro + Ubuntu 10.04 + openSUSE 11.2
 
 

better to use Norton Ghost to backup Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Want to make Win 7 System Partition DualBoot




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