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Windows 7: Installing win 7 image to a larger 3TB drive

20 May 2012   #1

windows 7 ultimate 64-bit
Installing win 7 image to a larger 3TB drive

Alright, I did a backup image in Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit from a 500GB drive. I then took that out and put in a new Barracuda 3TB sata3 drive. After it was done restoring the image I extended the volume and of course it only gave me 2TB of space. So after reading a bit I needed to use Seagates disc wizard to format it to accept and show 3TB (2.79 useable) space which I did by hooking it up as an extra drive in another computer. Now my question is when I do hook it up in the new computer and put the image on again the process wants to automatically format the drive and in doing so I am afraid I will end up with the same 2TB's of space after extending the volume again. Is that what is going to happen or is there something else I need to set up before hand or perhaps a way around having it format before the restore?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #2
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Hello jackhandsome Welcome to the Seven Forums!

When going to restore an image made from a drive and then restoring it to a drive 3 times the size you can always expect to find 2/3 of the drive space unused as long as the image has retained it's integrity. One other thing to know is that the Seagate Disk Wizard is a rebranded form of Acronis True Image.

Why is that inof needed? When restoring an image created by the backup option in Windows the destination drive will automatically be reformatted by the restoration tool. That can be started either while still booted in Windows or when booting live from the dvd and selecting the option to restore a full image.

The format option in Disk Wizard does the same manually however of seeing the entire drive formatted or reformatted prior to restoring an image just in case of a circumstance like this where a larger replacement drive will be used. This insures the drive is ready for use once the image restoration is completed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #3

windows 7 ultimate 64-bit

Thank you for the reply Night Hawk. I understand the restoration wizard automatically formats a certain way and installs an MBR. What i need to do is change from MBR to GPT after the restoration is complete. I am sure you know that MBR only supports up to 2TB and my new drive is 3TB therefore having to use GPT to achieve 3TB. I have looked around and a few people have had the same issue but no fixes. I was wondering if anyone here had any fixes that I was not seeing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 May 2012   #4

Windows 7 Pro-x64

I think you'll need to do a clean install and select GPT from the start. I also think that If your motherboard doesn't support EFI booting, you're out of luck. There's a setting or two in the BIOS if you are booting from a disk larger than 2TB. And as I recall, the boot must be EFI. There's still an MBR in LBA 0 on a GPT disk/partition. The GPT partition starts in LBA 1 so I'm not sure you can just convert a disk without loosing data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #5
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

The GUID Partition Table does seem to have some limitations like UEFI based systems for the 64bit Windows only. Note this from the MSDN page seen at Windows and GPT FAQ

Windows Disk Support

Q. Can Windows XP x64 read, write, and boot from GPT disks? A. Windows XP x64 Edition can use GPT disks for data only.

Q. Can the 32-bit version of Windows XP read, write, and boot from GPT disks? A. No. The 32-bit version will see only the Protective MBR. The EE partition will not be mounted or otherwise exposed to application software.

Q. Can the 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 read, write, and boot from GPT disks? A. Starting with Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, all versions of Windows Server can use GPT partitioned disks for data. Booting is only supported for 64-bit editions on Itanium-based systems.

Q. Can Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008 read, write, and boot from GPT disks? A. Yes, all versions can use GPT partitioned disks for data. Booting is only supported for 64-bit editions on UEFI-based systems.
With a pair of 1tb OS drives here one used for test purposes I was pricing 2-3tb for the extra space to store system images not OS a drive that size since where you back it up to? I know Seagate is working on a new coating for drive platters to reach a 20-60tb drive capacity. But that's still a ways off!

Here's one thread found at the WindowsServer site about problems seen when trying to create a full image from a 3tb drive. Unable to create system image on 3TB hardrive Windows 7-64 SP1

Another thread at the WindowsServer site may be a help for you there while that was for the 32bit 7 with SP1 when failing to see an image restored to a 3tb drive. Backup and Restore image fails 3TB Advanced Format Drive Windows 7-32 SP1

When going to restore any image the information is usually that the restoration tool will set the drive up to match the conditions which were seen at the time the image was created from the source drive. Size limitations of 2tb seem to get in the way as well as which mode the bios is set to as far as AHCI or Native iDE.

If your image was made while the 500gb drive was running in the AHCI mode and you now find you need the bios set for Native IDE that can bring up some issues as well as the size of the larger capacity drive getting in the way to some extent.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #6

Windows 7 x64 / Windows Server 2008 / Linux (Redhat & Deb distros) / OS X / More

Everything You Need to Know About 3TB Hard Drives

Everything You Need to Know About 3TB Hard Drives | PCWorld

I kind of had the same problem but with six 500gb hard drive in raid 0. i was able to solve my problem using the raid controller.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #7

windows 7 ultimate 64-bit

Well I have been reading quite a bit and it seems the only utility that I can find is gpt fdisk explained here - Some Notes on the Machines: Convert MBR to GPT without destroying data . The only problem I have with it is what it says at the beginning which is this: "There is a utility, for Windows, Linux, and Mac, which will convert MBR disks to GPT without destroying data. (Please note that it does NOT preserve data if you’re using an “extended” partition!!!!)". Here is where I am a little confused. The Win 7 image created a primary partition but after I used the recovery utility I then go into "disk management" and tell the new drive to "extend volume" in order to get the rest of the space from the hard drive. I am assuming it simply allows you to have the rest of the space that the drive offers and does not change the actual partition type. So I think gpt fdisk will work being the new drive is a primary and not extended partition, am I correct in this thinking?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #8

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

I don't think a large OS partition is a good idea anyway given that this is the partition you would image most often.
Have you tried partitioning your HDD and keep the max size of a partition under 2 TB.
I need to check again but I think you can MBR boot if partitions are under 2 TB.

You may also need to use a 3rd party partition program like Partition Wizard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #9
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

I noticed while going over most MSDN or TechNet threads OS partitions 2tb or larger run into problems. The image was made from a 500gb drive 1/6th the size of the destination drive which is generally problematic when going to resize/extend C out to the full capacity with that much of a size difference to begin with.

If you used a 3rd party lke Acronis you could mount the image as a second C drive for simply copying files from it while the Windows Easy Transfer tool would have been the better alternative once a clean install of 7 went onto a primary less then 2tb.

With an image restored to a drive that size any one of a number of partitioning programs even the Disk Part tool would be the option for creating a second storage/backup partition when planning to split up a drive that size. Here I would simply seen that added in for storage and backup where multiple system images could be stored from the smaller 1tb host/boot drive in use here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Installing win 7 image to a larger 3TB drive

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