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Windows 7: Move Windows Partition

25 Aug 2013   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Move Windows Partition

Probably easiest if I start by illustrating my current disk setup

My windows 7 is currently installed on the c: drive which an SSD. This disk was never really enough so I had to install some programs to G drive.

I am now wanting to move my c drive to the L drive and install Linux on the SSD which will be made available by the Windows move so that I can dual boot both. I then will remove all the programs from G drive and put then with the rest of the Windows programs so they are all in one place. My main documents folders are split across several drives dependent on use so the only growth will really be in updates and app data so the new drive should be big enough to handle it for the time being.

I have acronis true image plus 2013 and I was going to clone the c: drive and move to l: drive however it will clone the whole drive and wipe out my system partition so not sure how to proceed.

Anybody any advice?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2013   #2

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Hello jyn first what is on the L: drive?? and second what about another SSD for the Linux if you cannot clone the C: to the L:.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Hi ICit2lol thanks for taking a look. The drive that the L: partition consists of the system partition (100mb) and the rest is (the actual L partition) unused. My concern was that if I cloned C drive and moved it to the L drive that would wipe my system partition rendering the computer unbootable. If I just back up the c drive and then restore it to the l drive and then mark the l drive partition as active would that make the l drive bootable?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Aug 2013   #4

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Well yes a clone would overwrite everything on that L: drive but if you are booting from C: drive which is normal then I can't see there being a problem.

Just what have you got set in the BIOS for the first boot device? It should be that C: drive (Disk 4) ie if the first boot drive is numbered #************** and corresponds to the SSD drive details then it is the boot drive and contains whatever is needed for the boot up.

What you could do is to shut down disconnect the L: drive and re power up if it boots you are good to go.

Then it is just a matter of cloning the C: to the L: drive which will then be your boot drive. Just for safety's sake back up before you do anything and keep the C: intact until you have it running from the now L: drive which will become your C: drive. You will need to go back into the BIOS to make sure the new C: drive is the first boot device though.

Then you are free to do with the SSD as you wish and if that is installing Linux on it means it is essential you get the BIOS settings right for the first boot device

PS Meant to add personally I would wipe the L: drive before I cloned to it if the rest of the info goes to plan.
To do that you can use clean all in DISKPART
Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command

or use

Partition Wizard to "wipe" the drive - very very handy tool
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2013   #5
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64


I would recommend the following:

1. Copy the boot manager to C: using this tutorial:
Bootmgr - Move to C:\ with EasyBCD

This means the 100MB System Reserved partition on L: is redundant and no longer required.

2. Format L:

3. Use Macrium Reflect to create an image of C: See tutorial below:
Imaging with free Macrium

4. Restore the image to L:

5. Boot from L: (note L: now becomes C

6. Format the SSD: and install Linux to it.

If you want to dual boot, consider this:
Dual Boot - Windows 7 and Linux
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2013   #6

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Thanks Golden wasn't real sure of that 100MB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2013   #7


The problem is that you installed Win7 to the SSD with the other HD's plugged in so it kept the System boot files on System Reserved. This is why one should always unplug all other HD's during install.

To fix this fully you'd mark Win7 partition Active, unplug all other HD's, swap the DISK0 cable to Win7 HD where it should stay. Then boot into Win7 installer to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots, until it starts and the System flag is now on C. You can then plug back in all other HD's making sure Win7 HD remains first HD to boot in BIOS setup.

When ready install Linux to it's target HD with all others unplugged, then choose which to boot via the BIOS boot order, or one time BIOS Boot Menu key. If you don't like this arrangement install EasyBCD to Win7 to add Linux.

Be sure to delete the System Reserved partition as well as L when you install Linux. You should always have other HD's unplugged and delete all partitions on the target HD during install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2013   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks for all your tips and pointers. I have all now on the c drive (system and install partitions) and all booting from grub without issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2013   #9

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Good stuff jyn nice to know it is up and running again
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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