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Windows 7: How will a hard drive clone affect WinRE?

05 Nov 2009   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64
How will a hard drive clone affect WinRE?

Heyo forum-goers, what I am trying to do is sort of complicated but I'll try my best to explain it. Basically I'm trying to squeeze every ounce of potential out of my nearly outdated machine.

First, my relevant system specs:
- Windows 7 Pro 64bit
- 2 IDE Hard drives - 5400rpm 80GB Maxtor, and 7200rpm 160GB Seagate
- 2 Gigs of generic grade RAM

OK so earlier today I found out about virtual memory, AKA a paging file, and about how it acts like a sort of RAM buffer, increasing performance. I also found out that I can put a paging file on each hard drive and that I could get the greatest benefit if I had each hard drive on a separate IDE channel, so I ripped open my case, rerouted the cables appropriately, changed the master/slave jumpers, reset CMOS, and booted up Win7.

Now here is where I make things more complicated . In the interest of getting every drop of juice out of this rotten orange, I want to move (clone) the entire Win7 partition from the Maxtor to the Seagate to take advantage of the extra RPMs. Except when I attempt the cloning process via Seagate Disc Wizard, I only get the option to clone the Win7 partition and not the reserved unallocated space used by Windows Recovery Environment. I am unaware of how Win7 uses the reserved space specifically, but I assume that if I just created the unallocated space later it wouldn't instantly restore WinRE functionality. I know enough to know it has to be more complicated than that. How would I clone the Win7 partition and retain WinRE functionality?

Then, after that's done, do I still have to allocate some space on each hard drive for the paging files, like a Linux swap file? Or is the virtual memory reserved literally as a file in the operating system partition?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2009   #2

W8 Pro, W7 Ultimate, XP Pro x64, Vista x64, Ubuntu

If you are referring to the 100MB System Reserved partition, that isn't unallocated space, it's an NTFS partition that contains the boot manager and other things if Bitlocker is enabled.

You could use some other software that will clone the System Reserved partition. Acronis True Image Home 2010 will do it. You can use it on a trial basis to do the cloning:
Complete hard disk recovery solution, backup, drive copy, clone and image computer software

Also, Paragon is well regarded and I'm not sure if the Backup & Recovery 10 Free edition will clone, per se, but some of their other software will, and free trials are available from them, too.
Paragon Software: Download free partition software for home

As for the page file, Windows creates and manages that as a separate file, pagefile.sys. You can modify its size and location under Advanced System Settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2009   #3

Windows 7 Pro 64

Ok well here is what I'm looking at. Sorry for the small size but that is photobucket's fault.

There is the main partition (on the maxtor, second disk, pink) and then there is some unallocated space before and after it. I figured the unallocated space was the system reserved partition because it's the only part of the disk that isn't the main partition, but since it's only 1MB + 1.22MB it must not be the reserved part. So then the 100MB of system reserved memory must be part of the main partition right? if I clone the main partition, will I be ok?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

05 Nov 2009   #4

W8 Pro, W7 Ultimate, XP Pro x64, Vista x64, Ubuntu

It looks like you formatted the hard drive before installing Windows 7 (as opposed to installing to raw (unallocated) space). Doing it that way doesn't create the 100MB System Reserved Partition. So all of your boot and recovery is on the main OS partition.

Cloning just the main partition should work fine.

If for some reason it doesn't boot the first time, boot from the installation disk and run through startup repair.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2009   #5

Windows 7 Pro 64

Awesome, I cloned the drive with disc wizard and I'm running the OS off of the Seagate drive right now! It was really easy and everything is exactly the same. I guess that's why it's called a clone. The extra speed is almost unnoticeable, but I feel better just knowing that everything is the way it should be. Thanks for your help zrtom!

Now it's on to the overclocking.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How will a hard drive clone affect WinRE?

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