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Windows 7: Safest Way to Clone Windows 7 Volume for Dual Booting

26 Oct 2010   #71
gregrocker

 

Jules: Win7 will decide what drive letter it wants to be. There is nothing you can do to change it once installed that will not bork your System, except in the case where a cloning app offers to let you select the drive letter during reimaging.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
27 Oct 2010   #72
Trailerman

 
 

Two quick questions:

1. Can you restore an Acronis image using Windows Easy Trasfer? IS there any reason this is better than using Acronis' own recovery environment (I presume they have a boot disk)?
2. Using the BIOS Boot approach to switching OS drives, will the other (unused) drive and its OS still be available to the system?

Jules
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #73
Trailerman

 
 

First attempt failed:

1. Used Acronis True Image 2011 to create an image of my working Win7 partition, which I stored on my data drive (now Disk 2)
2. Shut down, unplugged my OS drive (Disk 0) and reshuffled the drive order so that my destination drive is Disk 1 and data disk is Disk 2 (as Night Hawk suggested).
3. Booted into Acronis recovery environment using bootable CD.
4. Worked through Recovery wizard to restore image to Disk 1, into now unallocated space at the start of the disk (Disk 1). Enabled MBR restore and Disk Signature copy in the options (this is the only bit I was unsure about)
5. Result: "Recover Operation Failed" error within a minute, and with no explanation or further details of what the problem is.

Any suggestions gratefully received.

I realize I used Acronis to recover, rather than the Win7 recovery DVD, but I figured this is what Acronis is designed for, and I'm more likeley to get support from them than from Microsoft.

I have a support case logged, and a post on their support forums - here we go again ....

Jules
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 Oct 2010   #74
Trailerman

 
 

I now also have a Disk Signature collision on the system, which has taken my destination disk offline. Although I can force it back online, my principal audio apps on the source drive are now crashing regularly.

Maybe I screwed up and missed some of the advice in the preceding 7 pages of posts, but I cannot believe this type of operation needs to be so complex and potentially destructive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #75
gregrocker

 

Jules I've not heard of Acronis acting up in this way before.

Perhaps it's best to start over. System Restore your source drive to before the problems began there. Run sfc/ scannow as Admin to check system files. Post back if any problems persist.

Wipe the target drive using diskpart: SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

Now try the Acronis cloning function directly between the two drives using the Auto setting, so that it makes any partitioning differntial proportionate and rules out bad settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #76
Trailerman

 
 

Hi Greg

I think the app issues are caused by the Drive Signature conflict, because the source drive was unplugged when I did the recovery, so there's no way that could have been changed. Therefore I doubt system restore will make any difference.

I'll have to wait and see what Acronis say (so far no response).

If I ever manage to complete this operation, I'll post back with what happened and how it worked out.

Jules
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #77
GeneO

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
Here is a link I found useful. The did not do advice for a generalized BCD before cloning, but did afterward and it does work.

Multibooters, Vista Dual and Multibooting - Cloning Vista

I also wonder if having a separate system and boot partition make a difference (i.e. installing windows 7 on an existing partition where boot and system are the same vs. reformatting and letting windows 7 install create a separate 100MB system partition and boot partition). I have the system=boot.

- Gene


Hello Gene.

There are other ways to create the 100MB SysResv boot partition; have you seen this; and it can be done with Windows own disk management, have a look at the second one.


System Reserved : Create for Dual Boot

Boot Windows 7 from a Logical Partition
Thanks, I am playing with this on my clone drive

Cheers,
Gene
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #78
GeneO

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Trailerman View Post
I now also have a Disk Signature collision on the system, which has taken my destination disk offline. Although I can force it back online, my principal audio apps on the source drive are now crashing regularly.

Maybe I screwed up and missed some of the advice in the preceding 7 pages of posts, but I cannot believe this type of operation needs to be so complex and potentially destructive.
Jules, I haven't read through all of the responses, but if you did as you originally proposed: clone the partition AND the MBR, then you are also cloning the disk signature since it is in the MBR/track 0. This is how you get this signature conflict. You have a couple of options:

1. Don't clone the MBR
2. Do a sector level clone of the whole disk. You would need to save the data in the partitions you wish to keep, then recreate them and restore the data. When a new partition is created on your destination drive, it will get a new signature. or
3. Change the disk signature: http://www.howtohaven.com/system/cha...ignature.shtml. Though I don't think you would want to take this path - I believe you might then have to hack into the registry to change the signature there for the mounted device, but probably not - windows will probably see all of the partitions on the drive as new volumes without drive letters, and assign them letters.


- Gene
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #79
Trailerman

 
 

Hi Gene

The issue I have is a) the MBR on this drive is probably corrupt - I couldn't boot into it after I cloned FROM it to my current OS - so somehow that needs to be fixed, plus the posts above aren't totally clear on whether the MBR should be cloned or not. b) I'm told that some applications cause problems if they don't recognize the Disk Signature, hence why I copied it.

Clearly if I do it again, I won't copy the Disk signature, although that's already done. I'm truly grateful to everybody here for the guidance and suggestions, but the fact that this amount of information has still not resulted in an absolutely clear method for doing this relatively simple operation safely can only suggest that Windows OS'es just don't like doing this.

I hate to say it, (and I am anything but a Mac lover) but on my Mac Pro, I just clone the partition and select it - no MBR and Disk signature worries. It just works. On PC it seems the only way to do this safely is to start wiping disks or work only with identical hardware, which seems kind of anachronistic in the 21st century.

Sorry for the grumpy tone. After all the preparation and trying to get a clear and concise modus operandi, this has become a saga I could really have done without.

Jules
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2010   #80
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bare Foot Kid View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
Here is a link I found useful. The did not do advice for a generalized BCD before cloning, but did afterward and it does work.

Multibooters, Vista Dual and Multibooting - Cloning Vista

I also wonder if having a separate system and boot partition make a difference (i.e. installing windows 7 on an existing partition where boot and system are the same vs. reformatting and letting windows 7 install create a separate 100MB system partition and boot partition). I have the system=boot.

- Gene


Hello Gene.

There are other ways to create the 100MB SysResv boot partition; have you seen this; and it can be done with Windows own disk management, have a look at the second one.


System Reserved : Create for Dual Boot

Boot Windows 7 from a Logical Partition
Thanks, I am playing with this on my clone drive

Cheers,
Gene
Hello Gene.

I'm glad you find them useful; here's another interesting idea.

System Reserved : Multi Boot from Logicals'
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Safest Way to Clone Windows 7 Volume for Dual Booting




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