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Windows 7: Help with Boot Manager/Boot Loader

23 Jun 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit RTM
Help with Boot Manager/Boot Loader


I would love some help learning how to edit and deal with the Windows 7 Boot Manager/Boot Loader using BCDEdit, etc. I've read some tutorials out there but they didn't cover my questions. So what better place to ask then the Windows SevenForums? :)

My drives and history for my 7 install:
  1. I installed Windows 7 RC-1 on a new PC and drive and it has been near-flawless. It's a WD Black 1TB that I partioned into:
    • 120 GB C: (for Windows 7 install)
    • 700+ GB D: (applications and my docs/media)
    • 20 GB E: (for virtual memory paging file)
    • That reserved 100MB partition for the boot manager that Windows 7 automatically creates
  2. I recently purchased two OCZ Vertex 30GB SSDs that I hooked up and am running in RAID 0 for a fraction under 60GB virtual disk shown by the RAID controller. I also installed the RAID controller's driver in Windows 7 and did firmware updates on the SSDs before putting them into a RAID.
  3. I used the latest version of GParted LiveCD to boot into Linux and copy the 100MB boot manager partition and 120GB C: partition to a USB-connected external drive (I didn't want to resize my 120GB partition on my 1TB drive, because that's always a gamble, and wanted the backup to boot off of if needed).
  4. Then I used GParted to resize the 120GB partition on the USB drive to around 50GB (it's only using 20-some GB for Windows 7 and a few small utilities). That completed successfully. I also set my RAID 0 array's virtual disk boot flag so that the partition actually boots.
  5. I copied the 100MB Boot Manager partition and the 50GB C: partition to the RAID 0 array's virtual disk, and did a resize of that 50GB partition to take the full space available (around 59GB now). That completed successfully.
  6. I set my BIOS to boot from the RAID array, but I also have my 1TB drive connected as well.
  7. It booted fine (did its checkdisk run on the resized partition as expected). But it booted to my 1TB drive's C: partition. Apparently the Windows 7 Boot Manager has a static pointer to the 1TB drive I have instead of a relative/dynamic one. It appeared to boot to the 100MB Boot Manager partition on my RAID 0 array's virtual disk, but that pointed to the C: partition on the 1TB drive.
I researched this 100MB partition and the Windows 7 Boot Manager (which I didn't know much about at first, except that it's required to boot). It's quite interesting, and apparently I can use a Linux boot manager if I wanted? Yup, interesting stuff.

What I want to do is to edit this boot manager/loader do that it points to my RAID array for Windows 7 rather than my 1TB drive. I was able to run a command prompt in 7 as administrator and use BCDEdit, but I'm confused at this point.

The top portion is pointing to G: for the boot manager (which is the 100MB boot manager partition on my RAID array), and the boot loader points to the Windows 7 launcher on C: partition (which is on the 1TB drive). But if I'm booting to my RAID array, isn't it's first partition supposed to be C:?

So I'm there, able to change/edit things, but not sure what to change since from the looks of it, everything should be fine. I can do a Windows repair with just the RAID array connected to reset it, but I'd rather learn my way around the boot manager to help myself and others in the future when issues arise.

Also, I've tweaked many things in Windows 7 RC-1 so far and it's stable and fast, so I don't want to have to go through that again until Windows 7 is RTM.

Thanks! :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2009   #2

XP, Seven, 2008R2

lets take a look at the output of bcdedit /enum

and maybe you can attach a screenshot of Disk Management

Win+R -> diskmgmt.msc
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit RTM

Thanks, sup3rsprt. I'll do that tonight when I get home. I'll also copy and paste my BCDEdit config as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Jun 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit RTM

bcdedit /enum output (same as just running bcdedit):
C:\Windows\System32>bcdedit /enum

Windows Boot Manager
identifier              {bootmgr}
device                  partition=G:
description             Windows Boot Manager
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {globalsettings}
default                 {current}
resumeobject            {7f63df58-514a-11de-b734-fbb925899384}
displayorder            {current}
toolsdisplayorder       {memdiag}
timeout                 30

Windows Boot Loader
identifier              {current}
device                  partition=C:
path                    \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description             Windows 7
locale                  en-US
inherit                 {bootloadersettings}
recoverysequence        {7f63df5a-514a-11de-b734-fbb925899384}
recoveryenabled         Yes
osdevice                partition=C:
systemroot              \Windows
resumeobject            {7f63df58-514a-11de-b734-fbb925899384}
nx                      OptIn

Here's a screencap of my Disk Manager. Note that C, D, and E are on 1TB drive, while G and H are on RAID array, and in the BIOS it is booting to RAID array and thus its G partition (I forgot that I made my virtual memory partition 50GB, oh well):

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2009   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit RTM

I was able to boot from the Windows 7 RC-1 CD I had run a startup auto repair which let me boot off of the copied partition on the RAID array. Of course I had to load my RAID controller drivers, but I love Windows 7 since it lets me load it from any media (I used an SD card to make it easy).

It would still be nice to know how to repair this manually though. I even tried making the G: and H: drives active in Disk Manager, but that didn't help. A run down or tips on how to do this in the future with BCDEdit would be nice if anyone knows? Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2009   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64


To add an entry to bcd for another NT6 (Vista/Win 7) installation e.g. on partition H, boot into the current one :

bcdedit /copy {current} /d "Win 7"

A {GUID} will be returned, use that , including brackets , in the commands below:

bcdedit /set { the-guid-you-got} device partition=H:

bcdedit /set { the-guid-you-got} osdevice partition=H:

The description between " " can be anything you like.

Hope it helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jun 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit RTM

Thanks, SIW2! :) Good to know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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