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Windows 7: Formatting hard drive containing old OS

30 Jun 2009   #31
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

You can easily convert the 7HD to Primary.

Download the free version of Macrium Reflect. Install it on your Vista partition.

http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp

Make an image of the 7 HD. Save the image anywhere except the 7 HD.

Restore the Image to the 7 HD and choose the Primary option. Select Active as well.

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My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Jun 2009   #32
Night Hawk

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

Unfortuantely all that will do is make a backup image of the 7 drive, restore the image later, but still leave the drive unbootable as well as not backing up a working installation of 7. You first will want 7 up and running and can even remove the Vista drive for the time to see the 7 made bootable on it's own.

Presently the boot information, BCD store, mbr entries are found on the Vista drive there. Unplugging the Vista host will allow you to perform the repair install to see 7 running again where then you would want to use the Reflect program if not the built in backup tool seen in 7 itself.

When replacing this build I'll restore the image I made of Vista to the drive it was originally on and left behind to see the new 7 build take over!

For you infernalcolonel you wanted to dump Vista? To preserve the preinstall and simply run 7 there removing the Vista host from the equation leaves that intact while the repair or even fresh custom install of 7 on the second drive will have you running 7 only without warranty concerns.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2009   #33
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

The colonel would prefer to avoid a reinstall.

By first making the 7 HD a primary partition, he can then make it bootable.

I didn't post the steps to make it bootable in the same post - or it would be too long.

One step at a time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 Jun 2009   #34
Night Hawk

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

The thing to note is that a repair install without the first drive plugged in will preserve things as well as seeing the new mbr entries and boot file placed on the second drive for the first time. With 7 running again you simply replug the first drive back in and still can boot into 7 with the BCD entries already present.

The repair would automatically make the 7 primary active. Backups are generally made while things are working not when you first have to correct a list of problems. Once everything is set then you would use the Reflect prorgam to backup a working copy of 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2009   #35
nate42nd

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

I have a similar issue. Not exactly but...

I have 7 installed on a 640GB HD and now I need to install it on a new SSD. With the RC I'm pretty sure I can just unplug the HD, plug the SSD in and do an install, then plug the regular HD back in and format it. Is this going to work? also what if it were a normal copy of Windows (not the RC) How would I get Windows activated? Phone call?

Can I just use the install disk to install on the SSD and format the regular drive with both plugged in?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2009   #36
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi Nate,

1. You should be fine to clean install 7 RC on the SSD , then reattach the HD as you suggest.

2. If it were a normal version of windows - it should also be fine.
Just changing the HD will not normally cause activation problems.

3. You could leave both drives attached and delete the HD partitions using Drive Options (advanced) during installation.

I assume you will have the SSD set as first HD in BIOS boot order.

Probably less chance of botch up if you detach the HD first, then reattach and delete.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2009   #37
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

NH,

I do not follow what you are saying.

1. The Macrium image is not for backup purposes. It is only to be used to restore that one time so that the partition can be made Primary. That image is not needed after that.

2. He has a laptop and has already said he does not want to open it up and detach the drive.

3. Even if he did detach the Vista drive - he would not be able to boot into 7 - therefore he would not be able to perform a repair (upgrade) install.

4. Even if a repair ( upgrade ) install was performed on an Extended partition - it can not be a System partition - you cannot mark an Extended partition Active.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2009   #38
nate42nd

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Hi Nate,

1. You should be fine to clean install 7 RC on the SSD , then reattach the HD as you suggest.

2. If it were a normal version of windows - it should also be fine.
Just changing the HD will not normally cause activation problems.

3. You could leave both drives attached and delete the HD partitions using Drive Options (advanced) during installation.

I assume you will have the SSD set as first HD in BIOS boot order.

Probably less chance of botch up if you detach the HD first, then reattach and delete.
Thanks SIW I have astoundingly never had a HD fail. Thanks for the info.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2009   #39
nate42nd

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
I assume you will have the SSD set as first HD in BIOS boot order.
Ohhhhh yes and I can't wait!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jul 2009   #40
Night Hawk

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
NH,

I do not follow what you are saying.

1. The Macrium image is not for backup purposes. It is only to be used to restore that one time so that the partition can be made Primary. That image is not needed after that.

2. He has a laptop and has already said he does not want to open it up and detach the drive.

3. Even if he did detach the Vista drive - he would not be able to boot into 7 - therefore he would not be able to perform a repair (upgrade) install.

4. Even if a repair ( upgrade ) install was performed on an Extended partition - it can not be a System partition - you cannot mark an Extended partition Active.
He doesn't have an extended partition to begin with. You can't install Windows onto an extended only primary type partition to begin with. I think you are confusing that with Linux which can be installed on extended partitions.

Without the #1 Vista drive plugged in the entire BCD store would have to be built just to be able to have the startup repair tool write the new mbr entries in order to make the drive bootable in any form. Once bootable and 7 loads the repair would go on from there.

That's rather an involved process rather then simply booting from the 7 dvd and performing a custom install if it even worked out since all that is command prompt activity seen there.

Now a totally new drive being added in? The same situation with a new twist where a clean install is still needed to see 7 running. As far as the Vista installation even if you were simply reinstalling 7 over with that drive plugged in Vista would simply be readded into the 7 BCD store as a boot option. The only changes at first seen on the boot menu screen would be Windows 7, Windows Setup, Vista and then move onto Windows 7, Setup Rollback, Vista.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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