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Windows 7: Install Win7 to Logical partition?

05 May 2014   #11
AlanJS

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

This is very nearly what my problem is.

I installed a fresh Windows 7, but not wanting to touch the rest of my drive, I made a nice 160 GB partition (of a 1TB drive) in it and went ahead with the install. But it was the 2nd hard drive used by this computer. An older version of Windows was still installed in the first (160 GB) drive. But that's cool with me, I would prefer to just keep all these partitions around and not think about it.

Problem was, somehow the Windows boot manager on drive #1 was configured to boot into Windows 7 on drive #2. Again, that shouldn't be a problem. But then I try to go directly from the BIOS to drive #2, it says that it's not bootable. Okay, so check the information... the 160 GB Windows partition is marked as logical, while the other (data only) partition is marked as the primary.

So... my BIOS is telling the truth, at least somewhat. It looked at the drive, found the primary partition, and correctly concluded that it was not bootable. As far as I can figure out, the only instructions that allow me to boot into the Windows 7 partition lie on drive #1, which is a terrible terrible policy and I'm running around trying to figure out a solution to fix it.

EaseUS partition manager has several utilities that seem like they could fix it, but none actually work. Editing the MBR seems hopeful to point the BIOS to the right partition, but this can't be used with the free version, and I have no confidence that buying it would actually solve my problem. Now, I would like to use EaseUS to just set the Windows 7 drive to primary, but it says that this property can't be changed for a bootable sector. Now I'm stuck in a big infinite loop of errors!

Now I'm trying to do this same operation with diskpart (which is likely to give the same error anyway), and I notice that it has an "Extended" sector, which seems a duplicate of the "Logical" Windows 7 partition. I guess I'll ignore that and try to make the logical sector primary. If that doesn't work, I'll give the Paragon partition manger a shot. I'm fairly sure neither of these approaches will work, and I'll post here again to continue the saga.

UPDATE: problem was solved. See my final post for this specific saga first if you are working on a similar problem. Everything between these two posts are intermediary troubleshooting steps.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 May 2014   #12
gregrocker

 

Post back a Disk Mgmt screenshot for the steps to do what you want.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2014   #13
AlanJS

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Here is a screenshot. This is probably obvious, but disk 1 is the old drive with the old OS. Disk 1 is the 1 TB drive. Clearly, 768+159+159 does not equal 931, which evidences the fact that the two small partitions either refer to the same thing or one is junk.



Now I'm looking into XOSL for a potential boot manager, but there's a lot to read before I try anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 May 2014   #14
gregrocker

 

It would help to see it better with a screenshot of Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image.

Neither the Logical or Extended holds the Boot files for either Win7 installation, as they can only be placed on a Primary partition.

You can always convert a Logical to Primary using How to set partition as Primary or Logical with Partition Wizard.

Then you can Mark Partition Active the Win7 you want to keep and run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times to write the boot files there until it starts and holds the System Active flags.


Having an OS in third partition is also not as desirable as having it in the left hand side closer to where the disk reader parks for faster reads.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2014   #15
AlanJS

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Thanks, sorry I didn't follow the FAQ right the first time. Attached is the Disk Management screenshot, as per those instructions.

Next, I will try setting the Win7 partition to primary via the Partition Wizard. Other software gave errors for this operation, so I'll post the error message if I get one.

Then, I'll have to put my Windows7 iso on portable media in order to run the Startup Repair. That will take me a day or so since I don't have it with me.

It sounds like it might make sense to copy the entire Windows7 partition to another partition on the "left" as you say. Space isn't a problem, and I think this is within the capabilities of what software I've already used. Perhaps it can be set to primary as it is created.


Attached Thumbnails
Install Win7 to Logical partition?-screenshot-2014-05-06-16.48.48.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2014   #16
gregrocker

 

System boot files are on old XP drive so it will need to be unplugged for repairs to work. Set Win7 drive first to boot in BIOS setup.

Use the latest official ISO for your licensed version and USB tool in Steps 1 and 2 of reinstall tutorial in signature pic below.

You could resize data partition from the left to copy OS in front. How to Move/Resize Partition with partition manager? Partition Wizard Move/Resize Partition Video Help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2014   #17
AlanJS

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Neither the Logical or Extended holds the Boot files for either Win7 installation, as they can only be placed on a Primary partition.

You can always convert a Logical to Primary using How to set partition as Primary or Logical with Partition Wizard.

Then you can Mark Partition Active the Win7 you want to keep and run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times to write the boot files there until it starts and holds the System Active flags.
I've been trying with the two steps referred to here. That is, unplug the old install and start up into my valid Win7 install CD/flash drive. Then, the two steps from there are to follow the diskpart instructions and then use Windows repair. I can certainly attempt both of these, but it still doesn't accomplish the objective of correctly configuring the MBR on this drive.

diskpart:

I still can't use diskpart to set the logical partition as active. I see how it makes sense that you can't do this when Windows is running, and that we need to use the installation files. I did this, and it throws the same error:

Quote:
Virtual Disk Service error:
The specified partition type is not valid for this operation.
Now, I can set the other partition to nonactive. I thought maybe I needed to do this before setting the Win7 partition to active, but it doesn't help.

Windows repair:

I have gone through the Windows repair too. The first time (again, without the other drive plugged in), it detected the Windows 7 partition, so I committed those changes. But that still won't allow me to boot from that disk. Same general:

Quote:
Alert! Failed to detect one or more drives during POST.
Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility
Press F5 to run onboard diagnostics
I can select the drive to look for boot files in with the BIOS options, I'm confident that it's looking at the desired drive, and this is after the Windows repair, and it won't boot. When I try again after the above error, I can get yet another error, which I think is "NTLDR missing". I don't have solid documentation, because it only flashes the message, not long enough to take a picture of the screen.

Next up:

Some options still remain from what we've discussed here, although I'm marking them out one-by-one slowly. I'm going to try creating a new primary partition from scratch and copying the Windows 7 partition there. If the error is due to baggage from being a logical partition, this would seem to remedy it. I'll try to keep posting updates, because I'm fairly sure I will get it figured out eventually.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2014   #18
gregrocker

 

Did you read what I wrote and you just quoted? You must convert C from Logical to Primary before it will mark Active, and it must be Active before repairs will work.

You can use the Partition Wizard boot disk or install it to XP. Remember to apply both steps:

Convert C to Primary first using Partition Wizard to set partition as Primary. It cannot be marked Active until it is Primary.

You can then also use Partition Wizard to Set C Active partition - Video Help. It will not repair until C is marked Active.

Then after C is confirmed to be Primary Active, power down to unplug XP drive, boot into Win7 disk to run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times.

You can then use Partition Wizard to Resize D Partition from the left to make space to copy C into the Unallocated Space created at the front of the drive using How to copy partition with the partition manager MiniTool Partition Wizard. Once it is copied into the space, use PW to mark old C Inactive, confirm new C is marked Active, then run Startup Repair if necessary. Save the old C partition until you are sure the new one functions correctly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2014   #19
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Quote:
I still can't use diskpart to set the logical partition as active
You need to convert it to a PRIMARY partition before it can be marked Active. You need a 3rd party partitioning tool for that.

Couple of very good free ones :

Standard edition is free

Free Partition Manager - AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard


Home edition is free

Best Free Partition Manager Freeware and free partition magic for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Vista and Windows XP 32 bit & 64 bit. MiniTool Free Partition Manager Software Home Edition.

Edit: Greg beat me to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2014   #20
gregrocker

 

But I learned it from you Simon (years ago) in this very thread!

This is the first time however that I'm recommending copying System partition using PW which has worked for me in the past. Do you think it is as sound of a copy as imaging?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Install Win7 to Logical partition?




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