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Windows 7: How do I use BCDEDIT with cloned drives?

25 Feb 2013   #1

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
How do I use BCDEDIT with cloned drives?

What code process is there for a clone booting I have 1 SADA and 2 IDE drives that I would like to
manage at start up. Can BCDEDIT be used to bootmanage these three drives that have Windows 7

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2013   #2

Windows 10 Pro X64

If I understand correctly, you want to be able to chose between the 3 drives at boot time, correct? If so then BCDEDIT can do that but I would recommend using EasyBCD instead as it's a lot easier to use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2013   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


You would also need three Windows 7 licence, one for each Windows 7 install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Feb 2013   #4

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium

Since I have the original Win 7 CD on one computer why would I need 2 more install licenses. I don't recall MS mentioning anything about clones in there terms and conditions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2013   #5


Perhaps we can help you better if you explain why you need to boot 3 copies of the same WIn7.

It does require a separate license for each, and is rarely really necessary except in one's imagination. There are almost always better alternatives working with the copy of Win7 you actually own.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2013   #6

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium

The back ups are protection from virus infections
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2013   #7


I suggest a baseline Win7 backup image stored to another HD, so that if Win7 ever becomes irreparable you can reimage it from the backup to HD or its replacement in 20 minutes. This doesn't require maintaining multiple OS's activated with the same Product Key.

It's best this backup be made after getting a perfect Clean Reinstall however you can use what you have now until you have time to do that. Once you have backed up a perfect install you never need reinstall again, even to other machines which we can help you apply the image onto.

To keep files current have a backup solution to the cloud similar to Sync, Backup and Store your Files to the Cloud with Skydrive which makes your files available from anywhere as well. Or you can schedule the simplest, SyncToys backup to another HD as often as you want.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2013   #8

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium

Maybe you didn't read the original request, the clone is stored on another HD within the same computer.
So the IDE HD is the backup and can be accessed within 5 minutes and not exposed to a virus on the
main drive. What I need is a code to process BCDEDIT to manage these drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2013   #9


If you only want to check that they're working clones you can use the one-time BIOS boot menu key to trigger the clone drive.

To boot them regularly you'd need another license, setting a multi-boot with EasyBCD (click Download - no Name or Email required) or using the BIOS boot menu which is easiest.

It was as a result of reading your post that I gave you the solution which works for countless others.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2013   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Seems to me a valid backup solution.

He will be using one installed win7 all the time. The cloned drive is there just in case his install gets borked.

There are some backup solutions which are just for that purpose - some will even keep udating the clone.

Yes you need to make sure the bcd entries are correct - there are one or two programs which can update bcd entries without needing bcdedit.exe. You could generalise the running bcd store first.

bcdedit /set {current} osdevice boot
bcdedit /set {current} device boot
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device boot

bcdedit /set {memdiag} device boot

Then you will be fine to clone to your heart's content.

If you have done the cloning, then you can do the same, but point at the clone bcd store, e.g. if clone is on drive D:

bcdedit /store D:\boot\bcd /set {default} osdevice boot
bcdedit /store D:\boot\bcd /set {default} device boot
bcdedit /store D:\boot\bcd /set {bootmgr} device boot
bcdedit /store D:\boot\bcd /set {memdiag} device boot

The other ( easier ) way is to use a program which will update all bcd stores automatically.

Paragon products which include a cloning function will do that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How do I use BCDEDIT with cloned drives?

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