How to make Win7 run on new partition on newly cloned Drive?

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  1. Posts : 46
    win7 32bit

    How to make Win7 run on new partition on newly cloned Drive?

    Have a dual boot XP/Win7. XP is on C: (FAT32) and Win7 on D: (NTFS, 1st extended partition) with several storage partitons on a 1TB drive. I back up partitions using Acronis. Recently I needed to move over to another 1TB drive. Same size disk, same size partitions. I cloned the whole Disk. Everything copied, but of course Win7 won't work. It finds it, boots, loads, logs in and then logs out again. Now I have redone this so many times trying to test variables, that I have partitioned the drives using Win7 (ie 3 primaries) and cloned that (this is just a secondary issue, but I thought to mention it, I am trying to see what this 3 primary partitions is all about (may come in handy, but one must first master handling and setting boot partitions. So back to my original issue...! I cloned the exact same Win7 partitioned drives (ie. 3 primaries) and the clone will still not boot on D: (just to make sure that wasn't an issue...)

    I started reading up on the whole Win7 boot loading issue, came across "Easy" BCD and learning about MS's new Win7 boot loading technology Apparently the issue is that MS BCD now keeps track of an unique identifier number of the target partition?. And by some strange weirdness, Easy BCD decided to NOT make this as straight forward a process as I would like to see, given what a complete stopper this is.???

    It will find the BCD, open it, add and remove entries and conveniently overlook this identifier!!!?? (why do I feel they are just trying to sell us the Recovery CDs?) Anyhow I DID buy the Win7 Recovery CD. And ironically it will remove the boot loader completely and revert me back to the original ntldr config. Which is fine as that gets me back into XP and EasyBCD to try all over again... Well a WEEEEEK later, I have tried playing with dummy images of Win7 and tried various work arounds but nothing but an originally installed Win7 OS will take. This SHOULD'NT BE... This defeats the whole purpose of backing up OS images and makes it impossible to transfer to new drives!

    I know EasyBCD says it CAN do it.... But CONSIDERING what a fundamental setback to OS back up and re-installation this issue is (setting us back 20 years imo) ...this part of the instructions is AMAZINGLY vague, with grammatical typos, so I am not sure what exactly they are getting at, but it seems they want you to transfer BCDs immediately after cloning, while both HDDs are physically present, and while you are still in the original OS?? (could they make it any more technically limiting???)

    Is that the only solution? So the Big Question: Is there a way to take a complete OS image of Win7 that wants to be on D: and put it on another drive and fix that damned identifier after the fact or not....???? So the OS doesn't log in and log out (Isn't MS taking that a bit far?) cause I am going nuts over here... I feel like the novice I was 10 years ago, trying to figure out how to install CD drivers in DOS!

    Is there a better tool out there that does a better job then "EasyBCD"? at configuring the BCD to accept the partitions by also addressing this unique identifier issue? That would be the miracle I am hoping for... btw will trade this copy of this very interesting Win7 Recovery software for assistance thanks...
    Last edited by sigma6; 09 Apr 2013 at 05:52. Reason: grammar correction, emphasis
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  2.    #2

    I would Mark Win7 Partition Active , boot into DVD or System Repair Disk to run Startup Repair - Run up to 3 Separate Times until Win7 starts and holds the system Active flags.

    Then install EasyBCD to add XP on the Add OS Entry tab.

    If there are any complications post back a Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image - Windows 7 Forums since a Logical partition cannot be marked Active and must be converted to Primary first, but you can only have 3 Primary and unlimited Logicals on an MBR disk. Do not convert to Dynamic!
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  3. Posts : 46
    win7 32bit
    Thread Starter

    thanks Greg. I like the basic approach, makes a lot of sense. During all the testing, I did eventually partition all the drives using Win7 (ie. 3 primary partitions for all HDDs) I figure to start using them to learn all their peculiarities, since it looks like it is not going away (MS obviously wants us partitioning 3 primary drives...hmm) This whole thing started because of an upgrade to newer disks. I eventually rebuilt one OS because I needed a system asap, but I will definitely try this on the second machine to see how it works, and will post the results.

    Question: If I am running XP originally installed on the first partition, and Win7 on the 2nd (now primary partition also) and I make it active by running the repair disk several times (I did read someone elses post here about running it at least 3 times) Will this not make Win7 the C drive?

    The only problem I see with that is that the first OS was XP and it was installed on the first partition. The 2nd OS Win7 was installed on the 2nd partition (originally logical, but now a primary) If I make Win7 (partition 2) active won't it force it to become C: ?

    Then I will have a linkage problem with everything looking for D:\etc...? (Is there a fix for this btw ?)

    Or after it is loading can I revert it back to the XP partition (1) afterwards? I plan on experimenting with this more, but for now I just want to reload the original partition images and rebuild the boot system to make them work as XP on C: (partition 1) and Win7 on Dpartition 2)
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  4.    #4

    Win7 should always see itself as C when booted if it is installed correctly from boot. It will only take another letter if it is incorrectly installed from an OS like XP which locks out the C letter. Then there is no way to change it to C without reinstalling correctly from boot.

    If you Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 (same for retail) to the Win7 partition deleting and recreating it during reinstall, it should assign it C and configure the Dual Boot with XP. Unplug all other HD's.

    It would be best to see the screenshot of Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image - Windows 7 Forums to see if there are other problems too.
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  5. Posts : 46
    win7 32bit
    Thread Starter

    I understand that would be the classic setup. But this is part of a dual boot, XP on part 1, Win7 on part 2, both reference personal data on part 3, ie. Word docs, Excel, Live mail, favourites, even cookies, temp internet files, etc. That is why I am trying to maintain the original "XP on C, Win7 on D" setup.

    I would like to get at the "identifier" issue. I vaguely remember this same problem years ago on a dual boot Win98/NT reinstall (ie. where NT would log in, and then log out) and I can't remember how I fixed it, but I think it had something to do with how NT assigns drive letters or it couldn't find the page file on another partition, or more likely this identifier issue sounds familiar too.

    Win7 bootmgr appears to have been designed to have multiple OSs on different partitions with the separation of bootmgr... and the winloader.exe program residing on the target partition alongside the OS to be initiated.

    It seems there is an issue to be mastered in understanding how identifiers are created, and how they should be managed. I can't help feeling that is what is going on here. Otherwise everything else seems to be working!

    And are the "identifiers" in bootmgr completely arbitrary or do they contain specific info regarding the partition being booted to?
    ie. Is there a way to see what the identifier on the target PBR is and use that in the BCD editor?
    If the OS logged out only after it logged in, that sounds like the OS had to check something against its own info before it "decided" to exit out again?

    Correction: I can see that just saving the original BCE beforehand from the original config obviously isn't enough. ie. just saving the original BCD (in the clone) didn't work. So it's back to adding something new to the cloned BCD that it couldn't save to make the cloned OS happy? (like some BPR info on the target partition of the new hard drive for example?!) At least that is what the EasyBCD page seemed to be getting at... but it wasn't big on details at that point...

    This issue needs more light for me. I need to be able to set any OS image on it's corresponding target partition on another drive. (ie. using same layout/config) That is going to be a necessary understanding moving forward. Can anyone provide more context on this identifier / PBR identifier / Win7 match requirement issue in general? thanks
    Last edited by sigma6; 08 Apr 2013 at 19:37. Reason: clarified
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  6. Posts : 46
    win7 32bit
    Thread Starter

    I have given up on trying to make this Win7 run on this setup, not learning anything insightful... as I have messed with too many variables and this anomaly is too subtle. I have lost my bearings, my partitions are all over the place! Will have to fight another day. It just doesn't want to work. (shame... lol) So shaken in my faith regarding Win7 cloning I found some clean drives to test with Clonezilla and Acronis... So I have taken two fresh HDDs and installed a fresh Win7 on one let it create the 100 MB partion, etc and then tried to clone it to the other using Acronis 13 CD. (I found Clonezilla won't install to a smaller disk, then it wouldn't install partitions to an unformatted disk...) But Acronis worked fine. So it is possible. (whew... not that 'I don't trust' MS... hehe)

    I am thinking of why the previous cloning didn't work, and think it might have something to do with the XP partition on C being a FAT32 maybe. I remember Win7 image creation would NOT work because of that as well... So Win7 may be partial to NTSF in that area

    I have a new question. This 100MB partition is an interesting setup. I may be upgrading the CPU in the future from a 3GHz Pentium 4 to a 3.4 Pentium D (dual core) which is a 64bit processor...

    Does that mean my 32 bit Win7 wont' work?

    And if upgrade by installing a Win7 64 bit version over it, will it still utilize the 100MB system partition? I read here that the only way to create that is to have a clean unformatted drive. Is there a way to set this up manually if Win7 64bit version install doesn't do it automatically?

    In summary the takeaways are that a clean vanilla Win7 install is clonable (thank you Lord and Bill Gates...) and that Win7 is partial to NTFS, and so I may convert any XP additional installs to NTFS... (so it looks like good bye to FAT32) Which shouldn't be too bad now that there are plenty of boot disks that can access NTFS partitions, which is why I used to hold back making all my partitions NTFS... (old school, time to update...
    Last edited by sigma6; 15 Apr 2013 at 16:17.
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  7.    #7

    Acronis works very well. Be sure to include MBR and Track0, select Primary partitions, Active for System Reserved if you have it, Auto drive-letter setting for C.

    Drive letters are automated in Win7 which will always see itself as C when it is correctly installed from boot no matter how many other OS's are involved.

    Just be sure to set drive letter selection to Auto during cloning or imaging.
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  8. Posts : 46
    win7 32bit
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for all your feedback Greg.

    Yes well in my latest test I chose to clone disk to disk while it still really only had the 2-3 main partitions. So I had the option to reduce the end partition or I could have deleted it first before the clone. So it would naturally recreate the 100MB system partition. But I could see choosing MBR and track 0, Select Primary Partitions, etc to back up a partition image for example. And I did notice Clonezilla recognized the 100MB partition and added it automatically (just couldn't do the reinstall to a smaller disk) So cloning is all good again... lol At least under those test conditions.

    What I am really after is... Is there a way to re-utilize that existing 100MB partition if I have to do a fresh re-install of Win7 or in this very possible example, another version of Win7 (64bit) for example? ie. will I be able to recreate that set up, the second time round without having to remove all the partitions and make it an unformatted disc again?

    Trying to understand this boot behaviour in relation to Win7 install process. It just seems weird if it only creates a 100MB system partition on an unformatted hd, but will never use it again, if you are forced to do a complete reinstall or a reinstall of another version etc.?
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  9.    #9

    I always delete the System Reserved partition and C at the minimum during install, so the installer will recreate them. Clean Install Windows 7

    Unless System Reserved is marked Active first, reinstalling to C will cut out System Reserved so it is wasted space. Partition - Mark as Active (Method Two)
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  10. Posts : 46
    win7 32bit
    Thread Starter

    gregrocker said:
    I always delete the System Reserved partition and C at the minimum during install, so the installer will recreate them. Clean Install Windows 7

    Unless System Reserved is marked Active first, reinstalling to C will cut out System Reserved so it is wasted space. Partition - Mark as Active (Method Two)

    Cool, and just to clarify, when you say "delete the System Reserved and C at the minimum" does that necessitate removing any other existing partitions (I often have many with data) in order for the install to recreate the System Reserved?

    Or can and will it still do it as long I create an unallocated space where the two original partitions used to be, while there are other still existing primary and/or logicals still on the disk?

    Your 2nd paragraph basically sounds like the simple solution. This is great to know, thanks. i.e. that the installer can work with an unassigned partition by marking it as active (in computer management for ex.) and then reinstalling to C (or what would be the 2nd partition), I think this is what Roxie2401 was trying to figure out how to do (although in a more complex context of an already existing dual boot config)
    Move OS from System Partition (Win XP & Win 7 Dual Boot).

    I assume Win7 does this (creates Reserve System Part on clean install) and forces 3 primaries because they are trying to tell us something...)
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