Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Move OS from System Partition (Win XP & Win 7 Dual Boot)

08 Apr 2013   #21

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

Thanks to everyone. To answer the question as to why "Drive H" was marked Active - before I installed Win7, I made a clone copy of the WinXP partition from Disk 0 over on to Disk 1 ------ just in case something went wrong with my attempt at building a dual-boot. After a few months of being satisfied with the system functioning correctly, I deleted that copy of WinXP on Disk 1 ---- that partition has not been used since.

Am I correct in thinking that the partition currently marked "System (and Active)" is marked that way because its where the bootmgr is located? And, that the Win7 partition is not active for the same reason?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2013   #22
Microsoft MVP


Correct. Only the partition holding the System boot files should be marked Active.

I have already explained several times that your System boot files are on XP partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2013   #23

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

Sorry I didn't understand your several attempts to explain. I only thought we needed the bootmgr and BCD data; I didn't realize WinXP still needed all those other files.

So I don't bother you again, can you point me to an tutorial of how to remove WinXP and make Win7 the Acitve,System, boot for future reference?

Thanks for your patience and help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Apr 2013   #24

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


So I don't bother you again, can you point me to an tutorial of how to remove WinXP and make Windows 7 the Acitve,System, boot for future reference?
WHS posts 2 & 3
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2013   #25

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

Really? WHS 2nd post said to make one partition (my Data) logical rather than primary. I'm ok with that.

His 3rd post said to copy bootmgr to the Win7 Partition.

That's it? Its that easy?

At that point will the Win7 partition be "System" and "Active?" Won't I have to run EasyBCD or something to change the dual-boot and remove the WinXP entry?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2013   #26
Microsoft MVP


The procedure we've used here since before Win7 was even released and has worked successfully for countless thousands of users is to mark the Win7 or it's System Reserved partition (preferred) Active, then run Startup Repair - Run up to 3 Separate Times until Win7 starts and holds the System Active Boot files.

You can then delete XP partition and resize C into its space if desired using the Partition Wizard boot disk which will not fail while all others except Disk Mgmt (which cannot resize to the left) can: Partition Wizard Resize Partition - Video Help.

If you use EasyBCD to move the System boot files to C you will lose the Repair My Computer link on the F8 Advanced Boot tools which is why it is not a Best Practice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Apr 2013   #27

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit


Thanks - it all makes sense - finally. Appreciate your (and others) help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2013   #28

win7 32bit

To begin, there is an old saying "if it's not broken, don't fix it" that said, another point I think the others are getting at is that there are two boot loading systems, I have been struggling with moving my XP/Win7 dual boot to another HDD, and have picked up bits and pieces as I struggle through this quagmire (lol) XP uses ntldr and and the text editable boot.ini file. Win7 uses bootmgr and points to winload.exe which will be located on the target partition anyhow.

I may be wrong but it sounds like what you are asking is to emulate what everyone is talking about creating the 100MB boot partition setup. Which I am not familiar with myself since I did a traditional XP install and then later added on Win7 on the second partition.

Thing is if XP is loaded first and Win7 after on the 2nd partition. Bootmgr doesn't actually remove the original XP boot system but 'deactivates' ntldr by rewriting the MBR to look for bootmgr first instead and then 'subsumes' the XP ntldr under its own bootmgr, as you must notice when you boot. The Win7 bootmgr runs, and if you select XP, you can see that it has actually then just initiated the ntldr / boot.ini setup. i.e. you can now see the previous boot.ini file that was loaded by the ntldr system This is two separate boot loading systems.

So I agree there's loads that could go wrong if you play around with this too much, on the other hand if you enjoy the learning process which I normally do when I am not in a hurry to get a system up and running, and you don't mind taking the risk of experimenting, there is always the long term advantage of developing a deeper insight that will come in handy on future installs... it's all trade offs... but that is what I am going through right now, call me jaded but this isn't fun anymore, (especially when it feels like MS is just making things purposely difficult to maintain the value of their quasi useless MCSE certification money pit, but that's another story...)

Technically assuming you have a setup as described above which is how mine is, and you really wanted to do this (but I agree with Greg I don't see it being practical imo) if you know how to read the boot.ini file you could tell it to go to the next partition, and then move your whole XP partition image there, but then you would have an issue because XP which was originally a C: drive OS for example, would now be on D: and that would raise all kind of havoc. Same issue for Win7. And that, I currently don't have any answers for although I think there are some tools inside the OS for transferring relevant info to another drive letter, etc but I have never futzed with the internal MS file utilities, preferring instead to just backup the entire partition (although maybe I should start playing with it, the way things are going... anyhow...

On that note I have also found a couple of 'bugs' in the EasyBCD editor that are confounding my efforts, like it won't copy backup BCD images to designated folder paths, and it doesn't want to rewrite the MBR for XP as it does for Win7, so I am now double checking everything I am doing. Thus the one motto that has stead me well through the ages of (MS) is "if it's not broken, don't fix it"

For more context on this understanding which may help you decide if this is "really" what you want to do, I would check out this page Windows XP - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki It will give you more insight on this ntldr vs bootmgr issue. I also read someone installing OS's on primary drives bootable from each drive, and then using a Master Boot Loader software Like Grub that would choose between OSs on start up. But that sounds like a ground up rebuild...

I may consider something like that as well in the future, as an ultimate solution. But I won't attempt it as just an "add on" adjustment to my original setup. The issue I have there is apparently it will boot the chosen OS as C: and that will realign all the other partition letter assignments, in particular it will bugger my personal data location on E: and if I chose Win7 it will load that as C also. ie My traditional XP on C and Win7 on D and personal data on E goes bye bye. Multiple primary partition behaviour changes all that.

Multiple primary partitions I have noticed operate very much using the old DOS rules of having 2 hard drives each with primary partitions and extended logical drives, It will make the partition of whichever hard drive has an active primary C: then assign D,E,F to the logicals of that drive AND THEN assign the next letter to the NEXT primary partition and assign the additional letters following that...

ie. it treats each primary like DOS would if you had two physical hard drives both with a primary partition and logical partitions on each. Now if you have Two HDDS with multiple primaries it's even messier (imo) but that's another story... (haven't bothered to go that far yet)

So far I have forced letter assignments on my single disk with 3 primaries in Diskpart to contain that but I don't know how solid that is, as I have seen in the Win7 recovery CD that it reverts back to the old DOS algorithm. And I think I saw my second primary as K: (I have 10 partitions, with 3 primaries. So for example it assigns C: to first primary, assigns the following letters to the remaining 7 logicals D-J, then goes back and assigns the 2nd primary partition as K: What is old is new again! (lol) just my two cents...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2013   #29

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

Yes, that's what I was getting at - a separate boot partition. Oh, well.

And, it never bothered me, since I couldn't understand it, but when I boot to Win7, which is on the second partition, its Drive letter become "C" and WinXP is shown as "D"; but when I boot into WinXP, which is on the first partition, its Drive letter becomes "C" and Win7 is shown as "D." They just seem to switch and the "current, active, booted" OS is always Drive C.

This has never affected any data partitions since they are stable and start with "Drive E."

This probably goes way back to the DOS days of "floppy" drives were "A" & "B" and DOS was always "C."
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2013   #30

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

If you don't mind - just a little more guidance.

Are there advantages when making a disk image to (1) make an image of the entire disk or (2) make images of each partition, individually? In my particular case, the WinXP partition, the Win7 partition, the Data partition, etc. or the entire drive?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Move OS from System Partition (Win XP & Win 7 Dual Boot)

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Move boot files from EFI partition to system partition?
Hello everyone, I usually install my OS myself but when I bought this computer I asked the store to install the Windows 7 Professional x64 disc I purchased with it. Today I decided to do a long long overdue backup to the system partition. My backup software of choice is DriveImage XML, been using...
General Discussion
WinRE - Advice on How to move to Boot (System Reserved) Partition?
Hi everyone, just wondering if anyone could help me with advice on how to move the Windows Recovery Environment from the Windows partition to the Boot (System Reserved partition)? I am using Win7 Pro x64. I currently have a 250mb System Reserved partition. I extended this from 100mb as it was...
General Discussion
Partition in Dual boot system
In a dual boot system with 2 hard drives, one for Vista and one for Win 7, do both OS partitions need to be "Active & Boot & System"?
Installation & Setup
Removal of XP System boot partition from a W7 Dual boot
With an XP Pro/W7 Pro Dual boot configuration, is it possible to do the following (see screen shot or DiskMgmt info of current config below): 1. Move boot data from XP partition to the W7 (extended) partition 2. Make W7 partition the Primary System partition 3. Format the XP partition 4....
Installation & Setup
I want to delete my XP partition on a dual boot system
I want to delete my XP partition and reclaim the space for my Win 7 partition that I already have installed and I want to move my 7 partition to the front of the drive. My PC started out with XP and I installed 7 in a separate partition, when I boot up 7 is the OS selected to boot. ...
Installation & Setup

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:57.
Twitter Facebook Google+