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Windows 7: Fix for booting from multiple drives

27 Mar 2014   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Fix for booting from multiple drives


I'm currently in the process of upgrading my computer. I bought:

MOBO- MSI 970-G43
SATA- Toshiba DT01ACA100 1Tb
Graphics- EVGA superlcocked GeForce GTX 660
PSUP- Apevia ATX-AP 800w
RAM- Kingston Hyperx Black 2x 4gb DDR3

I was successfully able to physically switch out my old parts with my new parts, the only thing I kept was my AMD athelon processor. I also have 2 IDE drives, however my new MOBO doesn't accept IDE hard drives; Only SATA. Unfortunately, my Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit is installed on one of my IDEs, and I do not have the Windows install disk anymore, however I do still have a legitimate OEM windows key. My attempts to install windows 7 on my new SATA are listed in chronological order:

My first thought was to install from a USB. After many tries and much troubleshooting, turns out, the bootmgr file on my USB was corrupt. (I was unable to get a new set of windows install files)

Then, I went to my local computer store and bought a 2-way PATA/IDE to SATA converter. I hooked up the converter, thinking I could just boot from my old IDE and clone the IDE onto my SATA. Then, have my windows on both drives. The converter never worked and then I decided to put my old MOBO (Asus M4A785-M) back into my computer in order to boot from my IDE and have my computer back and running with an OS so I could find another solution.

Lastly, (this is what I still attempting) I figured I could just plug my new SATA into the old MOBO, clone the IDE with windows onto the SATA, RE-build the computer with my new MOBO and RAM, and then boot from my new SATA with all the other new parts installed as well.

The (current) Problem:

When I booted from the IDE, it worked great and I was very pleased to see my computer running with an OS again. My SATA was plugged in and ready to be cloned to. I had my new graphics card in so I decided to get the latest drivers for it before I cloned the drives. I set up a few partitions on my SATA when I noticed something new (empty) SATA drive was listed as having the only pagefile on my computer. My computer automatically moved the page file onto my new drive. Confused, I went into my system settings and set the pagefile back onto my old IDE, where it was before I booted with my new SATA plugged in. Next, I rebooted my computer to let my graphics drivers take effect and to clear up any issues with my pagefile. Without changing anything in BIOS, I received a BOOTmgr is missing error with the IDE drive that had been booting windows 7 for almost a decade. Completely lost as to what had happened, I kept changing my boot order in BIOS between my drives and even my USB, until finally, it booted windows 7 from my brand-new, empty SATA. When I logged back into windows, it was as if nothing had changed. I looked into disk management to investigate, only to find that the only thing that looked out of order was that the partition on my SATA was now listed as "System." My IDE looked completely normal, listed as "boot, pagefile, crashdump, etc.." When I looked into my SATA, I found a bootmgr file and a folder "Boot". I did not place these there, and I have no idea how they got there. There is also a bootmgr file in a 100Mb partition on my original IDE. As I understand it, the 100Mb partition is important for windows to run. I connected my second IDE drive in and now there is even a third bootmgr file on it, as well as a second pagefile. In total I have 3 bootmgr files and 2 pagefile files. According to BIOS, the only bootable drive I have is the SATA, but it cannot run without my old IDE, and vise-versa. I am honestly completely clue-less as to what has happened to my windows install.

My goal is to remove and add files, as necessary, to make my IDE with windows independent again. After that, I wish to clone the IDE onto my SATA in order to create 2 independent, bootable, Windows 7, hard drives.

I hope I was able to clearly explain my issue, and I hope that someone is able to help me out; as a teenager who just wants to play video games, this is frustrating.

Thanks in advanced for your help!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2014   #2


If the SATA is preceding the IDE drive in Disk Mgmt then we often see the Win7 System boot files derailed to a preceding Primary partition when Repairs or a Reinstall are run. It will choose the first Primary partition to place them.

Plug in only the win7 HD, see if it will boot. If not confirm it is Partition Marked Active
and run Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times no matter what it reports to see if it will start.

If no OS is detected for repair or the above procedure doesn't work, continue with the steps in Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Start especially running the bootrec commands and if necessary deleting the BCD to rebuild it.

Once Win7 starts, confirm the SATA controller is set to AHCI in BIOS Setup, if not set it to AHCI : Enable in Windows 7 / Vista - Windows 7 Forums following the steps in tutorial to completion. You want AHCI mode for its modern features including hotplugging.

Then back up externally an image with Macrium - Image your system. Make the Macrium boot CD to apply the image on the new hardware.

Unplug the Win7 HD, plug in the SATA HD, Boot the Macrium CD youj've made from its application as shown in tutorial, apply the image and see if it will start. If not confirm Active and run the three Repairs again.

I'm not sure why you couldn't install on your new rig. Prompting for drivers during MBR install almost always means a bad installer. Download another ISO and write to stick or burn to DVD with Windows 7 USB-DVD Download Tool then Clean Install Windows 7 deleting all partitions during booted install. If you have a UEFI BIOS then you need to follow UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) - Install Windows 7 with - Windows 7 Forums using Option One to format a special UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive - Create in Windows

If you want to try to move the SATA install to the new hardware, if it won't start then Adjust Win7 to boot on new hardware with Paragon Adaptive Restore CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2014   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Just to confirm, I only need 1 partition on a drive in order to have a complete install of windows? On my original windows HD, there is a 100Mb partition labeled "System Reserved". I believe it was the original location for my bootmgr. I can delete it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Mar 2014   #4


Yes, you should delete all partitions during reinstall. It will recreate the 100mb System Reserved partition in most cases. Just ignore it and format C, click Next.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2014   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Everything is working fine and I am all set on my new system!

Thanks so much for the help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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