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Windows 7: Move Vista System Partition for 7 Install

31 Oct 2009   #11

XP SP3 32bit, Vista HP 64bit, Seven Pro 64bit
Back from Dancing

Sorry not to reply sooner. It was late when I got back to look for an answer, first two posts seemed to adquately reassure me anyway. That was an excellent link for the PW, thank you.

If XP current holds the MBR then I do not believe it is necessary to pass the active flag to Win 7 as it's installer should configure the multi-boot correctly.
Actually I think that's correct (but my XP does NOT boot the system, Vista does), I believe the Seven installer WILL correctly mark the HD0:1 as active when it installs. Note that the XP install is on HD1 (not HD0) and actually has an XP MBR but it is NOT used to boot the system. Vista on HD0:1 currently contains the bootloader and multi-boots Vista, Seven RC and XP. Once Vista is moved to HD0:2 those boot files will no longer be functional. Seven should rewrite the MBR (on HD0) and install its own bootloader into HD0:1 into the new Seven partition. Later I will use EasyBCD to restore the Vista and XP multi-boot.

As to the bootloader files:
XP was installed first (in 2002) and was HD0 (the C:/) drive. Vista was installed this year (got it for half price) on a new HD. The XP drive was physically moved to HD1, Vista was installed on the new (empty) HD0 which now contains the bootloader.

As you are probably aware the XP boot files can be (and were) put in the root of the Vista partition and EasyBCD was used to create a multi boot.

Seven RC was added later and the bootloader remained on the Vista partition.

Following my previously noted plan, once Seven is installed into HD0:1 (a new empty partition) the bootloader will hopefully be in the Seven partition, Vista in HD0:2 may automatically be detected and a multi-boot created. It will remain to again move the XP (HD1:1) boot files to the Seven partition and use EasyBCD to add XP to the boot.

It may not have been clear that the bootloader IS currently in the Vista partition. The XP is installed on a different physical drive and contains only its boot files. Vista was installed on a new empty drive with no knowledge of the existance of XP, the XP drive was actually unplugged when Vista was installed to prevent any accidents.

I am hoping that the Seven install will NOT somehow try to use the old Vista bootloader files, I don't think it will. If it does, I think I can hide the Vista partition from the Seven install then unhide it afterwards. Seven, when installed by booting the DVD, should place a new MBR that directs the boot to the Seven Partition.

I only got my copy of Seven Pro on Friday by FedEx so I'm a little late getting this started. I've just gotten back Thursday night from a three week trip so I'm also just a little burned-out. I'll try to remember to let you guys know if this all works out well. Thanks for the help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2009   #12

XP SP3 32bit, Vista HP 64bit, Seven Pro 64bit
Solved and Installed

Windows 7 64 Pro installed successfully into partition 1 after moving the Vista partition to partition 2. I did a custom (clean) install from a Seven upgrade DVD, entered the PID at install time and it did activate successfully. Seven installed in 20 minutes with 10 more minutes to do the updates - very nice!

Now it will only take me a week or so to install all my stuff.

No dual boot option was installed automatically, EasyBCD was used to easily restore the triple boot with Seven/Vista/XP with one small problem.

Vista will boot, show the logon but now there is no Desktop. I can run Task Manager and shutdown but Vista appears broken. From what I have read, Vista does not like to have its partition moved and now won't boot properly. As far as I can tell this particular problem is not fixable except by reinstalling Vista.

I have tried a repair install with no results - says nothing to repair. I would do an upgrade install but I believe you can only do that from within Vista and not directly from the DVD. I might try running the install DVD from the broken desktop.

So... As I don't have anything critical installed in Vista, I probably won't use it anyway, should I just abandon Vista?

STAFF: How do you mark a thread as solved? Or can only forum staff do that?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2009   #13
Microsoft MVP


Depends on how badly you want Vista. You can delete the partition in Win7 Disk Management, then remove any boot menu entry by running "msconfig" and deleting Vista from the boot tab entries.

Booting into Vista installer's Repair console is not how a Vista repair reinstall is done. You have to run an Upgrade install over itself from the desktop, like Win7. However, it would snatch the boot back from Win7 and require a follow-up repair install by Win7 to settle all boot issues. So it depend on how badly you want Vista.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Move Vista System Partition for 7 Install

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