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Windows 7: C:\ will boot but is not system partition

26 Jan 2019   #1
chasoscar

Windows7/64bit Ultimate/Windows 7/32bit Ultimate
 
 
C:\ will boot but is not system partition

I installed Win7/64 and finally got everything like I wanted it. I wont say how much time I have put into it but a lot. Unfortunately I forgot to disconnect other drive when installing and when I went to make a backup I saw that Windows had marked one of my other drives P:\ as the Active/System. Now when I try to make a 50gb System backup, it includes the full 1Tb P:\ drive making the backup over 1Tb. If I unplug that ‘other’ P:\ system drive, the computer will not boot. My C:\ drive/partition is marked as Boot but is not marked Active. I have tried repairing C:\ using bootrec /fixmbr & bootrec /rebuildbcd commands and also bcdboot c:\windows /s C: to create the system partition on the drive C but it will not accept the commands. Is this because the partition is not marked Active? Can anyone suggest a fix? If this cant be fixed easily, can I make a backup of the C:\ drive that is currently the boot partion(w/OS) then do a fresh install on that drive with a 100mb ‘system reserved partition’ then restore the backup of the C:\ boot partition.
aarrgghh..... Please help. TIA




Attached Thumbnails
C:\ will boot but is not system partition-disk-management.2jpg.jpg  
Attached Images
C:\ will boot but is not system partition-command-prompt-capture4.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Jan 2019   #2
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi chasoscar,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chasoscar View Post
Unfortunately I forgot to disconnect other drive when installing and when I went to make a backup I saw that Windows had marked one of my other drives P:\ as the Active/System.
It is easily done! This is why when I give instructions for a clean install I mark doing this as important!

Have a look at this thread, especially Post #4. SIW2 has a tool which I think will sort out your problem =>
SIW2 Boot Media.

I hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2019   #3
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Under Disk Manger, make C: drive Active.
Disconnect all other drives from the MB (Disk 1 & 2).
Boot from the Win 7 installation disk and do a boot repair.
Once you can boot from the C: drive, change the boot priority to disk 0, reconnect Disk 1 & 2 drives to the MB.
Under Disk Manger, make P: drive not Active.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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26 Jan 2019   #4
chasoscar

Windows7/64bit Ultimate/Windows 7/32bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
Under Disk Manger, make C: drive Active.
Disconnect all other drives from the MB (Disk 1 & 2).
Boot from the Win 7 installation disk and do a boot repair.
Once you can boot from the C: drive, change the boot priority to disk 0, reconnect Disk 1 & 2 drives to the MB.
Under Disk Manger, make P: drive not Active.
Sounds easy, but I dont want to rush into anything without being sure. It seems I read somewhere that marking C:\ active when the OS is already installed on that drive without a 'system reserved' partition can cause more problems. Can you comment on this? Also how do I change the boot priority?

Also, I am not proficent in the command line... does anyone have any ideas why the command line is not accepting my boot repair commands..... could it be because the C:\ volume is not marked as active?

I dont want to consider this option until it is my last option but what about what I mentioned in the OP, if all else fails, can I make a backup of the current C:\ drive(as is) as the boot partion(w/OS) then do a fresh install on the C:\ drive including the 100mb ‘system reserved partition marked Active’ then restore the backup of the C:\ as the boot partition. Does anyone know if this will work? Any ideas appreciated.

Also...... Thanks Paul. I have downloaded the .iso but havent used it yet. My system is booting fine now, Im worried and I hope to explore all options before doing anything that would risk losing many days of work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2019   #5
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi chasoscar,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chasoscar View Post
Windows had marked one of my other drives P:\ as the Active/System. If I unplug that ‘other’ P:\ system drive, the computer will not boot. My C:\ drive/partition is marked as Boot but is not marked Active. I have tried repairing C:\ using bootrec /fixmbr & bootrec /rebuildbcd commands and also bcdboot C:\windows /s C: to create the system partition on the drive C but it will not accept the commands. Is this because the partition is not marked Active?
Don't you mean bcdboot C:\windows /s P:?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2019   #6
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi chasoscar,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chasoscar View Post
Also, I am not proficent in the command line... does anyone have any ideas why the command line is not accepting my boot repair commands..... could it be because the C:\ volume is not marked as active?
Are you entering the commands after booting into a Win 7 installation DVD or USB?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2019   #7
chasoscar

Windows7/64bit Ultimate/Windows 7/32bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Paul Black View Post
Hi chasoscar,



Don't you mean bcdboot C:\windows /s P:?
Im not sure. I was told it needed to be bcdboot c:\windows /s C: to create the system partition on the drive C
Is that not correct?
Also, I was entering the commands within the Windows installation AND also using the command prompt on a Windows Repair Disk with the P:\ drive disconnected... neither worked
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2019   #8
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

The M$ reserved partition is on the drive but it doesn't show under Windows Disk Manager.

You'r making it difficult. Windows installation disk has a boot repair.

Under Disk Manger, make C: drive Active. Yes, you can have more than one disk active (MBR = set)
Disconnect all other drives from the MB (Disk 1 & 2).
Boot from the Win 7 installation disk and do a boot repair.
Once you can boot from the C: drive, on BIOS change the boot priority to disk 0, reconnect Disk 1 & 2 drives to the MB.
Under Disk Manger, make P: drive not Active.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2019   #9
chasoscar

Windows7/64bit Ultimate/Windows 7/32bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
The M$ reserved partition is on the drive but it doesn't show under Windows Disk Manager.

You'r making it difficult. Windows installation disk has a boot repair.

Under Disk Manger, make C: drive Active. Yes, you can have more than one disk active (MBR = set)
Disconnect all other drives from the MB (Disk 1 & 2).
Boot from the Win 7 installation disk and do a boot repair.
Once you can boot from the C: drive, on BIOS change the boot priority to disk 0, reconnect Disk 1 & 2 drives to the MB.
Under Disk Manger, make P: drive not Active.
Like I said, it looks easy and I dont see a problem doing what you say. I am not intentionally making it hard but I am cautious about loosing my work. My system is working fine now but I am old and know no one to help if something goes wrong and to be honest, I dont know if I am up to starting over. I know how important it is to backup, and I always have, but I cant even do that until this is resolved. What should be a 50gb backup is over 1Tb because it is including the entire P:\ drive. I simply want to understand the fix and be sure before I do anything that isnt reversable.

I have tried using the Win7 installation disc numerous times .... attempting to repair the boot, to restore previous images and using 'boot repair' command lines..... all unsucessful. Even though I admit that I am not proficient using the command line, I dont understand my problem using the boot repair commands because I have used them before(a long time ago) and would appreciate anyones ideas on what the problem is with that. As to setting the boot priority to disk 0 in the Bios(MSI) the only 'boot priority' option I see there is 1st,2nd,3rd boot with the drive names. The OS is on (Crucial M4-128) and it is set for the 1st boot. I dont see an option to choose 0,1,2

If things do go bad, can I take a Backup of the current C:\ drive as the boot partition and do a fresh install of Windows on that drive but now with a 100mb ‘system reserved partition’ then restore the Backup of the C:\ boot partition.
Would that be an option?
Thank you,
Charlie
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2019   #10
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

On a Legacy - MBR BIOS, by boot priority, the boot sequence is:
- BIOS takes the boot sequence to a MBR on a disk. (In your case to disk 2, Active, system)
- MBR takes the boot sequence to a boot loader on a partition (In your case to disk 0, partition C: , BOOT).

As you can see (and that's your case) it can use the MBR on one disk (disk 2) and loads a boot loader on another disk (disk 0, partition C:)

If you try a boot repair with disk 2 attached, it doesn't find anything wrong. That is why you must disconnect all other drives from the MB (Disk 1 & 2) leaving on only disk 0.
With only disk 0, it wont find a MBR set on disk 0 and it and will do a boot repair. (set it Active)
Then you have to clean the MBR of disk 2, making it non active.

If you try by commands you can make a mistake, By Boot Repair from Win 7 installation disk it's a safe procedure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 C:\ will boot but is not system partition




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