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Windows 7: Cloning boot drive for win7pro x64

21 Apr 2019   #1

PCs: xp32, 7pro64, 10pro64, Linux
Cloning boot drive for win7pro x64

After cloning, windows will not show both old&new drives because of uniqueid collision, from what I read changing one of the ids will allow both drives to be visible, but apparently causes problems such as disabled booting and windows validation issues. Typically I want both disks visible, and to use the boot menu to launch either one. How are people solving this?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2019   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

use nt6repair:

In the fix drive letter section
select the letter of the cloned drive using the dropdown, click FIX

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2019   #3

Win7 pro x64

Method to have two identical bootable drives (call them A and B) in one system is:

1) clone A to B, then immediately shut down
2) unplug B
3) boot from A
4) start > run > cmd > diskpart, press enter
5) list disk, press enter (note disk number that is then displayed, its probably 0)
6) select disk 0 (or whatever was shown in step 5)
7) uniqueid disk id = feba1234, press enter (here you are manually renaming A's Disk Signature so it won't match B. Any random 8-character name in hex is fine)
8) exit, press enter
9) restart, boot to desktop once
10) shut down
11) unplug A, plug in B
12) boot to desktop once using just B
13) shut down
... at this point you now have two bootable disks with establish boot sectors and different disk signatures
14) plug in A, choose boot drive in bios or use bios-boot-menu-key to boot from A or B, whichever one you want
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Apr 2019   #4

PCs: xp32, 7pro64, 10pro64, Linux

In order to use nt6repairx86, I needed to make the new drive visible, so I changed the disk id using diskpart. The drive becomes visible as 'G', but is seen as an unformatted disk. Using the 'FIX OS DRIVE LETTER' gave the error, 'The system cannot find the file specified'. What is it trying to do, and what file is it expecting?

I would use this procedure, but my disk B is an NVMe M.2 stick which is hard to get to so I'd rather not remove it and risk damage. If there is a way to effectively disconnect it by changing a bios setting I could do that instead.

Before I go further, I should explain:
My new drive is an Intel 660p NVMe M.2. I thought I would be able to avoid the rather convoluted W7 install process that Intel has described for the 660p, which is a clean install to a UEFI/GPT partitioned disk using modified install media with pieces from both Win7 & Win10. I can do that, but I already have a working install on HDD (mbr) that I was able to clone onto the SSD. It seems like I am so close, but....

Even though this new SSD (Intel 660p) is a clone of my existing boot drive, the SSD will not be bootable, since the image I put on it did not yet include the necessary NVMe hotfix for Win7x64. The old drive now has that hotfix so it has the ability to see both drives. I can go back and clone again, but I think the NVMe recognition needs to happen at boot as well as system level. The hotfix alone may not get me there.

Is there still hope, or should I just use the Intel install method?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2019   #5

Win7 pro x64

I hear you on the M.2 being hard to get to and I have yet to see a bios that allows you to disable it, so I would reclone. At the start of a boot windows needs to be able to address the boot disk using an acceptable driver. If you are saying the original disk now has the nvme driver, you should be good to go. Worth a try. Might also be good to use Intel's nvme clone tool and the intel driver, both on this page.

"After you install your Intel SSD and the Intel Data Migration software, the software will detect both your old and new drives and guide you through the cloning process"

Downloads for Intel(R) SSD 660p Series
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2019   #6

PCs: xp32, 7pro64, 10pro64, Linux

I used the Intel migration tool and the SSD booted fine, so that MS NVMe Hotfix for W7 was all that was needed. I also left the bios boot storage option on Legacy mode, contrary to what Intel was recommending. The tool isn't a strict clone since it grew my single partition to the entire SSD, but that is easy to shrink back. It was able to skip over the bad sectors I had already identified (unused by the file system).

I suppose if I really wanted a clean install I would follow the Intel doc, but this was far simpler. If I want UEFI/GPT later, I see there are now utilities to convert existing disks without a reinstall.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2019   #7

PCs: xp32, 7pro64, 10pro64, Linux

After the clone to SSD, my audio control no longer worked. This was the solution:
Audio not working after cloning a hard drive? – Scotia Systems Computer Support
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Apr 2019   #8

PCs: xp32, 7pro64, 10pro64, Linux

For newer machines, newer SSDs, is the following still recommended?

Disk indexing disable
Defragmenter disable
System protection disable
Paging file disable
Prefetch disable
Superfetch disable
Hybernate/sleep disable

Trim enabled
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2019   #9

Windows 7 HP 64

Please mark this thread as Solved.

Thank you for the feedback.
I'm curios: What program you used for cloning?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Apr 2019   #10

PCs: xp32, 7pro64, 10pro64, Linux

I first used Clonezilla with the rescue option to skip bad sectors. It make an identical clone so the diskid is duplicated. When I realized I needed to clone again due to missing drivers, I used the free Intel Data Migration tool. It also has a checkbox to skip problem sectors. It expanded my single partition to fill up the SSD, and it created a new diskid so there was no conflict on boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Cloning boot drive for win7pro x64

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