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Windows 7: System migration from MBR to UEFI

18 Oct 2019   #11
goopy

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
I have never used mbr2gpt so I can't say how to use.
Make a disk image and save to an external disk before you try anything.
Download and make a WinPE rescue USB disk. Run the mbr2gpt from it.
Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk Solved - Windows 10 Forums
Detach (power or SATA cable) of all other disks
Make sure you select the proper disk:
Diskpart
list disk (take note of your win 7 disk)
exit
Thanks for the link to Kyhi's Win10PESE.
Will give it a go and revert.
Many thanks and best regards,


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
18 Oct 2019   #12
goopy

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by samuria View Post
You say it's not detected is that BIOS or windows? Have you tried another port and cable and run check disk? We need to know the state of the disk if it's got lots of bad blocks then a new disk and a clean install is the only sensible option
Thanks for the kind reply, samuria.
It's a motherboard issue. Disks are good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Oct 2019   #13
Vineet Garg

Windows 7 Ultimate x32 With Sp1 + Vista Ultimate x32 with Sp1 & Sp2 !!
 
 

Hi All,
Greets,

Quote:
Thanks for the kind reply, samuria.
It's a motherboard issue. Disks are good.
Congrats Sir @samuria

Megahertz07 : Sir, Thanks for the KYHI Sir's rescue disk link . Its awesome!

@goopy : Thanks for all the feedback & Information. Is it all well now with BIOS ?

(a) In first place : As said by Sir Megahertz07, even if you do it all well with the procedure, UEFI Bios support is essential to boot into UEFI (GPT).
( The systems which came/work originally with Legacy Bios, mostly prior to 2012 or refurbished, normally don't support UEFI. Though systems with UEFI, normally have options in Bios to switch to pure Legacy BIOS and/or using Legacy Bios along side UEFI. But UEFI ( GPT ) is very advanced & has many positives over MBR. )

(b)
Quote:
1. Can't find on the linked page how to create the FAT32 EFI partition on the target disc. Does AOMEI/Macrium provide such functionality?
(i) You need not create FAT32 EFI Partition on the target disk. If you follow the link properly, it will take care automatically.

(ii) Right now we are talking about the two : Macrium Reflect Free & AOMEI Backupper Standard/Free. Basically both are imaging programs & are not partitioning management programs in the first place. They offer ways to write/create already cloned/Imaged partitions on the disk(s) but don't offer to create the partitions in first place. We don't have the required EFI Partition already cloned because it's not there on the MBR disk.
BUT...
AOMEI Backupper will create an EFI Partition there. It will create a FAT32 partition & write boot requirement files to that FAT32 partition & make it finally bootable in UEFI (GPT) But its an advanced automated/ background functioning provided by the AOMEI Backupper. A straight away option is not offered by any of them.

(c)
Quote:
2. Any tools/commands to generate the EFI partition?
DiskGenius is a good program, specially for creating MSR and / or EFI partitions. It has dedicated option for that. The beauty is : it automatically analyze the disk size, alignment, etc. & assigns size ( for EFI & MSR ) accordingly!

Though KYHI sir's recovery media does not include DiskGenius, if you have the portable version downloaded somewhere, you can run it straight from there. If one wants a recovery Iso with DiskGenius already included, he may try here

(d)
Quote:
3. Or is it possible to clone an existing EFI partition and use it together with MBR system partition?
Very Good Understanding! I appreciate & thank for it.

(e) [COLOR="Blue"] The main system partition ( c: ) in MBR is the crucial thing for running the system in GPT as well. The other crucial partition for GPT is EFI partition.
What an Active partition do it in MBR, more or less the same thing is done by EFI partition in the GPT.

TO ADD : EFI Partition is not anywhere mentioned as 'Active' partition in the Windows In-built Disk Management though ''MiniTool Partition Wizard'' mentions that its an Active partition! Still the term ''Active Partition' or try to mark or make a partition as 'Active' or 'Inactive', doesn't apply to GPT partition scheme.

But where you will call/clone it from ? EFI partition is not there on the MBR disk. MBR has an NTFS partition marked as active for that but It can't work directly for UEFI (GPT).
Luckily, AOMEI Backupper will automatically make one for us as in that link.

Let me know.

Thanks & Regards. ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

21 Oct 2019   #14
goopy

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Greetings All,

1. First attempt at running mbr2gpt went smoothly. The MBR drive was converted in an instance and booted successfully subsequently. 200MB of space was unallocated, out of which 100 was used to create the new EFI partition, leaving the remaining 100 unused. However the usual 128Mb system reserve was not created. What is that used for? Any problem down the road?

2. Would anyone know what tool was used to perform the MBR/GPT conversion without destroying the data? Can diskpart convert gpt do the job?

3. Came across this old post by Kyhi "Moving/recreating EFI partition" on migrating to a new drive and was wondering if the tools used can do so similarly in W7. The idea seems to be

(a) Use diskpart to create a 100MB EFI partition on a new GPT drive,
(b) Make an image of the windows partition to be migrated and restore on to the unallocated portion of the new GPT drive,
(c) Run BCDboot to write the boot data to the new EFI partition.

So does W7 have all the tools required to do this?

Moving / recreating EFI partition - Windows 10 Forums

Many thanks and best regards,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2019   #15
Vineet Garg

Windows 7 Ultimate x32 With Sp1 + Vista Ultimate x32 with Sp1 & Sp2 !!
 
 

Hi All,
Greets,

1.
Quote:
First attempt at running mbr2gpt went smoothly. The MBR drive was converted in an instance and booted successfully subsequently.
Congrats & Thanks to both of you ( goopy & Megahertz07 ) It's a great find! Using Win 10 tool to convert Win 7 OS disk from MBR to GPT without losing data & installation!

2.
Quote:
However the usual 128Mb system reserve was not created. What is that used for? Any problem down the road?
(i) Don't confuse "System Reserved Partition ( active partition in MBR )" with "MSR ( GPT )"!

(ii) It seems the tools, converting an OS disk from MBR to GPT, don't take care about MSR creation. Why ? I don't have much to say except this!

( Unfortunately, The MSR will not be listed in Window's in-built Disk Management & people lose it preparing for Installations & dual boots. It can be seen only from 3rd party Imaging or Partitioning programs. It is also listed in Windows In-built Command line tool Diskpart ( Diskpart > List Disk > Select Disk > List Partition )

3.
Quote:
Would anyone know what tool was used to perform the MBR/GPT conversion without destroying the data? Can diskpart convert gpt do the job?
It is done by a win 10 command line tool : MBR2GPT.EXE which is included in ''Windows 10 version 1703 build 15063'' & later versions. We don't have that in Win 7, 8, 8.1 & earlier versions of Win 10.
No, diskpart can't convert to GPT without data loss but good 3rd party Partitioning programs can do that for free as linked by Megahertz07
But you are converting an OS disk & not just a data disk which is offered by Pro editions.

4.
Quote:
Came across this old post by Kyhi "Moving/recreating EFI partition" on migrating to a new drive and was wondering if the tools used can do so similarly in W7. The idea seems to be

(a) Use diskpart to create a 100MB EFI partition on a new GPT drive,
(b) Make an image of the windows partition to be migrated and restore on to the unallocated portion of the new GPT drive,
(c) Run BCDboot to write the boot data to the new EFI partition.

So does W7 have all the tools required to do this?

Moving / recreating EFI partition - Windows 10 Forums
Hats Off! Great Link, Greater Understanding & Greatest Idea!

We have those options in Win 7 command line as well.

You have sketched a full plan to migrate. That looks great but still experimental! I would further suggest to make all the three partitions EFI, MSR & OS and then proceed with the migration.

But the things are a little different / limited in the link. He is actually creating EFI partition on the disk while OS partition is already there. He is only making space for EFI Partition, then creating it & writing boot data to it. The OS partition is already there.

You are having a fully working OS with EFI partition already there as you have mentioned above.

You are only missing MSR partition which has no mention in the link.

Let me know.

Thanks & Regards. ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2019   #16
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Thank you for the feed back that Win 10 tool with mbr2gpt successfully converted your Legacy-MBR disk to UEFI-GPT.

On a Legacy-MBR you select a disk to boot from. BIOS points to a disk MBR that takes the boot sequence to a Master boot loader on a partition (Active partition). This Master boot loader can have a option to take the boot sequence to another boot loader (dual boot). It's a chain sequence.

On a UEFI-GPT you select a Boot loader to boot from. BIOS points to a Boot loader on the Fat32 EFI partition. This boot loader takes the boot sequence to the OS on a partition. On the Fat32 EFI partition you can have many boot loaders that can take the boot sequence to different partitions on same disk or on different disk. The boot loaders are independent, not chained.

There are two small partitions on a OEM Legacy-MBR installation:
- System Reserved that has the OEM tools. It is the active partition, that is, has a Master boot loader. This master boot loader can run OEM tools (maintenance, recovery etc) or redirect the boot sequence to the Windows partition that has the windows boot loader (C:\Boot)
- MSR is a RAW partition, and for what I know, is used to store the decryption key to open a Bitlocker drive. It is created during installation when you create a partition on an unallocated space to install Windows. It is only used with Bitlocker on the Ultimate Win 7 version.
My laptop (Legacy-MBR) doesn't have both. It doesn't have System reserved as my installation was done with a Retail M$ Win 7 (not OEM). Also it doesn't have the MSR partition as the main disk had a formatted partition when I installed win 7.

When you converted from Legacy-MBR to UEFI-GPT it created a EFI Fat32 partition with the Windows boot loader but also deleted the System reserved partition that had the Legacy Master boot loader.
You probably still have the 128M RAW MSR partition (not shown on Disk manager).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2019   #17
Vineet Garg

Windows 7 Ultimate x32 With Sp1 + Vista Ultimate x32 with Sp1 & Sp2 !!
 
 

goopy

I wonder if your BIOS problem solved. You mentioned that in the other thread! Actually that's not a BIOS problem! You are wanting to have a nice boot menu with both OS rather than launching One Time Boot Menu at every boot to boot in a particular disk.No matter whether you migrate or not, you will need to add boot menu entry in one of the disk's boot menu, depending on your system!

Please don't keep mum. Update the current status, requirement(s) & desire.

Thanks & Regards. ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
24 Oct 2019   #18
goopy

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
Thank you for the feed back that Win 10 tool with mbr2gpt successfully converted your Legacy-MBR disk to UEFI-GPT.

On a Legacy-MBR you select a disk to boot from. BIOS points to a disk MBR that takes the boot sequence to a Master boot loader on a partition (Active partition). This Master boot loader can have a option to take the boot sequence to another boot loader (dual boot). It's a chain sequence.

On a UEFI-GPT you select a Boot loader to boot from. BIOS points to a Boot loader on the Fat32 EFI partition. This boot loader takes the boot sequence to the OS on a partition. On the Fat32 EFI partition you can have many boot loaders that can take the boot sequence to different partitions on same disk or on different disk. The boot loaders are independent, not chained.

There are two small partitions on a OEM Legacy-MBR installation:
- System Reserved that has the OEM tools. It is the active partition, that is, has a Master boot loader. This master boot loader can run OEM tools (maintenance, recovery etc) or redirect the boot sequence to the Windows partition that has the windows boot loader (C:\Boot)
- MSR is a RAW partition, and for what I know, is used to store the decryption key to open a Bitlocker drive. It is created during installation when you create a partition on an unallocated space to install Windows. It is only used with Bitlocker on the Ultimate Win 7 version.
My laptop (Legacy-MBR) doesn't have both. It doesn't have System reserved as my installation was done with a Retail M$ Win 7 (not OEM). Also it doesn't have the MSR partition as the main disk had a formatted partition when I installed win 7.

When you converted from Legacy-MBR to UEFI-GPT it created a EFI Fat32 partition with the Windows boot loader but also deleted the System reserved partition that had the Legacy Master boot loader.
You probably still have the 128M RAW MSR partition (not shown on Disk manager).

Thanks for the great tutorial, Megahertz07.

1. The missing partition is the system reserve typically created by diskpart convert gpt command. It has an id {e3c9e316-0b5c-4db8-817d-f92df00215ae}, is 128MB under W7, but 16MB under W10. What the purpose of this partition?
This partition is not created by mbrtogpt tool. The old 100GB MBR system partition is preserved, but with the boot folder removed. Any reason for doing so?

2. MBR to GPT layout conversion without data loss is apparently fairly straight forward, but it appears the mbrtogpt tool would not perform the conversion when there's no system partition. Does MS provide other tools for such a purpose?

3. I tried to follow Kyhi's guide to create an EFI partition using a W7 system. The process failed at bcdboot with this error message:
Code:
C:\Windows\system32>bcdboot E:\Windows /s S:
 BFSVC: Failed to create a new system store. Status = [c000003a]
Anyone with experience running bcdboot under W7? What's the proper way to copy EFI boot data?

Many thanks and best regards,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2019   #19
goopy

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Greetings Vineet Grag,

1. As you can read from my post, mbr2gpt tool was able to convert a W7 mbr disk to gpt, and it booted successfully. However, the system reserve partition was not created. Is this going to cause problem down the road? You know, it's always prudent to look a few steps ahead.
2. The mbr2gpt tool is finicky, and not officially sanctioned to work on W7. If there's a ms tool that can do the mbr to gpt layout conversion without destroying the data, then that would be the preferred option for in-place conversion.
3. Kyhi has posted an excellent guide on OS migration to new gpt disk. It works on a W10 setup, but the crucial step of bcdboot ran into a bit of problem on a W7 setup. If this can be resolved, then one doesn't have to go around begging for a W10 machine to do the job.
4. So be a bit more patient and let the genius on this forums figure out something.
Many thanks and best regards,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2019   #20
Vineet Garg

Windows 7 Ultimate x32 With Sp1 + Vista Ultimate x32 with Sp1 & Sp2 !!
 
 

@goopy :

Greets,

1.
Quote:
As you can read from my post, mbr2gpt tool was able to convert a W7 mbr disk to gpt, and it booted successfully. However, the system reserve partition was not created. Is this going to cause problem down the road?
(i) Don't confuse "MSR ( GPT )" with "System Reserved Partition ( Active partition in MBR )"

(ii) I am not clear about the need for "MSR ( GPT ) ". I spent some time at google but the
resources do not talk it clearly.

2.
Quote:
If there's a ms tool that can do the mbr to gpt layout conversion without destroying the data, then that would be the preferred option for in-place conversion.
You may try this : Converting Windows BIOS installation to UEFI

3.
Quote:
Kyhi has posted an excellent guide on OS migration to new gpt disk. It works on a W10 setup, but the crucial step of bcdboot ran into a bit of problem on a W7 setup. If this can be resolved, then one doesn't have to go around begging for a W10 machine to do the job.
You are talking about this one : Moving / recreating EFI partition

(i) That's really great but it is to create EFI System Partition & not applied to you directly! NOTE : When you did it with Win 10 MBR2GPT ( Megahertz07 Sir ), it was all well with the EFI Partition. The "MSR" was missing.

(ii) That's applicable to Win 7/8/8.1/10.

(iii) If you want to run "bcdboot" from win 10, you need not borrow a win 10 machine. Just boot in the Win 10 installation media & perform it from there.

4.
Quote:
is 128MB under W7, but 16MB under W10
(i) Its all well. Its MSR . Its 128MB in W7 & W8 but 16MB in W10.

(ii) On drives less than 16GB in size, the MSR used to be of 32MB size.

5.
Quote:
The old 100GB MBR system partition is preserved, but with the boot folder removed. Any reason for doing so?
Are you talking about MBR's "100MB System Reserved ( Active ) Partition" ? That's used to write boot data in MBR, the GPT uses EFI partition for that.

Thanks & Regards. ...

Just To Mention :

(a) MBR2GPT.EXE converts a disk from the Master Boot Record (MBR) to the GUID Partition Table (GPT) partition style without modifying or deleting data on the disk. The tool can be directly run from a Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) command prompt.

(b) Kyhi Sir's latest Win 10 Recovery Media is based on Win 10 : Version 1607 , The Version 1607 or earlier don't support MBR2GPT.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 System migration from MBR to UEFI




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