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Windows 7: Windows 7 installs a system on data disk

01 Jan 2010   #11

Windows 7

To all of you: Happy New Year! I hope that 2010 will be a healthy, happy and prosperous year for both of you!

If I understand it correctly, the difference between the 2 solutions that you suggested (either execute the Diskpart commands first as you suggested earlier, Gregrocker, or starting with the switch of the cables according the last suggestion of you both), is that I would have as active partition either the Win7 partition, or the Vista partition, and the dual boot option would reside in the BCD of that active partition.
But than, either way, an image backup of the other system would select that active partition as well by default, isn't that correct? So I would only achieve it half way, my goal of having each of those image backups separately.

Now what I have been doing untill now, is according to the idea that you Saltgrass gave me on your very first reply in this thread: moving my data from the data disk0 to somewhere else, and shrink the data partition to a small size.
The configuration that I have now, is the following (see also the snippet attached):
- disk0 has 2 partitions: a small one (3 GB) with the boot files of Win7 (I named it Win7Boot), and a second one with my data (Data.II).
- disk1 has still 3 partitions: one for Vista, one for Windows 7, and a last one for data (Data.I)
Boot sequence is unchanged as before: booting in disk0.
I already made image backups:
- for Windows 7 it included Win7Boot and Win7, which is normal I think
- for Vista it included Win7Boot and Vista, I guess because Win7Boot is a common system component since I booted from there. Because Win7Boot is small, this is OK for me.
So, although it might seem to be an unusual configuration, I reached my goal fully.
The question is then: what are the disadvantages of this configuration (apart from the fact that I will always need both disks) ? Can I just keep it this way, or will I encouter problems in the future if I do that?

The most ideal situation would probably be to have on the same physical disk, the 3 different partitions: Win7Boot, Win7 and Vista. But I don't know if there is a way to make that? Is there a way to just move a partition to another location, even to another physical disk (simple copy and paste will not work, I presume) ?

Somewhere in the future, it is possible that I want to return to a single boot configuration, getting rid of Vista and keeping only Windows 7. I don't know if this should be a consideration in making the choice for today? Probably I will be able to do that no matter what dual boot configuration I have ?

By the way, I found on disk0 actually a 3rd partition at the end of it, a 2 MB Unallocated partition, that Disk Management left there when I created the Data.II partition. It has the status of unallocated, but I can't extend the Data.II partition to include those 2 MB. What is that? Can it be part of Windows 7 as well?

My apologies for the so many questions I have, but I am learnig a lot!

Attached Thumbnails
Windows 7 installs a system on data disk-diskmgmt.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2010   #12
Microsoft MVP


The optimal way to achieve your goal of only having Win7 included in Win7 Backup Image is to recover the System Active boot into Win7, then add Vista to the dual boot with EasyBCD 2.0.

The MBR was derailed to the data drive during install because it was in DISK0 position and somehow got marked Active. Windows looks for the first Active partition to place the MBR when configuring a dual boot.

I personally would not operate this way since the fix is known and failsafe with a Win7 backup image to start over at any time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 installs a system on data disk

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