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Windows 7: Changing Win7 System/Boot Partition without Reinstall

27 Jan 2014   #41


SIW2 this worked for me as well. Saved me a lot of time not having reinstall the whole system again.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2014   #42

Win7 Pro 64 bit
Displaced Boot Solution Worked!

Many thanks to SIW2. I had the same problem albeit with different drive letters. The MS documentation for the install utilities wasn't clear enough to embolden my using them in the way you described. Your posting led me try it, and I'm now glad I did.

A minor secondary problem remained. Copies of the bootmgr file and the boot directory remained on my D: drive, and that confused Acronis Disk Director, making it think D: was still the system drive. Win7 Disk Management showed it correctly however. Removing the leftover boot fragments from the D: drive solved that problem as well, although it was not easy to delete them. I had to first take ownership and change their access settings before I could delete them.

I would expect that there are many Win7 installations with this problem because solid state drives are becoming popular for use as the system drive. This leads naturally to the displaced boot if the SSD is not first in the bios boot priority list at the time of installation. The important thing to know at install time is that the boot will be on the first drive in the bios boot priority list regardless of the drive selected for the install. It makes sense now that I know it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2014   #43

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

Glad to be of help. Thanks for posting.:)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 May 2014   #44

Windows 7 - Vista

I think I posted this in the wrong thread and this is the right one;

This thread has been helpful but before I try changing the system I would like confirmation of the steps to take.

Drive 0: three partitions . (1)OEM partition, (2)Win7b (D) system, active, primary partition, and (3)Data (E)primary partition

Drive 1: three partitions . (1)Backup (B) primary partition, (2)Data2 (F) primary partition, and (3)Win7c (C) boot, page file, active, crash dump, primary partition

I want to move the system from the partition on Drive 0 to the Win7c partition on Drive 1 and retain the abillity to boot to either Win7c or Win7b partitions. At some stage in the future I will replace the current drive 0 with a solid state drive and reinstall windows 7 on th SSD.

Attached Thumbnails
Changing Win7 System/Boot Partition without Reinstall-disk_drives.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2014   #45
Microsoft MVP


Unplug DISK0, swap its cable to DISK1, boot into Win7 DVD to run Startup Repair upto 3 separate times to write the System Boot files to C since it is already marked Active as required.

Once Win7 boots on its own you can plug bAck in the other drive to boot it when needed using one-time BIOS Boot Menu key given on first screen. If this is not to your liking install EasyBCD to add the other OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 May 2014   #46

Windows 7 - Vista

Many thanks gregrocker - that worked like a charm. Didn't need Easy BCD as both OS's were still available.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Nov 2014   #47

Windows 8 64bit

Thanks to Mr. SIW2 who posted the first reply. The solution worked, but bootsect.exe was already present. My system is 64 bit and it works using bootsect from System32 folder as there is no separate bootsect in SysWOW64.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2015   #48
John Dee

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Apologies for resurrecting an old thread but; I just registered to say thank you for the info here, did the job for me after ending up in the same place as the OP.

Thanks again.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
You're on the right track.
D/l this .zip, rt click it Properties>Unblock> Apply>OK .
Attachment 48712
Extract the .zip and copy bootsect.exe into your C:\windows\System32 folder.
Open an elevated command ( type cmd in start search box - when the black box pops up - rt click it and run as admin.)
Type the following , and press enter after each line:
bcdboot c:\windows /s c:
bootsect /nt60 c: /mbr
sel vol c
sel vol f
close cmd prompt. Restart. You're good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2015   #49

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

LOL. Had forgotten about this thread.

Glad it worked for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2015   #50

Windows 7 Home Premium x64

HUGE thanks to SIW2! I spent hours trying to find a way to make my SSD (C) the system & boot drive. Now I can format my (D) and not worry about it failing and causing Windows to not boot up anymore, resulting in a painful re-installation of Windows, updates and programs. I can't remember if other drives were connected while Windows was installing, but due to my inexperience with multiple drives, I'm sure they were connected.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Changing Win7 System/Boot Partition without Reinstall

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