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Windows 7: Clone Dual Boot on SSD

03 Nov 2015   #1

Windows 7 professional 64 bit
Clone Dual Boot on SSD

I have an older laptop with a 60GB drive and in a dual boot configuration of XP and Windows 7 32 bit. I ordered a 120GB SSD and Iíd like to make a clone of the existing drive on the SSD. I did some reading and Iím now discovering this may not be so easy and is certainly not the same as cloning to another HD. My thinking was to use the Windows 7 backup feature to make an image of the entire 60GB (source) drive and then simply restore this image to the new SSD (target) drive. Iíve read that the partitions on the SSD must be ďalignedĒ which is different than a standard HD which doesnít care about that. The problem is that the windows XP partition on the source drive is not aligned in my case. I understand that Windows 7 backup will create partitions on the target drive featuring the same alignment as originally seen on the source drive. Ergo, this method will create a problem on the SSD unless the partitions on the source drive are aligned from the start. Hereís my question. Is it possible using DISKPART or some other utility to align the XP partition on the source drive prior to creating the image? If this is possible then the restored image should also have aligned partitions on the SSD and all should be good. If I can align the XP partition on the source drive what do I need and how is this done?
Thanks for reading.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2015   #2

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

I "transferred" a multi-boot PC from a HD to an SSD using this tutorial by whs.
SSD - Install and Transfer the Operating System

After the transfer, I found i made a mistake and the SSD alignment was wrong.
I fixed it with this tutorial and help from whs:
SSD Alignment
That "re-alignment" took a lot of time, and i learned.

If you use Macrium Reflect to "transfer" the OS's to the new SSD, make sure you choose SSD alignment rather than XP.
I think that's where i made my mistake, i didn't change the alignment to "SSD".
It copied my HD alignment to the new SSD, and was not right for the SSD.

whs helped me and got me fixed, but he is not available right now on SF as far as i know.

a screen print of Macrium that might help in the transfer

Clone Dual Boot on SSD-ssd_align.png

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2015   #3

Windows 7 professional 64 bit

Thanks for this information DavidE!
ē When you transferred the multi-boot did you do this one partition at a time? Is that the way Macrium Reflect works?
ē If so, when I transfer the XP partition, would I still select ďVista/7/SSDĒ under alignment rather then ďXP(CHS)?Ē
ē In order to accomplish the re-alignment after transferring the system(s) canít this be done by using this tool: How to align partition without data loss? ?
Let me know what you think and thanks again for your quick reply!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

04 Nov 2015   #4

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

Yes, i "transferred" (Restored) one partition at a time.
You could try cloning, it might be easier and faster for you.
I never used it.
I would select ďVista/7/SSDĒ for the alignment.
I think that's a mistake i made, i didn't select that choice and the restore copied my HD alignment to the SSD, and it was aligned wrong for an SSD.

When i transferred my triple boot Test Box from a HD to an SSD, this is what i did:

Create a System Image backup for each of my OS partitions.
Backup the DATA partition using Robocopy.
I put all these backups on a different "Backup HD" that i normally keep offline.

Connect the new SSD.
I use Minitool Partition Wizard, it has more features and options than Windows Disk Management.
It's always been reliable for me, and it's easier for me to use.

Initialize the SSD as MBR (I have Legacy BIOS, not UEFI).
Create all the partitions i want, sized as I want, and Primary or Logical as I want.
I create the partition where I want the boot manager installed as Primary, it has to be Primary or the PC won't boot.
I create all other partitions as Logical.

Then I restore each OS System Image backup to the partition on the new SSD, one at a time with Macrium.
Shut down the PC.
Disconnect the HD i am transferring from, this HD should not be needed going forward, but i keep it "as-is" in case something goes wrong and the new SSD doesn't work correctly.
I disconnect all other storage devices.

Boot the PC with the new SSD, and make sure all OS's can boot, and everything works ok.
Often it won't boot because i have "tweaked" some things and made changes that corrupt the boot code / boot manager.
Then I pop in my W7 installation DVD, boot from that and run a Startup Repair.
A Startup Repair has always fixed my boot issues when transferring my OS's to a new storage device.

Then i reconnect a HD with my DATA.

My way may be overkill, but i try to make sure everything is backed-up and offline so i don't lose something and need to do a Data Recovery.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2015   #5

Windows 7 professional 64 bit

Thanks DavidE for the very detailed information. This is very helpful! My SSD (SanDisk SDSSDA-120G-G25) wonít be delivered for a few more days and Iíll start working on it then. I downloaded the MiniTool Partition Wizard Ver 9.1 (latest) and started playing with it. It certainly has a very friendly interface along with a lot of capability. It also includes a wizard specifically for doing SSD clones (new in ver 9). I think to use the clone wizard a usb to SATA cable is needed for cases where there is only one SATA interface on the mobo so I probably wonít try the clone wizard unless all else fails. It also has the capability of Ďaligningí selected or all partitions on a drive which should be useful for DIY cloning. I havenít used these features yet but pulled them up just to take a look.
Iíll follow up when I have some results or with more questions if I hit any snags. Thanks again for the help. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2015   #6

Windows 7 professional 64 bit
Completed the SSD clone... sort of.

OK, the drive came in a few hours ago and Iíve got my dual boot (XP pro sp3 and Win7-32bit) all cloned over the new SSD drive. Hereís how I did it:
ē While booted into win7 on the original HDD I created a full disk image using Win7 backup. That image was stored on an external usb drive.
ē I removed the HDD and put in the new unformatted SSD and restored the image to the drive using the win 7 bootable system repair disk (previously created from within windows backup).
ē Once the restore was completed, I shutdown the computer.
ē Then I booted into Minitools Partition Wizard (great tool!) from its bootable CD and executed ĎAlign All Partions.í On its own it added ĎRepair Master Boot Recordí to the task list so that was done also.
ē Shutdown, removed the CD, and booted to the new SSD.
The good news is that both OSís appear to be working fine! The process was quite simple and Iím shocked at how fast this old laptop has become; absolutely shocked. Something is a little perplexing however. I attached a snip of PW wizard showing all partitions on the SSD after the clone. For this display, Iím booted on the Win 7 partition so the D drive is win XP. Itís D that contains the MBR. This is the way it was on the original HDD except note here that the hidden OEM partition is now showing up as unformatted! Iím pretty sure this was FAT and contained some data on the original HDD but now itís empty and unformatted. This small partition originated from the original XP installation and when win 7 was added as a dual boot, only its system, C: partition was added. I know Win 7 and XP use these small partitions for something but I donít know what and I donít know what Iím missing since that small partition is effectively gone now.
Does anyone have any suggestions on what I need to do or what Iím giving up by not having the small partition available? Iíd like to get some guidance on this point. If I had to, I suppose I could make an image of the original partition and restore just that small partition but I really have no idea if itís needed. Also the alignment of that unformatted partition is bad since it starts at sector 63; probably doesnít matter since it unformatted. I do have some tuning to do like activate AHCI, trim and a few other things but I donít want start that stuff until I get some help with small partition issue. Thanks for reading.

Attached Thumbnails
Clone Dual Boot on SSD-pwizzard.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2015   #7

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

That's great to hear you got the OS's transferred to the SSD, they're working and much faster.

As far as the OEM Partition.
Your SF specs show Custom Build, but post #1 says it's an older laptop.
Dell, HP, (and maybe other manufacturers) use an OEM partition for diagnostics, utilities, etc.
If it's one of these manufacturers, that's probably what the OEM partition is used for.
As it's an older laptop with XP, my guess is any utilities would only work for XP, and not work with Win 7.

You can do a search for Windows OEM partiton and get a lot of hits.
Here is one SF thread i found:
OEM (Reserved) Partition -- What is it ??

You might need to search for your specific laptop manufacturer/model to see what this partition is used for.

If you do want to migrate it to the new SSD, i suggest setting it up exactly as the original partition, such as FAT/FAT32, etc.
Do you still have the original 60GB HD so you can check the partition settings ?
It's up to you if you want to transfer this partition to the SSD using a Macrium image.

imho your Win 7 partition is very small and you might run into free space problems going forward.
It should be easy to extend (resize) this partition using any or all of the unallocated space.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2015   #8
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Not necessary to do but I'm curious what Disk Management looks like now.

Here is a tutorial by Golden that will show you how to post it if you care to.

Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2015   #9

Windows 7 professional 64 bit

Thanks for your response DavidE. My apologies for the confusion on the system specs. My published system specs are for my desktop computer. The Laptop computer in question is one I recently purchased used. It is a Dell Latitude D630. As received it, I think itís the same or very close to what Dell shipped. It came with XP Pro installed with only the 47MB OEM partition and the XP System partition. I had been confusing that partition with what Windows 7 calls the system reserved partition but i think now that XP may not have a system reserved partition. To compound my confusion on this, the windows 7 install resulted in no system reserved partition. I'm speculating that since the usual location for the Win 7 boot loader is the system reserved partition and since for a dual boot configuration of this sort, it resides on the XP system partition, that win 7 doesnít have much need for the system reserved partition and doesnít install it for such a dual boot case. I believe you are correct that the 47MB OEM partition is used for Dell specific diagnostics and who knows what else. I verified that the bootable diagnostics tools that Dell included are no longer working in the cloned SSD where they worked fine originally. I will do as you suggested and image that small OEM partition and restore it to the SSD and see if I can get those tools working. I think itís worthwhile to have these Dell diagnostic tools. Iíll follow up with results.
I attached the Disk Manager snip.

Attached Thumbnails
Clone Dual Boot on SSD-diskmangr.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Nov 2015   #10

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

If you install Windows into unallocated space it creates 2 partitions, a System Reserved partition for the boot manager, and a [C] partition for Windows.

If you install Windows into a pre-defined partition, it installs the boot manager AND Windows into the single [C] partition.

This is how installing in Legacy BIOS / MBR works.
UEFI / GPT is something else, i don't have UEFI or a GPT boot disk.

There is no right or wrong to having or not having a System Reserved partition.
Both scenarios work.

If you can boot with the original HD and post a Disk Management screen print that might help.
Then we would know what you started with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Clone Dual Boot on SSD

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