Multiple Windows 7 partitions

#1
I have a system with 4 discs. 2 are PATA, one is SATA HDD and the other is SATA SDD. I have multiple operating systems and use Grub and the Windows 7 loader to select what to boot. I have XP, Windows 7, Windows 10 (evaluation) and various linux images.

I am trying to clone (using TODO Backup) my Windows 7 SDD partition to another SDD partition so that I can upgrade one to Windows 10 and keep the original Windows 7 partition (my prerelease Windows 10 partition is on one of the PATA drives). When I reboot after inserting the Windows 7 disc and repairing the boot sector and mbr and allowing auto boot repair, the system boots to the original partition. So I tried cloning to another drive, same result. I tried to rebuild Windows 7 using the DVD only to find that Microsoft think my product key is false (it is not, I have the box and the DVDs). I have not yet tried bootsect.exe /NT60 ALL as I am unclear as to whether that would affect my Linux partitions. I have tried cloning Windows 10 and this boots but the screen flashes on and off, none of the icons work and I can't use it. It seems my only option to getting Windows 7 and 10 both on the SATA is to clone Windows 7.

I even tried rebuilding Windows 7 to a bootable (but unverified state) and then copying selected directories from the other partition. This would not work copying with windows explorer (got system recovery on reboot) but when I copied using Linux nautilus, I got the same problem that the new partition booted to the original partition - so I'm guessing that there some files within windows that need to change?.

In all cases, I have used EASYBCD to correct/update the bootlist and it all looks clean although my system mow seems to have 2 BCD lists (I have edited both). I have also tried changing the SATA boot order in the BIOS without much noticeable difference.

I have spend days working on this and have run out of ideas. I have googled for similar problems but not found anyone with this particular problem.

Anyone got any explanations/ideas please?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
In Disk Management, where are the "system" "boot" and "active" flags located when you try booting the cloned W7.
 
#3
In Disk Management, where are the "system" "boot" and "active" flags located when you try booting the cloned W7.
Hi Terry. Thanks for replying.

In answer to your question, there are 3 active partitions. 2 are data partitions and the other I'll come to in a moment.

Having posted this plea for help, I spent yet another evening looking at threads and eventually found a new line to follow - the state of the System Reserved Partition. Having moved a number of partitions round some time ago it looks like ham-fisted old me managed to screw up the system reserved partition. I am now in the process of reinstating it. And that is the third active partition. Strangely my XP partition is marked as System. The partition marked as boot is the cloned partition.

I have copied the boot folder, bootmgr and bootsect.bak to the system partition I am trying to recreate. Presumably my 2 data partitions should not be marked as active. Hopefully then all I need to do is to run the W7 DVD (3 times?) to ensure that everything is properly connected up (which should regenerate the BCD anyway?)? Presumably I do not need to move or delete these files/folders on the formerly "active" partitions (although if/when I get this sorted that might be a good idea)? Which partition should "system" or is it OK as long as it is only one and that is a windows OS?

Thanks again for your post, I certainly had not noticed the proliferation of active partitions. Keep "sconing"!
 
#4
Hi Terry. Thanks for replying.

In answer to your question, there are 3 active partitions. 2 are data partitions and the other I'll come to in a moment.

Having posted this plea for help, I spent yet another evening looking at threads and eventually found a new line to follow - the state of the System Reserved Partition. Having moved a number of partitions round some time ago it looks like ham-fisted old me managed to screw up the system reserved partition. I am now in the process of reinstating it. And that is the third active partition. Strangely my XP partition is marked as System. The partition marked as boot is the cloned partition.

I have copied the boot folder, bootmgr and bootsect.bak to the system partition I am trying to recreate. Presumably my 2 data partitions should not be marked as active. Hopefully then all I need to do is to run the W7 DVD (3 times?) to ensure that everything is properly connected up (which should regenerate the BCD anyway?)? Presumably I do not need to move or delete these files/folders on the formerly "active" partitions (although if/when I get this sorted that might be a good idea)? Which partition should "system" or is it OK as long as it is only one and that is a windows OS?

Thanks again for your post, I certainly had not noticed the proliferation of active partitions. Keep "sconing"!
UPDATE - SOLVED IT!

Perhaps I am being unduly slow but it took me a long time to get this one.

My critereon for determining that my Windows 7 clone was a real clone was to create a folder on the desktop and then see if the other clones were also seeing this folder. They were. It turns out that my clones were aqctually booting from the cloned location but that the drive letter of the booted drive was not "C". Therefore everything was running from (and to) the original partition. A quick edit in the registry on one of the clones to change the "source" C drive to something different and then change the booted drive to C now gave the desired effect. I suppose that most people cloning Windows delete their original? Either way. I am now a happier bunny although there are a few late nights of my life that might have been better spent.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
That "boot" on your clone told you that you were successfully running it.
"system" on XP tells you that that's where the OS boot files are located.
Windows will always put the boot files on the "active" partition of the first HDD, even if you're installing the OS elsewhere.
That's how it manages to dual-boot automatically.
Since you (presumably) started with XP and progressively added new systems, each subsequent install will have been adding its boot files and/or information to that original partition.

Disk Management flags have the following meanings

"boot" = "this is the system you're running"
"system" = "this is where I found the boot files for the currently running system"
"active" (on the first HDD in the BIOS boot sequence) = "this is where I started the search for the boot files"
"active" (on subsequent HDDs in the BIOS boot sequence) ="this is where I will look if I don't find something in the MBR on the first HDD"
 
#6
That "boot" on your clone told you that you were successfully running it.
"system" on XP tells you that that's where the OS boot files are located.
Windows will always put the boot files on the "active" partition of the first HDD, even if you're installing the OS elsewhere.
That's how it manages to dual-boot automatically.
Since you (presumably) started with XP and progressively added new systems, each subsequent install will have been adding its boot files and/or information to that original partition.

Disk Management flags have the following meanings

"boot" = "this is the system you're running"
"system" = "this is where I found the boot files for the currently running system"
"active" (on the first HDD in the BIOS boot sequence) = "this is where I started the search for the boot files"
"active" (on subsequent HDDs in the BIOS boot sequence) ="this is where I will look if I don't find something in the MBR on the first HDD"
Thanks Terry,

My problem was that the cloned partition did not have C as the boot so all processes and desktop etc were still on C - i.e. the "source" partition. Changed the registry and it all works as it should.