Can't multiboot COPIED Wins

#1
I can't get Windows 7 copies to boot.

I copied my Win7 (not OEM) to a new partition on the same drive using Ease Partition Master. I built EasyBCD entries, and it all looks good. But when I attempt to boot to the Win7 copy, the original Win7 is loaded. (I know it's the original because I immediately changed the desktop color after copying.)

I did the same, but instead of a Partition Master copy, I used an Ease TODO Wrkstn partition backup and restore. Same results.

I have no problem with different INSTALLATIONS of Win7, but no success with COPIED Win7s.

I've tried on 2 computers, one of Win7 Pro and one of Win7 HP. Same results. One machine already has a working multi-boot setup with Win7, XP, another Win7 on a different drive. But adding the copied Win7 to the menu yields no success.

All my copied partitions have drive letters. All are primary partitions.

If I use 2 drives, I don't have a problem with the copy, but getting the copied Win7 on the same drive to boot just doesn't seem to work.

I got boot errors only two times after some poking a little too hard, but both times they were fixed OK with a Win7 installtion repair. The 2 repairs found all the Windows partitions and gave me a good menu. That gave me hopes, but the results were the same, booting to a copy actually booted the original.

There must be some Windows issue (not EasyBCD issue) about 2 Wins with identical identifications, but I can't figure out what. Would some genius please step forward to help?

I did find one solution, but it's a round about kluge, and I really want to know the RIGHT WAY to do this. The method that worked was to backup and restore to a different drive. Then boot the new drive as the only drive. Then back that drive up and restore it to the first drive into a new location. There must be something about booting the copied Win7 alone that changes a setting. And when that changed Win7 is put back on the first drive, the change allows it to boot from the multi-boot menu.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
When you try booting from the clone, and you think you're on the wrong OS, where are the "boot" "system" and "active" flags in Disk Management ?
 
#3
Thank you for considering my plight, Terry,

Disk management reports the following when I make these selections from the boot menu.
W10
Code:
System       Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)
W10 (C:)    Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Logical Partition)
W7 (D:)      Healthy (Logical Drive)
W7-2 (E:)   Healthy (Logical Drive)
W7
Code:
System       Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)
W10 (D:)    Healthy (Logical Partition)
W7 (C:)      Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Logical Partition)
W7-2 (J:)    Healthy (Logical Drive)
W7-2
Code:
System       Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)
W10 (E:)    Healthy (Logical Partition)
W7-2 (D:)   Healthy (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Logical Partition)
W7 (C:)       Healthy (Logical Partition)
I see that the BOOT flag changes to the menu choice I make. What does that tell you?

Here is an odd discovery:
After finding that my W7-2 did not boot--and for unrelated reasons)-- I changed the Computer Name in System Properties of my source installation, W7. The computer name for my source installation, W7, was DOG. So if I ever get the clone, W7-2, to load, its Computer Name should be DOG.

When I select the working W7 from the boot menu, the System Properties Computer Name is CAT, the new name I used on the source, W7. CAT also is shown in the ComputerName entries in the registry.

However, when I select the (so-called) faulty W7-2 from the boot menu, the System Properties Computer Name is DOG, as are the ComputerName entries in the registry.
So under W7-2, there are indeed some parts of the registry of the copied installation being loaded. It can’t be all of the registry, though.

You’re likely wondering, now, if I’m entirely mistaken about this whole thing. When I discovered this, I was shaken to the core, myself.

But I have changed the desktop many times, and it is the same desktop that loads under W7 and W7-2. And (right after copying), on my W7 partition, I dropped a folder named “…THIS IS W7”. Similarly, on my W7-2 partition, I dropped a folder named “…THIS IS W7-2”. The first one is on C: and the 2nd on D:, whether I boot to W7 or to W7-2.
 
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#4
Those are drive letters where the emoticons replaced the colon + close-parenthesis that I typed and saved. "(C:smile:" is really "[C:]" except with parenthesis instead of brackets. Would someone please tell me how to turn off that annoying feature of this blog?
[tryeager]
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
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"

Which shows that you are indeed booting the correct selection
The reason I asked is because I've seen this behaviour being experienced before in these forums over the years.
People using the desktop appearance as an identifier and being mislead.
I would guess it's associated with the fact that W7-2 is failing to boot as "C", and your C........\username\desktop is being picked up from W7 which is "C"
The reason for the letter change of the copy is probably related to the partition management software/option used.
You need to find an option that will make a real clone, i.e. identical copy.
A lot of "copy" options will be "clever" and modify the registry so that the copy doesn't clash with the live system.
Some kind of backup/restore rather than copy will probably do the trick, but used from a booted version of the partition manger.
If you run the partition manager as a Windows task from the running "C" W7, that could also cause a problem.
A backup of C, restored offline to a separate partition from a booted copy of the PM, should mean that everything ends up booting as C without any crossover /user/ files confusing the issue.