Change Boot Partition to restore original OS?


I would like to change the partition that is booting, but I've recently totally blown up my boot setup and I'm pretty gun-shy. I've read through the KnowledgeBase article on "Changing the Boot Partition," and I think that's what I want to do, but I would like to get some expert opinions before I start doing that.

First, a little background: I have a Lenovo u410, with a 28GB SSD and a 1TB HDD. This all started when I tried to dual-boot Ubuntu and Windows 8. It wasn't working quire right, probably through my own fault, but I kept messing with it, and finally got to the point where nothing would boot - not Win8 no Ubuntu.

I eventually had to take some desperate measures - I was able to install Ubuntu on the SSD, and get that to boot - but only if the HDD was removed. I then wiped Ubuntu and installed a demo version of Win8 on the SSD. I also reflashed the BIOS, as that seemed to have been corrupted in the process. Now that I have a (limited) working version of Windows, I was able to plug my HDD back in and the BIOS can see it, and I can see the drive and files on it.

Ideally, I would like to change the boot partition from the SSD to the HDD (assuming that my original Win8 OS, files, etc. will work - it is still the original drive with all the original files, untouched) to get back to my original Win8 environment. I would then like to reformat the SSD and wipe away the Win8 Demo version.

My question is, if I follow the steps in the "Changing the Boot Partition" article, will it do what I described above?

Also, are there any big "gotchas" to look out for when doing this? As I mentioned, after going through hell trying to jsut get back to a usable machine, I'm pretty nervous about messing around with the boot partitions, etc. I'm sure there are legacy boot files on the HDD - I assume that these would be written over by EasyBCD if I used it to change the boot partition.

Any guidance would be appreciated!




Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
Changing the Boot Partition

Is this is what you are referring to ?

If so, what it does is to copy all of the boot files from the current location into your target location.
Once there you would be booting your demo W8 on the SSD via a copy of the boot files on the HDD (after you'd changed the BIOS to boot from the new location)

That's not what you want.

What you first need to do is establish whether the HDD version of W8 is still working.

Add another W8 entry to your SSD BCD pointing the "drive" dropdown to whatever letter your demo W8 calls the partition containing the original W8.

Reboot and choose the HDD version.
If it works, you can then do the "change boot drive" to copy the dual-boot BCD across to the HDD.
Switch the BIOS boot priority to choose the HDD before the SSD and boot the HDD version again.

At this stage you will be booting the HDD W8 via the HDD BCD and you can delete the SSD W8 entry from the BCD and do whatever you like with the SSD
Arggghhhh.. No dice. I thought that sounded all too easy. My problem is that the SSD drive is only 28GB, so when I try to install my Win8 pro license, it says I don't have enough disk space.

Back to the drawing board. Thanks for your help.

One thing I noticed was that the boot entry for the Demo version of Win8 uses winload.efi, while the Windows 8.1 (the original hard drive, that won't boot) boot entry uses winload.exe - although there is a winload.efi entry in the \system32\ directory. Should it be using winload.efi? If so, how do I edit that to change it. EasyBCD Seems to be selecting winload.exe automatically.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member