Changing the Windows 7 bootdrive

#1
Under Get Support there is a section entitled " Changing the Vista Boot Drive". Is there a similar section for Windows 7, I specifically require the code included in the sub-section called "Changing the Boot Partition".

Thanks in advance.

Great site I have been lost for hours browsing various things.
 
#2
I also have similar question. I use EasyBCD to choose boot partition from several partitions on 1-st HD. Now I need to transfer the first Win7 partition from it (where EasyBCD Data Store is) to the 2-nd HD on the same PC (it will be the only bootable there), and remove the 1-st HD from PC for repair. Do I need to transfer the Data Store and how?

How it will affect both drives' NT signatures? Can I leave their signatures intact? Also, until I remove the 2-d drive, can I still boot from its partitions by adding them to EasyBCD Menu after moving EasyBCD Data Store to the 2-d drive? What partition cloning soft would you prefer for moving bootable partitions btw drives?
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#3
Ignore the support documentation.

In EasyBCD 2.x, there is a new feature that will automatically change your boot drive, make it active and bootable, copy over all existing entries, remove any boot dependencies on the old disk, and scrub the bathroom floor while it's at it.

Just look for "Change boot drive" under the BCD install/repair section in EasyBCD.


Cheers!

Addendum:

Oh, and welcome to NeoSmart Technologies!
 
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#4
So, if I understand you correctly, all my partitions on the 1-st drive will still remain bootable after I change the boot drive to the 2-nd with EasyBCD? But the Data Store will be moved to 2-nd drive. How it will affect both drives signatures?

Also, my 2-nd drive was initially used to store only data. Available space is at its end. I don't think, it has a small 100Mb 1-st partition that Windows creates during install. Should I move all other partitions to the end, and create an empty 100Mb partition and second empty 100Gb partition before moving Win7 partition from 1-st drive to the 2-nd? What's this 100Mb partition for?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
EasyBCD doesn't move the boot files, it copies them.
If you use "change boot drive" to point to a different HDD, you'll also need to change the BIOS boot sequence to put the new HDD before the old.
The old one will be unchanged and will continue to boot exactly as previously.
You don't need to create a new partition, you can just copy the boot files into any existing (primary) partition and boot from there.
The default 100Mb System Reserved W7 boot partition, is completely unnecessary for 99% of users. It's purpose is to allow the C: partition to be encrypted with bitlocker, leaving the boot "clear".
If you install W7 to a HDD which you've pre-formatted to your own configuration, all of W7 will be in the one partition.
If you allow W7 setup to install to empty space, it will create that "secret" partition without telling you.
 
#6
Thanks Terry! So, based on your explanation, I should first copy my existing Win7 partition from the 1-st drive to the 2-nd drive with any Drive Copy utility without coping MBR. Then I change the boot drive with EasyBCD (it will copy Boot Store to the new partition) and select 2-nd drive in BIOS to boot from. I don't need to copy 100Mb partition at all, but will still have bitlocker on the new partition (or can add it from Win Install CD)?. Then I can remove the 1-st drive from the system. The drive signatures won't change. Is that all right?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
The secret partition is not involved with bitlocker. Bitlocker is on the C: disk with the rest of the OS. The secret partition is created so that if you decide to encrypt the OS drive, the boot files remain unencrypted to prevent the boot from failing. If you're not going to encrypt the OS, the extra partition is superfluous.
Cloning the OS creates a different problem. The BCD describes the whereabouts of the boot loader in each entry by UID. That UID is the long complex number you see in EasyBCD detailed mode, which Easy translates into a letter for you for ease of understanding. There are no disk letters in the BCD. That UID describes the unique signature of the HDD and the start position of the partition.
If you clone an OS, then the disk signature of the new HDD is different (they're all uniquely coded during manufacture), so the BCD entry will not find the new clone because it refers to the old HDD.
Simplest thing to do is to clone the OS to the new HDD, disconnect the old HDD, boot the W7 DVD and run "startup repair" on the clone three times (probably) till the HDD can boot unaided by the DVD. Then reconnect the old HDD, leaving the new one first in the BIOS boot sequence.
Add any dual boot entries to the new OS's BCD with EasyBCD.
 
#8
Thanks Terry for your valuable advice! I still have a few questions though:

So selecting EasyBCD option "Change Boot Drive" won't do the trick to make 2-nd drive bootable after cloning OS to it? It only works when the OS was independently installed?

My cloned OS was moved to the last partition on the 2-nd drive. Before it there're 3 other data partitions. Will it affect the success of Win DVD Startup Repair, and also OS performance?

Paragon and Acronis packages have Clone Drive and Copy Partition features, and Acronis WS has options "Change Drive Signature" and "Update OS to the new drive signature" (when cloning drives only). Why EasyBCD can't update the cloned OS to the new drive signature?
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#9
I'm not sure how acronis "intelligent" drive sig handling will work when you're cloning an OS without a BCD. The existing BCD will still contain the wrong UID for the clone.
That's why I suggested letting MS fix it themselves using the installation DVD.
It doesn't matter where the cloned partition is on the new HDD, as long as it's primary and active.
Windows used to have to be the first partition, but that ended with WME.