Dual boot Win7 twice - Imaging destroys boot choices -plz Help

#1
Dual boot Win7 twice - Imaging destroys boot choices -plz Help

 
Hi, having used EasyBCD in the past to experiment with Win7 in its early releases,
now I am back to run Win7 Pro as my current OS.

I understand that my procedures may go against logical practices,
and that my problem is not an issue with EasyBCD,
but I hope someone here can help me discover some work-arounds,
because I would love to continue using EasyBCD to manage this working scenario, once it's repaired.

Goal: Install Win7 Pro 32-bit twice on a 60gb SSD, Macbook mid-2007, dual-boot,
& I have 2 retail licenses so legality is not an issue.


The intention is to use the 2 OS installs in real-time rather than in VMs (I use VMs in other scenarios).

I will not install any version of OS_X on this hard drive - it's Windows only,
although I have installed BootCamp up through v3.3,
which is the farthest you can go that will support 32-bit Windows 7.

I've successfully installed Win7 twice to 2 separate partitions (all partitions NTFS),
& I'm able to successfully switch/choose between booting either partition
before I experimented with the imaging:

C:\ = 15 gb Named 7b
D:\ = 18 gb Named 7a
E:\ = 23 gb Data

I used Drive Snapshot to make an image of 7b on C:\,
then when I use that image to overwrite the installation on D:\ --

regardless of what it says in bcdedit, or in EasyBCD, or what I choose on the startup screen,
the only version that is booting up is 7b on C:\ - I confim this with different desktop colors
as well as a simple New Folder placed on the desktop of C:\ that is not there on the desktop of D:\.

So, I believe the essence of the problem is this:

I have "corrupted" the 7a partition with the GUI Globally Unique Identifier information of 7b --

can someone help me understand how to change whatever identifer needs to be changed on D:\,
to give it back its own identity as 7a ??

** The whole point of this exercise is to do the bulk of my install-configurations on 7b,
which is the smaller partition & which will house a Baseline install.

Then hopefully I would just use that to image 7a,
and then add many more apps to 7a for a more extensive configuration,
saving 7b for an experimental testbed -- and saving 4-5 hours in configuring 7a the "long-hand" way.

At that point I would create a new image for 7a,
and going forward, each install would have its own images.

Please do not waste both our time to argue with me for my reasons in doing this -

if I'm not successful in this way, then I will be successful by simply investing another 4-5 hours
and installing everything "the regular long-hand way" on 7a --

-- I will ultimately succeed in achieving my goal,
the only question is : "Can I save a bit of time by using imaging here?" --
and, this experimental knowledge will come in handy somewhere, sometime, in the future.

Thanks very much for your time to read & consider helping!

*note to Mods - I have posted this in the EasyBCD forum,
as I think it will ultimately involve how I use EasyBCD to manipulate the boot choices.

If it belongs in the Windows forum, would you kindly place it there & forgive my error? thx ~
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
Firstly let me say that if the failure has anything to do with the Macbook, I wouldn't know and couldn't help.
As to the issue of cloning Vista/7, there is a known problem which you mention yourself if you clone the OS to a different HDD or a different location on the same HDD. The BCD information describing the OS contains both the disk signature and the partition offset coded in the BCD UID.
Depending on the cloning software in use, that can make the clone unbootable until the BCD has been "startup repaired" from the W7 repair CD (Control Panel > Backup & Restore > Create repair disc).
Some newer cloning software will automatically repair the BCD data for you, but can also introduce extra complication by "fixing" the rest of the OS (bulk editing the registry to change the OS disk letter to be different from the cloned OS)
Have you tried taking the BCD out of the equation by having a small boot partition and two, boot-file-free OS partitions.
That way you can clone a to b without the BCD being involved.
It's also the way that W7 chooses to install itself if you give it half a chance.
 
#3
Have you tried taking the BCD out of the equation by having a small boot partition and two, boot-file-free OS partitions.
That way you can clone a to b without the BCD being involved. It's also the way that W7 chooses to install itself if you give it half a chance.
:smile: thanks for mentioning this approach - and you're right, maybe just this once I could let Windows do its thing its own way :S

Also, I don't think it's a Macbbook issue at all.

So, I'm off to try it the regular Windows way - I'll start over, then post back about what happens.

I only installed a bare minimum of things, so as stated earlier, this is an experiment that will yield some future knowledge-returns as well.

Thanks again Terry !
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
I know what you mean.
I'm constantly bemoaning the waste of a primary partition that W7/8 try to force on the unwary, (neither is allowed to on my PC) and struggling to find reasons why anyone would want to. (encrypting the OS being the only possibility I've come up with)
You seem to have doubled the length of my list of reasons. (If it solves your problem).
You shouldn't need to start over.
If you want, you can shrink the second OS, slip in the tiny boot partition and use
Changing the Boot Partition - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki
to copy the boot files.
Then just scrub them off the OS partitions when the new copy is live.