Migrating to a new disk


I've used EasyBCD for a while now to dual boot Vista and XP. I'm going to replace this hard drive soon and only really want to copy XP over. As EasyBCD is currently in control of booting, will XP automatically become bootable if its the only OS on the new drive or will the system try to look for EasyBCD, not find it and fail the boot?
Hi Matt, welcome to NST.
Post a screenshot of your Disk Management as seen from Vista (see the end of the sticky thread), and we'll tell you if you'll encounter problems, and how to overcome them.
Go ahead and copy the XP partition over to the new disk.
However, make sure the files "ntdetect.com", "ntldr", and "boot.ini" exist in the XP partition's root before you do so. If they're not there, copy them over from Vista's partition (since it is "system" and contains both systems' boot files).
Then, after copying the partition over to the new disk, check your boot.ini, and make sure the rdisk() and partition() values are correct for the new location. Note that rdisk() (which stands for HDD) begins the count at 0, while partition() begins the count at 1. The HDD value is calculated according to the order of the HDDs in the boot sequence (which according to your Disk Management screenshot, you only have one HDD, meaning its rdisk(0) and parition(x) for the XP partition, where it is now), and the partition() value is calculated according to the location of the partition in the MBR partition table of that HDD (most of the time the MBR partition table will reflect the phyisical order of the partitions on the HDD, but it doesn't have to).

Since you said you're replacing both systems with only XP on a completely new HDD, this means the rdisk() values for the boot.ini on XP's own HDD should still remain 0, so it will boot when you put that HDD first in the boot sequence of the BIOS. Keep in mind an XP MBR (master boot record) and PBR (partition boot record) will not exist on the new HDD, so the boot would fail if you tried to boot as is.

To fix this problem, before getting rid of the old HDD with has both XP and Vista on it, make sure the copied XP partition on the new HDD is set to "active" (you can set this value in Disk Management), otherwise the MBR wont know where the boot partition is.

Then you can now remove the old HDD, leaving only the new XP HDD connected, then boot the XP CD, access the Recovery Console, login to your copied installation of XP, and do the


commands which will write the needed MBR and PBR to the disk. Then the boot should work.
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I'm afraid that screenshot's not much use. The reason I pointed you at the sticky was so you'd see the notes about making sure all the flags are visible and all the partitions are annotated. There's absolutely no way to tell from that information whether a straight copy of XP would work, since we don't know what's what.
The "boot" flag would tell us which is Vista, but we can't see that, so seeing the "system" flag (where the boot files are) doesn't help because that could be either OS.
If that logical partition is one of the OSs rather than data, then that adds further complication, but again we can't tell.
(Am I the only person on the planet who labels partitions with a clue to what's on them ? )
Hi Terry,
I don't know what the first partition is. Does Easy BCD create a partition? Recovery (D:smile: is a preinstalled Dell partition, OS (C:smile: is Vista (also has the System flag and is the Boot drive in that screenshot), (G:smile: is XP. I have no idea why XP is on a logical drive. That must be how the XP setup disk formatted it on install. Don't know why it did that rather than a primary partition though.
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OK. If XP is logical, then there are no boot files in its partition and a straight clone to the new HDD isn't going to boot without fixing that.
Jake's post gives you details on doing it manually.
If you own a MS XP Installation CD, you could let that do the hard work for you by booting it and doing a "repair install" of the cloned OS (You must clone it into a primary partition, btw)
That will do a sort of XP to XP upgrade, keeping all your installed apps and data, but fixing the broken boot.
If you don't have much installed on XP, then pehaps your best option would be a nice clean fresh install of the whole OS.
The "boot" flag would tell us which is Vista, but we can't see that, so seeing the "system" flag (where the boot files are) doesn't help because that could be either OS.
If that logical partition is one of the OSs rather than data, then that adds further complication, but again we can't tell.
(Am I the only person on the planet who labels partitions with a clue to what's on them ? )
According to the screenshot, C: was both "boot" AND "system". So Vista was system.
Matt, you may copy over the partitions you want to the new disk using Partition Wizard. You'll need to set them as Primary if they're logical after restore otherwise you're not going to be able to boot XP on the new disk. As far as getting it to boot you should try the recovery console commands Jake provided (a repair install should only be a last resort to save a broken installation).
BTW, I did a repair install myself not too long ago, so I now know first-hand what all it does. It doesn't touch the user files/folders at all, it only replaces the system files. I also ended up doing a full reinstall of XP on the same partition (without formatting first) which resulted in two separate installations of XP on the same partition (didn't even know it could do that), one in folder "Windows" (my original installation, plus repair install system files), and the other one (the new install) in folder Windows.0. Apparently, each new installation of Windows you install in the same partition would probably install in a new folder (i.e. Windows.1 for the second new install, Windows.2 for the third, etc.).

I also noticed the repair install of XP didn't touch the MBR at all (if it did, I would have had to re-activate BootIt NG like I do if I do a full reinstall, and so that's how I know it didn't).

Just thought I'd mention it here. :smile:

So now I have two installations of XP on the same partition. The reason I did this is because I was trying to get the original installation working again. First I had a problem with the bootsector failing for no apparent reason at all, which took fixboot off of the XP CD and testdisk from Ubuntu (not to mention bootsect from Vista...) to repair. And then as soon as I got that problem fixed, another one cropped up out of the blue. This was a weird one that I've never seen before: nothing but scrolling numbers on the screen when I select xp from the boot menu. At first I thought it was the NTLDR, but I replaced that, and it was still doing it. So I figured the bootsector was probably the problem, but i tried repairing it with bootsect and testdisk multiple times, but same problem each time.

Eventually, I did get that problem solved, by doing the repair install (which indicated it must have been some internal system file which XP uses, that was the problem) but what happens next?!! :wtf: BSOD after Win XP screen. I thought it was maybe because I did a repair install from an SP1 XP CD on a SP3 installation, and considered the possibility of the Intel Matrix Storage Manager driver not liking SP1 when it had been installed on SP3. But I tried changing the BIOS setting from AHCI to ATA to test it, but still got the blue screen.

So that's when I went ahead, and reinstalled XP (this time from a SP3 CD). Only trouble is, this one had been slipstreamed from a CD other than the one that I had used to install the original XP. And like already mentioned, this install put itself in the Windows.0 folder, and added itself to boot.ini, meaning there were two entries in my XP boot menu, one for each installation of Windows on the same partition. The version of Windows in the Windows folder still had the same problem, but at least I now had a partly-working XP install, and I hadn't completely lost the original one yet (obviously I was trying to preserve it).

And so at this point, I realized I had made 2 slipstreamed SP3 CDs, one of which I believe had been created from the original XP (Sp1) CD. The one I had used to reinstall had been the one that wasn't the one I created from the original XP CD. So I decided to go ahead, and use the other one. However, rather than do a complete reinstall again with this new CD, I instead did another repair install on the Windows folder (not Windows.0) installation again, which fixed the BSOD problem I had had with that one, meaning this installation was almost (but not quite fixed)...

Well, at this point, I thought for sure I had solved the problem. :grinning: But what do you know...?
Now it wont let me login to the semi-repaired install (which had originally been the original, but has now been repair-installed 2 times), saying I need the product key (which I don't have, seeing as the XP CD was an OEM Dell CD which had the key built-in). So I thought "No problem. I'll just go ahead and install that magicjelly keyfinder program in Vista, and use that to retrieve the key from the original installation of Windows" (note that the installation of Windows in Windows.0 had not been activated yet). Well, it seems the problem has been further muddied, since that program retrieved the wrong key...it retrieved the one that worked for installation in Windows.0 instead of the one in Windows (which is the one I really wanted to get working again).

So that's where I'm stuck now...

If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears...or wait, EYES. :grinning: I think my computer's trying to force me back on Vista (which I absolutely hate). I think I'm going to try installing XP from the same CD as used originally on a different computer, and see if I can obtain the Product ID from that installation, which I've read you can convert to the product key. That may work, while everything else failed. One thing's for sure, though...I ain't calling Microsoft.

And to think I had been planning to create an image backup of the XP partition before it failed on me, but had not never got around to doing it...

(Now you know why I hate Windows...it just fails for no apparent reason at all :frowning: )
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Yeah, you could say that... :smile:
The best thing is, I haven't been using XP hardly at all before the failure. It was weird, because mostly I had been using Ubuntu all the time. But there was a day when I finally wanted to go into XP for something (to install/play a game), and that's when the boot failed (the first time). Before that, the rare time when I went into XP, it booted up and loaded fine, so that's why I said it occurred for no reason at all.

Anyway, I haven't given up on the problem yet. I'm in the process right this minute of installing Windows SP1 with the same CD I used to install the original XP on my laptop, on my desktop computer. This CD is a Dell reinstallation disk, which apparently has the product key built in, so what I'm hoping to do is obtain the product id (after the install) from My Computer (right-click->Properties), which should be the same for every install from that disk, and then try to convert it to the product key.

That's my last hope before I do away with the old XP. The reason I'm trying to hold on to this XP is because its a pain to reinstall all the drivers for this laptop on XP, though it should be easier this time seeing as I left all of the drivers stored away on an external HDD. I've already backed up everything.
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You're making things more complicated with multiple installs on the same partition. Even if they have separate Windows folders, the rest is being shared between the systems.
Well, if I can get the original install working again, I might remove the other one.
And actually, the two systems aren't sharing everything else in my case.

There's different user folders for either system, and seeing as I'm using a separate data partition to store My Documents in, that is being shared, but that's fine because I don't mind sharing documents between the two systems (in fact, it makes it easier).
Thanks for your help with this.

I didn't get a chance to go any further with this as I was busy but I am now in a slightly different situation. The Hard Disk failed last week so I now only have the backup of the disk to work with making it more difficult to set active partitions and even to copy the backup over to the new disk. The backup was made with Drive Image XML and I am now wondering what the best way is to copy it onto the new disk. I'm guessing I'll have to install an OS first and then install Drive Image XML and copy the image to the remaining disk space. Do I then set the copied partition as active and copy the files "ntdetect.com", "ntldr", and "boot.ini" from the newly installed temp OS and carry on following Jake's instructions as before?

Another thing is that XP was installed on drive K. That will mean that all shortcuts etc will reference K:\...... I see the posible advantage with installing a temp OS first which will enable me to copy the backup image over as a possible advantage with being able to assign the drive letter? Can I make Partition 2 show up as Drive K so that everything works?
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Any ideas?

I've just installed the OS from Dell's CD as a temporary solution while I work on restoring the backup, and it's installed it as drive I. It's the only partition so should be C but the inbuilt card readers are C, D, E, F and the CD drives are G and H and the Hard Drive partition is I. Why would it have installed it like this?

Is it best now to use this partition to restore the original partition to the rest of the disk and edit the boot.ini file on I drive (which I'm guessing is now the boot device) to boot the cloned partition once it's restored to the disk?
I copied the partition backup to the new disk last night and added an entry for it to the boot.ini file in the first partition. The startup seemed to go fine. It loaded into the restored partition fine until it got to the Welcome screen. Where "Welcome" would normally come up, I got "Windows XP" and the logo there instead and it seemed to freeze at that point and never loaded Welcome or any more of Windows. My guess would be that the system can't find the files for the Welcome screen or the rest of the boot process. How can I fix this? Do I need to run a repair install on that partition from the install disk?