Moving Win7 to SSD in Dual Boot System

#21
I did always check boot order and was puzzled that it seemed to change, but I did not realize the reason it was changing. I don't think I made that error though. I did double check. Also I was not hot plugging the SSD. I know enough not to do that. So that was not the reason, but the registry entry might be.

I was really puzzled by the new Win7 install that did not make the SSD the boot drive, but I figured that out and wasted a couple hours. So whatever else,this circus teaches a lot of things that I probably did not need to know - and wont use again! Also surprised that 'w' was automatically added to the boot list.

One specific question though .. now that I have a valid MBR on the SSD, do I have to use EasyBCD to make it the boot drive? It boots with virgin Win7, and so it should also boot with a cloned Win7?
If I am right what should the boot entries look like when I make the clone. Delete everything except C, or will I have an issue with the disk signatures?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#22
It's not the MBR that's being copied, it's the MS boot files. You need to do that because you're cloning a W7 which has none. When W7 installs, it will put its boot files on the active partition of the HDD which tops the BIOS boot priority.
Previously that was the Vista partition which is why that's "system" when W7 is "boot" (see definitions in post #12).
When you were installing a fresh W7 to the SSD, the same rules applied, so it put the boot files wherever was top of the list, even if that was a data drive. When you installed it to a lone SSD, it had no choice but to include them with the rest of the OS.
I'm afraid that's the way MS designed it, and if you want the boot files in a specific location, you have to make sure to configure your system in such a way that setup has no other choice.
If you install W7 (or 8) to an lone empty HDD, it will even create a separate boot partition by default if you don't pre-format the space to prevent it.
 
#23
Thanks again. That explains the anomaly. Currently, I have HDD WIn7 as boot and system. (I can switch it back to Vista with EasyBCD).
I figured that if the boot files are on HDD Win7, if I clone it to the SSD (not the MBR) for which the MBR already shows to boot from its active partition, it will just boot the clone.

IF so, what should the HDD Win7 bootloader look like when I clone it (I know the SSD should be completely gone) or do I have to use EasyBCD regardless? I figured if the bootloader only shows C drive, I can just clone it, or maybe since it currently shows the SSD OS, I can just leave it.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#24
If you're cloning W7 with a BCD, (option 1 in your OP), then that BCD on the clone will not describe its new location, but the previous location, and it will either not boot, or boot the wrong copy.
You'll need to disconnect the HDDs, connect the cloned SSD, boot the W7 DVD and run "startup repair" (3 times possibly) on the SSD, till the boot files completely reflect their new location.
Then when the SSD boots without the aid of the DVD, you can reconnect everything else.
 
#25
EUREKA!!!

Terry, you da man!

It worked immediately on booting from the SSD. I did not have to use the Windows DVD at all.
I removed the SSD, found how to edit out 'W' from Mountdevices in the registry and made the clone without the SSD connected.
I restored the clone over the Virgin Win7 on the SSD, disconnected both HDD's and booted. To my amazement it booted right away - no futzing with fixing anything.
What amazed me even more was that the bootloader looked identical to the HDD's. It had the Windows 7 entry called Windows 7 HDD and it also had the Vista entry.
I connected both HDD"s and booted again. It thought on the 'Starting Windows' Screen for a few minutes but when it was booted, it was from the SSD and everything worked fine with the same drive letters.
Next time I booted, it was fast!
I booted from the HDD and that was also fine with its original bootloader and the SSD as the 'n' drive which I immediately deleted.
I have a 3gb SATA and everybody said that without a cl;ean install there was not maximum benefit.
It was fast - like driving a Ferrari instead of a ford.
Boot time on the HDD to start; load AV; Firewall and a bunch of startup apps and drivers about 110 seconds.
Became about 35 with the SSD.

I can't thank you enough. Helpful guys are not that plentiful and I was lucky you responded. I learned a lot. I think deleting the 'w' drive entries and making it bootable using the DVD helped the issue.
If I had not tested to see it was working, it may have been easier.
Regards
Brian
 
#26
Here an alternative solution, for a similar problem, but for the case where you dont want to disconnect the hard drives you cloned windows from. Because yesterday I was struggling with similar problems I thought maybe its interesting to post it to.

i had 2 HDs in Raid0 with windows 7 (A for further referencing), i installed an SSD next to it. I cloned both the 200 mb boot partition, and the windows partition to the SSD (Windows 7 (B)), using Norton ghost.
then from within windows 7 A created a new boot entry pointing to the Windows B on the SSD.
Then reboot choosing the new windows entry.
Then windows can be really odd, at least i didn’t know in what wich windows i was.
The windows logo was at the F drive, but the page file was at the C drive, if i made something in the desktop, it was in the c drive.
but checking the diskmanagment, it seemed windows was running at the F drive on the SSD so it was windows B (hurra),
So then i removed the page file from the C which was on the raid, setting a new one t on the F.
Restarted in windows B on the SSD,
Then removed the C: mounting point, wich was still pointing to the windows A partition, using the disk manager,
Then restart and reboot again,
Then windows freaked out showing that i had a not genuine windows, but i had that problem before and remembered what to do
pres alt contr del.
new task run, type regedit in admin mode
go to something like hkey_local_machine, system, mounted_device
change the current c in a free letter
change current hd letter in c!
if you dont know what is the current hd such in my case
run in taskman
msconfig, and go to boot tab and see drive letter,
change that drive letter to c, in the registry.
after i restarted I had to click get genuine, and then all was ok!

But yes the cloned boot partition on the ssd hasnt been used yet,
I don’t really need it so I deleted it, because I boot from the other hd, pointing to the ssd.
But im pretty sure that running windows repair 2-3 times also that disk would be bootable directly.
Have fun with your SSD!
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#27
Sounds like your cloning software automatically fixes the BCD UIDs without messing up anything else.
It's hard to predict with so many permutations of Maker/Version/Option available in Partition Managers whether a) it will be successful at all, and b) need fixing afterwards.
Glad it's all worked out OK.
That's the final area of performance tuning needed on my system. I upgraded the CPU with a fortuitous eBay bid to put that in the 6's, then changed my graphics card which was previously the WEI 4.? low-score bottleneck, so that that was now 7, and now my lowest scoring device is 5.8, the WD5000 SATA2 HDD. With SSDs getting more and more affordable, I would have got one before now. I just don't have any spare SATA connections to do anything.
I'm thinking about a new build based on a SATA3/USB3 mobo with SSDs doing all the main work, but to be honest this 5 year old PC is still plenty fast enough for everything I ask it to do and I think my wife's desire for a new kitchen will trump any time spent on boy's toys.
 
#28
My PC is 2 years old and also plenty fast enough. The new Win7 build on the SSD was like lightning. It is USB2 and 3GB sata, but it has 6 sata ports and 4 more Gigabyte sata ports .. not sure how to use those. So plenty space. I guess 6gb sata with SSD would fly. also the disk clacks are way down
Newegg.com here had a special of $69 for 120gb Kingston. It was worth a try for that price. I made C 85gb and so I am going to put my app drive on there as well.
My WD HDD went from 5.9 to 7.7 My CPU and memory are 7.3 and so I am in good shape.

My graphics are 4.9 which is the bottleneck now. I need a decent inexpensive graphics card. I am a 2d guy and not a gamer or video editing guy, so that's my next thing.

Question that you might be able to answer. Seems as if pagefile would be better off the SSD. I made the C drive paging space 1gb and the rest on an HDD. Do you know whether there can actually be no pagefile on C? Seems to be a conflict on that.

Brian
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#29
Pagefile is best off C, regardless of the device.
If it's a HDD, having the pagefile on C causes head seek contention and slows down the OS responsiveness.
Although that doesn't apply to a SSD, other considerations make it a bad idea (limited total read/write counts will shorten the device life)
I have my pagefile on my backup drive which is not in normal use, so the heads sit permanently in one place till I do my nightly backups (at which time nothing else is running so RAM is doing all the work and swapping is unnecessary).
You can use the same pagefile for every Windows installation in a multi-boot, preferably on a drive separate from them all, just use the advanced performance options to assign a new one and then delete the default on C. Each time you do it, it will warn that there's already a pagefile, and that it will get deleted, but thats of no consequence because it's just blank space if the OS that allocated it isn't running. Once you've reassigned it in all the OSs, they'll all think they own it, as indeed they will when they're booted.
If your RAM score is in the 7's then you've probably not got a lot of swap-paging going on anyway.
If you want to get your graphics score up on a par with the rest of the PC I can recommend the ASUS HD 6670 which you can pick up for around £50 in the UK.
It's not a gamer's card, which doesn't concern me. I got it for the HDMI output which connects to the Home Cinema TV in the next room, allowing me to view the W7 Media Centre TV and Movie collection in comfort on a remote second monitor.
 
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#30
Thanks. I do have the pagefile mostly on my data drive but I left 1GB on C because found articles that say you must (or should) have some on the C drive. Sounds like that is not correct and I will delete it.
I will set up a dedicated partition for it on my data drive and have all the OS's own it. I actually do not dual boot .. they are there for safety and for potential upgrade purposes. I am not sure, but I think the Win8 upgrade requires an installed environment and not simply the serial numbers.
Thanks for the tip on the ASUS. It is $80 here. I was actually looking today and came across Nvidia GT640 which looked interesting and the same price but the Asus gets 5 star reviews on Newegg and Amazon which is really amazing. Says it supports multiple monitors, but I guess not using DVI?
I'll order one.

thanks a bunch
Brian

Addendum

If you wan't to get your graphics score up on a par with the rest of the PC I can recommend the ASUS HD 6670 which you can pick up for around £50 in the UK.
It's not a gamer's card, which doesn't concern me. I got it for the HDMI output which connects to the Home Cinema TV in the next room, allowing me to view the W7 Media Centre TV and Movie collection in comfort on a remote second monitor.
Actually, this version is available for $50

GIGABYTE GV-R667D3-1GI Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card.

Not sure if DDR3 vs DDR5 is a big deal.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#31
You should be able to connect a DVI monitor to the HDMI with a suitable cable or adapter, though you won't have the audio which HDMI carries. You should be able to configure a 3 monitor desktop with appropriate cables.
Just a little W8 warning though.
When I installed W8 I thought it had failed near the end. I had a blank unresponsive screen and no cursor and I was about to start again (or bin it) when I noticed that the LEDs on the PC seemed to indicate that something was going on under the hood. A more expansive wiggle of the mouse produced a fleeting glance of a cursor from the edge of the screen and I had a Eureka moment.
Going into the other room and commandeering the TV from my bemused wife, I switched it to AV and there was a dialog waiting for my response to its request for customization options. It seems that the HDMI socket is adopted by W8 as the primary monitor once setup gets that far, despite the fact that all previous communication has been via DVI.
 
#32
Terry, there are 2 ASUs 6670 cards.
HD6670-2GD3 (2GB DDR3) and ASUS EAH6670/DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 6670 1GB DDR5.

Does it matter for my '2D' purpose? which do you have? I would guess the second. Same price.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#33
This is how it was described on Amazon last December when I got it.
Asus AMD Radeon HD 6670 Graphics Card (1GB, PCI-Express, GDDR5, Dust-proof Fan)
Somewhere between the two.
 
#34
Windows 8 Boot Issue

Terry, after a huge saga with the Win8 upgrade downlaod and it not accepting the key I bought (MS Support was worse than useless. I gave up after 3 hours on teh phone). I finally managed to install Win8 over Vista on my HDD.
So I have WIn8 nd Win7 on HDD and Win7 on SSD.
If I boot directly from teh drives everything works.
2 Questions:

1. When I add a Win8 entry from EasyBCD when booted from the SSD, it looks like this:

There are a total of 3 entries listed in the bootloader.

Default: Windows 7 SSD (Boot)
Timeout: 15 seconds
EasyBCD Boot Device: C:\

Entry #1
Name: Windows 7 SSD (Boot)
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

Entry #2
Name: Windows 7 HDD
BCD ID: {4c638aa3-289e-11e2-9420-d26d12b31a15}
Device: \Device\HarddiskVolume2
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe

Entry #3
Name: Windows 8
BCD ID: {ed85aac4-2e00-11e2-bc66-00241d8530a5}
Drive: Z:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe


When I boot the SSD and I get the bootloader menu and I click the Win8 entry, it fails:

You might have installed a file that is signed incorrectly or damaged. Repair your computer.

File: \windows\system32\winload.exe
Status 0xc0000428
Windows cannot verify the digital signature

Is this supposed to work? I can boot off the HDD but less convenient to sit there and change the boot disk in the Bios.

2. When I boot the HDD and Win8 is the default, it come sup with this graphic version of the bootlaoder with options to change things. Is this part of the MBR and bootloader?
When I use EasyBCD in Win7 on the HDD to make Win7 the default, it shows the bootloader I am used to.

Is win8 different in this regard?. If I use an old (pre-Win8) Acronis that backs up the MBR, should a restore work or has something in the architecture changed?

Thanks and regards
Brian
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#35
W8 "fast boot" is a bit of a cheat. It's really a disguised hibernation state which enables W8 to "boot" faster. The real truth is revealed when you dual-boot via the W8 menu and choose a different OS.
Instead of directly chaining to the W7 Winload from W8 BCD, it completely reboots the system from scratch because it has to do a "real" boot instead of the disguised-hibernation pseudo-boot it was in the middle of when you chose to thwart its "speed".
Delivering fast boot times in Windows 8 - Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

The problem of trying to boot W8 from the W7 menu is one of lack of forward compatibility.
W8 setup expects to see W7 as "system" when you install it as a dual-boot, and it will take over the boot files in the "system" partition and upgrade them to W8 level which is backward compatible with W7.
The problem and solution are discussed here
Dual Boot/
 
#36
Thanks a lot. I think I get it.

1) SSD was not connected when I installed Win8, so it is not known. That is OK .. I will boot of the HDD when I need to.
2) I used EasyBCD to make Win7 on the HDD default and I can boot either just fine. I wilol leave it that way as a failsafe. I am just looking at win8 .. I hate it already and many of my apps don't run, as they have drivers .. like Snappyfax.

So I think I got it.
I assume partition images are normal and restorable, as is the MBR backup.

One strange thing. Every time I boot Win8 and then boot the SSD all the drives are checked for errors even the ones Win8 has no drive letter for (data drive is shared). It keeps finding allocated space that is actually free. Strange. It also happens in reverse occasionally.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#37
Join the club.
When I first booted W8 it marked all thirteen of my other HDD partitions "dirty".
When I rebooted W7 it BSOD'd, and I had to boot Vista which luckily still came up, though it spent something between 30-60 minutes checking out all the "corrupt" disk space before I got to the desktop.
Only then would W7 boot again and ever since then every time I boot W8 (which I now try to avoid) I have to spend hours reclaiming the right to access my own user data which W8 has purloined, and does again every time I boot it, even when I don't even try to access any user files.
I have tried to customize W8 to be as W7-like as possible, bypassing the ghastly Modern GUI, changing file associations so that files are opened by proper re-sizable desktop apps, not the ridiculous uncontrollable fullscreen idiocy designed for a phone, etc, etc, but the killer for me is that the new add-on Media Centre has been "secured" and no longer allows most of the useful plugins of W7MC to function properly if at all.
Until W8MC can be made as nice as W7's, the OS will sit unused and unloved, wasting space on my HDDs.
 
#38
I simply want to try it out and know what all the fuss/hate was about. It has cost me hours of time and I hope that my other drives (dadat/photos/videos/etc) are undamaged. Win7 does some funny stuff. I used winzip which proceeded to think it was the first time started and reinitialized itself. It started asking me for passwords at logon and sleep which I had disabled etc.
I am never going to use it, so I think I will uninstall.
Do I simply remove the entry using EasyBCD and delete the partition or will it leave other detrus around?

Brian
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#39
You can delete the W8 entry from the SSD because that doesn't work anyway, but you'll need to boot W8 from the HDD and see what it says is "system", to know what to do next to remove it.
 
#40
I found this. I don't like windows 8, but this looks the way to mess with it.

Windows 8 is designed to close and reopen by faster booting (Hybrid Boot), it has left your system in a hibernated state, with the drives mounted, open and ready to take off as soon as Windows 8 restarts. When a drive is mounted, a little piece of data is written to a standard place on the disk to show it is in use - it is called the "dirty bit".

This means that the "dirty bit" on the disks that Windows 7 checks on startup is showing on the disks. And then, chkdsk is automatically run to check the integrity of the disks with the "dirty bit" set. Please check the following settings.

1. Control Panel -> Power Plan
2. Select "Choose what the power button does" on left hand side.
3. Click on "Change settings that are currently unavailable".
4. Uncheck "Turn on fast startup" under shutdown settings.