Sequence for moving MBR among multiple drives?

I just cannot fully envisage how to achieve objective below with confidence to avoid disaster of losing both fully established and opted out LInux and Win 7 operating systems.
A brief outline of an appropriate procedure would be appreciated.

Existing Config:

Original install of Vista-64 Ultimate on 1TB SATA drive, HDD_1
Ubuntu also installed with Grub on HDD_1.
Upgrade to Win 7 Ultimate and install on separate 300GB 15K RPM SAS drive, HDD_2.
There is also a separate RAID 0 filesystem consisting of five 1TB SATA drives

The only active partition is the Vista partition on HDD_1
Grub boots off HDD_1 and presents Win 7 among the standard Linux options
Selecting Win 7 brings up Windows bootloader which offers the option of Win 7 or Vista
Selecting Vista boots into the Vista partition on HDD_1
Selecting Win 7 boots into the Win 7 partition on HDD_2

Now want to copy as a separate stand-alone O/S, the Ubuntu partition from HDD_1 onto a new 300GB 15K RPM SAS drive, HDD_3.
The 1TB SATA drive, HDD_1, will be formatted, so Vista is no longer possible, and the HDD_1 drive will be added to the RAID 0 array.

Final Config:
Win 7 stand-alone on 300GB 15K RPM SAS drive, HDD_2
Ubuntu stand-alone on 300GB 15K RPM SAS drive, HDD_3
RAID 0 filesystem consisting of six 1TB SATA drives

Any help or guidance would be most appreciated.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Hi Jon,

Welcome to NeoSmart Technologies.

Let me just start off my saying, I really envy your rig! That's some mean SAS love there! Mind my asking what brand the drives are?

You'll need to boot into Linux, copy the contents of the entire linux / partition to the new drive (after formatting it first, obviously). Then remove the Vista/Linux drive and from the bIOS set the Windows 7 drive to be the first boot drive. Boot your PC up, and you should get into Windows 7. If not, you'll need to first repair the Windows menu by using the Repair tools on the install CD.

Boot into Windows 7, install EasyBCD 2.0.2, and create a new NeoGrub entry with EasyBCD. Follow the instructions here to get the NeoGrub entry to load Ubuntu from your SAS disk: NeoGrub Linux - EasyBCD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki

You may want to read the NeoGrub instructions before doing anything else, because you'll need to know the names of files on the Linux partition to continue.
Thanks for welcome and comments on rig.
I have P6T WS Pro MoBo which comes with 2 chan Marvell SAS controller on board as well as Intel ICH10R.
Got a couple of NEW 300 GB HP (Seagate) 15K SAS drives from eBay for $250 total
Some guy called me old-fashioned for using SAS and said I should be using Solid State Drives. Have to draw line somewhere.

I will have to shrink the Linux partitions first so that it will fit on SAS. I will then use
dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/dev/hdb1

I have already tried but cannot boot directly off the win 7 partition since the partition is not active.
Recall that "The only active partition is the Vista partition on HDD_1"
I have tried another time "to repair Windows" but it ended up reinstalling over the top?
Not sure what went wrong, but I sure don't want this to happen again.
Any tips?
What about using Windows Disk Management and just right click on the c:\ drive, Mark Partition as Active?


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
You can have an active partition on every HDD if you wish.
The MBR will search for the active partition on the first HDD in the boot sequence.
I boot my default system (W7) from a small custom multi-boot partition on a different HDD, but it still contains the W7 boot files and is "active", so can always be booted in extremis (should the other HDD fail) by simply overriding the BIOS sequence.
Depending on how you installed W7 (it does tend to play silly "hide the boot files" games if you don't rigidly control the process personally) you can make it bootable directly by setting "active" whichever partition it lists as "system" when it's booted.
If that happens to be the Vista system you're trying to remove, then you can use EasyBCD 2.0 > BCD Backup/Repair > Change boot drive to copy the boot files onto W7, and then change the BIOS to boot from there.