Turn dual boot win7/8 into Win8 only?

#1
So I had a harddrive that was entirely Windows 7. I shrunk its partition, made a new partition in the empty space on the end of the drive, and installed Windows 8 in that new partition. Windows 8 setup automatically created a dual boot loader, but it put it on the Windows 7 partition.

Now I want to delete the Windows 7 partition, and move the Windows 8 one over to the beginning of the drive (because it's faster there) and expand it to take the full size of the drive. I tried: Setting the Win 8 partition as active, deleting the Win 7 boot loader from bcdedit, recreating a new bootmgr/loader on the Win 8 partition with the Windows Recovery Disk, and then moving the partition over with Easeus Partition Manager. It didn't work. I got BCD NOT FOUND error, and Windows Repair couldn't fix it.

So someone suggested I try EasyBCD and GParted. Well I can figure out GParted on my own, but how would I go about using EasyBCD to do this?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
#3
Yeah I got that, I've changed the boot partition just fine. I now have it set up so that my only partition is my Win 8 partition, and it is no longer a dual-boot:



But I want to move that Win 8 partition to the beginning of the disk, and then expand it to use the whole disk. Right now it is sitting on the end of the disk, which is much slower (about 50% the speed of the beginning of the drive).
And I've made a backup image of what I have now. It's when I try to move the partition that it screws everything up. I've tried Easeus, and I just finished trying GParted. They both give warnings that trying to move the boot/system partition will make it unbootable (although some people have written that they were able to boot just fine after moving their sys partition), and indeed it does. I get a Windows 8-style blue screen that says my PC needs to be repaired But many guides say that after moving it, all you have to do is run the Windows Recovery Disc and use its auto-repair to fix the issue.

But that's where my situation differs from the norm. Where the Recovery Disc should be able to recreate the boot manager just fine, it creates a "crippled" semi-unbootable OS for me. After repairing, Windows 8 will try to boot, and it will get to the login screen, but I will not see my display picture or desktop background, and after entering my password, it will just hang, saying "Welcome..." with the spinning dots animation. Sometimes it will eventually give up/break and display a strange yellow screen with red stripes all over it, and some times it will never give up and just never finish logging in. I've also tried all the bootrec and bcdedit commands in the console to try and fix it manually, but same result.


It could have something to do with the fact that my drive letter is "W" and not "C". I don't know. But it looks like it's just not possible for me.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#6
Vista/7, unlike XP, are kind enough to let you run regedit.exe from that semi-crippled state when the OS partition letter has accidentally changed.
 
#7
Vista/7, unlike XP, are kind enough to let you run regedit.exe from that semi-crippled state when the OS partition letter has accidentally changed.
...how can I run it though? I can't log in. The only way I can execute any programs is through the Windows Recovery Disc, and I don't think I can run regedit there.

(ps thanks for helping me so much, even though this has nothing to do with EasyBCD :grinning: )
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#8
It's years since I had to do this, so not terribly fresh.
Try Windows Key > then type regedit.exe
 
#9
It's years since I had to do this, so not terribly fresh.
Try Windows Key > then type regedit.exe
windows key doesn't do anything at the login screen. And I think you mean windows key + R. Don't forget I'm in Windows 8, so I can't just type stuff in a start menu search box anymore :tongueout: . It's just not possible to run regedit.exe, or any program, from the login screen. If it were, it would make it a lot easier for a hacker to gain unauthorized access to a password-protected PC.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#10
Sorry, forgetting W8.
Never had to do this in W8 or seen anything relevant to it. (Gave up on W8 after 3 months and fell back to W7 - much preferred)
The only time W8 decided it should offer to repair my PC for me, and I was stupid enough to let it try, it damn-near screwed my entire quad-boot beyond use. Luckily Vista could get far enough to repair the file system(s) which were BSOD'ing W7 after W8 had mucked around with everything, and that let W7 back in again after an hour or so of chkdsk.
With no touch screen on a keyboard/mouse desktop, W8 seemed singularly pointless, not to say counter-productive, and its uncontrollable urge to meddle was the final straw. Everything I use my PC for works better in W7 than W8. A couple of recent 3rd party application upgrades which may have redressed the balance towards the previously under-supported W8 have not been enough to tempt me back yet.
W7 and Vista definitely let you fix the letter change problem from the blank blue screen. If W8's security features cripple it then I can only suggest you approach the problem pre-emptively in the way you clone the W8 partition, in the same way as described for XP here
Goodells.Net :: Understanding MultiBooting
 
#11
I have cloned the partition, but it restores back to the same location on the harddrive. I just want to move it to the beginning of the drive, which is technically like cloning. I don't understand why moving it screws it up.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#12
The registry entry describing "C" says it's where it used to be, so where it is now cannot be C, so it gets a new letter.
You need to delete all those entries before making the clone (partition image) so that the registry doesn't have any preconceptions and creates everything from scratch (method 2)