Two copies of W7 32 - problems


Apologies if this is a bit long but I thought it might be helpful to explain how I got to where I am.

I installed W7 to the first partition of an internal HDD.
I used Acronis True Image 11 to create an Image of the OS - apps etc which were all installed to the first partition.

I partitioned an SSD and 'restored' the Image to the first partition, leaving the HDD in situ.
There is no W7 100 MB hidden partition.
By changing the boot order it then booted from the SSD.
The partition was out of alignment so I used Paragon Alignment Tool 2 to correct this.

For better or worse, I re-aligned the first partition on the HDD to suit the SSD using Paragon Alignment Tool 2, which I hoped might assist in maintaining alignment on the SSD if I ever chose to restore from the HDD to the SSD.

I booted from the HDD partition OK so I was then able to boot into two different copies of W7 - one on the HDD and one on the SSD.

I created further Images of the SSD OS partition and restored an Image to the HDD partition.
Edit: I left the Drive Letters unchanged and selected not to overwrite the MBR.
I selected the HDD to boot from and the screen came up suggesting that Windows had not shut down properly, which I find tends to happen occasionally when restoring Images, and selected 'start Windows normally'.
There was a significant delay in Windows starting and it did not function properly until I re-booted.
On checking it was obviously then booting from the SSD and not the HDD.

I was tempted to try EasyBCD but decided it would be prudent to seek advice first.

Since I succeeded in booting from either the SSD or the HDD before restoring an Image of the SSD to the HDD, I'm hoping there is a simple way of returning to that situation.

It would be very convenient to simply boot from either partition.
Similarly creating Images of the SSD and restoring to the HDD, and vice versa would be desirable.

I hope that makes sense and that the solution is easier than my explanation of how I got here.

Any advice much appreciated.
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Hi JayBee,

You've done a lot of tweaks to your individual disks, so we'll just have to take this a step at a time.

Just boot into one of the Windows entries, launch EasyBCD, and add a new Windows 7 entry; selecting the drive of the other disk as it appears in My Computer, then reboot to test.
Many thanks CG

Prior to reading your post I disconnected the SSD and tried to boot from the HDD.

It didn't really succeed and after a minute or more a clear blue screen informed me that the copy of W7 was not 'valid' - having paid over £100, it certainly is - W7 HP Retail.

I would have thought that having a second copy of W7 installed on the same PC, whilst not common, is not unique and does not infringe MS policy.
I suspected something else was therefore causing the problem.

I did a quick format of the HDD first partition and restored an Image of the SSD to it from within Windows.
I ran EasyBCD and created a second entry for the HDD.
On booting the two options appeared.
The OS from the SSD loaded normally.

Re-booting from the HDD took significantly longer than normal to load and the Desktop was the same as that associated with the SSD and I'm reasonably confident was not the one associated with the Image restored to the HDD.

I could not get any normal operation/response from Windows and eventually a pop-up confirmed Windows Explorer had 'crashed'.
Re-booting again from the HDD gave the same result.
Booting from the SSD appears to give normal operation of Windows.

I give details below for completeness.

There are a total of 2 entries listed in the bootloader.

Default: Windows 7
Timeout: 30 seconds
Boot Drive: C:\

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

Entry #2
Name: HDD W 7 32
BCD ID: {3db4588a-d71b-11df-a86c-aa0278571708}
Drive: F:\
Bootloader Path: \Windows\system32\winload.exe
Windows Boot Manager
identifier {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device partition=C:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}
default {3db45887-d71b-11df-a86c-aa0278571708}
resumeobject {3db45886-d71b-11df-a86c-aa0278571708}
displayorder {3db45887-d71b-11df-a86c-aa0278571708}
toolsdisplayorder {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}
timeout 30

Windows Boot Loader
identifier {3db45887-d71b-11df-a86c-aa0278571708}
device partition=C:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7
locale en-US
inherit {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}
recoverysequence {3db45888-d71b-11df-a86c-aa0278571708}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \Windows
resumeobject {3db45886-d71b-11df-a86c-aa0278571708}
nx OptIn

Windows Boot Loader
identifier {3db4588a-d71b-11df-a86c-aa0278571708}
device partition=F:
path \Windows\system32\winload.exe
description HDD W 7 32
locale en-US
osdevice partition=F:
systemroot \Windows
This is a known issue with some of the crappier (which may very well be top-of-the-line) imaging programs: they clone your disk *exactly* as-is, which may sound good, but it's not.

The problem is that each partition has a unique signature recorded in it and you can't have multiple partitions with the same ID in the same machine or things go haywire.

Honestly, the easiest way of doing this would be to format the HDD, create a new partition on it, manually copy everything from the SSD to the HDD, then proceed to disconnect the SDD and boot from the HDD so that it can repair the partition references. You'll probably need to repair the MBR and bootsector by following the instructions at Recovering the Vista Bootloader from the DVD - NeoSmart Technologies Wiki first, though, for it to boot.

Then try again with EasyBCD.

Or use a utility from Sysinternals to manually change the volume ID on the HDD while booted into the SSD: VolumeID
Have a good look around the options. Partition Management apps often do several things which are almost but not quite the same. There might be a "Backup" section which clones the partition as an image, designed to be restored back to the same place, and a "Copy" section designed to migrate the OS from an old (slow or failing) HDD to a nice big fast new one. The effect of using one in place of the other can be almost but not quite successful.
Thanks CG

My intention was to try and have a spare W7 OS on the HDD to which I could restore a copy, possibly an earlier copy, of the OS on the SSD.
I'm coming to the conclusion, for various reasons, this could be much trickier than I'd hoped.

In principle I originally had this working by restoring an Image of the HDD OS to the SSD and being able to boot from either.
Restoring an Image of the SSD OS to the HDD is when the problems began, for whatever reason.
One obvious difference was that the restoration from the HDD to the SSD was by using a bootable CD whereas the subsequent restoration from the SSD to the HDD was from within Windows.

I'm not too bothered about the HDD because I'm reasonably confident I can rescue that from any eventuality but the main logic behind all this is to avoid messing about with the SSD too much.
It's 256 GB, an expensive indulgence, and at the moment it's the only drive I can boot from with confidence.
My first SSD, a couple of years ago, only lasted a few hours before dying.

Elsewhere I did suggest the idea of a simple file copy of the SSD to the HDD - honestly.
I got no feedback and decided it was probably a bit naive on my part.
I did try it, since I felt simply copying files could do no harm, but as I suspected some files did not copy from within Windows.
I didn't take it any further.

Thanks Terry

The most common option would be to 'back-up' which would normally be used to restore to the same partition/location, not least the OS.

The 'clone' option is normally used when upgrading your drive and puts me off since the guidance inevitably after restoration, is to remove the original drive leaving its replacement to function as the new OS.
I want to keep both drives available.
Even in this situation many, if not most, seem to avoid the clone option and select the 'back-up' route, restore to the new drive and remove the old drive on completion.

There is an option to back-up files which I'm considering to simply copy 'everything' from the SSD OS partition.
Doing so, possibly using a bootable CD ie not from within Windows, is tempting.
Edit: From bootable CD - not easy to say the least since you can't simply copy to a partition - operation caused re-boot part way through

Since the SSD is working well I may decide to leave well alone and not risk getting in a knot.

In the meantime many thanks again for taking the time to help.
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After cloning to the new HDD (a bad choice of word imo, implying a genetically identical copy, which it isn't, whereas the backup image is. I prefer the Paragon description "drive copy"), they might say "now remove the original", but there's no reason why you should. They're making the assumption that you're moving to a new HDD, but the old system still exists, so is still usable (indeed unaltered). The important thing is that that option is designed to involve a HDD change of ID, whereas "backups" aren't.
If you do the copy, then choose which version is to be default, set the BIOS accordingly, then add a BCD entry for the other system to the default, you should have what you want.
You guys put certain other 'Support' Forums to shame :smile:

I checked in Acronis and cloning a disk means literally cloning the whole disk.
The SSD is partitioned although that isn't much of a problem.
The potential destination HDD is 1 TB and is partitioned, holds a lot of data as well as a spare first partition for an OS.

I'm tempted to take an HDD out of my spare PC for this purpose.
A bit of an exercise in total but tempting.

I'm taking up a lot of your time and effort but with luck my next post might be the last, at least for a while - famous last words.
Thanks, JayBee :$

Changing the volume ID is probably the most efficient next step - it either works or doesn't hurt, and won't take 2 minutes of your time.
I checked the VolumeID's for the SSD and the HDD and they were not the same.

I disconnected the SSD and restored the Image of the SSD to the HDD.
Booted immediately from W7 Recovery CD and selected 'Repair Startup'.
The subsequent details suggested nothing needed/had been corrected.
Booted from HDD OK.
Reconnected SSD and booted OK from it.
Created entry in EasyBCD for HDD OS and was then able to boot from either.

Using the HDD whilst typing this.

I don't know what caused the previous problems but I thought it might be more likely to succeed with the SSD disconnected.

I seem to have got to where I want to be.

Many thanks for your help.