Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm currently dual-booting Windows XP and Windows 7 (both 32-bit) on separate partitions from the same internal hard drive. I'd like to move the Windows 7 partition onto a new drive, but keep the existing XP partition intact, along with the dual-boot setup.

I know there's different software out there (Clonezilla, Easus Partition, etc) that can copy partitions, but what about the bootloader? Can I modify it after the Windows 7 partition is copied? If so, how?

share|improve this question
    
No - that is the correct behavior! What you need to do is remove the boot screen chooser.. but sometimes it will break your booting, then you have to start windows setup and do a repair so it rebuilt the boot record.. but there are other ways, just cant remember, done it once or twice. –  ppumkin Jan 18 '12 at 17:16
    
Several posts on SU about using EasyBCD to fix the bootloader once you move the partition....softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancements/EasyBCD.shtml –  Moab Jan 18 '12 at 17:59
    
Thanks, Moab. Having never used EasyBCD, would I first migrate the Windows 7 partition to the new drive (meaning I would then have 3 bootable partitions), then try to update the bootloader? Seems like it would be possible if I did all of this using the XP partition. I just don't know what would happen if I migrated everything, and then the computer didn't boot. –  mike Jan 18 '12 at 18:29
    
I woud duplicate the drive. Once you do that I would use EasyBCD to switch the Windows 7 partition to the new drive, wipe the old Windows 7 installation on the one drive and the copy of the Windows XP on the old drive. This would leave you with 2 installations. –  Ramhound Jan 18 '12 at 18:44
    
Taking Ramhound's idea, You can clone the drive using something like Norton Ghost or Easeus disk copy. That should clone the boot sector too. –  Bibhas Jan 18 '12 at 20:07

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

First of all you must find out which is the current active partition (it holds the boot configuration files and Windows 7 boot manager). To find out use Windows Disk Management.

It is best if first partition on disk is active (and primary). Download Visual BCD Editor for Windows 7/Vista. It comes with "Dual boot Repair tool".

Run Dual-boot Repair.

1) Click on Disk Management. Now see if first partition is marked active. If not mark it active.

Steps 2,3,4 only if first partition was not active !

2) Click on "Automatic Repair" (Dual-boot Repair) - this will create the boot configuration data and boot manager on first active partition.

3) Reboot. Windows 7 will be the default boot entry.

4) If XP is missing from boot-menu you can add it using Visual BCD Editor - right click in tree view and select "Create missing Windows loaders".

Now you have Windows 7 boot manager on first partition(active) and boot configuration data is also stored there.

Copy Windows 7 partition using Partition Wizard 7 Home(free tool) to new drive. Reboot to default (old Windows 7).

In Disk Management (and Explorer) check that you can see your new partition (new Windows 7). Add another boot entry for new Windows 7 (again using "Create missing Windows loaders")

Now you will have 3 boot menu entries - XP, old Windows 7, new Windows 7.

Check you can boot to every boot-menu entry. If all seems OK - delete old partition for Windows 7 (!! if it is not the first active partition !!) and delete boot menu entry for old Windows 7 - run Visual BCD Editor - select old Windows 7 loader in tree view, right click and "delete".

Note: Windows 7 always boots to fist disk and active partition on that disk !

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for the detailed info, snayob. I appreciate the step-by-step instructions. I haven't checked yet, but I'm almost certain XP is the first partition, and active. (XP was the original OS on the drive...I created the W7 partition afterwards.) I'm going to give this a try this weekend, and post whether it worked. –  mike Jan 20 '12 at 14:31
    
Finally got a chance to try this...it worked, to an extent. The partition was cloned successfully, but when I deleted the old W7 partition, and then booted into the new W7 partition, I was greeted with a "windows is not genuine" message. I gave up and just reinstalled the OS, as I wasn't able to recover the partition. I couldn't run any of the WGA software. I read somewhere there's a hidden windows partition that should be copied along with the original in something like this...but I wasn't able to confirm. Thanks for your help, though! –  mike Feb 2 '12 at 17:39

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.