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Can't seem to find a reliable solution that fits.

I have 2 physical hard drives, each is partitioned into 3 logical drives. They both have the same layout: small system reserved space for bootup and recovery; medium space for Windows 7 OS; and large area for all personal files.

I'm upgrading to a larger drive. I used a cloning/backup software to replicate all files from the smaller drive to the larger one. The new OS drive (C drive) is listed as the "F" drive rather than C (which is still in use by the old install of the OS)

I'm looking for the best way to mark the new OS partition as 'C' and have the computer boot to it. I've successfully moved my personal files and references. I've successfully moved the system reserved section and rebuilt it. But each time I try to run from the new OS install my system continously reboots itself and if it does get to a blue windows screen it says that it is not a genuine copy of Windows and freezes.


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migrated from Nov 17 '12 at 6:38

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

StackOverflow is a site for programming and programmer's tools related questions, not general computer or operating system questions. The FAQ has more information about the types of questions that are appropriate to ask here. Voting to close and move to a more suitable site. – Ken White Nov 17 '12 at 3:34
You may be able to change the boot order in the machines BIOS settings so it looks at the larger driver for an OS first. – martineau Nov 17 '12 at 11:11
up vote 0 down vote accepted

After days of errors and panic of lost data I found that the windows backup/recovery just isn't reliable. Ended up having to mount the vhd backup file that windows created and then use a great free cloning/recovery program ( to re-image the mounted vhd, create a new recovery/boot cd and start over again. I had error after error trying to use the MS tools and found many others in the same boat.

Bottom line - there is no easy way to just "change the drive letter and install the new hard drive"... at least not in my situation.

I tried all the tricks that I read to get the MS backup to work, including:

  • unplugging hard drives
  • changing serial number on drives
  • putting them in external cases and plugging in at certain times
  • changing cables, boot sequences, MBR/System info
  • etc.

Originally I was looking for a quick/easy way to go about this... after almost losing data I realized that I should have just found a reliable 3rd party imaging program from the start. I love MS for many things, I would strongly suggest NOT using their backup tools (as do many people who have run into errors while trying to recover).

Some extra reading from another perspective:

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