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I want to have two or even three clones of my operating system partition on the same hard drive. No I don't want the clones on different hard drives. I want three partitions on one hard drive, two of which are the clones of my current system partition.

I want to power up my computer, and see 3 "Win 7" operating systems to select to boot from.

No I don't want to install windows 7 three times and reinstall all my programs/settings for each install. I want to specifically clone my current partition, because I have already programs/configs over the past year.

I have "easy to do backup" (free software), but it seems it only allows me to restore my OS partition ("boot partition") onto another physical hard disk. There is no option to do what I want.

I have searched all over the internet, and nobody wants to do what I want. They only refer to cloning a OS/boot partition onto another physical hardisk.

Anyone have a solution?

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1 Answer 1

As you said, this isn't a common request so I haven't tested the following method and it may or may not work:

  1. Install EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition

  2. Resize your Windows partition so you have 2x the unallocated space available (i.e. if the Windows partition is 60 GB, make sure you have 120 GB unallocated space)

  3. Copy the Windows partition twice, selecting it as the source and unallocated space as the destination:

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  4. [This step may not be required] Boot from the Windows DVD and perform a Startup Repair on both cloned partitions (they should show up along with the main Windows partition in the OS selection screen):

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  5. Install EasyBCD

  6. Add new boot menu entries for both cloned partitions:

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  7. Cross your fingers and toes, reboot, check the boot menu and try and boot each cloned partition

Note 1: Partition Master cannot yet deal with cloning Windows installed on a GPT disk, so you will need to use something else to copy the partitions. It also requires unallocated space to copy to, so if you have existing partitions that you don't want to delete, search for alternatives. dd from a Linux LiveCD/USB might do the trick.

Note 2: As mentioned above, I'm not entirely sure step #4 is required. You should try without it first; maybe cloning the partitions and adding new BCD entries will be enough.

Note 3: Since I've only ever copied the system partition to a new disk to replace the old one (or back onto the old disk after a wipe), I'm not sure how cloned partitions on the same disk with different drive letters will behave.

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Hey I want to thank you for your answer. I got it to work and it was extremely simple. The key step that I did not know about was how to add a boot entry. But your software easy BCD solve the problem. I'm currently typing this from my clone operating system. –  ms. mann Dec 16 '12 at 20:50
    
All I had to do was cloned the partition onto some on allocated space, but I did it with the cloning software that I already had instead of the one you recommended., Which I'm sure would have worked as well. I did not need to use the windows repair, but instead just proceeded to add the operating system boot entry using the neo smart software that you recommended. I would upvote you but I don't have the reputation yet. –  ms. mann Dec 16 '12 at 20:50
    
That's great, glad you got it to work. :) Just for the record, what did you use to clone the partition? If by "easy to do backup" you actually meant EaseUS Todo Backup, then I believe that has the exact same copy functionality as EaseUS Partition Master. –  Karan Dec 16 '12 at 23:26
    
EaseUS Todo Backup is what I used –  ms. mann Dec 17 '12 at 1:10
    
Ok this actually has many problems that I didn't notice at first so please don't do this guys. All programs are still directing to the original drive and it shows the C drive as still being active, even though I booted into the new cloned drive. In other words if I deleted my original drive, the new clone would stop working. –  ms. mann Jan 9 '13 at 4:12

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