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Quite a while ago, my boot records all got stuck on the wrong hard drive due to a botched Ubuntu install. Any attempt to fix them resulted in a "Windows can't start due to hardware changes; repair using your installation or system repair disc" and then a "this version of Windows is not compatible" loop.

So I just decided to live with having the boot record on the wrong disc.

Now, though, I'd like to pull out both discs and put in a new disc to use as a system disc.

I understand that I can back Windows up onto an external HD and restore it using processes like those described here, but I don't know what'd going to happen since my boot record is on the wrong HD.

Will the backup and System Restore process also create a new boot record on the new HDD, or do I have to fix the boot record (which I have so far been completely incapable of doing) first?

Follow-up: So trying a total image, taking out BOTH old HDDs, and putting in a single large HDD is a total failure. All I get upon restore is "Element missing" errors. I had to have the new HDD and the old secondary HDD (with the crappy boot files on it) present to even attempt the backup. Waiting to see if this actually fixes the boot record, or if the boot record remains resident on the second disc.

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Please login to edit your own posts. When you do it anonymously (if that was you), we have to review your changes before they appear to the general population. – Scott Oct 20 '13 at 19:15
Apologies; I'm working on my wife's laptop (for obvious reasons) and hadn't noticed I was logged out for the edit. – mattshepherd Oct 20 '13 at 21:24

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