I have two HDDs, the first one has a EFI partition and a windows partition, the second one has no partitions.

I want to move the windows partition to the middle of the second HDD, and boot from it. Most likely I will have to repair the EFI (BCD) after that.

My questions are:

  1. "Can I" / "Do I need to" "move" / "clone" the EFI partition to the new HDD as well?
  2. Do I need to remove the windows installation from the first HDD to repair the second one or can I have both working?
  3. Assuming that:

    1. I can copy the windows partition with gparted (cylinder alignment) and possibly the EFI as well,
    2. I have a recovery USB stick ready, and
    3. I have a backup done,

    is there any hole in this plan that will screw my computer completely?

  • Why the negative vote? – Trylks Aug 23 '17 at 21:33
  • No, you do not need to move the ESP from the first disk to the second disk. – fpmurphy Aug 24 '17 at 5:12

Windows boot manager can and will boot any Windows 7-10 from any partition or disk.

The boot sequence for EFI starts in firmware which loads first boot candidate -usually from EFI System partition on first GPT disk. In this case it is Windows boot manager.

Boot manager reads BCD and displays boot menu. Every item in boot menu is linked to a loader(winload.exe) which is in \windows\system32 on a drive where we have a Windows installation.

To sum up - you copy Windows installation from one partition to another and then amend BCD loader path(drive letter). You have to fix also drive letter for system root.

Suggested tool - Visual BCD editor.

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