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Windows 7/Specifying Boot Partition


QUESTION: I moved the contents of my C Drive to a partition on a much larger drive.
How can I now have the system boot from the partition of an alternate drive......other than the C Drive.
Can I simply rename the new partition as the "C" partition.

ANSWER: Hi Nicholas!

So, "cloning" a drive doesn't work that way. You can't simply copy the files to another drive. You need to use special software capable of "cloning" - copying contents of all the physical locations of the drive - to the new drive. I would recommend something like EaseUS Disk Copy or Clonezilla to clone the old drive to the new drive.

Feel free to follow up with any other questions you might have.

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I should have defined "moving the contents...." better. I did exactly as you suggested.
So, if I now remove my C Drive, how may I specify that the boot location is Partition K of Drive E.

ANSWER: Ah, ok, you probably only cloned the C: drive then. Fixing this is dependent on your operating system version. Assuming Windows 7, you can perform a Startup Repair, by either booting to the Windows 7 DVD and choosing Repair Your Computer or hitting F8 before Windows boots. Windows 8 does not do F8 - you need the DVD. For next time - most cloning utilities have the option of cloning a partition or an entire disk; cloning the entire disk will also copy the boot files too.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I have W7 and cloned the entire C Drive which was only 75GB. I cloned it to Drive E,(500GB), Partition K (250GB).

I have an ASUS motherboard, and the instructions indicate to hit DEL, at startup to access the BIOS files. If I follow that approach, can I specify the new boot location to be Drive E, Partition K, or will I need to use the W7 DVD approach.

Sorry for the questions.....I'm a slow learner.

No, you can't change which partition is booted in the BIOS, and in most cases, you can't specify which disk to boot to either. Once the system has finished checking and booting the hardware, it turns the boot process entirely over to the OS. The OS boot files determine which partition is booted. In this case, you will need to use the Windows 7 DVD to do a Startup Repair so that the boot files can be written to one of your partitions - it will do this automatically as part of the Startup Repair.

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I can answer nearly all questions about Windows 7 - installation, upgrade, virtualization (XP Mode and beyond), configuration, how to get the most out of it, how to buy it, etc. I won't pretend to know it all - nobody can - if I don't know, I will try and find the answer. If I can't find it, I'll tell you.


I worked as an analyst in Dell server support for 2 years, and have since worked with many Dell PowerEdge servers. I am currently employed as IT Manager. I have been using Windows 7 since the early Beta days.

I have a BS in Computer Science and have earned the following certifications: CompTIA Security+, A+, Project+; CIW Web Design, Database Specialist; Microsoft Windows 7; Dell DCSE Server. I am also an expert in Windows 7, Servers, and Hard Drives (I don't normally do XP - not because I don't know it inside and out, but because I have "retired" personal support for XP, and I want to see it die :)).

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